The lights have been out at one of Aberdeen’s most famous music venues since the passing of its much-loved owner in April.
But, seven months after Sandy Brown’s death from cancer aged 74, the Blue Lamp will reopen its doors again today – and those who knew the droll character who became a legend behind the scenes are convinced he would have appreciated its revival starting on Friday 13th.
The venue is now being run by his grandson, Lewis Brown, and one of his longest-serving employees, Paddy Buchanan. And, although the duo have had to adapt to the restrictions imposed by lockdown, they have talked about their plans to the Press and Journal.
Lewis said: “It would have been difficult trying to take over the running of the Blue Lamp without Sandy at the best of times and Covid-19 has thrown its own set of challenges at us.
“We’ve put a lot of thought into the temporary measures we have introduced in order to provide our customers and staff with the safest and most enjoyable environment.
“Social distancing has reduced our capacity from 274 down to between 40 and 50 people. But we’re not allowed to have any music whatsoever, live or recorded, while we’re open to the public. Due to current restrictions, alcohol may only be served with a meal, so we’re delighted that we have a new hot food menu, prepared by our new chef – the Chilli Man.
“It has been tough, but it’s so lovely and heartwarming to hear and see all the tributes to Sandy and the impression he made on so many people’s lives over the years.
“I feel very proud to call him my Grandad and I hope I can carry on his work and ensure the future of the Blue Lamp for many years to come.”
Mr Brown became an institution at the “Lampie”, which celebrated its 70th birthday a year ago and he was the recipient of a Landmark Award by the national organisation Hands Up for Trad for his services to folk music, folk musicians and audiences from across the world.
In the aftermath of his death, acclaimed singer Eddi Reader revealed how she and the cast of the famous TV series Your Cheatin’ Heart, which was partly filmed in Aberdeen 30 years ago, were regulars at the Granite City bar.
The cast featured a Who’s Who of Scottish acting, including John Gordon-Sinclair, Ken Stott, Peter Mullan, Tilda Swinton and Helen Atkinson-Wood.
Ms Reader said: “It was cold in Aberdeen, but the bikers at the Blue Lamp – some of whom were hired as extras – treated me to a whisky and they made the last scene Your Cheatin’ Heart the party that it really was.
“Sandy was a lovely man, somebody who made the Lampie an iconic place, and somewhere I have never forgotten about.”
The venue will be open on Friday from 4-8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 12-8pm.
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