I had a photoshoot in the Mitchel Library on Tuesday night and, after a bite to eat and an expensive pint in the Black Sparrow, formerly the Ritz, I decided to pop into the State Bar in Holland Street to see if the Blues Jam Session was still being held. I guess I’ve been missing my Blues with the demise of Sammy Dow’s and McSorley’s.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that, after an absence of some ten years or more, little had changed in one of the best ‘traditional’ pubs in Glasgow. I was even more surprised to learn that Nancy was still managing the pub and that Jim Keilt was still playing in the resident Statesboro Blues Band. With the Scotland v Denmark game still being shown on the numerous televisions, when the live music kicked off, I wondered if any of the Scotland supporters, enjoying the game, knew that the guitarist in the band had written, played on and produced the Official Scotland World Cup song in 1990. Say it With Pride is actually a decent song, even with Fish and Donny Munro singing it. However the rousing song didn’t quite inspire the team, where under Andy Roxburgh’s management, the national side beat Sweden 2-1 but went down 1-0 to both Costa Rica and Brazil.
The unassuming Jim Keilt, still plays in a number of different bands, including Gentlemen of the West, formerly known as The Halos, and, in his time, has recorded and toured with many well known artists including: John Otway; The Look; and Middle of the Road. He’s also shared the bill with Patti Smith, SAHB, Nazareth, Joe Walsh, Uriah Heep and even the Village People. Pete Townsend complimented him on his guitar playing on the stage version of ‘Tommy’ in London.
Jim’s solo album ‘Electric Wood’ is available for download here or you can always pop along to the State Bar on a Tuesday night and see him for free with the rest of the excellent band.
The State was opened in 1905 by Philip McSorley, who also owned McSorley’s, and was renamed His Nibs in 1973 and Lymburn’s in the 80s but later changed back to it’s original name.