Catching the first train out of London, throwing fatigue to the wind is the only way to travel. I have never been to Scotland and the only notions I have are the romantic ones reserved for novels and movies. The best part of traveling is finding out firsthand if your pre-conceived notions were illusions or fairly accurate. I dreamt of castles, Scotch whiskey and maybe a few fist-fights over Futbol allegiances. I got most of that. I’m pretty sure you can find any form of trouble you want in Scotland. Chug some highly caffeinated tonic wine? Sure. Ninety degreeing Buckfast is a time-honored tradition, and the combination of alcohol and caffeine will leave you “mental mate.”
Getting just about the whole day to explore, we met a few friends at a spot called “Under the Stairs” for a few pints and a bite to eat. Highly recommend this joint for a lunch break if you got the time and a few local ales on the cask will keep you satisfied. After a few cheeky pints we naturally scooped a few bottles of Buckfast to satisfy the demons and made our way to our hosts house for some Chinese takeout and ill-advised pre-show drinking.
Teaming up with the Scottish hip-hop collective the “too Much Fun Crew” of myself, Dizraeli and Downlow made the journey to Edinburgh to help send off one of the crew’s members as he embarked only a journey to Austraila. The night was held at Studio 66 in the city and featured some local acts as well as the very popular event they created called “Sketch the Rhyme.” This freestyle show featured members of the crew sketching out pictures as the competitors used the drawing against their opponent. I have to say I have been a part of and witnessed a lot of creative and entertaining freestyle events but this one is certainly up there. Highly skilled freestyle MCs really took to the task and the crowd of 200+ created a very positive atmosphere.
The crowd gave the American a bit of the cold shoulder at first but it turns out they just hadn’t had enough Buckfast yet. By the end of the set they were vibing and a Scottish girl let me drink some of her Glenlivett 18, as she kept an entire bottle in her backpack. Scottland, baby. The crowd was uproarious by the time Diz hit the stage and the energy peaked right when it was supposed to. As it turns out, Diz made quite a name for himself at a recent Scottish festival and the kids came out in droves to watch the technician operate.
We packed up the merch and the equipment and made our way to the after-hours situation, which as usual we knew little about before entering. The after party was chock full of extra-curricular activity and featured quite a bit of madness. I have got to hand it to the Scots as they are unrivaled in the field of debauchery and our night may or may not have ended at a canal beneath a castle at 10 AM.
Well… that happened. My body is rebelling but my sense of resolve remains firm. A few more cities to go and lot more people to reach, this trip has been remarkable thus far and something tells me there’s a few more stories for the cocktail gatherings in the works. Catch you soon.