New musical treat

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Gatehouse of Fleet, the Stewartry’s “unofficial music town”, sees another first this weekend when local musician Ted Percy’s debut solo CD “All That I Could Think of at the Time” is released on the Lost Wasp label.

A stalwart of the Masonic Arms’ Thursday night music sessions, Ted has produced an inventive stream of songs which has amazed and amused audiences and fellow musicians over the past five years or so.

While slightly too old to be an enfant terrible, Ted’s output has entitled him to be regarded as something akin to the Ivor Cutler of the Gatehouse scene, and he has been encouraged to record a select clutch of tracks for this debut, at the tender age of ... let’s just say he is over official retirement age!

The 10-track album was recorded in Gatehouse this autumn with a small live audience, and features Ted performing mainly solo, although he is backed on some tracks by producer Marcus Wright (The Blues), harmonica-player Davie Dryfe (also of The Blues), The Razorbills’ Harry Thomson on guitar and mandolin, and Iain Firth of Carrifran, also on guitar.

Ted’s original songs cover a range of subjects, told from his uniquely wry perspective: some are vignettes of his life, such as walking his dogs, searching for golf balls, dealing with a notorious Macclesfield traffic warden, and nonsense fantasies, such as “The Raspberry Polka”, a fortunately mythical flatulent dance craze.

The CD also features Ted’s signature tune “Sandy (the Circus Dog)”, a fond re-imagining of the life of one of his beloved dogs. Ted is donating a proportion of proceeds from the CD to the Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue Centre, so not only will it make a unique and memorable Christmas gift, it will also help out a cause which comes under heavier pressure than usual at Christmas.

The CD launch will be at The Mill on the Fleet on Sunday, December 2, at 7.30pm, as part of the town’s pre-Christmas celebrations. Ted will play a selection of songs, and the event will also feature a number of regular sessioneers from Gatehouse, playing the usual mixture of original, traditional and modern songs.