Scotland 1998

We travelled up to Scotland on Saturday 4th July. The journey from Estover to Glasgow took around 12 hours. We stayed in the luxury of the Copthorne Hotel in St. George's Square. This was useful as we where playing in St. George's Square on Sunday and Monday as part of Glasgow's summer in the square event. On the Sunday and Monday we had nice big crowds watching. There were a few communication problems due to the huge difference between the Janner (Plymouth) accents and the thick Scottish accents. Some of the players were spotted using sign language!

On Monday evening we travelled to Kilgraston School near Perth. This brought back memories to our Administrator, Hilary who had gone to this convent as a child. We spent the long warm evening evening having a Barbecue and a band basketball match.

On Tuesday we had a three hour coach ride to Inveraray where we played by Loch Fyne and then visited the jail. We had a large crowd watching us in the sun who took home a good few CD's with them.

The next day was spent practising in the Convent for the forthcoming Youth Music Final in Manchester the following week. The girls spent over 6 hours practising only a couple of songs until Toussaint was satisfied with the standard. This proved worthwhile as the girls went on to receive an outstanding performance and an invitation to play at the Royal Albert Hall.

That evening we were invited to a Barbecue by Hilary's parents. It culminated with an interesting collaboration between Toussaint on steel pan, Dave Perrett on accordion and Hilary on tin whistle.

Dave on accordion and Toussaint playing pan

On Thursday we wound our way over the Scottish Highland towards Loch Ness and the Highland Games. The band played in the main arena while large men in kilts tossed cabers. After this we went to Inverness where we played in front of the castle at 8pm after the daily bagpiper had played.

Friday was time to leave Scotland and we travelled down to Leeds where we played at the West Indian Club in the evening.

Real Steel made their way to the White Rose shopping centre in Leeds where they shopped until their money all ran out! That evening we drove to Bath for Richard's (from Rainbow Steel Orchestra) 40th Birthday party where the girls were the main entertainment.

The party finally made it back to Plymouth on Sunday morning at around 3am after an exhausting week of travelling, performances and practice sessions.