Alex and Sandi go down a storm (even if the lyrics are a mystery)

Share this article

IT WAS Alex Salmond's big moment – with his favourite singer, crooning his Homecoming anthem.

So it is perhaps no surprise that he came prepared, perhaps fearful of suffering a "John Redwood moment", for his long-awaited duet with pop star Sandi Thom.

Before about 200 fans in Banff, just a few miles from Thom's hometown of MacDuff, the pair teamed up for a surreal encore of Caledonia.

Clearly worried that – like the Tory MP's ill-fated attempted at the Welsh anthem, while serving as secretary of state for Wales – he would be rumbled as not knowing the words to Dougie MacLean's famous anthem, his aides had helpfully prepared a sheet of lyrics.

The pair perched on stools to sing the song specially selected to front the Scottish Government's 5.5 million Homecoming campaign.

But, after a gushing introduction from the singer, the First Minister's nerves appeared to betray him as made a shaky start and seemed to require his prompt sheets.

After recovering his poise and even singing one of the verses on his own, he said: "I have no plans to give up my day job as First Minister, I really enjoyed it but it's much more nerve-racking than speaking, I'll tell you that much. Sandi's got a hell of a voice though, I knew we were singing Caledonia, but I didn't know what parts, although I do like to improvise.

"She told me about various people doing duets with her through the tour and I said 'Yes', but it was terrific.

"She goes into great descants and her voice is going all over the place, so trying to stick to the melody was rather difficult because she has such a powerful voice."

Thom has embarked on a special Homecoming tour of the country, visiting the likes of Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness, Skye, Fort William, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Back to the top of the page