The usual Saturday feature has been put aside this week to allow me to pull together a posting based on stuff that was on the old blog ten years ago. It’s a lengthy post but I do hope you’ll stick with it and give it a read.
The picture above is a flyer, designed by Drew of Across The Kitchen Table, to publicise three nights on which a group of local bloggers would come together and play, from vinyl, a selection of tunes in The Flying Duck, a Glasgow city-centre bar which also has an adjacent space used as a live venue/club.
The second of the nights was Saturday 10 July 2010. As it turned out, only myself and North Country Boy (NCB) could manage along that night, one that I was really looking forward to as Kid Canaveral were playing in the adjacent space, with the set kicking off straight after we had finished around 11pm. Here’s what was aired on the evening:-
Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun (American Spring Mix)
NERD – Provider (Zero 7 Mix)
A Man Called Adam – Barefoot In the Head
D Note – The Garden Of Earthly Delights (Original Mix)
Kate Bush – Running Up The Hill (Ashley Beedle Re-Edit)
DJ Food – Peace Part 1 (Harvey’s Persuasion Mix)
Rae & Christian – Spellbound
808 State feat James Dean Bradfield – Lopez (Propellerheads Mix)
Public Image – Public Image
Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck
The Smiths – The Headmaster Ritual
Elvis Costello – The Ugly Things
Orange Juice – Love Sick
Arab Strap – Speed Date
The Clash – The Magnificent Seven
Frightened Rabbit – Be Less Rude
Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Come Saturday
The Wedding Present – It’s A Gas
The Fall – Mr Pharmacist
Friends Again – South Of Love
Cats On Fire – Tears In Your Cup
James – What For
Bourgie Bourgie – Careless
Love Unlimited Orchestra – Strange Games & Things
The O’Jays – For The Love Of Money
Barkays – You Cant Run Away
4 Hero – Les Fleur
Lee Dorsey – Night People
Gladys Knight & The Pips- Bourgie Bourgie
Rare Earth – I Just Want to Celebrate (Mocean Worker Mix)
Temptations – Just My Imagination (DJ Jazzy Jeff & Pete Kuzma Remix)
KRS I – Sound Of Da Police
Primal Scream – Come Together (BBG Remix)
Chemical Bros – Block Rocking Beats
David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging
Echo & the Bunnymen – Never Stop
Kirsty MacColl – A New England
Sons & Daughters – Dance Me In
REM – Finest Worksong (Lengthy Club Mix)
Teenage Fanclub – Sparky’s Dream
Iggy Pop – The Passenger
Butcher Boy – Profit In Your Poetry
Meursault – A Few Kind Words
The Clash – Bankrobber
Primal Scream – Dont Fight It , Feel It (Whistling Mix)
Ella Fitzgerald – Sunshine Of Your Love (Rockers Hi-Fi Mix)
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (GW Edit)
Adamski – One Of The People (Ashley Beedle Mix
Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug (GW Edit)
Sister Sledge – Lost In Music (12″ Mix)
Stevie Wonder – Masterblaster (Jammin) (12″ Disco Mix)
Orange Juice – I Can’t Help Myself (12″ mix)
The Smiths – This Charming Man (New York Remix)
Fire Engines – Candyskin
Sugardaddy – Love Honey (GW Edit)
Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Wonderful (GW Edit)
Associates – Party Fears Two
The Trash Can Sinatras – Only Tongue Can Tell
Soup Dragons – Lovegod Dub
Red Guitars – Marimba Jive
The Third Degree – Mercy
The Charlatans – North Country Boy
James – Hymn From A Village
Kid Canaveral – Smash Hits
The Jam – Beat Surrender
Louis Armstrong – Wonderful World
It was a fun night, not packed but busy enough that a few folk enjoyed some dancing and I was really pleased that members of Kid Canaveral popped in for a short while after sound-checking. It had been a long night and neither myself or ANCB had the energy to go and see the band, so we packed the vinyl and got in a taxi back to Villain Towers where he was staying the night as his would have been a long trek back to his home some 30 miles away.
It was around 6am when the phone rang.
My dad was on the other end of the line to tell me that my brother David had been killed in a single-vehicle accident just outside a village called Leenane on the west coast of Ireland. He had died at the scene of the accident at just after 1am on Sunday 11 July 2010, which is probably about the time I had turned into bed after coming home from the club night.
David was 43 years of age.
He had moved to Westport in County Mayo in early 2008 and was on his way home from a night out, having left a nearby pub, where he had been drinking soft drinks all evening. The pub was about 600 yards from the scene of the accident which, as I would later learn from paying it a visit, was on a sharp bend with the road sitting above the water with no barrier protection. A later inquest found that the cause of death was a head injury and had likely been instant – Davie hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, or more likely was trying to get it in place, while lighting his customary cigarette, when he lost control of the car. The weather conditions were foul and he most likely aquaplaned. We’ll never know.
Having taken that initial call, I woke up NCB and told him to make himself at home as I had to deal with an unexpected emergency and would be back in a few hours. Rachel drove me to my parents (they live some 20 minutes away on the other side of the city) where we tried to come to terms with what had happened and to decide what to do next.
My mum felt that my brother, who had something of an occasionally troubled life, had found peace in Ireland and that as such his funeral take place over there and his body should not be brought back to Scotland. At this point in time, I knew the phone numbers of just two people in Westport – one being the owner of The Helm, a well-known and popular gastro-pub/B&B establishment above which my brother had been living since he moved to the town two and a half years ago, and the other was the phone number of the workplace of my brother’s best friend.
All it took was one call to said landlord and things fell swiftly into place.
To the whole family’s astonishment and relief, a post-mortem was held within a matter of hours which allowed the body to be released into the care of a funeral director later the same day. By Sunday evening, some 18 hours after the accident, almost all the arrangements were provisionally in place – all we were waiting for was that one of the small number of crematoria in Ireland (it is very much a country for traditional burials) to be contacted when it opened on Monday morning.
One of the reasons we were able to act so quickly was that David, despite a string of girlfriends over the years, including at least two fiances, had never married and had no kids of his own.
On Tuesday morning, my mum, dad, myself, Rachel, a nephew and two family friends were on a plane to Dublin where we would meet my other brother Stevie who had flown in overnight from Florida having made his travel plans within hours of getting the sad news.
From Dublin, we took a train some 150 plus miles across the country to Westport, arriving there at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon. We were all guests of Vinny, Mary, Shane and Carolyn Keogh, the family who owned The Helm and who between them had made all the necessary arrangements to have the funeral held quickly after our arrival.
So many memories will remain with me of the next couple of days, not least that the funeral service on was incredibly busy with some 600 people in attendance, a sign that Davie had been much loved, respected and admired, and that his passing had brought a dark cloud above the entire community. The final journey was the day after the funeral. His body had lain in the church overnight where we returned to take it on a cross-country trip, by road, to Dublin as it was one of the very few places in Irland with a crematorium. On arrival, we met a few more members of the family and some of Davie’s oldest friends, all of whom had flown in from Glasgow that very morning.
After that service, we all went to a pub in Dublin for some food, drinks, talk before flying back to Glasgow, where he had left just two days earlier. Stevie, along with his two best friends from Glasgow who had made the trip to Ireland, stayed on an extra night as his flight back to Florida wasn’t till the Friday.
It was an incredible whirlwind of events. Six days between DJing and getting back home having survived largely on adrenalin and vodka. I collapsed in a heap when I got back to Vinyl Towers.
As it turned out, I had to make a couple more trips soon after back to Westport to sort out some paperwork etc. for Davie and then to represent the family at the Fatal Accident Inquiry. We also all went back as a family to scatter his ashes on the golf course at Westport and in the stretch of water that flows outside The Helm. I got to know a lot of people in the town during those trips and this led to me going over every July, on a weekend as close to the anniversary as possible. The first few trips I was joined by my dad until his health got so poor that he wasn’t fit enough to make the journey and then in 2016, my mum came over, for the first time in six years, during which she made a visit to the scene of the accident where his friends had erected a fine memorial….to Scottish Dave as he was fondly known in the town (we were amazed that, until the funeral, very few folk in the town outside of his work actually knew his surname was Clark!)
In recent years, my good friend Aldo has come over, with his first trip being July 2017. He’s grown as fond of the town as I have and he’s made a lot of friends, such is his love for Guinness and great pubs, of which there are many in Westport and the surrounding environs. We had great plans to commemorate the 10th Anniversary and to pay a fitting tribute to Davie, but the COVID-19 outbreak and all the restrictions surrounding it have led to us postponing things, hopefully for just a few months.
So…. in the absence of being able to be in Ireland, I’m using the blog to pay tribute to Davie.
He wasn’t a huge music fan, but he was an expert on all things Star Trek, Dr. Who, and their ilk. So here’s a couple of tunes for him along with a song by a band that he did like:-
One final thing to say. The old blog obviously closed down for a few days while I was in Ireland, but ctel, from Acid Ted, looked after things and put the most wonderful and moving post up on the day of the funeral. If you’re reading this mate, then once again a huge thank you.