Tales of Late Night Danger and Adventure!
PF Here, aboard a Shetland Bound Ferry. It’s 6:45AM, and I’m feeling somewhat rested and definitely restful after a few hours of rolling slumber. I was awoken bright and early in our comfortable, four man cabin, by the awe-inspiring snores of Ed Brogan.
Have we talked about this man’s nocturnal emissions before? There’s nothing like it. To hear it out of context, one might think to oneself, “walrus fight?” or, “underwater accordion?” Every inhalation is like a mighty bellows, and every exhalation brings a slightly new variant on an old theme. A regular old Charlie Parker with his snores, our Edward. Sometimes he trumpets triumphantly, other times it’s more of a chorus of whistles and whines. I put the man’s sleep noises up against any that you’ve ever heard. This is not to say that Ed is inconsiderate, folks, as nothing could be further from the truth. The man would, literally, sleep outside on the porch rather than fear waking you. Seriously, I’m using the term “literally” in a completely literal sense. However, last night was a evening full of . . . liquid sleep aids, and so no amount of prodding or pushing or threatening could get him to roll over or budge from his entrenched snoring position. And so here I am . . .
Not much in the way of music news to report on over the last three days, but there is certainly some excitement to report.
First, an addendum that I can’t believe I overlooked. On Friday night at Douglas’s house, we had a couple of young ladies sitting right in the front, thoroughly enjoying themselves. For the 2nd encore, I asked who the crowd would rather hear play the banjo, Ben or me. Most of the crowd was dumbfounded by the question, but these two emphatically shouted “Ben!” They later told me that he was their favorite, and in addition to being a fab banjoist and artist, he also “looks like a Russian athlete.” Yup . . . they said that. Ben. Russian athlete.
Moving on . . .
Sunday’s gig with Dr. Mango and the Chickpeas was, as expected, a great deal of fun. A small but appreciative crowd was at the Universal, and we felt that our raucousness was matched well by Dr. Mango’s lovely tunes. By the end of our set, we had a floor full of wild dancers, also, which always spells a good night. See Paul Kerr’s review of the show, just below, for the full scoop.
Monday through Wednesday we just kicked it in Edinburgh, lazing through the days, walking about, hitting museums and pubs, and catching up with all our old friends in the evening. I’ve gone on at length about how much we appreciate our road friends, so I’ll not bore you with that, except to say that they are all, each and every one of them, the very best!
The most exciting thing to happen over the last few days is as follows. Ben, Jake, and I (PF) were walking home late night from hanging out with our pals the Johnstons (leaders of the Scottish trad-rock group Rock Salt and Nails, see former blog entries for more on them). We’d been “sampling” Paul’s whiskey’s and talking music til late in the evening/early in the morning. Nearly home, we spied across the Leith Walk a near drunken altercation – a small stocky guy was being restrained by another fellow, his girlfriend shouting at him to not fight.
Anyways, we walked on, commenting on the differences between one man’s goofy drunk and another’s violent drunk. Jake and I went into our lodging and Ben headed for his. While on his walk, and speaking on the cell phone to his lovely wife, Esmerelda Campbell-Volcano, Ben walked right past these same folks, and found himself on the receiving end of an errant drunken fist to the face. Our Benny! The Russian Athlete! He made a swift and wise tactical retreat and made it home to nurse his bloodied face. Accosted in the street!
I issue this as a promise . . . whoever this late night drunken Benny assailant is, he better watch out. If ever any Hot Seat or member of the Hot Seat retinue spots him, he’s in for a serious talking-to!
We’re now docking in the Shetlands. We’ve already seen some old Spiegeltent friends aboard, and had a fun but not too crazy jam last night. I’m sure I’ll be checking in again, probably from Heathrow airport in 5 or 6 days . . .