Alan Carter achieved the dream of many an aspiring teenage musician when his first band made their debut performance on Saturday. But Alan isn’t a teenager himself: in fact, his group performed on the occasion of his 70th birthday party.
Alan, who lives in Rothesay and writes and publishes poetry for a living, has written songs throughout his life. But he’s never been able to read music, or to play an instrument, meaning that his dream of performing in a band was always likely to remain unfulfilled.
Until, that is, his nephew Peter Webb came to visit Bute a couple of years ago.
“Peter came on holiday with a friend, Fee McKenzie, who is a singer-songwriter and teaches music to under-18s,” Alan said.
“She was able to pick up a guitar and put the words of one of my songs to music - it was as if this thing I’d had in my head for years was suddenly coming true.”
On Fee’s next visit to Rothesay she brought another young singer-songwriter, 17-year-old Aidan Smith, with her - and it was the trio of Fee, Aidan and Alan who took to the stage at Alan’s birthday party to perform as ‘Rabid Plankton’ on Saturday night.
As for the band name Alan, who freely admitted that while his body may be 70, inside his head is the mind of a 17-year-old, said: “Many years ago I wrote a short story which foresaw much of what is happening now, with young people having all the knowledge and all the power.
“The two kids in that story had a favourite pop group who were called ‘Rabid Plankton’ - so I told myself that if I ever formed a band of my own, that would be their name.”