Caledonian Castaways are a group of ex-pat Scots from Melbourne’s blues/roots scene that play amusing and heartwarming songs detailing their various journeys from Scotland to Australia. The band are set to play at FRINGE WORLD on January 22-26, Downstairs at the Maj. Get more info and tickets here. On January 25 there is a very special Burns Supper Show complete with haggis, neeps and drams. Stuart Ferguson from the band went through a few of their intriguing original tunes with SCOTT AITKEN to educate him on the frustrations of being a Schizo Scot, the Glasgow Ice Cream Van Wars and football legend Archie Gemmill. Caledonian Castaways have recorded a self-titled debut EP and the Fringe shows will be the first chance people will get an opportunity to pick one up.
Archie mi Amor – This is the tale of the Scottish national football team’s ill-fated World Cup Finals campaign in Argentina back in 1978. Down 2-1 against Holland in Mendoza, the team were redeemed only by Archie Gemmill’s wonder goal. Due to the location of the game the song is appropriately set to a latin groove – with a mid-song pause for the band and hopefully audience to sound like South American soccer commentators – “Goooooooooooooal”.
Bonnie Koorie Lassie – A plaintive love song about a Scottish lad’s love for an Aboriginal girl and their connection “from the blue and white to the red, yellow and black.” The groove is more Jamaican though.
Caledonian Castaways – Named after the band, this song traces the various Scots who migrated to Australia and tells the various reasons behind their decision to travel to the sunburnt country.
Dain Back Hame – A Scottish immigrant in Australia wonders what friends and family are “dain’ back hame.” You’ll think it’s an American 50s doo-wop group, until you pick up the accent.
Fat Boy Doyle – Recounts the notorious Glasgow Ice Cream Van Wars during the eighties in which criminal gangs clashed over territories where they would use the ice cream vans as a front to sell stolen goods. Andrew ‘Fat Boy’ Doyle was an ice cream van driver who stood up to intimidation by these gangs but was the victim of arsonists who set his family flat ablaze, injuring and killing some of his family members.
Glasgow Latino – Complete with tango-like rhythms, wailing trumpet and Italian tenors, this song speaks of the idolised Eduardo, known as the “Glasgow Latino” who never failed to get the ladies’ hearts racing.
Pauline McGrath – Another character song, it is an ode to the beautiful Ms McGrath. A little bit older than the teenage boy singing about her she worked at the fish and chip shop: “At the chippie, bright red lippie”.
Schizo Scot – The Schizo Scot is the Scotsman who gets teased about his Scots accent by Australians, then returns home only to find he develops an Aussie twang when they make return visits to Scotland. “Are you Barnsie or are you Farnsie?” They just can’t win. Style -wise, think Ian Dury’s I Wanna Be Straight.
Wee Dram – A ‘wee dram’ is a shot of Scotch Whisky, and this song describes the guys you find in many Scottish pubs who tell you a tall tale and expect a free drink along the way, e.g. “I taught Billy Connolly many a joke.” Get more info and tickets here.