2007 Tour Diary part 2 posted 19th October 2007

 Glasgow - See You Jimmy Saville

This is going to be good one...Any large Celtic conurbation with 'social problems' is fertile ground for us: No-Go areas in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland are all home to the Alabama 3. You could say we're honorary Celts. In fact many people have said we're the biggest bunch of Celts in Brixton.

Whenever we play Glasgow, Everywhere I go, middle-aged, violent looking men with Buckfast tattoos shout after me "Eh Speret! Ah Feckin Lov youse Speret! Yah wee cunt!  Cam heer ya wee cunt an let meh gev youse a hug!' It's extremely touching, and a bit frightening.

We pull into the venue and straight off I get a call from Foxy. He's a 50 year old, handsome hard nut with silver hair and steely eyes, and he's one of my favourite people in Glagow. He once saved my life at an aftershow party. We'd been touring for three weeks and my psychological state could be best have been described as fragile. He grasped me by the shoulders, fixed me with his clear blue eyes and said. Let me ask youse a question... Who's the most important person in the world?'

er.... my friends, um... my family?...er, you? I replied, lamely.

'No mate...' says Foxy...'Its you.'

Foxy occasionally calls me, drunk, on my mobile at three in the morning, to tell me that he loves me, that I'm a great wee cunt, and if I ever forget that, he'll hunt me down and kick the shite out of me.

When we played at Rockness, a festival in the highlands next to Loch Ness, as I wondered among the punters before we were due on stage, I was hailed by one of Foxy's mates, Ray, sporting a leather cowboy hat, and exactly one tooth.

'Sperret! Sperret, yah wee cunt, ah fuckin lov youse! lessen Sperret, ma wee niece Kaya's bin en a terrible car accident... poor wee lassie...she’s suffered brain damage... well ye no talk to her oan the phone? it wud mean so much tae her!'

What could I say? He handed me his mobile... above the babbling of the crowd around me I could just make out the soft, hesitant sound of a young girl's voice..

'er... hello Kaya...um...heard you had a bit of a bump back there, um... hope you're feeling better...er...Everything’s going to be fine!....um.....bye......bye!' I handed the phone back, feeling like a very amateur Jimmy Saville.

I get a call from Susan, daughter of Tam, one of Larry's 'Gangster' pals, inviting me to their house. I won't tell you Tam's nickname, in case he decides to demonstrate the derivation of his particular soubriquet on me with a blunt instrument. She leads me thru a council estate to the door of their block, where a couple of friendly smackheads greet us happily. Junkies seem so much more cheerful and friendly up here; in fact everyone seems more friendly and cheerful. Tam's there, holding court with his glamorous girlfriend, and his regal mother. We have a quick snifter then head to the pub across the road. The inside is decorated in just two colors; green and white. I'm guessing the patrons of these premises might be quite fond of Celtic Football club. I'm wearing my new bowler hat, together with an orange Jeigemeister lanyard that looks a bit like a sash. I consider making my 'Clockwork Orangeman' joke, but decide, on reflection, against it.

We go thru to the back yard and there's Foxy with a load of his friends, including Ray, the toothless bloke with the cowboy hat. He shoves a double scotch in my hand, Foxy gives me a hug that almost dislocates my pelvis and immediately starts to bombard me with good vibes, the bastard. Within a matter of minutes I'm wired and half--legless when the toothless one says ' Eh Sperret! mah wee niece Kaya's oan her way doon, well ye no stay an say hello? it wud mean so much tae her!'

What can I say?I admit I'm nervous.... what if she's really sick? what if she can't talk properly, or she's in a wheelchair, what do I say to her? What would Jimmy  do?

Then in walks a normal, pretty teenage girl with braces on her teeth, a cool denim cap, and a delightful smile. When someone makes a cheeky comment and she smiles and says in a dreamy voice that seems to come from quite far away:

'talk tae...the hand....cos the face....ain't.... listening....'

Foxy and his mates continue to ply me with intoxicants while I chat with Kayla about music and records. I try to ignore the suspicion that she'd rather be talking to the guitarist from McFly. My inebriation is just about to endanger my potential musical competence when Sue whisks me away, telling me I should get some supper down me before I go on stage. She's going to treat me to a local delicacy from the chippy: cod and chilli sauce.

While we wait two fifteen year old girls in pink track suits rip the piss out of me. The bigger one of the two actually picks me up with both hands like a large doll and spins me around the room, laughing her head off. I'm not kidding, she really did that. However, the cod and chilli was delicious.

A top gig in front of a mental crowd is followed by an excellent aftershow disco courtesy of MOJO. I spend most of the evening dancing my ass off, then hiding from a large - mouthed blonde in a tight floral print dress who keeps trying to snog me in front of her violent-looking boyfriend.

Three days later someone tells there's an article in a Scottish newspaper talking about how the Spirit from Alabama 3 has contributed to the miraculous recovery of a young teenage girl from a terrible car accident...

How's about that then, Guys n Galls?

© Orlando Harrison 2007