Friday, 18 April 2008

Hocus Pocus Eruption

We had a FANTASTIC time last night! And on a school night! We are such rebels. Husband was feeling a little daunted at the prospect of a night on the town as he had literally just got off the plane from a three day business trip and a large part of him wanted to veg in front of the telly with a large whisky. However, it is not often that one gets the chance to see living legends, so off we went.

Managed to find The Ferry in Glasgow which is, as it sounds, a former ferry moored on the Clyde and even arrived with time to spare so we went for a wander along the river first. At the appointed time we headed for the venue and ended up with spots right in front of the stage (more by accident than design but we were happy enough). I seemed to be the only female in the front row and we were vastly outnumbered by large, bald Glaswegians in their fifties, cradling their pints.

The support band was a hoot. They go by the name of Whimwise and are a startling combination of prog-rock hippies from the early 70s (a couple of them used to be in a band I've never heard of called "The Enid" - Shauna, ask Gareth if he knows them!) and modern day younger hippies. There were 8 people on a stage the size of a pool table and the guitarist was close enough to us that we nearly got bopped on the head by his guitar when he got carried away. I really wish we had had a camera with us because any description of the band just will not do it justice. But I'll try.

There was a drummer and a keyboard player who were relatively normal (bit more hair than most, but not ridiculously so). The guitarist was wearing a shirt with lace collar and cuffs and a gold and green brocade jacket. He was one of the original survivors from the 70s. The guy on double bass was one of the younger recruits and as well as waist length hair that merged almost imperceptibly into his chest-length beard, was sporting a sort of medieval tunic: padded quilted red cotton with a sort of pleated skirt/peplum affair. Moving on we got to the singer. Or more accurately, the wailer. No lyrics but a fair bit of swooshy moo-ing and atmospheric howling. (At the end of one particularly impassioned solo - all closed eyes and swaying - she was rewarded with the traditional cry of "Gaun yersel' hen!" from the crowd). She looked like she really really wanted to be Stevie Nicks.

Almost done. Next was the flute player who had outdone himself. Long black hair and shades a la Ozzy Osbourne, blue sweatpants with an orange tie-dye scarf tied round his middle, topped off with a cerise satin t-shirt and a purple crushed velvet jacket. I'm surprised people couldn't hear his clothes from Edinburgh. The clarinet player was suprisingly restrained in a black frock and footless tights. Last but not least the........I'm not sure what to call her. She spent a lot of time stroking (rather than playing) a drum, she had some wind chime-type things and a rain maker (one of those long tubes full of rattly stuff you probably last played in primary school.) She was a mature lady, clouds of vehemently henna'd hair so bright you could read by it and lots of scarves, bangles, rings etc. The overall effect was.......quite something. They didn't take themselves too seriously and actually got a remarkably good reception from the crowd. Not sure I could hum any of their tunes though.

But Focus were something else. The energy was astonishing - a roadie had to nail the drummer's bass drum to the floor at one point! - especially since the two main guys are 60+. You have seriously never lived until you have been on a boat on the Clyde, yodelling in unison with 200 happy Glaswegians and some Dutchmen. I strongly recommend seeing them if you can. And if you can't, get yourself a copy of Focus Live at the Rainbow and get yodelling. You know it makes sense. Husband managed to shake Thijs van Leer's hand before we left, so he was happy.

We crawled home by about half past midnight, had a cup of tea (mandatory, we're Scottish) and crawled into bed. Must find someone else to go out and see now. This social life lark is addictive.


  1. Oh it sounds fun. Hubby and I do stuff like that when we are on the cruise. Otherwise we live so far out in the sticks there really isn't any "night life" for us, just the occasional raccoon!

  2. Well. Umm. You make me feel very old. But there we are. Glad you had fun - and on a school night, too. Tut tut.

  3. I showed Dr G your post and he was just grinning... and spewing with jealousy. Your description of the support act was just stunning :)

    (and he'd not heard of the Enids!)