Hitting the boos

IF you’ve ever wondered what life is like at the sharp end of the music business, this tale involving the rather fine Edinburgh-based Americana band, the Wynntown Marshals, makes interesting reading.

Two years ago they played a 500-capacity venue in Holland. Too late, they realised that, for a variety of reasons including poor publicity, only a dozen tickets had been sold in advance. Ever the professionals, they and the Dutch band on the double-bill both played their customary sets.

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“But at one point,”says the Marshal’s Iain Sloan, “our lead singer, Keith Benzie, was explaining the back-story to a song to this audience of 12 people when suddenly, a voice in the darkness shouted, ‘BO-RING!’

“People took a sharp intake of breath. We looked at each other, speechless. Even in an audience that barely made it into double digits, there was still a heckler who was unhappy. This is the REAL story of rock ‘n’ roll…”

Labouring the point

A PITY Caroline Aherne is no longer with us, says Eric Simpson. She could have posed one of her Mrs Merton-type questions: “What, Mrs May, made you call an early election with Labour doing so badly in the polls?”

IKEA Virgin

BEFORE Ken Smith returns from his Saga cruise holiday on Monday, a (possibly) final batch of punning song titles. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Song of the Clyde Model Dockyard; There’s No Place Like Homebase; While Tam Shepherd Watched His Flock by Night (James Gracie); Fernandos; Superdry Trooper (Douglas Kirkham); Gimme Shelter; Subway To Heaven; He’s Got The Whole PC World In His Hands; Iceland of Dreams; Ol’ Man River Island (David Donaldson); Aldi Young Dunnes; IKEA Virgin (John Mulholland).

Losing the plot

TRENDING on Twitter lately is #ExplainaFilmPlotBadly, which does exactly that.

Among the Diary’s favourites so far:

* Girl would rather let her boyfriend die than share a piece of wood (Titanic)

* As a result of his failing marriage an American cop murders a group of German entrepreneurs (Die Hard)

* Finding love through Stockholm Syndrome (Beauty and the Beast)

* Bunch of guys spend 9 hours returning jewellery (Lord of the Rings)

* A boxer refuses to throw a fight (Pulp Fiction).

Belting out a song

AND positively the last tawse tale. Reader B McGregor recalls a music teacher at Rothesay Academy in the 1960s. “She made us make a piano keyboard out of cardboard and use it to practice ‘The Bluebells of Scotland’.

“You got three tries and if you failed to get it right you got the belt. She stood up on the platform and swung the belt viciously at the pupil on the lower level. She missed my crossed hands when I opened the gap and she belted herself on the legs...”

Old jokes’ home

AND finally... A neighbour of mine has a dog that drinks red wine every day. He’s a Bordeaux Collie.