As I stepped into a room of people bedecked in Christmas jumpers and tinsel under a poster-plastered ceiling in early October, it was beginning to feel a lot like I’d found Christmas – only two months early.
When really, I was looking at the makings of a Christmas single.
For the Aberdonian band members of Alba Tudashi and supporters who stood in the studio at Captain Toms in Aberdeen, the festivities really began in August.
That was when they first recorded their premiere new single, A Rocking Christmas Ceilidh.
Since then, friends and loved ones say they have heard the unashamedly “cheesy” song “at least one hundred times”.
But yet, as the band persistently went through the chorus, non-band member heads were still bopping and toes were tapping.
And that was not just when we were all ceilidh dancing in front of the camera for the music video (yes, I got involved).
While October can appear early to be thinking reindeer and fir trees, for one band member, you could say this moment has been 30 years in the making.
Song written around the same time as the Live Aid Concert in 1985
It all began, in a very north-east-like way, in an unused gym on an offshore rig.
Bass player and band founder, Dave Cormack, known as Corky, used to work offshore for a drilling contractor in Aberdeen where his boss, Rab McKinlay, would often bring along his guitar.
Then one day while on leave, Corky, 61, went along to one of Rab’s gigs in Airdrie and became inspired.
The former Wick resident said: “On my way back up to Aberdeen I went in via Glasgow on the train and went into a music shop and bought myself an acoustic guitar.
“I just thought if he can do it, I can do it. I used to take that out to the rig every time.”
Regularly working the same shifts, the duo would often “jam away” together in a cabin or the unused gym and soon started to write the occasional song together.
It was on North West Hutton rig that they wrote a song they called Tears of Rage.
A song reacting to current events, it was based on the Ethiopian famine and inequalities of life just before the Live Aid Concert in 1985.
Dream reignited in January this year
Nothing ended up coming of it and the pair went down different career routes but for some reason, the song and chord sequence held festive potential for Corky.
He said: “I had that bubbling away at the back of my head for, I guess, near on three decades.”
Sadly, Rab died over 15 years ago, but another recent jamming session kickstarted the dream again.
Corky, who started learning the bass, had a chance conversation at Cults Tennis Club with Craig Swinburn, 52, in January, who also happened to be learning the drums.
After realising they worked well together, Corky popped the all important question: would Craig fancy making a Christmas single?
He told me: “He said yep, and that was that. It kind of grew arms and legs.”
Soon both their music instructors Graham Chalmers and Barry Carroll, as well as a daughter of a family friend, Anna Matheson, were roped in.
Months later, they have released a Christmas single and music video.
Trying to make people smile this Christmas
While his colleague and friend Rab is not around to see it happen, Corky said he still gets “equal writing credit” and his family in Airdrie are fully behind it.
He added: “His wife is possibly still hearing some of the Rab bits from the words and the sequence.”
Drummer in the band, Craig, said there was no “grand plan” for what comes next.
He added: “This is a bit of fun that hasn’t lost its momentum yet so let’s see how far we can take it.
“We’re really quite proud and pleased with where we got to and Dave needs to take most of the credit for that because it’s taken 30 years to nurture the idea but we’ve kind of got there.”
Calling it a bit of a “worm song”, Craig said: “It’s deliberately slightly cheesy, it’s not pretending to be anything that it’s not.
“It’s got all the Christmas elements you could possibly want. I just want it to bring a smile.
“It’s an unashamedly upbeat, cheery Christmas song.”
With their dream to hear it on the radio this Christmas, Corky added: “It’s five people from Aberdeen doing it, let’s see what can happen.”
You can listen to A Rocking Christmas Ceilidh here.