Mowley from Aos Sidhe sent this tale for the blog, written by the amazing Neil…
“If you like us, put money in the hat. My name’s Mowley, and this is Aos Sidhe. If you don’t like us, my name’s Bono, and this is U2!”
We’d practiced our patterns. We’d practiced our breaks. We’d practiced our signals. What we hadn’t practiced was hearing Mowley tell the same terrible joke over and over again. Unless that one about the actress being stabbed was actually a cunning tolerance-raising exercise… Today, in the Sacred and Traditional spot beside the Scottish National Art Gallery, where piles of bags, cloaks and jackets have heaped up on festival run-up weekends since time immemorial, Aos Sidhe had our first busk. More than that, our first ever public performance. Unless you count four A.M. on our away weekend. But I’m not sure that a swarm of curious moths or a drunk, confused man who’d wandered from the next camp count as an audience.
Not only are the Aos Sidhe – technically Aos Sidhean, but we had to wait for a Celtic scholar to join us to make the correction, and by then our G.O.s had already filled all the paperwork – a new drumming group, we’re largely a group of new drummers. For every seasoned, callused hand among us, there are at least two who, before rehearsals started, had palms as soft as a baby who lived in fairy liquid and could have pointed to the bit you hit – of a drum, not a baby – and not much more than that. My, but we’ve come a long way in a short time.
Not short enough, as it turned out, because when we got to the busk, we found that the Peruvian Pan Pipe Orchestra – record not available in any shops – were already set up and in place. AND they had an amp, which is basically cheating – we didn’t even have any snares. But relations between the two tribes were cordial, and, after they’d had half an hour playing an unknown number of instruments and miming the rest to a backing track, it was time for us to reveal our glory to a sometimes-paying public.
The Communists, the Animal Rights Protestors and the mourners of the heroes of the Spanish civil war didn’t have a chance, they hadn’t even brought any instruments. In a sacreligious break from tradition, the Council hadn’t arranged for us to share the space with the Pentecostal Christian Choir, and I for one waited in fear for their happy smiling faces – AND EVEN BIGGER AMP – to drive up in their van just before we went on. But it was not to be, and with at least one of us mildly bricking it, we lined up by the steps, leaving space for our beats to be interpreted via the medium of dance by Seasonal Promise ft Chairman Tom.