The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
15th November 2013
All pics Dod Morrison
In 2004 I was walking in the centre of Aberdeen when I heard there was a Hillbilly band in town that night from Nashville, who did a great version of “The Ace of Spades”.
Taking a chance I bought a ticket and went along. That night I saw one guy with a guitar, one with a banjo, one with a mandolin and one with a bass guitar. I wondered what was going to happen, and thus I was introduced to rock grass – a cross between bluegrass and rock. I took some pictures with a small compact camera and really enjoyed myself. A few months later I attended gig number two and was told by the band that I could take as many photos as I liked. This was the start of my band photography career.
In 2005 I attended 13 gigs by Hayseed Dixie, from Aberdeen to Wales. They also started up a festival in Ullapool called Loopallu which was actually where I met my future wife and best friend Sally. Now I’ve seen them at least 50 times and we are like family. Fast forward to 2013 and there I was at their 999th gig in Aberdeen…
It was hot, cramped and sweaty, but everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. For this tour Hayseed Dixie decided to play the whole of their ‘Tribute to AC/DC’ album, followed by requests given to them by the audience. This turned out to be an excellent premise as the crowd got to hear exactly what they wanted.
The AC/DC songs went down well, always favourites of the fans and obviously where the band got their name from. John Wheeler on vocals drew everyone in with his dulcet tones and southern accent. Don Wayne Reno excelled on the banjo and his brother Dale was as good as ever on his mandolin. That left Jake Byers on his booming bass guitar to wow the punters with his great rhythms.
For the requests we were treated to songs like ‘Uncle Virgil” (not a favourite of mine but fun to hear), ‘Moonshiner Daughter” and ‘Poop in a Jar”. My highlight was when they dedicated a song to me and mentioned how they’d seen me grow over the years from an amateur into a proficient photographer. The song was the Sex Pistols ‘Holidays in the Sun”. They finished up with an excellent version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb”.
These guys always take time out after their gigs to speak to the fans and have a beer with anyone that wants to. It’s a really nice personal touch which too many bands fail to do.
Hayseed Dixie – thank you for all the memories and here’s to making many more!