Saturday, July 15, 2006

And so begins the task ...


I don’t know if any of you out there are in the least bit interested in my alternate life as a rock ‘n roller. Probably less of you are interested in this than you are in hearing about my pathetic attempts to transform myself into a long distance runner before senility quite rightly overtakes me. But this is my weblog and it’s supposed to be about my life on the Isle of Tiree so I thought I’d tell you how the ol’ Defenders are getting on.


Take a look at the picture above. Have you ever seen such a goofy looking specimen? This man is the vocalist with The Defenders. In the past week he has – by popular vote of his co-band members – been voted replacement rythmn guitarist in view of the fact that James is going to miss the band’s next two performances.


I can’t pretend that playing electric guitar in the band is exactly a new experience for me. But the last time I did that was back in 1987. I pointed this out to Bruce Kemp, the lead guitarist, at the start of this week.


“Well at least that’s less than 20 years ago!”


I was justly admonished.


So last night Bruce, Iain MacDonald (bass guitarist) and I gathered round a few bottles of beer and tried to play our songs.


When I got back home at about 11 p.m. the first words I said to Joanne were, “I think the guys have more confidence in me than I have.”


But you know last night I felt my self getting in to a groove I haven’t been in for – yes – 20 years. It’s all coming back to me. But let me take you a little further along the road with this performing kick. Being the vocalist in any band is the best job you can have, especially if you suffer from pre-gig nerves. All that adrenalin coursing through your body translates itself in to energy and an almost supernatural ability to hit those high notes.


Not to so with REAL MUSICIANS. Imagine being the guitarist who has to play a two bar riff before the rest of the band come in when your hand is shaking like a leaf and you've suddenly become convinced that you're a social outcast for ever having thought you had any right to be on stage.


Well, now I'm one of those guys - again. Not only will I be singing at the Coll gig and the Tiree gig but I will also be playing electric guitar. The last time I did that was long ago and far away - London, in fact.


But being in a band on Tiree with such like minded individuals is a gas. Last night, before we started work, me and Bruce went outside at the invitation of his kids. His daughter and son put on a 'show' for us on the trampoline. How we whooped and wailed. The late evening sun was hot on our necks, the corncrakes were calling, and once again I knew why I was living here.

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