FORMER FIRST MINSTER OF SCOTLAND... ALEX SALMOND BRINGS HIS UNLEASHED TOUR TO THE YES CITY OF SUNNY DUNDEE AT THE CAIRD HALL
So, Alex Salmond has been unleashed. Unleashed from the shackles of Westminster & as it turns out, un-gagged.
The show starts off with a short warm up set from young local band The Carloways, a 5-piece hailing from Perthshire, who get the audience going with a few covers before playing Alex onto the stage. Alex came on stage to huge applause & a standing ovation from the Dundee crowd - the warmth of feeling & support for the man was tangible, from both young & old.
To kick off Alex treated the crowd to what looked to be a striptease, but thankfully stopped at his tie before people started passing out with shock. He shared stories of his recent tour, starting at the Edinburgh Festival where his first guest was EU court jester David Davis. The jokes were aplenty, mainly at the expense of the Tories & the BBC, all of which were raucously cheered by the Dundee audience.
The Dundee Gaelic Choir provided a beautiful, haunting interlude, finishing with a rousing rendition of Highland Cathedral, piper & all. The first guests of the show were Catalonian Councillor of Education, Clara Ponseti, currently in exile here in Scotland, & her lawyer Aamer Anwar. They discussed Clara’s role in the referendum for independence in Catalonia & her subsequent ‘criminalisation’ & how with support from the Scottish people, she is fighting her case. Clara spoke of how she was overwhelmed by the support she has received while in Scotland, which received huge cheers from the audience, some of whom waved Catalonian flags.
The next guest was Dundee’s own Sheena Wellington, the fantastic singer who performed at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Alex joined Sheena in a duet & surprised the audience with his pretty good singing voice. After the break, Alex returned to the stage as The Very Reverend Former First Minister, a revival of the sketch he did for Children in Need, based on the brilliant Rikki Fulton character Rev I M Jolly.
The fantastic Elaine C Smith was welcomed to the stage & gave a great performance, in her usual no nonsense way, sharing her hilarious observations on the world from frocks to polling stations. Alex came back on to interview Elaine & share stories of their friendship over the years. Elaine sang a song dear to the people of Dundee, although called Mother Glasgow, was written by the much loved Dundonian Michael Marra.
Alex then appeared in the audience to start an auction to raise funds for Clara’s cause & managed to raise over £800. The show was closed with a rendition of A Man’s a Man by Sheena, Elaine & the Dundee Gaelic Choir, along with the whole audience.
All and all, it was a hugely entertaining night. Alex was warm, funny & certainly knows how to work a crowd. Alex Salmond is without question a force to be reckoned with politically, but as an orator and storyteller (and now it seems, stand up comedian), he’s proving hard to beat.