P&J Column for 30.12.13

Sung exclusively on Hogmanay and at the end of weddings; has anyone ever heard “Auld Lang Syne” sober?

 Shelley Shingles, showbiz correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1985

I am so looking forward to OAITS down at Stonehaven 2moz! That’s Open Air In The Square for those of you not UTD on your acros, LOL! I’ve always been a fan of the fireballs (they are totes amazeballs!) but this year will be extra special because ‘80’s legends Simple Minds are going to be playing! OMG! (That’s ‘Oh My God’, as opposed to OMD which stands for ‘Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark’. Mind you, they are also ’80’s legends. I wonder where they’re playing 2moz night?)

Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr and I go way back. Our paths have crossed more than once and I just know that when he’s up on stage giving it laldie I’ll catch his eye and we’ll share a moment. We first met back in 1984. I was doing some promotion work as the face of Bon Accord Sparkling Drinks at one of their gigs in Glasgow. The band had just finished their set and he comes over to me all sweaty and horrible and he says ‘see us a round of ginger for the band, doll’. I was running low so I told him I’d need to go and get a new crate. As I walked away he called after me:  ‘I’ll wait here, hen but don’t you forget about me!’  Now I’m not saying I co-wrote their biggest hit, of course not, but I was clearlyan inspiration to him. Particularly as I bumped into Viv Lumsden on my way back from the cellar. What a blether! By the time I got back to Jim, the band had settled for Irn Bru. We met once more in 1992.  I was in my early days as a showbiz journo doing an interview with him for ‘Smash Hits!’ Magazine. He’d turned up with a blonde woman in tow, and although her face rang a bell I just couldn’t place her. I’d done the traditional in-depth questions about his star sign and favourite colour when I noticed his wedding ring. I asked him ‘What’s your wife’s name, Jim?’ He paused, and then nodded at the blonde wifie and says ‘Patsy Kensit’. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. Imagine not knowing something like that! So I turned to her and said ‘So, Patsy, what’s Jim’s wife’s name?’

Ron Cluny, official Council spokesman

No sooner have the malcontents and whingers who criticise the council’s every move polished off their Christmas pud but they are on our case again.  No complements of the season for us; it’s straight into the supposed paucity of our Hogmanay arrangements, with snide comments about Edinburgh’s street party for 80,000, and some wags wondering aloud about how it can be that an oil rich city of a quarter of a million people cannot afford a major celebration, while a town of ten thousand a few miles South manages to stage a high quality event.

I have a two word answer for our detractors.  Who cares?

Who cares what happens in the rest of Scotland? Aberdeen does not engage in such petty, small-minded rivalries. We play on a global stage. We do not aspire to have the best Hogmanay celebration in Scotland; we aspire to have the best Hogmanay celebration of any town called Aberdeen anywhere in the world. And don’t worry, a fireworks display and sets from a couple of crack local bands is enough to knock Aberdeen, South Dakota into a cocket hat. Although, in fairness, Aberdeen, Hong Kong is definitely going to be the Aberdeen to be in on 31 January.

As the New Year arrives, all across the world, people will be joining hands and mangling the lyrics of an Eighteenth Century Scottish folk song. Even those who get them right don’t really know what the words mean, so here’s an updated version of Auld Lang Syne, for 2014 and beyond:

The Irish have Saint Patrick’s Day, which they celebrate with vim.

We’ve got a saint as well, but naebody gives a hoot for him.

In Scotland, Hogmanay’s the time to ramp it up a gear.

We tak an affa bucket on the last day of the year.


A snifter fairly warms you up afore you leave the hoose.

And mind and set your video for ‘Only an Excuse’.

Then out into the freezing night tae see, performing live,

A band who hinna had a hit since 1985.


We wrap ourselves up warmly; for the lads, a short sleeved shirt

And the girls in winter boob-tube teamed with cosy mini-skirt.

A night of wild abandon is enjoyed by many folk.

But pity those who hiv to hose doon the streets of a’ the boak. 


In days gone by we’d wait in silence for midnight bells to chime

Now ab’dy’s mobile phones go off at slightly different times.

On New Year’s Day – a price to pay. We look and feel like hell.

So bravely, as a nation, we take the second off as well.