Two months into the UK branch of Abel & Eade and it was time to go on tour. After a couple of friendly local gigs in Devon at Exeter’s Timepiece and Exmouth’s Bicton Inn, Randy and I headed off northward.
First up was The Settle Inn, Stirling. An intimate gig in the back of a lovely pub run by Lesley, it was here we met George who would the next day take us on our first Castle tour of the tour – Stirling Castle. Back in my “other” band, Hedgepig, we sing a number of Scottish battle related songs from this area, so it was great to catch up on some of the local history.
Next up it was off to the Isle of Bute for the holiday part of our tour, with the backing of Hugh Reed and family (of Hugh Reed and the Velvet Underpants who we gigged with up in Glasgow back in August at McChuills), and a little gig with some excellent food thanks to Brody and his local Scottish Honky Tonk bar.
Five days of peaceful quiet rambling, and it was back to the mainland for a gig at the fabulous Falkirk Folk club, opening up for Jefferson Hamer, and catching up with family. This is a really great folk club, with a great range of music – I’ve played here before as the Rosie Eade duo/trio on a couple of previous Scottish tours, so it was a good environment to showcase our new project to some friendly faces. And they all sang along with my song The Fire again, despite me forgetting the words in all the excitement… Big thanks to Charlie for organising this and looking after us for a few days, and for getting us a bonus gig the next day too.
Lots of site seeing in this part of the trip too. We popped to Edinburgh for the day for a quick run round Castle and a bit of trainspotting spotting…
Then it was off to play knights of the round table at Castle Doune with my transatlantic kindred spirit.
The bonus gig was for Kenny at the charming Torphichen Inn, fully equipped with a beautiful Tam O’Shanter mural painted around the walls of the main bar area.
This turned out to be a double bonus gig, thanks to two lovely locals. First up, local photographer Arran McMillan took us out for a spooky night time tour of the Torphichen Preceptory in our half time break. Then the next day, Graeme showed us around Blackness Castle on our way to Berwick-upon Tweed. And he gave us a special performance on the bagpipes – definitely worth a look and a listen if you are in the area.
The final gig of the tour was thanks to Jaki at The Barrels Alehouse, Berwick-upon-Tweed. A lovely live music venue down by the river, much of which was being careful guarded due to filming that was taking place that week for the Outlaw King. We were joined by a fine selection of welcoming and like minded music lovers who were passing through for the weekend, and this made a great end to a very enjoyable tour. And we’re already planning the next one, so looks like we passed the “2 musicians in a small car for 12 days” test. Few!