I’m never all that sure about August – one one hand, it’s still supposed to be summer, but after the first week or so, there’s definitely a wee feeling of autumn taking hold. Some of the trees begin to turn, and there’s the beginnings of a chill in the evening air. No gigs in the diary this month either, so it’s maybe time to start the horror of pitching for work in 2015…something I find really difficult.
It’s actually looking ok though – gigs confirmed for Stirling, Bishopbriggs, Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh so far, with others booked but dates to be finalised. We’re also trying to book a few new venues for the ‘McGinn meets Seeger and McColl’ shows with the Cameron Brothers’ Band, so I’m hopeful of it being a good year. As always, there are frustrations – unreturned emails, and requests for CDs to be sent in, but no response afterwards. My CDs have always been released by record labels, so I have to buy them first – I think some people think they cost nothing! As always though, I’m very grateful to the radio stations that play our tracks and keep the name to the fore – Celtic Music Radio and ‘The Gaithering’ on TD1 Radio are great supporters, as is Iain Anderson on BBC Scotland.
One thing I did decide on was to cull my guitar collection a bit – I’ve really got far too many instruments, and I really only play my two Gibsons at gigs and in the studio, so with a heavy heart I made up my mind that my beautiful 1991 Martin D41 had to go. I’m the worst salesman in the World, so I asked my pal Bruce Davies, the acclaimed singer-songwriter from Fife, if he would sell it for me, and it duly went up on eBay. It’s been bought by an established and very talented artist on the Scottish folk scene, and that has softened the blow for me. I had bought the guitar new, but rarely use it, and don’t see the point of instruments lying in their cases. Spurred on by this, I also sold the 1997 Taylor 810 I used for several years with the Clydesiders, and a Taylor Big Baby travel guitar. and I’m getting ready to move on my Fender US Stratocaster and my Japanese-made Fender Mustang bass – both are immaculate, but never used. After all that, I needed to address the pain it all caused, so in two week’s time I’ll be collecting my brand-new Lowden O25 – cedar and rosewood – from Guitar Guitar in Glasgow. I tried two or three, and the one I’ve gone for is just gorgeous. We’re off to Majorca for over a week, so that will soften the blow of coming back to reality…..
So that’s about it for August – by the time I post the September blog, the big vote will have happened and one way or another, Scotland will have changed forever. I have really good friends in England, and I love their country too. Despite what the doom-mongers say, and whatever the outcome of the referendum no one from or in England, Wales or any part of Ireland could ever be foreigners to me, although as another friend recently said on Facebook – what’s wrong with foreigners anyway??!?
See you next month!