The Scotch On de Rocks festival was being sponsored by McNab’s Beers, so there was plenty of lager sloshing around backstage for the performers. Terry was in no mood for any of it. He wanted to keep a clear head. He spent his time in a corner, checking out the inflated egos of the fledgling pop stars. Drive! were on after a folk rock outfit called Jock Ma Ceilidh, who had been described in RockPress as Falkirk’s Next Big Thing. He had got talking to the drummer, a teenager called Grant. The conversation soon got round to band personnel, and Grant started slagging off their latest bass player, a big, lanky guy in full highland dress who played the bass like Nick Heyward played the guitar, high and fast.
‘Ae’s intae fusion,’ he grimaced. ‘Andy Stewart meets Haircut 100.’
‘So why don’t you give him the shove?’ said Terry.
Grant’s expression was serious. ‘Ae’s dad says ae can get us oan Wogan,’ he said.
They were approached by a John Cooper Clark clone wearing a frock coat. He had a single dreadlock sticking out of the front of his head, between the freckles. He cadged a fag off Grant, then returned to a group of wee lassies dressed in mini skirts and Doc Marten boots. One of them had shiny Elastoplast all over her knees; probably a recent fall off her tricycle.
‘I’ve got him down as a wanker straight away,’ said Terry. ‘Who is he?’
‘Ma brother,’ said Grant. ‘He’s the singer.’
Jock Ma Ceilidh were booed on. Half way through their first number a hailstorm of disposable lighters descended on the stage, some of the cheaper ones exploding with a crack off the front of the singer’s guitar.
Then he took a direct hit to the face.
‘Fuckin’ blood claaahhhht, ya bastards!’ he wailed into the mike, in an accent that was pure Rastafarian Falkirk.
Grant had already left the stage. The bass player had to be dragged off.
This is an excerpt from the novel, Drive!, which is available here.