Chinger BakersRoad.

13 10 2019

Fans of heavy 60s power trios, extended improvisational jazz rock and other self-indulgent hippy ruppish will have been dismayed to hear of the recent death of virtuoso drummer Chinger Bakersroad (80).

His death has been little reported due to the fact that it occurred, coincidentally, on the same day as that of Ginger Baker, his slightly more successful Mainland cousin.

Born near Bakers Road in 1939,  Chinger exhibited extraordinary musical talent from a very early age, playing professionally with Brues Incorporated (where he met long term band mate and sparring partner Jack Brues), along with other stalwarts of the late 50s Leodhasach music scene.

By 1963 Chinger and Brues had joined the Grimshader Bond Organisation. The GBO were a hip, eclectic and critically acclaimed group playing a groundbreaking mix of port ‘n’ beul (P&B) and modren chazz, but the relationship between Brue and Bakersroad was famously antagonistic. Concerts would often end with the pair knocking the fleek out of each other backstage and destroying chairs, tables, glassware and other fixtures and fittings.

One night in 1964 they had a particularly savage scrap after a gig in the Macs, inflicting destruction on the bar’s sparkling state-of-the-art washrooms as they swung double basses and flung hi-hats at each other. Nobody could agree afterwards who should clean up and pay for the damage, so the toilets remained in a state of insanitary devastation until the Clachan finally closed its doors in 2013.

Chinger was famed as being one of the first ‘rock’ drummers to use a double bass drum. He unfortunately first decided to try the double bass drum set up whilst a drummer in the Lewis Pipe Band and subsequently dislocated his whole body after marching along Cromwell St Quay in the late 1950’s and overbalancing into the hold of a fishing boat.  

Chinger also encountered ex-Garryvardbirds guitar ace and trainee elder Eric “God” Clachan around this time and it wasn’t long until they came up with a cunning musical plan to form a supergroup to break out of the strictures of classic P ‘n’ B. 

The name they chose for their new power trio was Crowdie. Crowdie hit the ground running and had soon established themselves as the premier Stornoway rock band of the late Sixties. A series of acclaimed albums were recorded, including “Feis Cream” in 1966, “Disraeli Gne-ach” in 1967 and “Wee-Frees of Fire” in 1968. A number of classic songs were also included on these albums including “I feel Freechurch”, “Sunshine of Your Cove”, “I’m So Glic”, “Baaaaahdge”, “Strange Bru” and “White Loom” (which was about running your tweed loom off the white meter once the Harris Tweed Inspector had left the village).   

This short period of incredible creativity couldn’t last and Crowdie imploded amidst a whirlwind of fights, fallouts and fanks. The three members went their separate ways, but not before a career defining farewell gig at the RAH – the Ropach Arnol Hall. On hearing that the band had split, Jimi Hendrix famously interrupted his live appearance on “Se Ur Beatha” to pay tribute to them with a spontaneous rendition of “Sunshine of Your Cove”.

In his post-Crowdie career Chinger became more involved in Chazz/World/Fusion influences and played with some of Lewis’s finest musicians. His notable actives included;

Find Faith- a short lived evangelical super group along with Eric Clachan and Steve Winwool.

Laxdale-based early 70s hard rock megastars Bakersroad Guershadervitz Army.

Chinger Bakersroad’s Gale Force Marine – a fusion rock group singing songs about creels.

Hawkwinch- Chinger joined a later day version of the psychedelic hippies, most famed for their big hit “Silver Maw-Sheen” which was about a tractor valet service.

Faolag Kuti, the legendary African huidh-life musician and seagull lover. Bakersroad went to Nigeria in 1971 and spent several years hanging about with Faolag at his Bacachkota studio next to the Lagos branch of the Gut Factory.  Faolag and Bakersroad collaborated on a number of seagull-related projects in this period, including stealing chips, divebombing cailleachs’ hats and producing Paul Cacsgàrdney’s Wings.

PiL (Prebyterian Image Limited) –  In the mid-80s Bakersroad was recruited by avante-garde producer Bill Laxdale for a brief stint in a team of c(r)ack session musicians hired to back ex Sects Pistol (baptisimal) f(r)ont man Shonny Rotten. The resultant album was generically packaged and released under several titles, so that it could be marketed independently to different Presbyterian denominations without revealing that it was also being sold to their bitter ecclesiastical rivals. The majority of copies were sold in Free Church format, where it was released as  “(Monthly) Record”.

Crowdie reformed in 2005 for a few lucrative gigs in the RAH and Madison Carn Gardens, but both gigs descended into fisticuffs as part forgotten disputes came back to the surface.

For most of his life Bakersroad famously struggled with herring addiction, and developed a variety of bizarre hobbies and lifestyle changes to combat it. A failed experiment farming “Oliver’s Brae Olives” on a South-facing slope next to Knockgarry was followed by many years on a ranch in South Lochs, where he maintained a flock of world class polo sheep and enjoyed punching visiting documentary makers from BBC Alba.

Editor’s note: Chinger Bakersroad was not related at all at all to thon ‘Chinger Stagbakery’ cove mentioned in our 2014 Jack Brue obituary. Any consistencies between that article and this one are entirely accidental.

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Where the Pyramid Meets The Ui -Roagy Erisort RIP

8 06 2019

Across the world (and on some other planets as well) fans of 60s Texan psychedelic rock are mourning the recent demise of Roger Kynard “Roky” Erickson, deranged former frontman of the 13th Floor Elevators.

But spare a thought for his less successful Leodhasach cousin, Roagy Erisort, who passed away the same day.

Roagy Ceann-a-Loch Erisort was born in the rootin’ tootin’ Wild West city of Ballalas, Texas Lochs in 1947, and demonstrated an interest in music from an early age by not taking up the melodeon.

Inspired by his Texan cousin’s early success with The Spades, Roagy formed The  Tairsgeirs, and scored a hit in the Laxay/Balallan/Airidhbhruach metropolitan area with “We Sell Soval” in early 1965.

The mid-60s was a time of experimentation with mind-altering substances, and in the desert  around Ballalas there grew a wide variety of plants which the indigenous shamen had been using to get off their faces for centuries. Roagy and his freaky musician pals made liberal use of these, and an increasing intake of hallucinogenic peat-yote and bog cotton  cigarettes soon began to affect their music and lyrics.

Inevitably, after ingesting a particularly large quantity of Liobag ‘son Diathad (LSD) one day, and washing it down with the sheep tranquilliser  mehhhscaline, Roagy decided he’d seen the light, and got a dose of the cuiream.

It was in this state in late 1965 that Roagy met trainee minister, mystic, conspiracy theorist and electric pigidh player Tormod “Masonic” Hall, and formed the 13th Floor Moderators. Signing up with Niseach biscuit magnate Lelan Roigean’s record label InterNessional Amadans, the band released their seminal album “The Psychedelic Psalms of the 13th Floor Moderators” in 1966. The album featured the band’s one and only hit single “Ewe’re Gonna Miss Mehhhh”, which has been covered by generations of ruppish garage bands ever since.    

The Moderators’ management reckoned they should take their trippy sounds West, to the bohemian village of San Fankcisco (which used to be next to Fivepenny Borve but fell into the Atlantic in an earthquake in 1969, and that’s why you’ve neffer heard of it, oh yus). Out in San Fankcisco the Flounder Power movement was taking off and the hippies were in need of groovy sounds. Soon the Moderators found themselves playing cavernous psychedelic dancehalls like the Fillmoor Westside and the Adabroc Ballroom, sharing bills with the likes of the Graipfull Dead, Moby Graip and Jefferson Airidhantuim (fronted by Graip Slick).

In 1967 the Moderators released their second album “Eaststreet Everywhere”, featuring “Sheep Inside This House” and a cover of Bob Dell-an’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Brue”

In 1968, in an effort to avoid jail after being busted for possession of marag-juana, Erisort pleaded insanity. 1968 was also the peak of the brutal jungle conflict between North Lochs and South Lochs over sheep grazing rights out the back of Airidhbhruach (the Viet-Ram war) and Roagy reckoned an insanity plea would reduce his chances of being drafted to the front. While succeeding in its immediate objectives, Erisort’s cunning plan also got him sent to Craig Dunain for 3 years.

While Roagy was a guest of the famous Inversneckie sanatorium, the rest of the Moderators cobbled together their third album “Bull of the Woodlandcentre” (1969) and then decided it was ruppish and split up.

Erisort’s work since the days of the Moderators was characterised by long periods of silence (usually when he was in Craig Dunain again) punctuated with occasional flashes of brilliance. Working under a variety of names and guises (such as Roagy Erisort & The Alines) and with modern collaborators such as Maw-gwai, he turned out occasional classics such as “Two Hearach Dogs”, “Star Inn Eyes” and “I Waulked With A Zombie”.

While Roagy may not have enjoyed mainstream success, there is no doubt that his influence on modren music was profound – as can be seen from the flock of respected artists who appeared on the 1990 Erisort tribute album  “Where The Pyramid Meets The Ui”. These included ZZ Tobson, R.A.M., Julian Fishermensco-op and The Jesus and Mayburygarden Chain.

 





Call The Fishwife

18 04 2019

There has been plenty interest of late about Call The Midwife, the popular BBC Sunday evening drama, coming all the way to Lewis and Harris to film their Christmas Special. There have been hundreds of articulated lorries with studio equipment, mobile dressing rooms and catering facilities trundling up and down the Clisham over the last few weeks. And famous actors have been spotted all over the town’s most glamourous nightspots. It’s almost as if they were filming Machair all over again.

By a remarkable coincidence, the cast and crew of popular BBC Alba show ‘Call The Fishwife’ are currently down in the East End of London filming their own Nollaig Chridheal Special.

Call The Fishwife is a long running BBC Alba TV show about the Herring industry and the hard working herring girls that kept the barrels full and the catch salted.

Set in the poverty stricken East End kipper sheds of Stornoway of the late 50’s and early 60’s, the show has run for several seasons and has featured an ever changing ensemble cast of just about every Gaelic speaking actor from Machair.

The story is based around the memories of immigrant Hearach worker, and newly qualified Fishwife, Jenny LackaLee. Her tale is narrated throughout the show by well known actor Fishvanessa Redgrave.

The Fishwives were all employed by a Fish Merchant to provide fresh fish to a Presbyterian religious order to make sure that there was always plenty of fish for the Ministers’ and Elders’ teas. The Fishwives all lived together in NoNunsAtAll House, which was handy for Inaclete Road.

Each week the show has a number of hard hitting and socially relevant storylines, usually involving a gutting knife getting blunt, a barrel falling off a lorry or one of the Fishwive’s bikes getting a flat tyre. It usually ended with the Fishwives solving the problem and saving the hungry Ministers’ tea just in the nick of time.    

As well as Fishvanessa Redgrave, the stellar cast included well known actors like:

  • Jenny A-gutter who plays the Mother Fish-Supperior

  • Stephen McGannet (one of the famous McGannet acting dynasty, which also included Patrick McGuga, the star of The Parishioner – “I’m not a number; I’m a Free Church man” ) as Doctor Peatstack Burner

  • Pam CalMacFerries- Sister Fishvangelina

  • Helen Chorge – Trixie Fanklin

  • Miranda Cart-Hummy

  • Beinn Calanneilly- Police Sgt Peat Bogs





Dick Laxdale-King of the Turf Guitar

5 04 2019

Dick Laxdale – King of the Turf Guitar RIP

Fans of surf music are mourning the passing of Dick Dale, the influential “King of the Surf Guitar” whose career was revived in recent years when his early 60s hits were used in the films of Quentin Tarantino.

But old SYs of a certain age – especially those who lived their misspent youth in the post-Elvis but pre-moptop era of the late 50s/early 60s – were much sadder to hear of the demise the same day of Dale’s less successful Leodhasach cousin, Dick Laxdale.

Dick Laxdale was born Richard Mùnsewer in Guershader in 1937, to Labostese parents. When he was still very young the family moved West to Bridge Cottages, and the young Dick grew up on the edge of the Barvas moor, surrounded by peat banks, midgies, caorans and so on. A fan of Country ‘n’ Westren music (the Leodhasach version of Country ‘n’ Western), his early musical career consisted mostly of playing “Wuyld Suyde of Luyfe” over and over at dances in the Laxdale Hall, as 3rd guitarist in the mid-50s line-up of K*ntrast.

At the same time, Dick was influenced by the exotic Eastern music that his parents had taken from their homeland, and began to experiment with playing precenting scales, waulking songs and D*ncan ‘M*jor’ M*rrison piano riffs on his guitar.

The turning point in Laxdale’s career came one day 1959, when the coal boat that used to deliver to Stornoway broke down. Duncan Maciver’s and all the other coal merchants in town immediately put their prices up, which sparked a revival of peat-cutting among the Townies of Stornoway. It wasn’t chust midgies that the moor was swarming with that year, as hordes of Townies poured forth across the cattle grids, brandishing their spades and tairsgears.

In order to get the youth of the town to help out instead of indulging in the standard teen pastimes of the 50s (smoking in the Luydo, greasing their DAs with ola nan ucais, slashing the seats in the Playhouse, running high-speed “dragtor” races on the Braighe Road, staging huge and violent gang “rumbles” round the back of the Gut Factory – and that was chust the blones), Stornoway Town Council’s psychological warfare department initiated a secret campaign to make the kids think that going to the peats was “cool”.

Before long a whole “Turfing” subculture had sprung up among the teens, with its own turf slang (‘wipe out’- cleaning the tarasgeir; ‘Hang Hen’- getting dinner ready out on the moor; ‘Charlie-gnarly’; ‘Shooting the curls’- getting a quick haircut from Johnny Geeper using his shotgun method) and so on.

The turfing scene also had its own distinctive fashions (Hawaiian boiler suits, bobban bikinis) and, of course, its unforgettable turf music.

Oh yus – Stornoway’s “musicians” of the day were keen to jump on any bandwagon that was going. Many groups appeared out of the woodwork to cash in on the turf music craze – most of whom had never been over the cattle grid or near a peat bank in their lives. These included instrumental groups such as the Chant-ers (“Pipe-cleaner”), The Trash(geir)men (Turfin’ Bàrd) and of course the Turf-àiridhs, whose big hit “Wipe Out”, with its blood-curdling shriek at the start, was inspired by the limited sanitary facilities available at their sheiling on the Pentland Road (in particular, it is said, the heather “toilet paper”).

Vocal groups included Chan and Christine (“Turf City”) and, most famously, the SouthBeach Boys, featuring troubled musical genius Brian Wilson (until he dropped out of the band after recording “Peat Sounds”” and went off to Skye to start the Free Press).

Dick Laxdale was as quick to cash in on the turf music trend as everyone else, dropping his Country ‘n’ Westren sound like a hot caoran and forming a new band. It wasn’t long before “Dick Laxdale And His Dell-tones” secured a residency at Stornoway’s popular Rendezvous Cafe, and became hugely popular with the turf-obsessed youth of the town.

At a gig in the Rendezvous, a chance meeting with Liòbag Fender, chief guitar designer and head of ship’s chandlery at Charles Morrison & Sons, saw Laxdale go into partnership with the firm to help develop their technology. The result was the Fender Siomanthearlaich, a famously robust amplifier made out of rope and old tyres. The Fender Siomanthearlaich made Laxdale’s Rendezvous shows much louder than those of his rivals, enabling him to drown out the roar of passing Mitchell’s buses and the wheeze  of Tommy Darkie’s accordion from the nearby Royal. Even better, when not in use for musical purposes, the Fender Siomanthearlaich could be hung over the side of a boat to protect against collisions with the pier. Co dhiù, Laxdale’s high volume concerts in the Rendezvous became legendary, and his first album “Turfer’s Choice” was recorded live there in 1962.

“Turfer’s Choice” and its follow-up “King of the Turf Guitar” were big hits, yielding singles such as “Turf Peat”, “Miserylewis” and Let’s Go Lifting” which topped the Radio Ranol charts regularly.

Laxdale was soon in big demand, appearing on the Ed Suilven show and in a variety of hastily cobbled together turf exploitation flicks like “Cruach Building Party”, “Getting Eaten By the Midgies While Waiting for the Tractor Party” and “Doing Your Back in Throwing Fleekeen Big Wet Fàds Out of the Bank Party” (all starring turf movie stalwarts Fankie Ath-rùdhan and Caorannette Fàdicello)

But success for Laxdale was short lived, as the turf craze was soon to be eclipsed by the next big thing – the wave of mawptop beat combos from the West Side that soon became known as the Brue-tish Invasion. First it was the Peatles, then (from Callanish) the Standing Stones, then a horde of other bands – the Arnolmals, the Ceardbirds, the Dave Clachantruiseal 5, the Holies, Herman’s Herring, the Minks (You Really Caught Me), The Co? (My Sustentation, I Can Sheep For Miles) etc etc.     

 It was only in the 1990s that Laxdale’s career was revived, when cult Hearach director Quentin Taransaytino used “Miserylewis” for the opening of his violent movie about gangsters fighting over the rights to a highly prized peat bank on the Grimshader road –  “Poll Friction”.

Dick Laxdale’s massive influence on popular music is evident from the tributes that have poured in since his death, from fellow guitarists of all genres – from Hank Marvig, the late Jimi Henshed and Stevie Rayburnstove, to Peat Township, Ritchie Backmoor, Jeff Beag (Frogaidh Beag’s great uncle), Brian Mayburygardens, Ry Cuiream and Johnny Marrag.

The Gaelic psalms at Dick Laxdale’s funeral were going to be precented by his pal, enigmatic Hearach singer/songwriter Sir E Scott Waulker from the Waulker Brothers (“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine in Cromore” and “Make it seasick on yourself”). But unfortunately Waulker  went and popped his clogs the other day as well.





RIP Peter Torquilterrace from The Mankees

2 03 2019

RIP Peter Torcuilterrace from The Mankees

Sad to report that another one of the legendary local band ‘The Mankees’ has passed on to the great gig in the sky (and bizarrely, dying within minutes of his more famous cousin Peter Tork from The Monkees).  

Peter, (a former journalist from Point), was one of the famous Mankees, a group of trendy youngsters set up by local Stornoway businessmen to try and emulate the success of The Monkees. Although of course, any resemblance to The Monkees was purely coincidental.

Up the town in their 60s headquarters where the Golden Ocean is now, local TV tycoons M*civer and D*rt were developing a new show for their short-lived cable channel NBC(C) (Narrows Broadcasting Corporation (Continuing)). “The Mankees” was to be a sitcom centred around the life of a fab groovy beat combo who lived in a shed in Marybank and collected fuidheags in their spare time. Peter got the job because he could write all the press releases and knew someone who worked in the Gazette print room.

The other Mankees were Mickey Domhlann’s, a former shoe salesman, Davey Blones, a former child actor and sheep jockey, and independently wealthy Townie dilettante Mike Nesssmithavenue, who didn’t have to work because his mother was the inventor of Dipp-Ex – the world’s top sheep whitening fluid.

The Mankees all lived together in a big house, drove about the town in The Mankee-mobile (an old Town Council ‘ash-cart’) and had wacky adventures every week. Each episode would have several catchy songs.

Initial criticism of the band for being “manufactured” worked in their favour; when the Stornoway Gazette accused them of being the “Prefab Four”, their record sales in Plasterfield rocketed.

Massive success across the islands ensued, with top viewing figures for the TV series, several shillings’ worth of merchandising and a string of hit singles written (and allegedly played) by hard-bitten music industry veterans of the day such as C*l*m K*nn*dy and the M*cd*n*ld S*sters.

The hits kept coming and the tv show kept bringing in advertising revenue. Songs included;

  • Last Train to Cladh Shanndabhaig,

  • Day Dream Tweed Weaver

  • I’m a Seceder

  • (I’m Not Your) Steading Blone

  • Peasant Newvalley Sunday

  • A Little Bit Mehh, A Little Bit Brue

It was only when the band started thinking they were capable of writing and playing their own material that it all went wrong. Maciver & Dart cancelled the TV series and the band went off and made “(Tiumpan) Head” a very strange film in which a porpoise was played by Stornoway Harbour’s Sammy the Seal and Jack Nicholson was played by somebody who had been to the Nicolson. Or maybe it was the Castle. Anyway, it was widely derided as “fleekeen ruppish” and soon afterwards the Mankees split up.

Aside from the occasional reunion tour, Torcuilterrace’s post-Mankees career was sporadic and lacklustre, but the TV show has been so widely repeated since the 60s (especially since BBC Alba started) that he was able to live comfortably off repeat fees. Nevertheless, he continued to play for enjoyment with his danns ‘a rathaid combo Sủgh Suet Brues. He also maintained a keen interest in the dramatic and journalistic arts, and was never happier than when indulging in his favourite hobby of fomenting schisms in his local church congregation then writing to the Gazette to complain about them.





Jeff Stornowayne’s War of the Wools

1 02 2019

‘The chances of any sheep coming from Maws are a million to one they said’.

Many townies of a certain age will be delighted to know that a stage production of “War of the Worlds” is due to take place in An Lanntair in March this year. This musical interpretation of HG Wells’ famous book about a Martian invasion was originally created as a concept album  in the late 70’s by composer Jeff Wayne, and sold in its millions.

In more recent years Wayne transformed his album into a big-budget epic musical, and the Stornoway stage show will feature a host of local musicians, singers and actorrrs, who will recreate Wayne’s original 2006 theatrical spectacular.

But few folk today remember that Jeff Wayne was heavily influenced by his cousin Jeff Stornowayne, who had written a popular album (4 copies sold in Maciver and Darts) based on a similar book – “War of the Wools” by renowned Victorian SY-fi (Stornoway Fiction) writer HG Ironwells.

Ironwells was a big pal of Lord Leverhulme, and used to come up for his holidays every summer to lurk among the rhododendrons in the Castle Grounds. Inspired by his surroundings, he wrote several successful Stornoway-based novels including “The Invisible Ram”, “The Tuyme Machinn” (in which a steam-motorised Hattersley loom connected to Stornoway’’s famous ‘Suyme’s Clock’ enabled the protagonist to travel to the future), and of course, “The Island of Doctor Murdeau”.

But Ironwells’ best selling book by a long chalk (7 copies sold in Loch Erisort Bookshoppe) was “The War of the Wools” – a chilling tale about the maws eyeing up the fertile gardens of Stornoway and thinking that their sheep could benefit from a diet change of marigolds and petunias, instead of raw heather.

However, the cunning townies had built an almost impenetrable barrier of cattle grids around the town, preventing such wooly incursions. So, how could the maws get their sheep into Stornoway? By using fleekeen big spaceships and death rays, that’s how!

After much blood, gore, destruction and general excitement, the maws are eventually defeated, not by the townies’ efforts, but when they succumb to the fumes from the Gut Factory.

The book caught the attention of the masses (the aforementioned 7 people who could read in Stornoway at that time) and firmly established the SY-fi genre.

In the 1930’s, “The War of the Wools” became infamous following a live radio adaptation on Isles FM by Orduighean Wellies. The good people of Stornoway thought the Maws were actually invading the town and had crossed the cattle grids with their sheeps. This resulted in mass panic leading to rioting and looting in the streets. The rioting has continued to this day in some parts of the town.  

In the 1970s, Stornowayne had been looking for an opportunity to bring a local book to life as a musical concept.  He took “War of the Wools” and turned it into an epic, double concept album musical extravaganza featuring the very finest Leodhsach musicians and thespians of the period. Many of the leading parts were voiced by top celebrities of the day.

“The Parson” was played by Phil Lional from hard rockers Thin Leodhasach (who had a string of hits including ‘The Boys From Back Are In Town’, ‘Dancing in The Moor Light’ and ‘Bard Reputation’.

Meanwhile “The Artilleryman”  was voiced by David Nessex (the 70s chart hearthrob behind such hits as “Rubhach On, “Amaraga”, “Gonna Make You A Star (Inn)”, and “Silver D.R.’s Machine”).  

And “Obh-ita” star Julie Covingtownie contributed her dulcet tones as “The voice of Bethesda”.

But the one voice everyone remembers from “War of the Wools” is that of “The Narrator” – legendary Stornoway Thespian Richard Burnt-toine, the star of such classic films as ‘Where Eagleton Dares’, ‘An Townie and Cleobattery’ and ‘Who’s Afraid of Virgin Wool?’  

Who could forget Burnt-toine’s momentous delivery of the album’s opening words….

‘In the late 19th century, few townies had even considered the possible existence of extra-town-estial life, and yet Stornoway had in fact long been enviously observed by advanced beings’

….as he ominously set the scene for Mawsian Invaders, sci-fi sheep and deathrays, all delivered over a bombastic soundtrack of monstrously overproduced orchestral prog rock,  puirt-a-beul and dodgy disco.

Top musicians on the album included Jeff Stornowayne himself, guitarist Chris Spreadingmanure, Ken Freepresbyteriman on melodeon, and ace session bassist B*lly Flower, who’d famously played with classical rock maestros Skye, and done the slidy double bass on former Bobban Underground singer P*ddy Reed’s solo hit “Walk on the West Side”.

As well as the massive success of the album itself, Stornowayne and his band scored a huge hit single (3 plays on “Caithris na h-Oidche”) with Side B Track 2 – Chustin Heycove from the Moody Brues singing ‘Forever (D)autumn(an)’.

Several stage productions of “War of the Wools” have gone on tour over the years, with the original parts being played by new actors. Burnt-toin’s Narrator role has often been reprised by Liam Niseach (“Schuilven’s List”, “Rob Robhanais”, “The Communions”, “Siar Wars I – The Phantom Mehhh-Ness” and “II – Attack of the Blones”).

Niseach was hired to after the failure of several costly attempts by the production team to replicate the deceased Burnt-toine onstage using complex special effects and animatronics. These involved a copy of the original album on cassette from Woolies, a photo of Burnt-toine’s face cut out of the Gazette, some sellotape and (variously) the statue nicked from Lady Matheson’s monument, a tailor’s dummy stolen from Murdo Maclean’s, and a scarecrow obtained under cover of darkness from Goathill farm.





It’s not often we stray into topical topics, but recent events in the world of politics have led us to pass on some useful and informative background reading to help you make more sense of Brexit. As we’re currently hearing in the news, there’s great confusion about arrangements on the Northern Irish border if Brexit takes effect as planned in March 2019. But for some reason we hear a lot less about the difficulties that could ensue on the many internal borders within the Outer Hebrides. When the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, for example, Scalpay will stay in Europe because it’s actually in Spain (and has been since 1588, as any amadan familiar with the Dun Ringles’ poorly spelt prog rock epic “Scalpoch Armada” will tell you). To maintain frictionless trade across the Scalpay bridge, the natural solution would be for the rest of Harris to follow EU regulations, but hardline Hearach seceders in the Democratic Urgha Party (under the leadership of Aline Foster) refuse to countenance such an arrangement. For similar reasons, again based on Spanish territorial claims, border controls are likely to spring up the Goat Island causeway, and on all roads leading in and out of Tolsta Chaolais. Tong, naturally, has used its Washington connections to secure a unilateral trade deal with the USA, but this does not extend to the neighbouring townships. So there’ll have to be a wall at Coll, and another one on the Newmarket road to prevent cheap steel imports from the scrapyard at the Blackwater. North Tolsta has negotiated a peats-for-kimchi deal with North Korea, which will require a DMZ to be created between the Glen and Gress, which is joining Greece. Meanwhile the Niseachs, as part of Norway, are insisting on remaining in EFTA, so strict customs controls will be put in place on the A857 North of Fivepenny Borve. Trade between Point and the rest of the Island is already difficult due to its worsening diplomatic relations with everybody. Sanctions are likely to intensify following Point’s interference in the Tong Presidential elections, and the Rubhach Secret Service’s attempts to assassinate defector Sergei Suardal in the Crit by secretly lacing his Stewart’s Cream of the Barley with water. Rubhach leader Vladimir Sput-in’s claims that his agents were mere tourists, visiting the town to see the world famous spire of Martin’s Memorial, are generally not believed. And that takes us to the Back Bus Stop that we’re hearing so much about. This is the great unanswered Brexit question – why the fleek would anyone want to get off the bus in Back?!? It’s not all bad news, though. According to some writing in the dirt on the side of the Plasterfield bus, Brexit will leave the Health Board with an extra £350 million a day to spend on closing things down.

13 12 2018