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ROBIN LAING - Up In The Dram Room 

ROBIN LAING - Up In The Dram Room 
Frisky Whisky FW003CD 

This CD is Robin’s sixth to pay homage to what is seemingly his greatest love outside his family: I refer of course to aqua vitae, the term once used for what we now refer to as whisky. And this album is a celebration of his friendship with the remarkable Thomas Ewers – a Keeper of the Quaich - who founded Malts Of Scotland as an independent bottling company in Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 2005. It is a hymn of praise to his German whiskies.

Now even me - who spent 20 years of my working life on the road selling alcohol from Thurso down to Penzance and across to Lowestoft, taking in all major GB towns and cities - initially thought this to be rather too much of a specialised subject to get broad appeal. Huh! How wrong could I be? Truth is that this would have appealed even to lifelong members of the Band of Hope. I enjoyed it from start to finish: not least, feasting on the sound of the delicious ensemble accompanying him.

The opening track Building Bridges laid down a powerful marker – a sweet melody featuring the mantra: let’s build bridges instead of building walls - though methinks Robin would do well to remember that whisky in the wrong person builds walls that even Donald Trump would envy. Also loved Masterpiece with its deliberately ironic rhymes. But my favourite was the title track, which contained this rhyme with Paderborn that made me explode with laughter. I will sign off this review with it...

And his drams are so seductive / It's almost whisky porn / Up in the dram room / Here in Paderborn.

Dai Woosnam


This review appeared in Issue 141 of The Living Tradition magazine