That road trip again

So there I was in Gairloch, but not for long, my destination was further up the coast, more single track roads, tight bends and potholes to rival Edinburgh’s! I was out in the twigs again, Melvaig, a scattering of crofts and houses, no shops, the closest are back in Gairloch (again, there is fair warning in the Airbnb notes). Oo, another great find, this Airbnb lark is fun; Seacroft is a fine semi-detached cottage (the owners live next door) with views over to the Western Isles and Skye.

Annoyingly the weather took a turn for the worse from warm and sunny to cold with baltic winds, some rain and the odd bits of sleet and hail! No amazing sunsets for me with all those clouds, but I did get an interesting shot of the setting sun’s reflection on a window one evening….

I had a lovely relaxing few days, afternoon walks, a couple of meals out, the comfiest, largest bed I’ve ever slept in (it can be converted into twin beds), free movies on the telly. Oh yeah, I got to see Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre a cracking movie with Hugh Grant doing his best Michael Caine impersonation and Jason Statham doing his usual.

The night sky is amazing there (when the clouds clear away), I even saw a shooting star, yay. I was hoping for a glimpse of the aurora borealis, well, more than a glimpse, but a wee glimmer was all I got. Maybe if I’d figured out how to put my phone’s camera on to night mode, I could have seen more but I definitely saw something.

On a walk from Melvaig

The view from Shieldaig Bar & Coastal Kitchen, where I enjoyed an excellent lunch
The view from the cottage lounge. I should mention the goldfinches, such beautiful birds!
Me chilling in the lounge
Me chilling in the sunshine
One of the locals, an alpaca called Bruce!

Yes, I took one or two photos, you’ll find more on my Instagram and Facebook. Oh, there’s a reel I filmed out on the roadside looking round at the countryside with just the sounds of birdsong and lambs bleating; like so many other times on this trip I was reminded of New Zealand, I really want to go back there!

I had hoped to have a long leisurely drive back to Edinburgh with plenty of stops but as the weather was wet, wet and more wet, nah. At least I had some excellent driving music to keep me going. First on was Rodriguez (both his albums), not something I play overly much but they are both so fine! Next up, Dave Gleeson, once of the Screaming Jets (an aussie band), a CD my bud left for me, never actually played until now – huh, it’s really good! Great production on it, great tunes and his voice and attitude, just what I needed, yeah, it got played a lot .

No rest for the wicked, I got back down to Edinburgh and set off for Yorkshireland the following morning. Same music plus some Hedwig and his angry inch, different journeys require different soundtracks. Tomorrow I head back to my moose cave and normality (well, my normal).

I’ll leave you with a few more pics of Gairloch….

just round to the left of the last pic, look at that blue!
on top hilltop above Gairloch harbour
these two really don’t see eye to eye
From Melvaig, the sunset over the Western Isles

So Close so fine

Last Saturday night was the best Saturday night in the last year, possibly the top night of all nights in the last year. Yes, the lads were rather good! Logan’s Close really knocked it out of the park. Two hours of music and banter all wrapped in a psychedelic haze – bloody excellent!

Hats off to LimbicTV, the set up and production were excellent (not that I know anything about these things). The layout looked good and there were lights and cameras galore to capture all the action then mix it up with trippy video effects (I really liked them!), and there’s Dave, the laidback but authoritative voice, great with the banter and keeping the Close on track and sounding awesome. Well, it all impressed me.

Should you choose to check out what has me still buzzing almost a week later (aren’t you curious?) that’s Logan’s Close on LimbicTV (Live from Aluhpasonics), not only will you hear great music, there’s chat on such diverse topics as Scott’s fashion choices, local cuisine (Dunbar fish suppers and Pizza Crunch) and liquor of the gods, well, fortified wine of some monks, Buckfast. Like Dave, I was also at Glastonbury in 1986, such a shame I didn’t bump into him and all that buckie!

Did I mention how good the music was? The band were clearly enjoying finally playing live together, Carl and Scott both had new guitars to have fun with and their vocal harmonising is none the worse for all the time away, I assume Ollie was having fun (dressed all in black including a black facemask in a darker bit of the studio) on his six string bass, Alex on drums was wearing his trademark hat, Sean not only had his own keyboard but the studio piano as well, making full use of both (to think I was initially a tad dubious about the addition of a keyboard player, he’s a perfect fit in their sound).

Fifteen tasty treats, yum, some old, some new, two borrowed, a smorgasbord of sound to feast on. For starters they served up Eleonara, a new one, fun, catchy, a delight. Second was a song I’ve heard them play live before, I thought it was called Never Blue, err, no, turns out it’s Never Bloom, well, you know how it can be at gigs! It’s a cracking rendition of it whatever the name, lots of space in it (something I really like about Logan’s Close, they don’t overcrowd their sound).

Next up were Worked A Treat and Girl. The visual effects are amazing, layering two members of the band over each other, add it a psychedelic swirl of colour, wow! Loved the kaleidoscopic bits during Girl, was Scott able to see them on one of the screens? Did it disturb his concentration or did he just forget the words? Yes, I noticed but he covered it well.

Song five was Gallus Laces which I do reckon I’ve heard before, or it could be that it reminds me of the ambience and lackadaisical sound of Fur, a band I saw in Sneaky Pete’s a couple of years ago. I actually just went because the Close were supporting them but happily made a fine new discovery. Fur were meant to be back up in March but have had reschedule the gig to November.

Next song Babe Station was sublime desolation! When Carl sang the first two lines it immediately took me back to when I first heard Rodriguez, that same plaintive bleak but beautiful sound. The Close should definitely put out this track, please, please, like this, nothing added nothing taken away. Another newby followed, one Mock Marble Linoleum, good solid, a vague early Deep Purple feel to it. Fine but nothing special. Almost an hour in now and the band played Paralysed a regular live number for them, the visual effects go nuts, strobe city! Intense.

Give It To Me had Sean over on the piano for the intro, he’s rather good, you know. This is one of those goosebump tracks, the deliciousness of the guitar break gets me every time. We’re on the home straight now, In The Morning, I Want You, Listen To Your Mother, all sheer class. Scott really let loose on I Want You, as Dave said after it “What I love about you, Scott – you’re prepared to testify” Indeed, amen to that.

Oo, I was so pleased they played Fantastic Man next. This is a cover of a song from the late 1970s by William Onyeabor, the Close did a lockdown video of it early last summer, it was such a ray of sunshine! Last year’s single Lost In You was the last song and blimey, I love this song anyway but this was astounding, I want this version. I defy them to ever play it better than that! What a finish. But, of course, this is the current version of a live gig, so one more tune was in order, but what? A good old classic that the lads regularly play Please Don’t Go, one to go all out on, they did and so did the visual effects!

Now if they could compile a CD from this gig – I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wishing for this! I wonder what the band thought when they watched it later?! If you watch it, do let me know what you think. It’s late, time I bid you adieu.

Adieu, dear hearts 💛