The month of May has been an extremely busy time for the band with almost 2,000 miles of road covered. Our first gig involved crossing the Atlantic to the wonderful little pollution free island of Easdale. It’s just south of Oban (check out the “Easy To Be Free” photo video from our last visit).The day was dry but cold, allowing the band to safely lug their gear across the little ferry and in the Easdale barrows to the Community Hall.
Keren Cafferty, mein host at the island’s Puffer Bar, had organised the gig as part of a RIB boat festival on the island. The barbecue of venison, langoustine, pork belly & trimmings was stunning but the gig was the climax of the evening with the band, including a rare appearance by Pauline, performing two storming sets.
The second set finished with a rare performance of “It’s A Game.. Ironically, the Bay City Rollers version was on BBC4’s repeat of TOTP a few days later. After a few beers at the bar – well, quite a few to be honest, we adjourned to our little cottage for the darkest night’s sleep you could imagine.
Next up were the gigs organised by Chris Hewitt of Ozit Records to promote the 40th Anniversary live album of SDT’s appearance on the Genesis Foxtrot Tour. This was a two legged affair, the first being a nice little pub gig at The Railway in Saddleworth.
Pauline was back on the road with us but, unfortunately Rob had been struck down by a virus and could not travel. George Tucker, guitarist on the last two albums, proved to be a more than able deputy. The gig was an excellent warm-up for the following night and it was great to see Rob Hughes and all his friends turn up. The last time had been a year ago when the band played in the marquee at his 50th birthday party. After a night in a Travelodge, we set off for Surrey where we were booked to play The Boom Boom Club in Sutton. As a prelude to the gig, Rob Adams (no relation) had written a half page feature in Glasgow’s Herald newspaper (see elsewhere on the site). The gig was well attended with fans travelling from as far away as France to catch the rare appearance with the band of Graham Smith on violin. With little time for rehearsal, it was amazing how he slipped back into the groove of numbers, both old and new. There are quite a few videos of the set on You Tube.
If you weren’t at the gig, you can get a flavour of the evening from the clips. Unfortunately, a curfew at the gig prevented the band from performing a few extra numbers. Despite that, thanks must go to Pete Feenstra for an excellent night.
As some of the guys had to be back at work the next morning, it was a case of get up and go immediately after the gig. Andy and Chester shared the 400 mile drive home but everyone was a bit knackered on the return to Glasgow.
Less than a week later and we were back in our Splitter-Scotland van heading down the M6, this time for Burton-on –Trent, the home of Marstons, Coors & Marmite. The 76 Club there had last booked SDT 40 years ago and were eager to have them as one of the first bands in their resurrection. Thanks to Keith & Stephen for doing that. Rob was still unfit to travel, so George once again joined up with Chris, Andy & Dick for the gig. Tour Manager Chester was, as usual, at the wheel and he just about creased himself as he turned into the car park of the gig to see this sign. .The boys in the band enjoyed it too.
The band performed two great sets and an encore. After returning to our Travelodge, we had a few drinks, a lot of laughs and reminisced about the month that had been.
Difficulties were experienced in getting the boys into and out of bed but despite this, the journey home proved uneventful.
We now look forward to a bit of a rest before heading off in August to The Bakewell Music Festival. Where the band will perform on the Main Stage on Saturday August 22nd. We are also lined up to play at The Great British Folk Festival at Skegness between 30 November & 1st December. Watch out for further details.
We are always looking for places to play so, if you want a great band that stands out from the crowd and plays Folk Rock with Attitude, look no further than String Driven Thing.