Cafe by the river in the old town.
The Sandeman can ....
Finally got some quiet time .... a little 'me' time. So, I think I'll gibber on here a little. Could be fun, could be boring. Most folks might find this news a little late and a little overshadowed by the current hoo ha about 're-unions' but what the hey? Being out of date and irrelevent has never stopped me before.
I guess the main thing happening lately has been our little trip to Portugal. Gosh, we had a great time and I met loads of lovely people. First off a big hello to Luis who made us very welcome, showed us around and helped out .... thanks ever so much. Then also a big howdy must go to Emmerson who is probably the most laid back promoter I have come across but still takes care of business with the best of 'em.
I flew in early because of the usual connecting flight palavers that flying out of Glasgow brings. All this flying is taking me back to the beginning of 2008 when it seems like we were on a flight every day, in fact generally we were. Those were a pretty mental couple of months .... the tour eveyone thought we'd never manage but manage we did with no cancellations and no-one dying. Doesn't really get better than that.
I won't bore you with the usual old hotel bollocks. Nice room etc etc. It seems like getting spoilt a little now that a hotel has to be pretty spectacular now before you'd pass comment on it. I still remember the days of no hotels and night drives and transit vans so I guess I should be grateful for small luxuries.
Well, the show in Porto went purty damn well. The usual solo contingent of Peter, McBoabie and The Slater were augmented by The Candles (The Superinnas and Clandestine) lighting up our lives once again. The show was an absurdly late one by my standards but not for the Portugese it seems. We were off to bed well before the party peaked for those folks. Oh well, different horses for different courses.
Me and The Slater had decided to spend an extra day in Porto for a wee holiday and Peter stayed out too. We started our day in a relaxed fashion with Caipirinhas by the pool. Nice .... In typical Scottish fashion I gradually turned from light blue to pale to roasted pink. Typical. I was skelpin' within minutes and had to do most of my sunbathing under towels which kind of defeats the object of sunbathing. Mr Slater proved himself quite adept at aquatic clowning and we whiled away a lovely few hours splashing around like children in the cool water of the rooftop pool.
A quick snooze later and off we popped to the old town. I have been to Porto before and somehow got the impression that it was quite industrial and never really saw anything which caught my fancy and struck me as pretty or .... hmmm don't quite know how to describe what I mean here. However, how wrong I was. A short cab ride from the hotel takes you down to the old town by the river and my oh my it's lovely.
Old bars and restuarants line the river with the old port wine family businesses .... terrace bars and restaurants, simply lovely. Peter, myself and McMeldrew supped on cold Superbocks and old port, ate some tasty cheeses, pastel de bacalhau and olives. There was also the added interest of the Napoleonic re-enactment of the first battle of Porto where the British aided the Portugese in their defeat of Napoleons forces. Quite a significant battle it would seem as there were hundreds of people re-enacting the event and hanging out in the bars and cafes of riverside Porto. The attention to detail in the uniforms was quite something and by gum these folks take it seriously. All in all a lovely day and we finished off back at the hotel garden with a few beers and acoustic songs into the night.
Quite a busy day the following day. We hopped in Luis' car and off to the Gaia district for a wee studio session. Knocked about a few ideas and got a version of The Ballad Of Grimaldi down for our efforts before .... Off to the football!
Emmerson had kindly scored us some tickets to the Porto game. I hadn't been to a big game for a while and to be honest Emmerson really came up trumps for us. The game was a sell out and if Porto won then they took the championship. Now I have a few reservations about Porto after their style of play in the UEFA cup final against Celtic a few years back but I couldn't let that spoil the evening. It turned out quite an average game but on the sense of occaision was immense. It turned out Porto won 1 - 0 which was the trigger for the whole town to go buck wild! The stadium was packed, the streets were packed, everywhere was going mental. Scorchio! A bloody wild night and a perfect end to the trip.
Back at the hotel we said our goodbyes to Peter who was off on a solo mission to Lisbon and myself and Iain prepared for the trips back to Gourock and Hastings respectively.
All in all a lovely trip, a successful trip and a safe return for everyone .... and to quote myself it doesn't really get better than that!