Loch Lomond Venues – The Cruin

There are many wedding venues around Loch Lomond, e.g. Cameron House, Boturich Castle, Ross Priory, Lodge on Loch Lomond and Loch Lomond Youth Hostel to name a few.
Last Saturday we played at one of our favourites ‘The Cruin’. Although not quite as grand as some of the venues mentioned it is a really well proportioned venue which has a decent sized dance floor, nice interior and is ideal for 120-140 guests. Great atmosphere and best gig for a while!

Most regular venue for Coila!

Tonight we are back at the beautiful Brig O’ Doon in Alloway (3rd time in the past month). The hotel was refurbished back in the late 1990’s and we actually performed at the very first wedding when the hotel re-opened. Since then we have played at ‘the Brig’ well in excess of 100 times! :-)

Alistair McCulloch Collection Volume 2

Alistair’s new tunebook will be officially launched at the Fiddle 2015 festival in Edinburgh on 21st November 2015. The book features many of the newer tunes in the Coila repertoire, including ‘Trip to Shanghai’, ‘The 2am Turtle Patrol’, ‘Kathleen’s Waltz’, ‘A Frosty Welcome to Atyrau’ and ‘The Desert Safari’.

The ‘Desert Safari’ was composed after our last trip to Dubai when we decided to go dune surfing in a jeep with deflated tyres. Great fun and better than any roller coaster but a bad idea to have had an Indian meal for lunch! :-)

Coila Tunes

‘A Frosty Welcome to Atyrau’ is one of our Strip the Willow jigs (a contemporary tune with lots of syncopation!). It certainly was a frosty welcome on Jan 2012. We touched down in Atyrau (Kazakhstan) on the way to Almaty and it was -20 degrees! The reception from the immigration staff was frosty in the extreme, actually bordering on the hostile due to a visa issue. After a series of telephone calls and undoubtedly some bribery we were eventually escorted on to our next flight by private car. We caused the flight to be seriously delayed and were not exactly flavour of the month when we eventually boarded the packed aircraft. Good old Air Astana!

Coila Tales

Well done to Euan Terras for identifying Almaty, Kazakhstan as our most random gig destination!! Kuwait, Tokyo are in 2nd and 3rd place :-)

Perhaps the craziest trip was to Werfen castle in Austria to play at a wedding on 28th Dec 2009. What appeared to be a routine trip from Edinburgh-Gatwick-Salzburg turned out to be anything but! Having played a gig the night before, the 4am departure to Edinburgh airport was a bad start. A blizzard put paid to the 6.30am flight to London and left us frantically trying to come up with plan B. Sadly the next flight to London was also cancelled. Having tracked down the groom to be in Austria, his advice was “do whatever you can to get here and we will pay!”

We found a flight to Munich (150 miles from Werfen) departing Edinburgh at 14.30. We booked onto that and organised to hire a car in Germany. Sadly this flight was also delayed although we did depart at 16.00. On arrival in Munich we sprinted to the car hire place, secured the car and commenced the drive to Werfen (no speed cameras thankfully!). After a long drive we arrived at the foot of the castle (scene of the move ‘Where Eagles Dare’). The last lap was the funicular railway up to the wedding venue, only 10 hours later than expected!

We played the gig, checked into our B&B at 2am (crazy landlady, very smelly room!) and left at 6am to fly back Salzburg-Stansted-Prestwick. A crazy trip!!