Three gentlemen from Edinburgh, Scotland – one in his thirties and the other two probably in their sixties – strode onto the stage. After a few songs, the young guy said “If you like our music, ask us back … [glances at his companions] … but don’t wait too long!” And such is the spirit of North Sea Gas.
Guitar, fiddle, banjo, brilliant vocal harmonies, and outrageous humour – what a recipe for audience fun. There was just no way these fellows were going to let us have a ho hum evening.
Mr. Banjo introduced a song written by a great Scottish poet named Tannahill. “Unfortunately he was overshadowed by the brilliance of Robert Burns.” To which Mr. Guitar sighed “I know a thing or two about that.” Right on cue, Mark, the lighting and sound guy, dimmed the lights. We laughed and laughed.
Then there was the tender ballad I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore. “Now when the wife and I dance, we look away from each other … sort of cheek to cheek.” Or how about the song about a fellow whom the women cuddled when he was a baby, but not so much anymore. No more rubbing the chest or rolling in the clover. Ahh, the elusive male self-esteem.
“How many of you have been to Scotland?” > About four hands go up > “And why exactly did you come back?”
“Now we’re going to sing … [Mr. Banjo starts choking up]
“Now we’re going to sing … [more wringing of the hands] an English song”
[Mr. Fiddle hurries off stage in a huff. We cajole him back]
North Sea Gas are on a six-week tour of North America. After a few days back home, they head off for a month in Germany. They are marvelous instrumentalists and the blending of their voices is otherworldly but the deepest joy comes from their fun. They’re not politicians, spiritual leaders or musical superstars … but they are teachers. Their simple message?
Lighten up, folks