Not the Full Shillin
Originally called The Broken Settee, this ultra-obscure ensemble existed from 1972-74 in the Avon/Clyde area. Box player Stan Reeves:
My brother has the only recording of this thrusting, ground breaking band made in the old byre at the back of my house in Hazelbank on a dictaphone. That particular manifestation featured Willie Beaton guestin "for one night only" and includes the sound of him breaking ground by falling steamingly backwards in his chair without missing a note as he sprang back on his feet.
The Band was hatched in the winter of 72 in the back room of the Victoria Bar in Hamilton. This was a regular session which was the brainchild of Wee Stevie the mental bodhranist (a good singer who embarrassed us with his volume, his gallusness and his bookies leather coat). Many a happy hour was spent murdering the Chieftains 1st album, the soundtrack of The Playboy of the Western World (the nameless Chieftains) and Seamus Ennis's The Pure Drop as well as all the Scots tunes and song we had in our heads (4).
The band was Stevie's idea too: he was hungry for fame. First came the session. Some of the folk I can remember playing included Norman Chalmers (every 70's band), Tommy Sage (who wisely gave up folk music for social work), Big Dave (Setanta), Colin "Carrickfergus" McCalister (Setanta), Jack Bethel (Setanta), Tony Cuffe (pre Alba/ Bairns etc), Brian McNeill (thin, suit, trench coat, English class notes in briefcase). All of the above played at least once in the Shillins; some of them even played the same tune. Some non-Shillins I remember turning out for a tune included Jimmy Young. Married?, 3-piece suit, no moustache, short back and sides, something in insurance? two tunes on whistle. He came all the way from Glasgow so he thought we were indigineous tradition bearers! Ha Ha.
On the train out of a Tuesday night might be Stuart Eydman, John Gahagan, and even on one riotous occassion Mighty Mick the Broderick (RIP). Mike Berry (RIP) the Glasgow lawyer and sessionist extraordinaire came in a Wartburg (3 cylinder two stroke). How we laughed! What a hall of fame.
The Shillins played Killmarnock, Strathaven and Carluke folk clubs to mild indifferance, and on one ocassion were completly ignored by the biggest crowd we, or Carluke, had ever seen as they waited to get a real laugh at Billy ("Where the fuck's Carluke") Connolly. My finest moment was 6pm on a Tuesday in the spring in Hazelbank hall playing the "Spanish Cloak" with Snakehips McNeil for 8 members of the womens guild led by Mrs Bland (I kid you not).