Travel n Tour

An alt musical tour of Scotland

It’s a popular Scottish fable that the u . S .’s whole music scene may be determined in Glasgow, with the broader principal belt providing occasional diversions at some point of the Edinburgh fairs. In truth, notable acts can be observed within the remotest corners, with village venues frequently attracting crowds as massive because the cities, supporting to create harmonious communities in a long way flung places.

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I recognize this because as a music journalist I even have written about many of them and met much greater at the track enterprise activities I organize. Moreover, as a member of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association, I am used to plying traffic with hints for stay song.

But notwithstanding this, I actually have long experienced niggling guilt over my failure to attempt being a tune vacationer in my own use, a feeling that grows each time I return from covering a distinctive foreign festival.


After consulting photographer Jannica Honey, we decide that the Isle of Lewis need to be the final vacation spot of our street trip, that the path ought to skip the towns and that we’ll be capable of drive the route without resorting to satnav (we fail on that remaining one).

Along the manner, we discover Johnny Cash’s Fife ancestry, stop on the statue to a multimillion-selling accordionist, go to the original home city of mythical AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, experience Dougie MacLean’s Dunkeld and meet the folks who positioned Ullapool at the musical map.

We begin our experience north of Edinburgh, searching out across the Firth of Forth from Queensferry, from in which pilgrims used to cross to reach the holy websites of Dunfermline and St Andrew’s. Back in the Eighties when Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and his then spouse Chrissy Hynde lived here, they could have taken the same view of the majestic rail bridge stretching over to the Kingdom of Fife.

We had initially deliberate to move towards St Andrews and the East Neuk of Fife location, which has become synonymous with King Creosote’s Fence Collective and provided a springboard for the likes of the Beta Band, KT Tunstall and James Yorkston. The Fence Collective, Will Hodgkinson wrote within the Guardian in 2005, turned into “an ever-increasing group of neighborhood musicians that, with no longer plenty greater than a CD burner and the lower back room of a seafront pub called the Ship Tavern, turned Anstruther village into one of the maximum unlikely creative hubs in Europe”. However, this unique scene and its locations are amply included in Vic Galloway’s ebook Songs In The Key of Fife, so we take the 20-minute drive to Dunfermline instead.

The metropolis is the very last resting place of Robert the Bruce and spawned Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Big Country and one in every of Scotland’s most a hit girl artists, Barbara Dickson, who as soon as crowned the charts (I Know Him So Well, with Elaine Paige, 1985) for what regarded like half of a yr.

We have a late breakfast on the Fire Station arts center, that’s hosting an exhibition with the aid of every other nearby hero, former Skids frontman Richard Jobson. His band performed 14 suggests at the former Kinema Ballroom (renamed Velocity, then closed down), throughout the street. The Clash’s movie Rude Boy includes pictures of them performing Tommy Gun within the venue.

Slightly deflated with the aid of the loss of life of such an iconic establishment, we lift our spirits by means of setting on a Johnny Cash compilation and power for 1/2 an hour towards Strathmiglo, a quiet village whose churchyard he refers to in his autobiography, Cash, the Man In Black. Although there’s no plaque, amused ladies direct us to a street known as Cash Feu, which leads on to Wester Cash Farm.

After in addition research, we find out that the us of a legend traced his roots to the vicinity after a risk assembly with the keeper of close by Falkland Palace, home to the world’s oldest tennis court docket nevertheless in use. Cash visited three times and in 1981 even recorded a TV Christmas unique on the historical building. Today, the family reference to Scotland is maintained by Johnny’s daughter, Rosanne, who has worked with Scottish accordionist Phil Cunningham.

In close by Auchtermuchty, we forestall on the statue of Jimmy Shand, an in advance grasp of the button field, who in no way moved away from Fife no matter promoting tens of millions of facts and composing over 300 songs. The laird of Auchtermuchty was the accordion equal to an awl virtuoso, and his gambling turned into so fast the Hohner company constructed him a tool especially to suit his technique.

After paying our respects to Shand, we pass the Firth of Tay. Our subsequent vacation spot is Assai Records, a brand new vinyl-handiest store in Broughty Ferry, a seaside suburb of Dundee. I buy King Creosote’s soundtrack to From Scotland With Love, a transferring assemblage of pictures from the Scottish film archive, which includes scenes of households pronouncing good-bye to loved ones departing for brand spanking new lives distant places.

It is the best subject for our subsequent destination, Kirriemuir, a picturesque city of red sandstone, with a population of approximately 6,000.

Future rock god Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (who tragically died in south-east London in 1980 aged simply 33), spent the primary six years of his life in Kirriemuir, before his circle of relatives emigrated to Australia, in which 20 years later he met Glasgow-born brothers Angus and Malcolm Young. Many AC/DC fanatics are blind to the singer’s origins and as we method the lately unveiled, lifestyles-length bronze statue, I am already creating a intellectual listing of buddies I need to carry here.

We have organized to fulfill John Crawford, chairman of the yearly Bonfest, which raises the budget for the neighborhood DD8 young people song organization, run by means of Graham Galloway. The two men had been behind a crowdsourcing marketing campaign that raised the money to feed the statue.

In the 1990s, many locals were no longer keen in town’s affiliation with a hard-consuming rock ‘n’ curler, however, because the launch of the tribute event 10 years in the past, attitudes appear to have softened. Bon is now honoured with a plaque together with other Kirriemuir notables: Peter Pan writer JM Barrie, geologist Charles Lyell, mountaineer Sir Hugh Munro (who created the well-known list of mountains over 3,000ft) and the Cameron traditional song dynasty.

The former Scott bakery is now occupied by using an embroidery and garment printing shop, in which a college photo of Bon stocks window area with various articles of clothing such as a packet of Sox Inna Box. Nearby, the Star Rock candy keep, mounted in 1833, devotes a small section to a basket filled with AC/DC rock.

Although the erstwhile own family domestic is down a gated cul de sac, a modern housing improvement on the edge of town has been named Bon Scott Place. Anyone familiar with Scott’s lyrics cannot help being tickled by means of the concept of him living on this genteel property.

About author

Social media fan. Unapologetic food specialist. Introvert. Music enthusiast. Freelance bacon advocate. Devoted zombie scholar. Alcohol trailblazer. Organizer. Spent 2001-2004 merchandising ice cream in Mexico. My current pet project is getting to know walnuts for fun and profit. At the moment I'm writing about squirt guns in Salisbury, MD. Spent childhood donating toy planes in Suffolk, NY. Gifted in managing jack-in-the-boxes in Miami, FL. Spent high school summers supervising the production of foreign currency in Libya.
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