I have never been to a show which opened with the distribution of Nairns Oatcakes and sachets of Quaker Oats porridge. Unfortunately, the snack-based factor was also the highlight of Tackety Boot’s painful hour-long set. Roy’n’Rab, an ‘acoustic duo with a comedy slant’, were down one man for unexplained reasons, but this can only be considered an advantage. One man singing about Gay Roosters, Car Boot Sales and the Irish matchmaking festival Lisdoonvarna (where single women come from far and wide to lay a nice farmer), was quite enough for one afternoon.
Tackety Boot started with a rather touching disclaimer. He claimed that his children had put him up to the job, that he didn’t consider himself a great guitarist and that he just ‘banged away at chords’. He wasn’t interested in receiving a penny profit from the show, hence why, on writing to Scottish enterprise giants Walkers and Quaker, he had received a mountain of shortbread and oats instead of funding.
This endearing quality did not take away from the fact that ‘A Taste O’Scotland’ was overlong, peppered with vague anecdotes which were only slightly preferable to the songs, if just as sentimental in quality. Audience embarrassment peaked when Tackety donned a hat shaped like a roast chicken and sang ‘Gay Rooster’ accompanied by the squeaks of a rubber rooster.
Out of the four people in the audience, including someone who was patently another reviewer, a couple sitting near to the front were clapping and singing along to ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, so a target, if possibly niche audience has been reached. I don’t know whether it was all the singing about whisky, or just the exhausting effect of coarse chords mingling with a coarser voice, but as I left the venue into blessed sunlight I was desperately in need of a drink myself.