Around the turn of the century I bought a record that has remained one of my favorites of the 2000s and led me to a new long-lasting love, musically speaking of course. The title of the album was "100 Broken Windows" by an indie rock outfit called Idlewild. I loved the sticker on the outside of the cd case. It said something like, "Introducing Scotland's indie shredders". After a few listens I was hooked. Since that time, I have bought all of their releases and have seen the band play live in Texas on 5 different occasions. In 2007, the band's lead singer, Roddy Woomble released his first solo album of contemporary folk music. He's since released 2 other solo albums and a collaborative record with Kris Drever and John McCusker. The band isn't making music together presently, but Roddy has found his niche as a folk singer, and though I doubt he's become filthy rich from his endeavors, he's able to make a living making music, which can't be all that bad.
A couple of years ago, Juli and I caught his Dublin gig at the Workman's club on the Liffey Quays. At that time I thought to myself that I would love to get over to Scotland sometime and see Roddy perform on his native soil. Since Juli's had the chance to take a short trip to Barcelona with some friends and a trip to Belgium with her sister, I played my hand and secured a birthday trip over to Scotland to wander the Woomble way. I'll be flying to Edinburgh this week, traveling by train to Oban in the Highlands, and then taking a ferry over to the Isles of Mull and Iona for a couple of Roddy's gigs. Since I've only previously been in the Lowlands and never to either the Highlands or the Islands, I'm looking forward to the experience. I'll be keeping a journal and I'll update the blog when I get back. Hopefully there will be some interesting stories to tell. In the meantime, here's a poem I wrote about Scotland the last time I visited in 2007 and a few youtube clips of Roddy and Idlewild.
A land of mountains and moors, crashing waves against the craggy shores.
A place of mystery and mystique, even the mundane is unique.
The Highlands and the heather, tartan fleece, a kilt, a sporran, a feather.
City landscapes and city lights, a pint in a pub, mountain peak sights.
Dreams of nights and dreams of days, tribal traditions and Celtic ways.
Pipes serenade, folk music swirls, Welcome to Scotland, the best small country in the world!
Enjoy! - Shay