RED/UISCE BEATHA

RED - The Fantabulous Mushman, 1998.I was in RED (formerly Uisce Beatha) for approximately 3 months give or take, but it was probably the wildest 3 months i’ve ever spent in any band. I was recruited by John & Alan Glen for the sole purpose of being the drummer for their 1999 German tour, and along with Matt ‘Mitsy’ Dewar on bass we formed the new rhythm section for the Glen brothers’ European odyssey. They had been over a couple times before as Uisce Beatha, building their fan base, acquiring gear and purchasing an old VW mail van for touring, but this was the first journey over as RED.

We basically played as both bands, performing the heavier RED rock set in the larger venues, and the traditional Celtic sounds of Uisce Beatha in the smaller pubs and clubs. On some nights we even did a set of each. We covered Germany extensively and also had a 10 day stint playing shows across Holland. On off days we hit up ‘coffee shops’ and museums in Amsterdam, markets and cathedrals in France and even an inaugural trip east to Hungary over a longer break in the tour.

Red - promo shot - 1999European hospitality for touring artists is legendarily accommodating, and i found out first hand just how amazing and dangerous that could be, because let me tell you, them Glen boys can drink. I don’t think there was a sober night in the lot, unless we had an evening drive ahead of us. Drinking in the van, before, during and after shows, at breakfast, on days off, in public, in private; i physically ached when i finally returned home. And the best part was that most, if not all of it, was complimentary. Drinks, meals, lodging and the occasional large ziploc bag full of green were all provided by the various venues, owners, promoters and friends we encountered along the way.

We played a couple more times back in Canada post tour, but shortly thereafter the Glen boys packed up their old south London home and moved back to Germany for good. As far as i know they are still there, and i’m still here. Recovering.

9 comments

  1. Papa Jay says:

    that’s a nice read 🙂
    Greetings from a bunch of “Uisce Beatha” fans from Austria 🙂 Still love and enjoy “The Mystic Of The Baja” and “Voice Of The Voyager” on a regular basis.
    cheers
    pj

  2. Tobias says:

    Hi all,
    I am Tobi from Freiburg. Do you know how to find and meet Alan and John. I was with them and support in Freiburg. Like to see them again. I you meet them please send much regards.
    Thank you.

    Regard
    Tobi

  3. Hello, I went to high school with Alan and saw you guys play in Vancouver in 99 at the Piccadilly pub. I still have the Mushman CD and play a few times a month. Any idea if Alan is till making music? Really love “Norman Rockwell” and have a bunch of people at work here in Portland Oregon who love the song as well.

    • Scott Finlayson
      Scott Finlayson says:

      hey rick, thanks for dropping by. i believe they are still making music, over in Berlin these days. i haven’t seen alan forever but i saw john last winter and he said they still had some things on the go, with the odd gig, but nothing new recorded or online. rockwell was a fun one to play for sure!

  4. David Moloney says:

    hey i lived with alan and john for a few years in freiburg,germany lost contact and chance you would have a way to contact them ?

    cheers,

    David

    • Scott Finlayson
      Scott Finlayson says:

      hey david, i haven’t been in touch with the fellas for a long time. i do see one of their bros from time to time. i’ll try and grab an email addy next time i see him, though getting a reply from alan might be another story! cheers.

  5. Cory says:

    Hey, I found the page looking for some info on UISCE BEATHA and RED
    I was (and still am) a huge fan you guys. I have all your albums, and even got to sing “Bottles End” on stage with the band one time on my birthday while they (you) were here in Thunder Bay, Ontario
    I was wondering what happend to all of you very talented musicians and was really hoping that you were still plaing together. I am curious if you could give me the names of any of the bands yourself and the Glen boys are or have been in, so I could give it a listen. I thought The Fantabulous Mushman was a wonderful album and i still listen to that and the others on a regular basis.
    Aloha, Cheers, or God Bless, or all three.
    -Cory Zyromsky

    • cowbellnation
      cowbellnation says:

      hey cory, glad you stumbled upon the page here. i was only drumming with the guys for maybe 6 months in total, but got to take part in a crazy european tour during that time. i’m not on any of the official recordings, but we did learn and perform at least a half dozen new tunes at the time that to my knowledge haven’t been recorded, although i’m not actively in touch with the lads. we played most of the Mushman album on that tour, mixed in with the Uisce classics. Alan and John moved to Germany and i believe currently reside in Berlin. i run into their brother Michael at Poacher’s Arms here in London quite often. their main drummer before me, Pat, is also here in London managing Palasad. i don’t believe he performs any longer. hope that helps a bit. sorry i can’t direct you towards any new material! cheers. scott

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