Back in the day, I used to love to listen to Irish folk music in Carlisle's pubs. The musicians were all friends or friends-of-friends. The bowram fella, an accordionist, couple of whistle players, a fiddler. Others would come and go. The fiddler could sing a mean rendition of Carrickfergus, but it was mostly jigs, reels and polkas: there was no one who could sing a whole repertoire of songs. It was the same when we all went to a festival in Girvan. Loose assemblages of musicians could knock out tunes like nobody's business, but singers were thin on the ground.
Last night we went to the House of Jazz and Blues on Fuzhou Lu, and I realised I could never belt the Blues out like the singer. But then I remembered Carlisle and Girvan, and that I could hold my own in the bar with Carrickfergus or She Moved Through the Fair or Paddy's Sicknote. I just need to get a bigger repertoire of Irish songs, find a singerless band in Glasgow, and, voila! I've got free Guinness on Sunday afternoons for life. Yet another aspect of the pension plan begins to fall into place.