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ADAM MacNAUGHTAN - "Last Stand at Mount Florida" - Greentrax CDTRAX120

Writing and delivering humorous songs involves particular skills and Adam MacNaughtan's reputation as one of Scotland's most gifted comic writers and singers can only be enhanced with the release of his third album.

The title "Last Stand at Mount Florida" is a play on words. The cover photograph shows a bulky, 56-year-old, Queens Park-supporting ex-English teacher (his words) posed in front of a Hampden Park backdrop while the last track on the album "The Twin-Towered Stand" is a history in song of the glory days of football.

But Last Stand had other connotations for Custer and there are more than enough examples on this album to show that Mr MacNaughtan has gone his own way, making the decisions (he is also producer) and choosing the songs he likes to sing. Obliging as ever, he provides sleeve notes for non-Glaswegians and refutes suggestions of parochialism by pointing out that several of the songs come from the East and North of Glasgow.

So to the songs themselves. The comic ones are masterpieces. The long awaited sequel to "Oor Hamlet" appears as "The Scottish Song" (with Lady Macbeth airing the king-size quilt) and healthy eaters everywhere will identify with "Erchie Cathcairt" and "Cholesterol", which carries the shortest sleeve note of them all: "Glasgow is recognised as the heart disease capital of the universe. Glasgow doesnae care".

Other topics touched upon lightly include the City of Culture debate; Standard Grade English exam folios; plans to develop Glasgow Green, and a character assassination of Noah which reveals his love of the bottle. Noah's links with Glasgow remain unclear but Bud Neill might have provided a clue such as "Ararat. Aranither rat."

There's a pawky version of music-hall comic Wullie Lindsay's "The Shy Lover", complete with patter, while "Thomas Muir of Huntershill" and "The Weaver's Lament" show his more serious side. The backings by fellow-Stramashers Finlay Allison, Bob Blair and John Eaglesham never dominate and the man himself is in excellent voice throughout. Thoroughly recommended.

Alan Brown
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This album was reviewed in Issue 19 of The Living Tradition magazine.