It’s been far too long. Despite a few gentle nags from Croila, I never quite managed to get around to posting anything; until now, that is. I read this posting by a musician I know called Roy Henderson, and it really does give a flavour of the atmosphere you can get in some of the more ‘local’ bars in Leith. My guess is that this is a well-known bar at the bottom of Leith Walk, which still attracts the good citizens of Leith who wouldn’t seem out of place in a sequel to Trainspotting. Anyway, it made me smile as I’ve seen these types stagger from the doors of the establishment many a time. Take it away, Roy:

Being a gigging musician is never dull. On Friday night I was delighted to play the Mercat with a number of myspace chums. There was some very fine music, an appreciative and supportive audience, friendly banter and much laughter. Ok, there was also a quantity of alcohol involved, and while some of us (me especially) slightly overdid the falling-down water, there was not a hint of malice, jealousy or danger. I came home a very drunk but satisfied, content and thankful guy.

On Saturday I played at my regular “songs for cash” gig. There was also some very fine music but there was also beer glasses being hurled across the bar smashing off walls showering the place (and me) in glass, pissed up women approaching in a “Leith version of sexy way”, grabbing me and saying “Hi doll” then demanding I play “Layla”, toothless junkies off their faces standing 4 feet from my microphone shouting for “Wish you were here” or “somethin’ fae Boab Marley”, and several threatening, heavy looking guys with number 1 crops staring malevolently, offering me a litre bottle of Vodka for a fiver, then frowning when I declined. Then they starting talking about “square go’s” outside.

When the gig was over (our last song was, appropriately, by Crowded House) a member of the “audience” stood up, walked to the door and promptly fell face down and the loud crack which we heard is still resonating in my head today. Cue copious amounts of blood, me trying to put the unconscious guy into the recovery position while trying to avoid coming into contact with his life-juice, and calls to 999. To make matters worse, a local gentleman grabs me and screams in my face, “Did you fucking do this? Did Ye? Did Ye?” “No, mate”, I replied, “He fell down”. “Naw he didny. You fucking did this, or it was one o’ they junkies – fuckin’ tell me NOW”

“No, mate he really did just fall down, he’s a bit pissed” I replied.

And with that he starts shaking the barely conscious guy (causing blood to fly everywhere) “Haw man….tell me who did this tae ye” while glaring at me threatengly,

I decide that, with a paramedic arriving on the scene, I should exit the situation when a guy taps me on the shoulder and says, “Cheers man you played some fucking great music tonight”

Enough. I got my blood money, accepted a free double Jack on ice from the nice bar lady, and a taxi home.