Band splits up - but Bute jazz show goes on

Tim Saul (keyboards), David Gray (drums), Paul McKay (bass) and Alec Mack (guitar) stood in at the last minute after Gitane Ecosse, the group booked to open the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival's winter series of concerts, disbanded.
Tim Saul (keyboards), David Gray (drums), Paul McKay (bass) and Alec Mack (guitar) stood in at the last minute after Gitane Ecosse, the group booked to open the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival's winter series of concerts, disbanded.

The first concert in the Isle of Bute Jazz Festival’s 2013-14 winter series has been judged a success - despite a late panic when it was discovered the booked band had split up.

The concert, at the Victoria Hotel in Rothesay on Sunday afternoon, had been due to feature the gypsy jazz quintet Gitane Ecosse - only for festival chairman Tim Saul to be told three days before the gig that the group had disbanded.

“About ten days ago I emailed the band leader to check their equipment requirements,” Tim said, “and I got no response.

“I then sent a reminder, and got a rather apologetic email very late last week. Apparently he’d returned from holiday to discover there had been what you might call ‘internal combustion’ within the band - there had been a big fall out and the band had split up.”

The concert, however, went ahead after Tim was able to call on his own band - David Gray on drums, Paul McKay on bass and Alec Mack on guitar - to deputise at the last minute.

“It was a very successful afternoon,” he continued. “I explained the position at the start of the concert and apologised to everyone, but it was a musical and financial success, because we were able to make a small contribution to the running of next year’s festival.”