July 10th, 2008


headlights on the M8

So, it was over to Glasgow and back this morning on the red-eye to The Blue Nile in the Royal Glasgow Conceet Hall. Paul and Rab and four others: they played tigtly and note perfect. Opened with 'Walk across the Rooftops': the album was well represented, with 'Stay', the ever wonderful 'Heatwave', 'Easter Parade' and, in the main set closer 'Tinseltown in the Rain': singalong stylie: 'Do I love you?' 'Yes I love you: wil we always be so happy go lucky.' Most of 'Hats', including 'From a Late Night Train' and, about half way through, a heart-stopping 'Downtown Lights' that had the place roaring for three minutes. Strangely, no 'Let's Go Out Tonight' --it might have been too wrenching in a set that featured 'Family Life' and 'Stay Close to Me.' No 'Because of Toldeo' either, which the audience was calling for. Encore was 'Headlights on the Parade' followed by Paul Buchanan's claim to be the Glasgow Sinatra: 'Strangers in the Night.'

This was a Glasgow band playing in a Glasgow hall to a Glasgow audience who knew every word and heartache and while the reception was rapturuous, the attention during the songs was pin-quiet. 'I love you Paul' a woman shouted ten minutes in. Ten minutes from the end the same woman shouted, 'I still love you Paul'. Paul Bucanan raised an eyebrow and gave an embarrassed smile. This was more an intense act of communion than a gig. The emotion in the hall was incredible. There wasn't a dry eye --or a dry seat-- in the house.

As we left it was raining. It was just right.

We stayed in the Holiday Inn at Glasgow Airport, where your humble scribe was unspeakbly sick from a dodgy oyster at Rogano's. This was like sedimentary barfing. Serves me right. Since when has July had an 'r' in it? Back at the asy day of the day-job. Freedom beckons for a week or so.

Maybe it's the delicate condition of my stomach, but I found this site in the Grauniad absolutely irresistible. It compares the picture on the tin to the real product inside.

Islands blog coming soon: Aaland and Rathlin, where we were last weekend.