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A weekend reviewing who to get on air is always really quite easy when we read a media release on an artist and hear their music. On Monday I had the opportunity to speak with PG Ciarletta the singer songwriter from Fife who has just released Please Stay a rousing new song written on his acoustic guitar. ‘I hope people love listening to it as much as I’ve enjoyed making it’. Well I can confirm we have it now on auto dj so it will be played at least twice a day. his voice is covering all the octaves and the rousing anthem will be sung at  Falkirk  Vibration and Dunfermline Outwith festivals. Don’t miss PG Ciarletta he came across as a modest and courteous young man and we at Caledon Radio wish him every success. There was no Andrew Wilson as he was on holiday

Sometimes you simply never know how an interview is going to go. No matter how well prepared it can all go wrong.  On Tuesday at 10.30am we had iBrina on for a chat about her new song Be Ready but we soon started talking about Robert Burns, life in Jamaica and what brought her to Scotland and the church. She ever so politely would not be drawn into political discussion however. The song is inspired by her own life struggles ‘ The single is inspired by an undiluted drive and determination I possess to simply keep on going despite the times when I’ve had knockbacks and been tempted with self-doubt. Here is something we all feel at times. The Celtic Connections 2017 saw her perform Robert Burns songs like slaves lament. I asked her why this had made her playlist. I have, and so has every black Jamaican a past with slavery that we can’t deny. Her time at Church in Jamaica gave her a strong voice as ‘ we had no instruments’ . There is no doubt this is one strong woman who has faced adversity and made her life positive with her singing. I felt very humbled and delighted to have spoken with iBrina.

An old friend of the station followed iBrina at 11.30am the wonderful Ruth Watson. I wanted to know how Brexit had destroyed Scotland’s seed potato business and how Scotch Lamb was under threat. Ruth if you didn’t know is a committed European and stalwart of Scottish produce. Ruth also leads the Yes Movement in Scotland. The seed potato is Scottish excellence it can withstand blight and disease. Scottish farmers and the Universities’ have worked together to establish this product only for the UK to ruin our markets with Brexit. Same with Scotch lamb Brexit has decimated the markets and the new trade deals heralded by the Tories allow overseas lamb with both no regulation on quality and cheaper prices will force sheep farmers to fold. The need for Scotland to return to the EU was made very clear.

On Wednesday we had a real politician in Stephanie Callaghan from the SNP on air with a heap of subjects to get through. When pressed on the Tory Leadership contest the MSP told us to forget it as we don’t have a vote. ‘We should concentrate on the doorsteps on what an independent Scotland will bring.’ The agenda of press bias did not seem to bother Stephanie either. ‘Look! we have in the SNP and Greens something the other parties haven’t : trust and integrity. A very confident and hard working MSP she went on to tell us of her postbag and the real pressure on households around Scotland and hinted strongly  that the need for independence will be high on the agenda in the new parliamentary session.

Alasdair Taylor from Elephant Sessions was my second guest and gave an insight to his bands longevity. Marking a 10 year anniversary  Alasdair reflected on the highs and some lows of being in the band. He revealed that he was originally the guitarist and fiddler till a shoulder  accident made it difficult to hold the bow. Undaunted he took up Mandolin and confirmed as a cornerstone of the band. Elephant Sessions have gone from humble beginnings in the Highlands of Scotland, to playing on stages around the world. Since exploding onto the scene, the band have made live appearances at some of the most notable venues and festivals across the UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Australia, including Glastonbury, Byron Bay Bluesfest, New York Tartan Week, Colours of Ostrava, and multiple sell-out headline performances at Celtic Connections. Alasdair concluded by telling us of the bands tour dates and you can get all details at www.elephantsessions.com 

Thursday welcomed back my partner in crime Bill Cruickshank. we seem to dovetail into topics very easily as we are both passionate about justice, fairness and the truth about Scotland. Bill was very measured in his disgust at unionist politicians getting their photos taken by a pile of rubbish. No sign of Anus Sarwar but his Labour lackeys are lining up with the Tories and Lib Dems to accuse the SNP of the mess. No mention of Scotland’s budget getting cut but instead blaming the SNP for not funding local authorities. For all the media spin Bill turned it on its head and reasoned that the unionists are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Friday gave me an opportunity to speak with Andrew Wilson. Unlike every other guest Andrew has no idea of the questions I have prepared. I asked him to put himself in the place of a unionist politician. What would his strategy be?  He was quite humoured and said it must be quite fateful trying to gain prominence in Scottish politics if a Scottish Labour politician doing deals with Tories and being Brexiteers. If  a Scottish Tory then I would be looking at the race to become PM and worrying how that will affect the Tory vote. All in all not a positive or encouraging scenario. Like the MSP Andrew made the point about trust and that cannot be bought by insults.

Some might say last but not least but my final guest of the week was the delightful Maggie Craig author of the book ‘One week in April : The Scottish Radical Rising of 1820’ which was my first introduction of this important juncture in Scottish History. I started by asking Maggie if I was alone in not knowing about the Scottish Radicals. ‘ No Norrie its is sad how this piece of important history has not been taught or written extensively enough. We set to put that right and from the story of the Calton Weavers to the inspiration they gave to a new Radical movement. Why were people protesting? Well almost like the present day prices and taxes were rising but wages were stagnating. Life was becoming so hard for ordinary folk they wanted change. The establishment were very afraid of change after seeing how French democracy went, the elite were ransacked. Maggie kept me right on a couple of wrong events but I had been up to 1am reading her book. It is so fascinating and has parallels of today. I would urge all to buy a copy

Written by: Norrie Hunter

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Norrie spoke with Alasdair Taylor from the band on their 10th anniversary. ' A very engaging guest with a great story of fighting adversity' . Superb band with a worldwide fanbase all starting from Inverness.

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