Here, There and Home Again

As with any such journey, there's always more to tell than time or power of recollection will permit. In the end though, this is probably a good thing. However, it would be remiss of me in the extreme not mention certain aspects of what was a highly enjoyable tour.

First and foremost, of course, there were the gigs themselves: each as different from the last as from the next, and every one a joy to play. Huge thanks go out to all who had me along to play and who made me so very welcome. As always, I met so many fine folks along the way; some of whom I'd met previously... some I even know well, but many more for the first time. And once again, the welcome was as warm as only a Scottish welcome can be. So many encouraging comments and remarks from various ones help keep me thinking that this is a road still worth travelling, and to all who offered such, my sincere thanks. I once again had the joy of playing at The Market Bar in the heart of Inverness where, unbeknownst to me, no-nonsense Inverness-based reviewers The Nettle were in attendance. They subsequently put out what is probably my favourite ever quote about what I do: "Steve Pledger's music could make a rock cry. And make it vote, probably." I'll gladly and gratefully take that... thank you, The Nettle! :) 

The gigs were punctuated, as ever, by some spectacular scenery and landscapes which alone make it worth the 1136 miles traveled. As anyone who has ever journeyed through the Scottish Highlands will know, it really is an astonishingly beautiful place. The images that accompany this blog are just a few of the ones I managed to snap on phone, tablet and camera whilst I was there. This blog will be shared on Facebook where I will probably include further images, should you fancy wandering over there. Perhaps the biggest highlight was when having pulled over into a parking area a few miles short of my first gig in Torridon, a wild stag decided to have a mosey around. I say 'wild' because, technically, it is, but I've been told that he's been frequenting the parking area for the last 6 months or so, on and off, and some have even patted the beast! It was remarkable and a privilege... and I left before he did. 

My one day/night off was on Skye where I was also able to catch up with some good friends, both at the gig in Uig as well as on my day off itself. It was lovely catching up with Denis and Rose, as well as Steve and Marilyn for whose hospitality I'm most grateful.

Also whilst on Skye, the marvelous Mr Steve Clarke of Strange Brew (Cullin FM Thursdays, 8pm - 10pm) kindly invited me along to record an interview for that week's show. Happy to oblige, we also managed to squeeze in a BRAND-NEW SONG called 'Hope In Our Hands'. So, if you'd like to listen to that, as well as Steve and me chatting about various things, please click here. The SP section is from 1hr 12 - 1hr 28 but I'd heartily recommend listening to the whole show... it's a bit brilliant! My thanks to Steve for the support; lovely comments, and opportunity to once again appear on The Brew.

Davy Holt is a fantastic acoustic artist of whom you may already be aware, working out of his home city of Inverness. I caught up with him at my Market Bar gig and also at MacGregor's Bar a couple of nights later where he'd invited me along to a Highland Malt Whisky Experience evening which he hosts there. (The brilliant Bruce MacGregor usually hosts these evenings with Davy but was busy elsewhere on this particular occasion.) If you have even a passing interest in the whiskies of Scotland - which, I confess, I do - and particularly in those of the area around Inverness, I would encourage you to get along to one of these events. Whisky, history, folklore and fantastic live music courtesy of Davy himself.... wonderful! What I don't necessarily recommend though is attending before starting your own 3 hour gig down the road at 10:30pm the same night! :) Not because of inebriation, I hasten to add; it just tends to mellow one into a state not necessarily conducive to playing a long gig into the following morn. That said, the gig that night at Johnny Foxes was actually one of the highlights of the tour for me. (It's in the whisky, I tell ye!)

From that first gig way up in Torridon (which kicked things off in fine style) all the way to the final Sunday afternoon session at Brockies Bar in Kiltarlity in the company of the lovely family who made me so welcome, it was a privilege to be back in Alba. And a final, grateful word for the life-force that is 'Rossie' who puts all this together for me. Thank you, my friend!!

Please keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates of gigs and other things to come. Also, the Events page has all the upcoming shows, of course, more of which will be being added shortly. Finally, thank you for all the encouragement regarding the new songs which I'm road-testing at the moment. It's been a real thrill to know that they're already chiming with many of you... it's greatly appreciated, I assure you.

There's probably more to say, but time and the power of recollection has got the better of me. 

Peace, love and hope...

Steve x

Posted by Steve on October 8th 2018

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