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Saturday September 11th 2004

Dance, Moulin, Pitlochry

Just finished a very tough but enjoyable week. Saturday played for ceilidh dancing in Pitlochry. We shared the stage with a rock/pop midi combo, which almost everybody hated, especially those who thought they had come for Scottish Country Dancing. When we went on everybody danced, which eased the fraught situation. We came off quite well, despite the fact that the line-up had NEVER actually met before, let alone played. Well, I regularly play with the accordionist and guitarist, but he'd drafted in a couple of youngsters on bass and drums; they'd never actually heard the music we played, but busked along. The drum kit was directly behind me, so I could hardly hear myself play. Nevertheless, a Polish guy came up to me afterwards and said that I was the Jimi Hendrix of the mandolin. I've been called a few things (including "The White James Brown" by an ebullient disc jockey), but that takes the biscuit.

During the week I had several classes starting for the Scots Music Group. Enrolment generally had been down on last year, so I worried about whether some classes would go ahead. I worried needlessly, dear readers, as my students came in droves. The biggest challenges will be the clarinet in my slow session group, and the woman in my beginners whistle class who cannot coordinate her fingers. It's great to be back!

Wednesday my Slow Session moved to a new venue (The Green Room at Bennett's Bar, Tollcross, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe, the World, the Universe), and I told the manager that I didn't think many would turn up the first night. In the end we had nine or ten, more than I expected. It makes a change when the bar manager asks us if we want a tray of sandwiches! All in all, a good week.