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The Flying Pigs: Meeting Arwen wasn’t the epic fantasy experience we imagined

Snow and 'severe gale force' winds to hammer the north and north-east
The north and north-east of Scotland was hit with devastating weather during Storm Arwen (Photo: DCT Media)

The latest topical insights from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.

View from the Midden with Jock Alexander of MTV

It’s been a impuissant wik in the village!

Fan Arwen wiz the pointy-eared lassie wi the lang face aff o’ Lord Of The Rings, I liket her fine, but noo I’ve gone richt aff her. In common wi’ mony thoosands across the country, we in the village hiv hid nae power for a wik. So, if you are reading this, it is only thanks tae a manual typewriter and the sterling efforts o’ Magellan, my specially trained homing futret, fa I’m sending in tae Marischal Square wi’ a sheet o’ A4 folded up intae the wee canister aroon his neck.

The Flying Pigs

We are used tae caul and wind here, o’ course, but even by oor standards, this last wik has been a bittie on the fresh side. Mony villagers wis trapped in the pub for several days, jist like the fowk in the Yorkshire Dales, only wi’ oot the incipient threat o’ an Oasis tribute band.

Here, the locals wiz in merry session last Friday fan the storm hit, and at closing time naeb’dy could get the door open. Nae due tae snowdrifts, of course, but jist because they were a’ bleezing.

So, they settled in for the duration and, making good use o’ the fact that the bobbies hid better things tae dae, enjoyed a five-day lock-in. Eventually, we opened the door fae the ootside and they a’ fell oot, thus breaking up a primitive feudalistic society fit had evolved using beer mats as currency and worshipping the lang-haired chiel on the front o’ McEwan’s Export.

Those o’ us nae trapped in the pub jist kept warm as best we could. Feel Moira has been burning a’ the wid she can find; so she’s toasty, but has nae furniture left. And, of course, mony in Meikle Wartle are nae yet onboard wi’ yon new-fangled electricity, so some hae been weel placed tae mak a killing in the emerging black market in cun’els. In the nearby metropolis o’ Insch, they’ll bite yer hand aff for a tealight.

About 120 military troops have been deployed in Aberdeenshire to assist with welfare checks following Storm Arwen (Photo: DCT Media)

Plus, we’ve hid tae contend wi’ camera crews fae the a’ the chunnels fa descended on us mid-week, wi’ their concerned expressions and funcy looking coats. And michty, it’s nae every day ye get visited by the TV fowk and asked foo caul it is in yer lobby.

Schools wiz shut an’ a, so a’ the kiddies wiz delighted, running aboot chanting: “Nae lessons learnt!” Exactly fit mony fowk are saying aboot the power companies that hinna sorted it oot yet.


J Fergus Lamont, arts critic and author of 3 Strings and a Tooth; Guitar Wifie – The Unauthorised Biography

I usually eschew the populist realm of “art awards”. An artist needs not prizes or accolades; instead they embrace suffering like Van Gogh, anonymity like Banksy and ridicule like Richard Madeley. That said, I did applaud the awarding committee of the Turner Prize, when they announced that this year’s recipients would be one of the UK’s unheralded art collectives.

I requested my usual tipple – Campari and soda, with a twist. There was a silence

So, there I sat on Wednesday night, gripped in a fervour of expectation, tuned to Radio 4, to hear that the anti-sectarian “Array Collective” had scooped the gong!

Their most revered piece, an installation which takes the form of an Irish pub, is an intriguing prospect, and had me wondering if there might be a similar interactive experience gracing the underground Aberdeen scene.

A quick check of a marvellous online resource (you wont have heard of it, as it has little or no publicity, but “Google” is probably the most effective search engine for cultural enquiries yet devised, and I include in that the redoubtable “Ask Jeeves”) revealed that a similar installation existed right here in the Granite City, known as “The Three Lums”.

Eager to drink in the atmosphere for myself, I hotfooted it across town. The second I entered, I was completely transported. I think it was the aroma that hit me first; stale beer, no less intoxicating than when it was fresh, co-mingled with the sharper notes of Domestos and emiction, when the door to the gents was ajar.

I was further enraptured by the aural component of the work. There was laughter, raucous debate, a lot of coughing and what, I suppose, must have been music. Then, one of the members of the collective sought to fully immerse me in the piece.

“Fityefur?” He bellowed. Marvellous! I requested my usual tipple – Campari and soda, with a twist. There was a silence. It was as if time itself had stopped and all the air had been sucked from the room. The previous air of convivial bonhomie had been replaced by a looming and oppressive hostility. A devastating metaphor for the death of community, the rapid polarisation of our society and how grim it is in a Wetherspoons.

I wept.


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