Edinburgh Folk Club.
Ok, we're getting quite fatigued now. It takes a long time to get dressed. But it was helped somewhat by a night in the lovely, old-fashioned Links Hotel in Montrose, where the Folk Club is held. We have played there before, and our poster is one of the decorations in the hotel corridor. The room was so old-world it had a trouser press, and a king-size bed.
A little further on, a wonderful wide beach with small surf was visible from the highway, so we made a detour and had a wander and a paddle on Lunan Beach, in sight of the ruined Red Tower.
It was still a long drive to Edinburgh, so we passed Claypotts Castle in Broughty Ferry without dropping in on my relatives nearby. I hope to see them on the way back. The Forth Bridge gave us breathtaking views of the Firth, and a huge cruise liner entering the waterway under the rosy railway bridge.
In Edinburgh we went to our B&B, climbed the 47 steps with all our luggage, moved the car around the block to the carpark, and had a rest. The room could best be described as Very Pink. The shower is a bit dicey but eventually delivers hot water. Doesn't want to let it drain away, though.
I was inspired by the balmy Edinburgh evening to walk the 1.3 miles to the gig. John drove. 1.3 miles turned out to be about half as long again as I expected, so I had to really leg it, but it was a beautiful walk, past wonderfully imaginative stone houses, and along a street with views of the hills beside Holyrood.
I recognised the club venue when I saw it, and we set about soundchecking and eating. The Edinburgh Folk Club is held in a university bar, which means uni priced meals and drinks, too. Jack, who was doing sound, was immensely obliging and very skillful. We drew a medium sized crowd and even had a support act - Kentucky singer Brigid Kaelin, who sang some great songs with guitar, then topped it all off by playing the saw, which John now wants to do.
John's voice was completely recovered and we really enjoyed singing together and pushing into those harmonies till the room rattled. People sang along terrifically, and we had a relaxed and lovely gig. In the last two shows we have done Scots of the Riverina, which is a huge emotional contrast to our more joyful Australian material, like Stringybark and Greenhide. The combination we're choosing creates an emotional journey through the set.
After the show, Paddy Bort, the organiser, informed us they were repairing to Sandy Bell's, and in the hope of a session, I dropped tired John off at the B&B, and went along. There was a small session happening, but I ended up enjoying a conversation with Paddy and Alan from the club, and John, who was Eric Bogle's agent. Quite a lot of the conversation centred on Paddy and Alan's anticipation of a Paul Kelly gig coming up in August in Edinburgh!