Duncan’s Blog – January 2013

A really nice festive break, but not that relaxing….lots of places to go, pals to visit, friends coming over, parties in the village etc etc. I like to get fired up for the new year ahead, but the early January weather is so grey, misty and dull it’s not easy to get into gear!

I always enjoy Celtic Connections, and I’m hoping to spend quite a lot of time in and around the Concert Hall – always good for meeting friends I haven’t seen for a while. It was fantastic to be offered a gig at the festival this year, and our concert at the Glasgow Art Club was a huge deal for us. We were supporting Jim Malcolm, who was delightful to work with. His set was superb, and featured his daughter Beth, who we all thought is a star in the making. If I could play guitar half as well as Jim I’d die happy, but we went down well too – it was a fantastic venue, and a really nice crowd. Icing on the cake was that two more gigs came in for us on the same day – Corstorphine and Dalgety Bay folk clubs.

I’m still struggling to find ideas for new songs though, and it’s starting to worry me a bit. I’ve never been able to churn stuff out, but I can usually manage a couple of new songs every year. I sit in the music room and spend most of the time chucking stuff away – maybe I’m thinking about it too much. Cy and I have just been asked to write a few new tracks for TV use, so maybe that’ll get things moving again! I’ve got a campervan parked out in the garden, that doubles as a studio cum office, so I’ll be spending a bit of time out there with the guitar and the workstation – wish me luck!

Another new year resolution is to de-clutter my life a bit. I’ve too many guitars, and too many vehicles! My lovely old Morris 1000 Traveller is earmarked for the old heave-ho, which will be tough, but it’s doing less than 300 miles every year, and it’s time someone else got to enjoy it. Driving it is wonderful – everyone smiles at you, and no testosterone-poisoned sales reps or sad ‘petrolheads’ carve you up. I can’t part with my 1968 MGC roadster, though – we’ve been together for fifteen years now, and it’s true love, even though we don’t spend enough time together. Selling guitars is altogether trickier. I did try to sell my Taylor Big Baby on email a few months back. Someone won it for 2/3 of its worth, but didn’t like it when it arrived, and complained it ‘wasn’t as described’, having more marks on the top than I’d indicated. I refunded the money in full, and paid another £25 to get it back, and I still think it’s in fantastic condition for a 10 year-old instrument. It’s put me right off eBay selling, though. In any case, you know what they say – whoever dies with the most guitars is the winner! I must be somewhere near the front, I’d say, but still a million miles behind my band-mate Stevie Lawrence!

Anyway, just in from a brilliant hill-walk in deep snow with Duggie the Dug. Irene’s been taken away for a weekend treat in Harrogate by our daughter Julie, so I’m home alone. I’ll have absolute control over the TV tonight, and with a roaring log fire and a nice bottle of Shiraz, life feels pretty good!

Stay safe and warm!

Duncan xx

4 thoughts on “Duncan’s Blog – January 2013

  1. Know what you mean about the song-writing….I’m exactly the same as you.

    Try using Gumtree to sell guitars fairly locally…worked a zillion times better than eBay for me…and no hassle/problems/assholes!

    • Wondering if you can help me? My Dad is a huge clydesiders fan, as are my sister and i as thats what we grew up listening to. Growing up we had a couple of favourite cassetes. Wild mountain thyme, we’ve lived a dream and thinking of home. The tapes broke years ago and we no longer have a machine we can play vinyl on. Despite my best efforts i can’t find any of these on cd, If they are available could you let me know how i can get hold of them?

      • Hi Moira Jane

        All these albums were released by KRL Records, and the first one available on CD was ‘Time for a Change’ in the early 90s. There was a release ‘Crossing the Borders’ on REL i (I think) 1995. None of the tracks you mention were available on CD, but I think they’re all on iTunes. There is a brand new Clydesiders album ‘Folk Songs of the West’ on Scotdisc, released Dec 2012 – it’s on Amazon, and if I say it myself, it’s as good as if not better than the early stuff.

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