My Mòd with Robert Robertson

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Another Mòd has come and gone and left us all with some wonderful memories.

Two memories I will be trying my hardest to forget, however, are a couple of wardrobe malfunctions which befell me on rather high profile occasions during the week.

The first was in the Lorne Shield competition on Thursday – the premier trophy for rural choirs and broadcast live on BBC Alba to a considerable audience.

I stood in the front row of the tenors of Melvich Gaelic Choir and gave my all for our first song. As we stood onstage during that often awkward and nerve-wracking five or so minutes where the adjudicators finish judging your first song before you begin your second (and the television coverage returns to the studio where Cathy Bhàn and various pundits discuss your performance), one of the sopranos began trying to catch my eye.

My initial thought was to ignore this so as not to disturb my thought process which, by now, was very much focused on our second song. When she continued to stare at me and started to rub her neck with her hand, I couldn’t help but look across.

What on earth was she doing? And why was she choosing to do it at this most inopportune moment – live on television and in front of a large audience and eight adjudicators in the hall?

It eventually became clear. At some point during the first song, my clip-on bow-tie had evidently popped off and was now suspended in a rather undignified manner from my collar and dangling down my shirt.

I tied it up as quickly as I could (as the audience giggled) and was ready to go just in time for our second song.

It was too late, however, as the eagle eye of the BBC had already caught me out and the coverage contains a number of unflattering close-ups of my hopelessly flailing bow tie.

The following day, I was singing in front of a fairly large audience on Morag Domnhnallach’s live radio broadcast to which half of the west coast tune in every year to hear how the Mòd has gone.

Half way through my song, backed by the Trail West boys, I could feel one of my kilt socks beginning to slip down my leg. Not wishing to draw attention to yet another clothing disaster, I carried on regardless until, by the end of the song, I could feel the sock nestling defiantly around my ankle.

Just like the day before, I could sense the audience beginning to giggle.

‘Oh, well,’ I thought, ‘at least it’s the radio this time and not the telly!’

That relief was short-lived, however, because (when I finished the song) Morag announced live to all the listeners that it’s about time Robert Robertson pulled his socks up.

Dear Oban Times, I would like to place an advert for a new wardrobe adviser!

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