The High Road

Reading time: 2 mins

R.E.M. are to follow Runrig and Oasis and play at Balloch.

Ahhh memories. Runrig, at the time, were huge. Their version of “Loch Lomond”, recorded at the event, charted in the top 10 (I think). The gig itself was more like a mini-festival, with several bands on stage before the headliners – Wolfstone, Hothouse Flowers, The Big Dish, Capercaillie and The Fat Lady Sings. I can still remember sitting on the hill overlooking the stage, a beer in hand, the sun shining, and the sound of an amplified didgeridoo reverberating around the hills (from the opening to a Hothouse Flowers track I can’t remember) – there was a stunned semi-silence as you couldn’t see anyone on stage, only hear that eerie, goosebump inducing, sound.

The gig was on the same day as Louise’s birthday, and I remember standing next to Lorraine Kelly (aff the telly) during Runrig’s set. Other random memories include drinking straight vodka smuggled in a juice cartoon (looked like Ribena, sure as hell wasn’t), the ‘tango’ man who had painted himself bright orange, gotten very drunk and ended up crashing down the hill leaving orange paint marks on everyone he stumbled past.

That was *gulp* thirteen years ago.

Fast forward five years and Oasis roll into Balloch for a two night stay. Remember that this was off the back off What’s the Story… and they were HUGE (they went on to do two nights at Knebworth). Not that I was there, tickets sold out in minutes so we took to the water in a friend’s boat. Again it was a day of many bands, and we had some fun as most of them were staying across the Loch at Cameron House, passing us on their way to perform.

So, roll on R.E.M.! My mate Ian’s house is a two minute walk from the park so I’m guessing we’ll start there. I’m excited already!!