My live music experiences started in the early eighties. Pubs, clubs, gym halls; small venues with big names and with local unknowns. I feel lucky, mid-Ulster at that time was a bit of a cultural backwater and after the appalling Loyalist paramilitary attack that killed The Miami outside my town, I now realise how brave the showband musicians who still played to the non-sectarian weekend working-class crowds in pubs on Friday and Saturday nights really were.
Bands from the British music scene sometimes braved the troubles and my spitting distance experience of them was probably very different to the heaving gigs English, Scottish, Welsh and even Republic of Ireland fans had, because the big names came to play in front of crowds of at times, a couple of hundred young people braving, or ignorant to the threat of sectarian death squads.
Tonight in Milngavie, I felt that lucky. A crowd of just over 100 crowded into the small Frazer Centre taken over for the night by the, what I learned in conversation with other audience members, LEGENDARY Milngavie Folk club for a gig by two superb performers, Tomas Lynch and Rab Noakes.