Different Drum, an album by Patsy Mack

Patsy Mack were a folk duo very prominent on the Edinburgh live scene in the 1990s, consisting of Martin McGarrity and Bobby Nicholson. They recorded this album as a cassette in 1993. Bobby can still be found playing in and around Edinburgh's old town and indeed on the continent with both Rantum Scantum and the Beau Nasties.

Recently Bobby mentioned he no longer has a copy of the cassette and he asked me to convert my copy of the album to MP3. I played it through one of them Ion USB turntable yokes and after noise reduction the resulting tracks are pleasantly cleaner than the cassette audio. I have reproduced the original sleeve notes below. Enjoy.

Gerry Mulvenna
September 2008

"Bobby and Martin - Patsy Mack - make up one of the most ingenious and attractive duos on the contemporary Scottish folk scene. They are both exceedingly accomplished musicians and put over their songs with engaging spirit and panache.

"Their material bespeaks a passionate left-wing commitment, and it is only fitting that two of the songs on this tape salute the memory of men who are rightly thought of as heroes and martyrs - John Maclean and James Connolly.

"However, the mood is by no means all sombre and elegiac. The spritely Glasgow-Irish street song The Hot Ashfelt - which Luke Kelly of the Dubliners learned from an Aberdeenshire singer Willie Mathieson - is delivered with all the gallus spunk required.

"I feel honoured that my song The Freedom Come All Ye has been chosen for inclusion on this bonnie tape.

"Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom!"

Hamish Henderson

front cover back cover

Side one

The Flooers o' the Forest/The Silent March/The Red Reel
(Trad./© Nicholson/© McGarrity)
The lament is followed by a song written by Bobby about John Maclean. This political educator and internationally renowned Marxist was persecuted throughout his life for his stance against British imperialism and WW1. The numbers who turned out annually on the anniversary of his death show the esteem he was held in by the Scottish people. The reel was written by Martin.

Hush Hush
During the Highland Clearances many were burned out of their homes and shipped over to the Americas. This lullaby is a Scots version of an old Gaelic melody.

Last Night's Joy/Maid Behind the Bar/Jenny's Chickens
Martin has the first and third tunes in this set from the playing of flautist and piper Jimmy Young who now lives and works in New Zealand. The Maid Behind the Bar is an evergreen session tune wherever Irish music is played.

(© Nicholson)
An expression of the betrayal felt towards a certain political party who have consistently shown their cowardice and hypocrisy, whilst those they presumed to represent faced their greatest adversity.

The Footsteps of the Young James Connolly
(© Mulvenna)
This song was written by Gerry Mulvenna from Belfast when he was living in Edinburgh. It is one of the most popular songs in our repertoire and many thanks to Gerry for allowing us to use it here. When Gerry first came to Edinburgh he hadn't known that Connolly was born and brought up in the Cowgate area of the city.

Side two

The Hot Ashfelt
Martin first heard this song on a Dubliners record when he was still an ankle-biter. An oldie but a goldie.

Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel/The Jolly Tinker
The first tune comes from the playing of the flautist Cathal McConnell and The Jolly Tinker from the fiddler Sean Keane.

Sold Down the River
(© Coe)
A song by Pete Coe depicting the realities of international capitalism for our society and a poignant reminder that the working class of Scotland are not the only ones suffering under the present system.

Different Drum
(© Nicholson)
Bob's impressions of growing up in Kirkcaldy in the 80s.

The Freedom Come All Ye
(© Henderson)
Written by Hamish Henderson, the renowned folklorist it expresses his and our hopes for Scotland and its people. Again many thanks to Hamish for permission to use the song. It will be there when we need a national anthem.

All tracks arranged by Patsy Mack.
Sound Engineer John Mathieson
Recorded at Ice Station Zebra.

Thanks to all our family and friends who have supported and encouraged us.