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Everything posted by BallochSonsFan

  1. Felice Brothers were outstanding. I still haven't seen Ballad of Lou The Welterweight live, but I did get my favourite song (Wonderful Life). Of the 6 cc gigs I've been to so far this year, I've seen 2 good shows and 3 great ones. Tyler Childers, Frazey Ford and now Felice Brothers were all excellent gigs. Milk Carton Kids next.
  2. Cam Penner tonight. First gig of 2020 and first of my Celtic Connections shows. Not to everybody's taste. A few folk walked out pretty early on and a few more as the show went on. Cam completely changed direction with his most recent album and his style now is something that you either really like or really don't. It's intense. It's often pretty bleak. It's at times really quite tender. The one thing thats for sure is that its never anything less than captivating. I really enjoyed it but his music isnt really to be approached unless you're in the right frame of mind for it because it could wear you down. Support act were great. Bluegrass band called Midnight Skyracer. Terrible band name but a really talented bluegrass band. Typical strings set up (guitar, dobro, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and stand up bass). Typical all girl harmonies. Latest band to emerge from one of the bluegrass states like Virginia, Kentucky or one of the Carolinas? Nope. They're English, and possibly Irish. Accents are all from south of the border. I can see the kind of musical purists who bother about authenticity being irked by that because they play and sound like a proper bluegrass band despite not being from bluegrass country. If you're not one of those purist wankers then once you reconcile the difference between music and the people performing it, the contrast doesnt really matter and you can enjoy the fantastic finger picking and singing. Typical CC miss match though. They'd have been far more suited to opening for Bela Fleck tonight or for Della Mae on 28th.
  3. Only way Brabco can take money out of the club would be as an interim share dividend or by billing the club for fictitious services rendered. Neither of which will happen.
  4. Would there be an option for Carswell to play fullback? He's not having a strong season in midfield and with Hutton, Langan, Mckee and now Wilson we've got options in the middle of the park.
  5. Late night they have the CC festival club. Pot luck which acts are playing it but you'll get 3 or 4 playing 20-30 minutes each at any given night. Often a mix of styles. Participation? More likely at one of the more regular sessions. One of the pubs near Kelvingrove Park has a well established trad music night.
  6. tbh I'd like them to focus a bit more on Scottish acts. Plenty of good music around. Could have Doghouse Roses, Roseanne Reid, Norrie McCulloch, Martha L Healy, Daniel Meade, Dean Owens, James Edwyn and a good few others as part of the festival. Pleased that Isobel Campbell is playing it but unfortunately she clashes with somebody else I want to see. For me it's time they split it into 3 or 4 separate festivals. Run them over the course of a month, with a wee bit of overlap, and treat it in a similar way to the Edinburgh festivals. Get people in who actually know and care about each area of music that they want to showcase.
  7. Likely more to do with attracting more home fans. Maybe get some folk with little else to do deciding on the day of the game that they'll go to Pittodrie
  8. The most pressing issue right now is a lack of bodies. Regardless of quality, numbers are an issue. We're asking a lot of a small group of players. Beyond basic numbers we're also short on quality. We have issues at right back, no cover in central defence or for our left back, a lack of plan B if Joe McKee isnt creating, poor options out wide, particularly with Crossan's inconsistent form, and no real alternative to Layne up front. Squad really needs at least 5, maybe 6 additions.
  9. It's a fantasy. New owners willing to pump money in to clubs would be welcome across the whole of Scottish football. In some cases we've even seen that happen with the money being spent at Highland and Lowland level by a few sides and with moves to attract ambitious junior teams. But there's a significant danger in small teams relying on a generous benefactor. Gretna should be a warning to fans who think that the money isn't going to dry up. And Brabco have never been keen to spend money on Dumbarton.
  10. Had a Balvennie Double Wood earlier when I was out with a few mates. Very enjoyable.
  11. 6-0 v Elgin would run it close in terms of the sense of occasion. Or the playoff win to gain promotion to the championship. The tns game itself wasn't great from a football point of view even if the occasion was significant. Football wise I thought that the 4-0 drubbing of Raith at home where Robert Thompson tore Jason Thompson a new arsehole with the quality of his performance was one of the best football performances for a very long time.
  12. Missing this one. Stag do in Glasgow on Saturday. Tough game. We were pedestrian going forward against Stranraer. There's a real lack of creativity and offensive threat in this Dumbarton side. Help would be nice but I'm not convinced we'll see much in the way of transfer activity in this window.
  13. It hasn't. I have doubts as to whether or not Brabco could deliver what they said they would at the cost they thought they could. Land prices were best case scenarios. Budgets for infrastructure looked very optimistic considering the scale of the changes needed to the A82 and the poor state of the alternative Renton Road. I was never completely convinced that we'd ever get the final 4000 capacity version of their blueprint and always suspected that we'd get a minimum viable product and that later phases simply wouldn't happen, money having since been spent on the club's running costs. A new stadium would have given the club the opportunity to explore alternative revenue streams. Those were primarily from the renting of artificial pitches for community use and from the renting of space for office use. There was also the opportunity to increase events at a new stadium with upgraded events space. None of that offered any guarantees. Artificial pitches only bring in money if you build them at the right cost and can hire them out almost constantly at the right price. It's questionable whether or not the finances stacked up. I'd argue that they didn't and that Brabco's figures were "ambitious" at best. It's not that they didnt do any work on their plans but some of the assumptions about usage were way off for an area with relatively high unemployment and a low paid workforce. You then look at other facility users. We've got an office park in Clydebank that has some major office space available at competitive rates. Attracting a decent-sized venue user (for example a call centre) wouldn't be straight forward. It would have taken some financial incentives from the local authority as a means of creating jobs and it would have required the club to expand significantly and bring in new skills. Venue hire? The efforts of those fans who volunteer to organise events with a view to fundraising for the club are phenomenal. We're incredibly lucky to have a group of fans with the passion and dedication to try to make these things a success. But to fully maximise the facilities at a new stadium we'd have been looking to hire for exhibitions, conferences, weddings and other significant social occasions. The wedding market for a football club is incredibly small. You've got a 2 month window in May and June where you have very few home games and that frees up Saturdays for wedding receptions. Over the course of a season that runs July to early May? You're not going to attract weddings when you can't guarantee venue use 6 months or more in advance of a wedding date. The conference market in West Dunbartonshire? Not exactly huge demand. Then there's the issue of growing the crowd. The location of the new ground wouldn't have been ideal. It would certainly have been newer and would have addressed some of the maintenance concerns that previous boards mismanaged. The current club board havent had their problems to seek in terms of the bricks and mortar of the current ground. But would the new ground have attracted new fans? I'm not convinced. It certainly wouldn't have been enough on it's own. The local public in Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven and in Helensburgh generally care very little for the club. A new ground wouldn't in itself attract new fans and we've got sufficient space in the current stand to run any promotions we want to with the intention of attracting new fans. We already offer free tickets to local football and other youth groups. We run ticket offers to encourage parents to take children to games. A new ground doesnt ignite interest in the club amongst people who at best regard us with complete apathy. The changes needed at Dumbarton run far deeper than the stadium. There needs to be fundamental change at the club. It doesnt need a new stadium on the edge of town to make that happen. The current board and the volunteer working group are already trying to make those changes happen and it's interesting to see that a lot of people who attend the various functions at the club are not Dumbarton fans. That's important because it starts to change opinion and to make people think of the current ground as a community facility that can be used, hopefully bringing in additional revenue that the club needs. Ideally that would be matched with an increase in fans contributing to healthier crowds and a local community that values it's football club more. In reality that's a long and difficult road for all lower league clubs to try to go down. The new stadium would have been an opportunity but it certainly wasnt a guarantee. The council's refusal to allow planning permission cannot be seen as an insurmountable barrier to the future of Dumbarton FC.
  14. Strange one for a 2nd post. You can level a degree of criticism at the trust. It hasn't always got things right. It still doesnt. Some of that is down to the fact that those involved are volunteers with lives that extend beyond saturday afternoon. If you're asking what the trust has achieved in 20 years then it would be remiss to ignore what it's done over it's lifetime. It has provided funding to the club at short notice, raised further funds for the club over the years, offers time and effort on a voluntary basis to support club initiatives and was heavily involved in discussions with Brabco to try to represent fans interests with an ownership group whose intentions aren't first and foremost for the benefit of the club. You could contrast that with the actions of previous chairmen, one of whom ran the club with a degree of hostility towards the supporters and who saw them as an inconvenience and with a former chairman who threatened to sink the club via a winding up petition. The current board make mistakes. God knows it was a massive error funding Aitken to the extent that they did on relegation to league 1 and at times what comes from the current chairman is strong on intention but weak on practicalities. Some of the criticisms though? The one major factor is money. It takes money to maintain the stadium - something previous boards never budgeted for and that caused a significant problem with damage to the roof that required significant repair. It takes money to sort out the land around the ground - something that the club don't have and would be criticised for using to tarmac a car park when the owners haven't entirely abandoned their plans to move. Youth commitments? Great if you can afford it. When clubs like Falkirk are cutting back on youth football then you can be assured that finances in youth football are non-existent outside of Project Brave. For a club like Dumbarton? Who was the last youth player to make an impact on reaching the senior team? Lack of a playing squad? Nothing short of increased income is going to solve that. As a club we either get more fans through the door, find a sponsor willing to pay big money (relative to the division) or find a way of bringing in more money from non-football areas. Some of which you'll have seen the club pursuing in the past 18 months thanks to the commitment of the club and the time and effort of fan volunteers. Criticism of the trust is fine when it's constructive and when it's justified. When it isn't? You do start to wonder exactly what axe the complainer has to grind.
  15. Draw was a fair reflection of a poor game. That said, 1-0 up so late in the game and we should have seen it out for the 3 points. Lots of effort but little attacking quality. Thought Hutton played very well - covered a hell of a lot of ground, won his tackles and used the ball well.
  16. We were pish. Absolutely no excuse for not making more of a game of things.
  17. I wonder if the Ian Wilson scarf from a couple of years ago would be a big seller for the club?
  18. Decimation of our local hospital - on her watch. Cancer treatment targets missed - on her watch. Overall treatment targets missed - on her watch. Edinburgh sick kids hospital likely to be 9 years late - her watch as health minister and first minister. Glasgow taken into special measures thanks in no small part to a state of the art hospital that can't keep its water clean - see a pattern here? It's never the SNPs fault though. It's always Westminster. Or it's a problem they're in the process of fixing. Or, like the utterly reckless investment in Prestwick and BiFab, never questioned at all. There comes a point when the SNP record on areas like health or on big spend items has to be scrutinised and under anything like robust scrutiny they've been a monumental failure.
  19. She didnt have a compliant, friendly interviewer for the first time in a long time. Her party has an absolutely criminal record on the NHS in Scotland.
  20. I expect politicians to be robustly challenged on their performance in government or in opposition. She was and she failed miserably. She wasn't dealing with a friendly interviewer who wouldn't give her an easy ride and she wasn't dealing with an ineffectual opposition. I expect governing parties to be given a hard time if only because its necessary to hold them to account and challenge them to do better. Sturgeon and the SNP have gone unchallenged in that regard for far too long.
  21. I'm tempted to pick it up to play when I'm off work at Christmas. Not sure though - if it's relatively short then I'll probably wait until there is some additional DLC available.
  22. She was an absolute mess. First Neil's quotes from the growth commission report were wrong. Then she recognised that the quotes were correct but reckoned Neil didn't understand them. She finally plumped on acknowledging the quotes and Neil's understanding but flat out claiming that her own growth commission report was wrong. Confirmatory referendum? She want's it for Brexit. She doesnt want it for any deal for independence as she'll set out the withdrawal deal before the vote. Except for the 2014 white paper which overestimated oil revenue by somewhere in the region of £7.5billion and included no proper proposal for independent Scotland's currency. NHS? 28% of people might need to wait more than 12 weeks to be seen and some cancer patients are waiting more than 2 months for treatment but at least they're working on the problems (that they themselves created whilst in power at Holyrood). Super duper new hospital in Glasgow? Ach it's no biggie that pidgeon shite is contaminating the water supply and that people are dying. They're trying to fix it. Kiddies hospital 7 years late and counting because it's unsafe for use due to the risk of infection spreading? They're fixing it. Not to mention the public money spunked on Prestwick, BiFab and Ferguson Marine. The money invested in BiFab has been subject to an almost total write off. Neil could have gone after those deals but didn't. Truly terrifying stuff. Their record on the day job is absolutely woeful and Sturgeon and the SNP's failures were well exposed by an interviewer who wasn't on message with the SNP.
  23. Johnny X, or wor Lauren's brother Pete as he's also known, still does some music stuff. He was also teaching for a good few years. Think he's doing a PHD now so will be spending most of his time on that. Lauren's dad and my mum are cousins. I really liked her dad but only met Lauren on a few occasions when we were down visiting family in South Shields because by that point the kids were doing their thing as Kenickie. I did go to a weird family christening when Lauren's aunt adopted a child. Sat at the kitchen table with Lauren and her then boyfriend Malcolm Middleton. Middleton sat and said nothing to anybody else in the house. Lauren spoke to a few folk. Lauren's dad was a really genuinely nice guy. He was in a band called The Gas Board in the 60s (he was in a few bands over the years but The Gas Board also featured Bryan Ferry at one point). There are newspaper cuttings online of the night her dad's band supported Jimmy Hendrix (at the Cellar in South Shields if I remember correctly)
  24. I'm struggling this year. Admittedly I havent made a huge effort. I havent bought nearly as many records as I did last year because I need to sort out some proper storage for them. That said, I can't think of a load of albums that have really done it for me. Absolute stand out favourite of the year is Beware Of The Dogs by Stella Donnelly. I'm absolutely crazy about that album. I love her voice. I love her live performance. I think her lyrics are razor sharp and she can do funny and brutally honest with equal flair. Hasn't featured on any of the end of year lists but it's a really brilliant album. Beyond that? I'll need to spend the next couple of weeks catching up on stuff I should have paid more attention to or made more of an effort with over the past year.
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