Of all the gigs, weddings, and various events I should have been playing over these lockdown months, there is one I am especially sorry has been lost – not for my sake but that of the musician whose concert it was.
The launch of a new album by Invergordon’s Davy Cowan was scheduled to take place in Eden Court Theatre last week, and various local musicians, including myself, who played on the recording, were due to join him onstage for the official launch. It was to have been a double hander with fellow songwriter Dougie Burns also launching his new album.
A launch, whether for album, new book, or exhibition, is always a special event. The time, creativity, effort, and resources that go into producing an artistic work are often immense. An album is a substantial body of work and can be the culmination of years of learning, practice, honing your craft, finetuning your composition chops and perfecting those songs. Not to mention bringing in others to play on it and add their parts. Logistically, it is no small undertaking.
Davy has several brilliant albums under his belt to date and this new recording is a stunning piece of work, packed full of the most sublime songs, some achingly poignant, others upbeat, but all beautiful! These songs, I suggest, put him up there with the best.
I’ve had the privilege of playing in Davy’s band the Stormchasers a fair bit over the years at festivals and they’ve always been such fun to do. A superb frontman, he is full of charismatic energy, knows how to get a crowd going and is at the same time so modest, humble, and easy to work with. There were several Stormchasers gigs in the diary, from Inverness’s Gathering onwards throughout the summer, and it is disappointing, though completely understandable, these are all now cancelled too.
Always supportive of our band Dorec-a-belle, Davy and his family, our wee DaB gang and other good friends have all got to know each other well through going to the same festivals and often camp up together in a convoy of campervans, hanging out and playing music. It would have been a summer of great fun.
Thankfully, none of this has stopped Davy though! He has been playing live online concerts every weekend from home, with his son Sam on drums and percussion, including a virtual launch where he sang most of the songs from the new album.
Hundreds are joining in to watch live, with tens of thousands viewing the videos, and, boy, have they been enjoying the entertainment! The crack is great, and friends are chatting, connecting, and even imbibing a wee drink together, while enjoying Davy and Sam’s music.
Davy’s wife Donna does a fantastic job of stage managing and setting up lovely backdrops with lots of fairy lights, creating the perfect setting. Last Saturday night’s ‘gig’ was a virtual festival with marquee, wellies, the lot! It was fun to enjoy the festival vibe, although I doubt anyone expected to see snow the next morning!
Committing to delivering regular concerts involves time, energy and thought, and Davy has also been generously fundraising for numerous charities throughout his series of online shows. As well as taking requests, making the day of those with birthdays by singing specially for them, and chatting to everyone with warmth and friendship, this troubadour, who is known with affection across the Highlands and Europe as a fantastic performer, has been brightening folks’ lives big-time.
With lockdown continuing for at least some weeks yet, if you would like to enjoy some good music, check out Davy Cowan’s website for his new songs and Facebook for forthcoming virtual gigs. Tuning in can help us all feel that maybe, like the title of his new album, ‘Life’s Just Fine’!
(First published by Scottish Provincial Press 10th May 2020)