Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Playing the drums and the mouthorgan. At the same time.

I saw something reasonably remarkable tonight while sitting in a pub in Bath Street in Glasgow. No, it wasn't young people trying too hard to resemble Goldfrapp album covers , or the trying-too-hard-to-look-fashionably-scruffy-haircuts on young men in bum crack showing low slung jeans. It wasn't even the Saudi Arabian horse racing that was on the 3 large plasma tvs hung on 3 different walls in the pub. Nor was it the strange fellow with the just-out-of-bed hair (you know, all pushed up to one side and flattened from the back), bad teeth, pale denim jacket with dark hoodie under it, although all of these things were reasonably remarkable to someone like me who doesn't leave the house much after 7pm at night.

The reasonably remarkable thing that I witnessed tonight was someone playing the drums and the mouthorgan. At the same time.

The perpetrator of this feat was none other than Andrew from the Edinburgh-based band Dropkick. The band, having managed to secure the visa, had made the trip west (on a school night - Alastair's words) to play The Butterfly and the Pig, a pub on the odd side of Bath Street. I'd walked passed the basement pub everyday for a year when I worked for Barclays Stockbrokers at the Charing Cross end of Bath Street (300 Bath Street, Tay House - the building that goes over the motorway for those taking notes), but I'd never noticed it before.

Typically decked out for a Glasgow pub/venue/restaraunt; all battered sofas, raw wooden floors, black t-shirted bar staff and the aforementioned people trying too hard, the bands would be performing on a small 'stage' against a wall papered with sheet music. Directly behind the stage, i.e. right behind where the band would be performing, was a large plasma TV showing Champions League football. I was imagining people heckling the musicians, yelling at them to 'get oot ay the wey ay o the footie, an tha.'

That didn't happen, although there would perhaps have been call for it during the first band's set. I don't have their name to hand, although it would be fairly easy to retrieve. But I won't as I like to reserve the tartanpodcast for bands of quality. Yes. I am a snob. They were overly loud and their songs all sounded repetitively similar. They also managed to clear out, oh, most of the people in the pub.

This was borne out when a member of the bar staff whom I presume to have a managerial type position (this assumption is made based on her being at least 22) came over to one of the guys with the trying-too-hard-too-look-scruffy hairdos and proclaimed 'there's only 32 people left, this lot better not be as loud as the last lot'.

Those who had departed the pub had freed up seats near the stage and by the time Dropkick had "sound checked" - asking random drinkers to twiddle the nobs on the board till things sounded reasonable; no fault of Dropkick's, the sound guy had failed to show up - there was a cozy crowd in front of them.

They didn't disappoint, kicking off their set with Chastity Pyjamas, drummer Andrew on lead vocals and Alastair on guitar and harmonies. The applause was genuine and generous. There followed Gary Larsson Cartoon and Crisps and Irn Bru, among others.

Finishing up with Turn Off Your Radio (Turn Me On Instead), at one point the bassist (sorry, didn't get the rest of the band members' names - Alastair?) caught my eye and we had a shared grin at the lyrical content of the song, much of it probably lost due to the sound guy having a night-in.

Two highlights of the night; immediately after they finished their set, a guy rushed up to Andrew and asked if they had a CD for sale. He was, of course, American. Alastair and I had chatted briefly and we had agreed that their sound was particularly popular with Americans. (Inexplicable sidenote - Alastair offered me a Dropkick t-shirt, which I refused, for some reason. Perhaps the soda water and lime had gone to my head.)

The other highlight? Not, as Grant may assume, being asked to guard the Dropkick box - which I was and did and have photographic proof of - but rather seeing a drummer drum while playing a mouthorgan.


Dropkick's music is available to purchase and download from


Blogger Grant - Three From Leith said...

Was there no banjo, singing and drums all at the same time too ? That was even more impressive. A talented bloke, Andrew !! Then when they all swap instruments and you realise they can play everything it's time to be be totally awed.

Definitely my recomemndation for a must-see in 2006.

December 08, 2005 12:56 PM  

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