September 2007 and Inveraray hosts the first Connect Music Festival.
Some Evil Men from Campbeltown pursuade Loch Fyne Whiskies to open a Whisky Bar there.
We decide not to muck about (unlike the festival goers - read on).
Security is ready...
The Loch Fyne Whisky Bar is a partnership of 10 distillers and us to take Scotch Whisky to people who should try whisky again (hence 'Once in a while').
That chalk board says "If you're famous, please introduce your self so we can ignore you properly"
But we're not.
At 45' is this the longest WhiskyBar in the world? (Any bar that has a bottle of vodka, gin, cola or bucket of ice excluded).
Certainly it is the first and only pop-up WhiskyBar in Creation.
Next time I pick up the camera...
We're busy! (Phew!)
Frank McHardy is serving his drams,
Where else in the world can you buy a whisky from the man who made it and selected it, and now pours it for you?
And the place is busy...
Some famous people signing in.
Neil Hannon - of The Divine Comedy combo - of whom I have one of their long players.
And a bloke of whom I can't read his autograph, but he's jolly famous.
Elvis wrote "Dear LFWBar. Best Wishes." -- Nothing about thanking-us-ver'-much then.
(Mr. Hannon wrote: "I suppose I should really wait to sample your whiskey (sic) before I say how wonderful you are.
Oh fuck it... You're brilliant!"
Ja Marrn wi' big 'at wrote "In the HIGHland, 2007."
Mr Hannon then went on stage and told the audience he'd drammed in the WhiskyBar and thought we were 'nice people', we like him too.
"This bar is fab" wrote someone claiming to be from Echo and the Bunnyfarm. (I think)
Tom Jones (no, not that one, but I'd like to talk to his mum), gives a private tutored tasting to three interested souls.
Tom is Master Bar-Keeper for Diageo. he's also a Master Bulshitter, but not with whisky (unlike me).
I'll convince anyone (or anything) WE MUST HAVE WHISKY ONCE IN A WHILE! Di-di-do-diddle-di-dooo....
T-shirts are now for sale, this one has been doctored, thankfully, Gordon Wright's (left - not wright) has not - also thankfully.
The Connect festival claimed to be a carbon neutral festival, (yeah - right!)
As a contribution to this fluffy eco-policy we switched-off our bar-staff when not required.
In this case Gordon, (The
Alchy , Alchemist), and Euan Mitchell (Arran Distillery).
A happy Whisky Bar, count the number of smiles here, you don't get that at Kwik-Fit.
No one shot the stag, or pinched a picture, or spilled a dram or got evicted. A happy Whisky Bar.
"The add-ons were good, in particular the Whisky Bar." Tom Morton, BBC Radio Scotland. Monday (22 minutes in).
Nice lighting too, that manic looking chap on the right is the bloke who made my house build go right, cheers Grant (and Craig)! Great to see you again.
Grumpy making Loch Fyne Toddies: (six gallons each of Loch Fyne Blend and Loch Fyne Liqueur, pinch of water, zest of orange, and a coffee bean - for faf's sake).
I look almost cheerful (but don't tell the promoter), not as much as the Oditor of the Quaich, testifying behind me.
"Bunnahabhain is so well ballanced. Some of your Barstaff weren't so well ballanced - but nice with it!" - Bigal Munsuy
Colin Rodger, Event Manager, in charge of the whole bang-shoot, except he needs a pilot with him all the time, even though he's on the ground.
Yo! Colin. Yo! Shaddow.
Saturday afternoon it drizzeled, a Fyne, Argyllshire, wetting, drizzel, perhaps a pilot is a good idea after all.
A muddy kilt, and the LFWBar soundtrack - no issues dude!
An iPod stuffed with BB King, Alabama 3, A3 Mixes, Bloos, Jooooools Holland and a Soul Complation and everyone thinks you're a musical god, - s'easy!
Three faces, three smiles.
"The best tent ("tent!!?" - Louise), The Best Tent! Every festival should have one!
Bar Staff are amazing - great education! All that every Scottish music lover needs!" Karen.
Here's our Bob, aka Anabelle Meikle, Master Brand Ambassador for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg... but more importantly LFWBar's Master Principle Master Out Source Master Drink Delivery Mechanism and Master-Master. Bob pitched in 16 hours a day, every day (plus setting up and post gig partying). Masterful!
I mowed that grass last Thursday...
Attagirl Bob! A magnificent performance, hope the blisters go away in the next minute!
Thank you so much!
Oh fuck! Here's an Irish Wedding party looking for free drink!
But convinced that no one gets any discount, let alone a free drink, they have a couple of drams and clear off.
What we wern't expecting was the Pedestrian Grand Pricks, hardly noisy, fume-spilling location screwing, tobacco sponsored, Bernie-Funding petrol heads.
N. B. Charlie McLean in third (last) position and the roving comentator at the stern, excellent!
But the racket of bipedal motor sport didn't disturb our favoured customers. Oy! Boots off, I've got to clean that carpet!
Sunday evening, Whisky Barkeepers, discourage customers from enjoying themselves...
But the Running Man has other ideas, this geezer ran about for hours... I'll have a dram of his.
"Best festival moment of 2007" - wrote Paul Squiggle.
"The Whisky almost as old as the customers and twice as deliscious" - Frank Nicaag? The Hold Steady, (your autograph's rotten).
"This tent has reinstated my faith in the festival - thanks so much" Damma GBR
Early Monday morning (some of the) team shot, rubbish I know but we were tired AFTER SO MUCH FUN!
8,000 drams over three 15 hour days!
We had a ball, thank you everyone who came to see us.
Roll call - in no order:
Louise, Big Davie, Mat, Andy, GMFCo. Crew.
Pete and Frank (the Superstar).
Jon, Gordon and Zabby.
Euan, Graeme, Gerry, Spock, Oli, Jim, Andre, Jen, Dominic, Bigger David, Chris, Donnie, Tom, Donald, Smaller David, Chris, Fee (or is it Vee?), the cheerful bloke and charming lass from Rock Steady - and the wonderful wee lass who swept the carpet for us. Colin and DF, Mark and Central Catering, Dom. And everyone whom exhaustion prevents me from remembering; was it only yesterday?
And finally Robert, the guy who got all our money.... below.
I think you are a wonderful man but mercy! My daughters need shoes!
(Thanks Bud, speak soon).
A crude, typical LFW movie, hey, we're not film makers!
NEXT CONNECT FESTIVAL
AUGUST Friday 29th - Sunday 31st, 2008
Be here - or be round - that's different!