Scott Doonican's BIG NEET IN - THE ALBUM (VOL III) SOCIALLY DISTANCED COLLABORATIONS OF THE THIRD KIND (working title)
Limited Edition Double CD
WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND THIS THEN?:
Since Sat 21st March, when lockdown began, I started streaming a regular Saturday night YouTube show, in the absence of being able to do what I do for a living: being a daft bugger in a tank-top. Little did I (and my long-suffering better half, Amanda), know at the time, that it would last 60 weeks and beyond. In that time we have only had one weekend off... and that was because after show #2, I thought that the whole livestream thing would become quickly saturated by everyone with an acoustic guitar and a camera phone... which it quickly did. However I realised that my need to perform and my need for a bit of sanity was greater than my desire to just reject a trend. (Plus, I had embraced live internet shows as early as 2013, but now technology was on our side).
So instead, Amanda and I took it as a challenge... to finally get the chance to use all the transferable skills acquired from the years that we taught in primary school. To not only make the regular show happen every Saturday for the duration of lockdown, at 8pm, but to make it a show that people would want to return to. I suppose that I consciously opted to not just be a guy with an acoustic guitar and a camera phone (not that there was anything wrong with that... many of my incredibly talented musician friends have entertained the troops and made lockdown almost bearable with their considerable talents!). But I just wanted it to be something that hasn't been seen in modern times, probably even since the heyday of the Val Doonican Music Show... something that was a current-day variety show, complete with daft songs, puppets, a weekly quiz, collaborations with other guest musicians and the occasional poignant moment. We even won a few awards from the fans of the show.
Over the duration of "The year (and a bit) that never was", we didn't just 'go live' at 8pm once a week, we opted instead to concoct a veritable melting pot of live solo performance from myself with pre-recorded footage of the band, duets and Amanda's inimitable puppet cast, including Morris the alien quizmaster and pub landlord, Gloria McGlumpher the Big Neet In roving reporter, Gloria's nephew Gordon ("I'm not Gordon, I'm the Crochet Kid") and her father, Grandpa McGlumpher, Gervais the Hairdresser, Ilkley Moor Bart Hat, Winonna Wordsmith, Barnsley Bob Ross, Fairbanks, Ringo, old TV favourites Sooty and Emu and a bunch of other fabric-based lifeforms. It has consumed so much of our time that we rarely had chance to sit back and worry about the horridness going on in the background, and more so because we had been surrounded by a network of amazing, supportive people, who seemed to welcome something that somehow became a 'new normal'. We could never have anticipated it working, but that small but perfectly formed core of people took it to their hearts, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
And so this is the third and final instalment (certainly for now!) of what we have to show for after all of these months of hanging around in my music room with my soul-mate and a bunch of puppets. It's not much, but it is a document of a very strange period in the history of the Doonicans. The final instalment is a double album and features most of the collaborations from the first 65 shows.
This album will been given a limited CD run. If you buy one, you join a small group of people who can say... "I was there" because you always were.
Peace, love and good health to you all
Thurs 20th May 2021