The Gin And A Pickled Egg Society A.G.M  2009                                                                           Back

      On a wednesday in April this year, I sat in a cabin on the shores of Loch Tralaig with a dozen mad musicians who'd come up to Argyll to fish by day and jam by night.  It was something of a window to past memories meeting up again with a couple of the players that were in the company.  These were musicians I had met thirty odd years ago when there was a lot less grey hair and a lot more short term memory capacity in the room.  I met Willy the guitar player when I was 12 and played a tune with him for the first time at Loch Tralaig that night.  He had been my school PE teacher and he had no idea in those school years that I played accordion. I kept it quiet because it would have been positively dangerous to reveal that un rock 'n roll fact in the schoolyard.  So, covertly, I hauled the mangle with bellows in and out at every opportunity at home in Stirling while downstairs, my sisters plotted revenge. 

      Finlay Wells, the mighty guitar sorcerer of Oban, once said - there had to be something notable about the kid, who's presented an accordion by his parents.  Parents who obviously have a sense of  humour and instead of complaining that it looks nothing like a guitar, the kid declares sonic heaven.  At six years of age, I found a Hohner double ray melodeon lying under a table laden with empty bottles and mouth organs.  It was my uncle Eddies melodeon and it looked a bit less dangerous than the jews harp.  The family were visiting with Eddie at his house in Dunkeld and he and my father, a good moothie player, were having a rare old tune together. I was supposed to have been asleep upstairs during the session in the small hours but now that they had all went to bed I squeezed the reeds to life and indeed, found sonic heaven.  Soon after that, my dad bought me a piano box from Wilkies in Perth and I measured my childhood in victories over accordion tunes.  A tune called Aquereli Cubani, a masterpiece by L. Fancelli, tipped me over the edge into the dark euphoria of reed obsession.  Consumed by conquering the tune, when I finally made it to the last bar, reed dependence was complete.

      At the fishing hut that night in April, Frank sat behind a Paolo Soprani piano box playing a load of old accordion classics as well as a rake of 2/4 bagpipe marches the joys of which Frank had introduced me to at his weekly music session in the early eighties.  I was something-teen at that time and it was good to meet inventive guys like Frank, willing to share ideas and inspire a tune.  I spent the last thirty years in the company of so many great musicians and good tunes that there's too many of you to mention.  Talk about luck.  Cheers guys.

      Sitting next to me in the hut at Loch Tralaig that same night was my boy Shaun playing his beloved guitar.  And so, the music goes on.  Don't worry, I do have a sense of humour, he was given an accordion and lessons some years ago but was smart enough to know it was a wind up.

Gregor Lowrey. April 17th 2009.                                                                                                                             Back