Lemmy RIP

29 12 2015

Lemmy RIPTributes have been pouring in for recently departed local rock superstar Lemreway (Lenmy) Kontinuingminister. Born 70 years ago in South Lochs as Iain Freechurchminister (he changed his name in 2000 after the big ecclesiastical schism), Lemreway rose to fame as bass accordion player with massively influential hard rock band Mawtörhead.
Lemreway’s career began in the late 50s after seeing T*mmy D*rkie playing in the Star Inn. He played with a number of no-hope bands around the island including the Coulegreinmakers and the Mawtown Sect before achieving moderate success with the Rockin’ Seceders, a dynamic beat combo comprised of off-duty Free Presbyterian ministers. The Rockin’ Seceders toured extensively and were the first Western rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain, when the Politburo of the Federal Socialist People’s Republic of Point invited them to play a dance in Bayble in 1965.

The Rockin’ Seceders split in 1967 in a bitter dispute over whether taking the church bus on the Sabbath was in breach of the 4th Commandment. Lemreway moved to town, where he shared a flat with Noel E*die, bass player for Jimmy Hen’s Dreich Experience. This led to jobs as a roadie for the band and as an egg packer at Jimmy Hen’s battery sheds in Tong. In 1968, Stornoway worthy Coinneach Gobha introduced Lemreway him to his cousin Psalm, a precentor in Kuala Lumpur Free Church and virtuoso tabla drummer. Psalm hired Lemreway and they went on to enjoy some success on Stornoway’s 60s psychedelic scene, mixing Eastern drumming, Gaelic precenting and thrash bass accordion in proto-world fusion outfit Psalm Gobha’s Pal. Lemreway later dossed about with other ruppish bands like Soval Butterfly and K*ntr*st before joining dyspepsia-plagued space rockers Ochwind in 1972. 

Ochwind reached their commercial peak in the early 70’s with evergreen hit about fake jewelry ‘Silver Masheer’ and a raft of successful albums including ‘Warrior on the Veg and Thyme’ and ‘Feis Ritual’. 

The rest of Ochwind were vegan cosmic hippy white settlers who insisted on a strict diet of LSD and lentils, so it was no surprise when, in 1975, Lemreway was eventually ejected from the band for “pharmaceutical differences”. En route to a gig in Rodel, Lemreway’s accordion case was opened by Hearach customs. There was fleek all LSD or lentils in it, but there was a large stash of spealtrags, amphetamines and Rennies. The fiasags in Ochwind were mightily offended that their bass player should be polluting his body with salt fish and indigestion tablets, so Lemreway was abandoned at the side of the road outside Ardvourlie.

Undeterred, Lemreway got the bus back to town, rounded up a couple of bleigeards that were hanging about the Macs and formed Mawtörhead along with guitarist Fast Eddie Cearc and drummer Philthy Phil ‘Amadan’ Whaler. Their first few studio recordings performed acceptably well, and included ‘Overkill’ a concept album about Niseachs hunting too many gugas, and ‘Bomber’, a tribute to the illustrious Rong, Murderers of Love and Dun Ringle drummer. But their biggest album chart success was a live recording of a gig on the Uig moor from 1981; “No Sleep Till Hamnaway”. 

From their formation to the present day, Mawtörhead have stood out as one of Stornoway’s premier rock bands with hits including “Peat Iron Fist” (about a particularly impressive tairsgeir that Lemreway got from Calum Steallag) and their most commercially successful offering, an ode to Lemreway’s days working on a Tawse road crew, “The Ace of Spades”. 

Lemreway’s unconventional fashion choices made him stand out from the rest of the musicians in the Stornoway music scene. Shunning the big hair and spandex favoured by the likes of B*d R*put*tion and T*sh, Lemreway favoured a wartime Mitchell’s bus uniform festooned with “Keep NATO Out” badges, huge sideburns and two lumps of marag geal that got stuck to his face in 1967 that he never bothered to wipe off. He was seldom seen without a glass of his favourite tipple, Fasinex and Coke.
The band’s hard ‘n fast sound has been deeply influential in the world of heavy mawtal, but Lemreway was always dismissive of attempts to pigeonhole the band into any of the subgenres that it spawned. ”It ain’t no fl**keen speed metal, thrash metal, death metal or danns a’ rathaid metal”, said the inveterate social security scrounger and 4-crown addict to the Newvalley Musical Express in 1985, “It’s chust fl**keen Deoch ‘n’ Dole”.

Siar Wars

13 12 2015

With all the frenzy about the new Star Wars movie coming out, it’s easy for people to forget about Lucasfilm’s close ties to Stornoway. Although Ge*rge Lucas’ original trilogy is renowned as a Sci-fi masterpiece, the lesser known films that predated them (and directly led to their creation) are still held in high regard in the Outer Hebrides to this day.In 1967, while young Ge*rge was swanning around California making ruppish experimental films, Lucas’ older brother B*ll moved to Stornoway and took a job as a reporter at the Gazette. In between sherrif court reports and death notices, he put together the screenplay for the expansive movie trilogy that would go on to delight dozens of Hebridean filmgoers: Siar Wars.
Originally concieved as a nine part series, Lucas penned treatments for the first three movies, The Phantom Meh-Ness, Attack of the Blones and Rev-enge of the (Ang*s) Smith, but eventually decided to start with Part 4 since he couldn’t be fleeked with setting the scene. 
The first film to actually get made, “Siar Wars Episode IV: A Loom Hope” focuses on the exploits of a young Sgitheanach fisherman, Liù Skyewalker. Skyewalker longs to break away from his tedious life of mending nets and hauling creels, runs away from his tiny village of Tattarskavaig and hops across the Sound of Harris on the Tarbert ferry. On board he encounters a strange old man, shunned by others, propped up in the bar lounge with snifter and a pint. He reveals himself to be the legendary mystic Bogie Wan Kenobi. Together they catch the bus from Tarbert to Stornoway where Liù hopes he will find adventure and Bogie Wan hopes he will find the Crit still open.
Along the way, they pick up a Newly-Come-Over eco-warrior, Leia Organophosphatesheepdip, who is on the run from the corrupt Shawbost Common Grazings Committee for stealing their plans to drain Loch a’ Bhaile in order to build a gigantic Harris Tweed Mill. Upon their arrival in Town, and finding the Crit closed after all, they make their way through the Narrows where they bump into famed Gaelic singer, Mòd Solo and his faithful collie companion, Cù-Bacca. Together they join forces and ride off on Solo’s tractor, the Millenium Fordson, to save the Shawbost Machair and defeat the might of Emperor PalpatInacleteroad of the Common Grazings Committee and his black-clad Free Church elder henchman, Darth Shader.
Memorable scenes include the part where Liù and his friends are trapped by Darth Shader inside a dilapidated àirigh on the Barvas moor. Just before the walls start falling in on them, Mòd Solo utters the much repeated catchphrase, “I’ve got a bad shieling about this…”
Other famous quotes include the part when Bogie Wan, who has a cruel thirst on, finds a discarded bottle of 4 Crown on board the Millenium Fordson. He fears Cù-Bacca may have peed in it, but out of desperation takes a swig regardless. His relief is palpable when he exclaims, “That’s no’ mùn!”
The film was a runaway success at the Galaxy Cinema, which gave Lucas the push to complete the trilogy. The next film continued the story of Liù and friends as they join a breakaway Point congregation (the Rebels) in taking on the evil Common Grazings Empire, who have begun work on a new Harris Tweed Super-Mill that will require the destruction of the entire area from Upper Coll to Gress. In “The Empire Strikes Back” we follow Liù as he learns to use the power of the Cùram, as well as introducing a host of new characters such as the administrator of MaCloud City, Lando Collriversian.
The third film in the franchise, “Siar Wars – Episode VI: Return of the (Calum the) Ledi”, expanded the cast still further, with Mòd Solo falling foul of woodworking gangster Habba the Hutt. After Habba encases Solo in peat, Skyewalker and friends stage a daring rescue mission, and despite Skyewalker having a close shave with the fearsome Fankor monster, the gang rescue Solo and go on to defeat the Grazings Committee for good with the aid of a flock of cuddly blackface ewes.  
Despite the films’ local success, the big studios wouldn’t touch them due to the ridiculously parochial subject matter and ropey acting. The films were never released on video and the original 16mm reels were lost in a freak Bon-Accord lemonade bottle explosion. Thus, Siar Wars faded into obscurity.
That was until 1976, when Ge*rge Lucas was home visiting his brother for the August communion weekend, and seeing the opportunity for a quick buck, seized the manuscripts, changed the names, added a robot or two and went on to make cinematic history.
So as you watch Episode VII, spare a thought for the elder Lucas brother whose idea got shamelessly lifted to spawn a multi-Billion dollar movie franchise, and whose shoddy screenplay was still fleekeen streets ahead of that nonsense Ge*rge punted out in the prequels.