Sunday, 25 April 2010

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 6

Drumnadrochit. We were all looking forward to this one - Glenurquhart Hall is a lovely wee hall. Jennie McFie looking after us as usual, and what a splendid job she did. Had a totally lovely gig, with a good turn-out. Tom B managed to turn the CD sales around for the trio by some well-placed emotional blackmail on the audience. I particularly liked the "trio-have-5-children-between-them-and-Aidan's-band-only-have-one" sketch. The audience responded with mock-sympathy and bought enough CDs to avoid us winning the wooden CD award again. Tonight was also a particularly good rendition of Brown's - I think Tobermory & Drumnadrochit are tied in first place so far...

Had a wee party and a tune back at Jennie's house after the gig - relatively civilised affair, highlights included Konrad's induction to marmite, and Aidan's spectacular multi-level somersault. With fiddle. Very impressive.

Off to Aberdeen now. See you there.

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 5

Dunfermline tonight. What can I tell you about the gig in Dunfermline? Carnegie Hall. Ticket sales not great. Played in the bar instead of the theatre so it would look more full. Good for morale that. Gig was nice. Audience were nice. Staff were nice. Hotel was nice. I guess it was nice.

Quote of the day: "No, I don't want fish. I'll have chicken or something. And fish.

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 4

Today we're just traveling - no gig tonight so we're all going home for an evening with our families. Lucky them.

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 3

Today is technically a day off - still a gig to do in the evening, but no traveling or soundcheck. And what a cracker of a day. We decided to drive over to beautiful Calgary Bay on the north west of the island. Went to Martyn Bennett's grave for a while, and Tom & Aidan played a couple of tunes. Was nice. Still miss Martyn. If you're reading this and don't know who Martyn is, go google him and find out. He was a truly remarkable guy, and a big inspiration to all of us.

We also walked down to the beach - stunning white sand, blue sea and not a cloud in the sky. It was not warm though, by any stretch of the imagination, not even remotely - which made Tom & Aidan's swim in the sea (albeit a brief one) all the more impressive. Tom L even got a kite flying at one point. We also met Tim's sister there with her wee boy Harris, and Zana the dog. I'm not sure how you spell Zanna, but I'm fairly sure Zhanna won't be offended if I spell her name wrong. I am pretty sure Sanna is spelt with a Z though.

After a very nice lunch in Calgary, we headed back to Tobermory. Some folk napped, some played. The second gig was just as nice as the first, although I think we were all a little tired for some reason. It was very nice to have Olive Brown (of Brown's fame) in the audience. Olive has actually retired since we originally did the Shops project, but she was the lady who tried to continue serving customers during our performance behind the counter in Brown's hardware store.

Most of us had a slightly earlier night tonight.

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 2

Arrived on Mull just after lunchtime. Good to be back where it all started. Gordon Maclean is in good form as usual. Had a fairly predictable afternoon of soundcheck/eating /rehearsal/eating/coffee drinking/checking emails/eating etc...

Gig went very well. The wee room in An Tobar was full as usual, with a great atmosphere as usual. Browns was particularly well enhanced by the audience tonight. After the gig we ended up hanging in the said wee room for a relaxing drink. Tim did some excellent DJ-ing from the mixing desk, Tom B provided everyone with boomwhackers which we thrashed around for a good half hour (which amazingly only resulted in a couple of minor injuries), I played the drums badly along to Booker T, before everyone realised that if you put the boomwhackers over your ears, the music sounded weird yet at the same time, if I may borrow a phrase from a much earlier decade, "far out".

The rest of the company were then treated to an impromptu and exclusive performance of the Scandinavian free improv duo "Knut & Thor", who bare some resemblance to Tom B and myself, which is quite a coincidence. After that, the tunes flowed, and the An Tobar donations box filled up as musicians attempted to cure their munchies. Between 11pm & 6am there was some very lovely music, but there was a fair bit of nonsense too. And laughing. Lots of laughing.

Quote of the day: " I think Dave has a vitamin D deficiency..."

Word of the day: "Rickets"

Monday, 19 April 2010

An Tobar Sessions Tour : Day 1

Well, we have arrived in Perth for our first gig of the tour. And it would appear that we didn't forget to bring anything. How unusual. We're still waiting for the piano to arrive though. Not the easiest soundcheck I've ever done...

Today's quote of the day: "Are there any vegetarians in your band?"

Today's word of the day: "Twart"

For those who don't know, the Trio is touring a double-bill with Aidan O'Rourke's An Tobar band, which is:
Aidan O'Rourke : Fiddle
Martin Green : Accordion
Catriona Mackay : Harp
Phil Bancroft : Saxophone
Martin O'Neill : Bodhran

Dates are:
Apr 19 2010Perth: Red Rooms, Perth Theatre (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Apr 20 2010Mull: An Tobar, Tobermory (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Apr 21 2010Mull: An Tobar, Tobermory (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Apr 23 2010Dunfermline: Carnegie Hall (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Apr 24 2010Drumnadrochit: Glenurquhart Hall (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Apr 25 2010Aberdeen: The Blue Lamp (with Aidan O'Rourke)Tel: 01224 647472 (Box Office)
May 6 2010Gateshead: The Sage (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
May 7 2010Edinburgh: Queens Hall (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
May 8 2010Banchory: Woodend Barn (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
May 13 2010Stirling: The Tolbooth (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web: tolbooth website
May 14 2010Findhorn: Universal Hall (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
May 15 2010Stornoway: An Lanntair (with Aidan O'Rourke)Web:
Hope to see you at least at one of them.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

New Trio dates

by DM

Some new dates for the trio - The next one is at the London Jazz Festival on November 21st - hope to see you there!

Nov 21 2009London: Front Room,South Bank CentreWeb:
Jan 19 2009Glasgow: Celtic Connections, GRCHWeb:
Apr 19 2010Perth: Red Rooms, Perth Concert Hallt.b.a.
Apr 20 2010Mull: An Tobar, TobermoryWeb:
Apr 21 2010Mull: An Tobar, TobermoryWeb:
Apr 22 2010Oban: Corran HallsWeb:
Apr 23 2010Dunfermline: Carnegie HallTel: 01383 602302 (Box Office)
Apr 24 2010Drumnadrochitt.b.a.
Apr 25 2010Aberdeen: The Blue LampTel: 01224 647472 (Box Office)
May 7 2010Edinburgh: Queens HallWeb:
May 8 2010Banchory: Woodend BarnWeb:
May 13 2010Stirling: The TolboothWeb: tolbooth website
May 14 2010Findhorn: Universal HallWeb:
May 15 2010Stornoway: An LanntairWeb:

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Trio spotted partying with Princess Grace

By T Lyne

Its hard to tell exactly what the time period for this is but the trio were recently spotted cavorting en mass with various members of a high flying string group.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

shock discovery on the internet

By tommy banana

a 'friend' was looking at a butt reduction website the other day and was shocked to see this image from a photo of a 54 year old woman in kansas.

is this a sign of paranormal activity?
what does it mean?

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ella Hewat Milligan


I know... more non-trio-related stuff, but I couldn't resist it.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Friday 13th, a Small Elephant and a New Trio


This was a blog post I did for MySpace, which I thought I'd put up here too in the absence of any other blog contributions in the last 13 weeks. Even though it has nothing to with the Trio. At least not this trio.

Friday the 13th has come and gone. Just another day for most folk, but some really do think it's unlucky. I met someone this morning who told me that she'd made her son stay at home today, because on the last Friday 13th he crashed the brand new family car. I found myself imagining her getting home from work to find her son frantically trying to repair the completely demolished greenhouse, which he crashed into with the lawn mower. 

I guess i don't believe in luck.

This was also the day my wife Corrina was 'due' to give birth to our first baby. There's not much sign of any action though, so it looks like the bump is refusing to join the select group of babies who arrive on their 'due' date. Apparently only between 3 and 5% of all births happen on their 'due' date. (I keep putting the word 'due' in inverted commas. Sorry if you find that 'annoying'.) Man, I have learned so many statistics recently. Did you know that 74% of all statistics are made up? 23% are based on unqualified research, and the last 5% are put together by people who can't count. All true.

Most of the parents I know talk about how incredible it is having a baby. I can't really comment as we haven't had ours yet - but the whole build up to it has been kind of amazing. Our families have been busy making stuff. Sewing, stitching, knitting... (There's even been curtains made!) It's great to see how everyone has been kind of 'rejuvenated' by the prospect of a new addition to the family - a sense of optimism is definitely in the air. Maybe it's all a wee bit more amplified because we both have fairly small families with hardly any young'uns. Who knows. And our pals have been fantastic too - we are completely kitted out for the new arrival having not spent a penny, thanks to donations of little-used (and in some cases, never-used) newborn baby stuff. I still don't know what half of it's for.

Actually, the not-spending-a-penny thing isn't entirely true... A lot of the advice we got from friends when we told them about having the baby was along the lines of "Don't buy anything! We've got buggies/cots/seats/clothes etc we don't use anymore..." Great stuff, we thought. A lot of the stuff you only use for a few months anyway... But a couple of months ago I was talking to one pal, who is already a father with another on the way, and I was given this single bit of advice: "Buy something!

Huh? But everybody else said... 

"No, buy something - even if it's just a wee thing. It makes it real."

That struck a chord with me 'cos it certainly wasn't feeling very real at that point. So the other day, we finally got round to it - "Let's go buy something for the baby" we said.

Now it sometimes feels kind of like we're one of the last couples I know of to have a kid, but just in case anyone out there is yet to go through this fantastic journey, one small, humble piece of advice I would give is to be wary of the big-brand shops. 

We made the mistake of going to one of them. Not mentioning any names, but let's just say it's not called Fathercare. We really did intend to just buy something wee, but all of a sudden we got totally taken in by the "Look, what's that thing? - oh, we'll be needing one of those!" scenario. The whole layout of these stores is unreal - you're immediately confronted by this bewildering array of stuff and you're given the impression you just won't be able to survive having a baby without them. After what seemed like an entire weekend wandering round the store, we got to the checkout. I couldn't believe it - the till showed a total of nearly £100. The assistant asked if we wanted a store/rewards card. When we eventually regained the ability to speak, we asked why. Noticing that the bundle of items we'd picked up were all for a new-born, she said: "Well, let's face it - you'll be coming in here for probably the next seven years, so you'll save money in the long-run." Are you KIDDING?? You think we're coming back? We just bought £100 worth of stuff that I've never heard of before! (Apart from the small elephant - I'd heard of those.) Now, I'm aware by this point that we're the mugs for actually falling for the "This stuff is absolutely CRUCIAL to your successfully looking after a baby" routine, but the staff actually seem to believe it too! We started to get the picture of what everyone was talking about with the "Don't buy anything" advice. Where would it end? "Baby's 2 years old now, time we bought a self-moisturising, temperature-controlled, safety-bath-hat & activity centre." (Available in a choice of colours, of course...)

Another friend (and parent) asked me recently, knowing that the due date was very near, if we were ready. I said I didn't really know. 

She said: " Do you have nappies?" 


"Do you have somewhere for the baby to sleep?" 


"Then you're ready."

I guess that sums it up. (I may have simplified that conversation for effect, but you get the point...)

But if you have loads of money to spend, then absolutely, go and spend it on your baby. Why not? I'm sure I would if I could. You'll probably never feel there's a more worthy reason for spending such a huge pile of cash. If you don't have loads of money, does it matter? - Do you really have to spend £20 on a pair of shoes for a baby who can't walk yet, and won't fit in a couple of months?

Of course, all this talk of spending (or not spending) money is all pretty insignificant in the big scheme of things.  Needless to say, I'm very excited about the impending augmentation. Corrina and I have been together for 18 years now, and I kind of thought we'd always be a duo. This was a somewhat unexpected adventure, but now I cannae wait. 

Trio it is then...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

11/11, The Great Harmonic Convergance

By T Lyne

Seems we have more of a revolution going on than at first was visible from the air. Actually, one of the great things about living in Pathhead is that when you fly to Edinburgh, 9 times out of 10 the plane you are on goes directly over my house at about 5,000 feet on the approach to the airport. Just one of those pointless bits of information that can be gleamed from reading other people's mindless ramblings.So not only is the innumerable Dave Milligan propogating the species with his lovely wife Corrina, they are moving to Pathhead on wednesday . . . so they'll be able to see their house when flying back to Edinburgh from various gigs abroad, . . . when the airlines allow them back on the planes. They've not done anything wrong, really, but there is that thing about pregnant women flying past a certain date; which they subsequently discovered, also applies to pregnant women beyond a certain date being allowed on long ferry passages across the channel. Which is not really the sort of thing you want to find out at the last minute, on your way to a gig, especially when pregnant, but has been known to happen.

God, how I love the run-on sentence culture here in the UK . . .

I guess, of there was to be a point, which I may at some point make, is a point relating to the theory of dates containing the numbers 11/11 and that it apparently opens a portal to another dimension to where we can all ascend and throw off the shackles of an inept government and relatively obscene interest rates. This date (or there are many of them if you are creative) is often referred to as the Harmonic Convergence.

On wednesday, however, the date will be 180209 - not a lot of 11/11 going on there, but it will be a convergence of relative harmonies as the entire Dave Milligan Trio will officially live in the same village. How weird is that. 10 years ago I hadn't eve heard of Pathhead, I was still struggling with the concept of 'trying' for a child and getting my head around the fact that I had been married for about two days.

All this time later and Sophie and I have just had our tenth anniversary which then means its about 9 1/2 years since we quit smoking (at Dave and Corrina's wedding funnily enough), slightly more than 9 years since Leo was conceived and slightly less than 9 years since we moved here to the village.

May things continue to converge.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

A Countryside Walk

By T Lyne

As if today wasn't revealing enough as it is, we had a grea tafternoon rambling through the local gentry estate admiring their excess when we passed by a herd of cows, . . lowing in the gloaming. I was taking pictures of the interesting trees and local animals, and at the time this totally passed me by. But fortunately I didn't delete this seeming harmless shot off the camera and when I reviewed the shots of the laptop I found this strage portrait of a cow. I am sure that is our fearless leader performing a mind meld with bessie the heffer.

Time for Change

By T Lyne

Well well well, merry new 'at it' and all that. That was 'mean good' party last night, the new year has been well brought in. The multitudes were multitudinal and erectreflectival, maybe even a bit overstrueditively syarmy. There was a visitation from all the usual suspects, some unusual, and all trying to wish in the year welly.

Most everything has arrived, if, with perhaps a bit of a, don't mind saying so, a covert kind of a way, but not wholly disguised as such, a warm welcome (the Scottish tourism board could pay me 3/4 of a million pounds for that slogan), . . anyways, and I am getting to the point, All went well.

There may, however, be a slight hitch in the plans for the Dave Milligan Trio in the coming year(s) as I have it on good authority that Dave has been subverting his position as pianist(penist) and supplementing his income by doing gigs on accordion. Undercover spies have leaked this photo taken at a gig on princess street during the hogmany celebrations. This is Dave playing accordion for the James Blunt concert that nobody went to.

Needless to say it looks like Tom B and I will be advertising for jazz pianists named Dave to fill a possible vacancy, I've heard dave is now book solid through 2011. Catch him all next week at Whistle Binkey's.

Happy New Year

Friday, 19 December 2008

CD of the week


Shops is CD of the week in today's Scotsman newspaper. 
It also got a 4-star review in today's Guardian
A lovely review of our gig at The Lot appears in the Herald too. 
I hope Rob Adams doesn't mind if I quote my favourite line from the article: 
"... part genius, part Sooty & Sweep."