Rock, Roll & Mundellorobellia!

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Did you know that there was a venue just 13 miles outside of Perth that has played host to some of the greatest rock n' rollers that have ever picked up a guitar, microphone, or sat behind a drum kit?  Many Perthshire gig-goers still make a bee-line straight for Edinburgh or Glasgow to see their favourite band.  However, there is a stage nestled at the back of The Green Hotel that has hosted rock n' roll royalty from Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stone's and Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze, to Albert Lee and Andy Fairweather Low.  Not only that but the 120 capacity venue is also lined with such awesome music memorabilia and instruments (including guitars signed by Keith Richards and Jimmy Page!) that it makes your average Hard Rock Cafe look like a Little Chef!  

The man behind the venue known as Backstage at The Green Hotel is David My Hotel gig room only held 50 people.  I decided I would approach various acts and ask them to play... and they did!' 
Mundell, a dyed in the wool music obsessive and former owner of the Famous Bein Inn Hotel.  'When I bought the hotel I quickly realised that I had to generate extra money!' he told us, 'That is when I got the idea to put on some live music. My Hotel gig room only held 50 people but I decided I would approach various acts and ask them to play… and they did!' Curtis Stigers was one of the first acts to play.  The publicity it generated for Mundell's business was phenomenal, garnering mentions on Radio 2 and turning the hotel into a must-visit destination venue.  You can still find glowing reviews of the Bein Inn on Trip Advisor from the days when David Mundell ran it.  My favourite not only raves about the food but the reviewer also mentions that they got to sit and have breakfast with Benny Gallagher (one half of Gallagher & Lyle) and Elton John's legendary guitarist John Jorgenson!

When Mundell built a brand new venue at The Green Hotel he could have made it any bobby cochran and mesize he wanted to but he chose to keep it fairly small.  'When I attended gigs in the '80s and '90's I wanted to see all my bands in the small venues where you saw the whole performance up close.'  He laughs, 'Plus the bigger the venue the more people you need to fill it.'  A smaller venue also seems to mean that the acts are happier to hang around afterwards to meet their fans.  I've had some pretty interesting conversations with musicians, most notably with ace guitarist (and nephew of Eddie) Bobby Cochran.  Bobby spent an hour regaling my friend and me with eye-watering tales from the Hollywood music scene, punctuated by the occasional song on his guitar.

When I ask David if it is hard competing with the bigger venues he seems completely unfazed: 'I think a lot of people are becoming fed up with the huge auditorium gigs and stadium shows. Take the Eagles at £270 a ticket…..need I say more!'  He also thinks it is a sound business move to have his venue and the hotel side-by-side: 'As a Hotelier, I know what live music can do for a Hotel.  It creates extra revenue streams during winter where historically the Hotel would be quiet.  Two Hotel chains have spoken to me recently about the concept and I have to say it's about time more of them woke up and smelt the coffee!'

With Perth's Southern Fried Festival taking a break this year, festival-goers Love Fest Mundell- Andy Fairweather Low outside The Green Hotelmight be interested to know that Backstage will be hosting the first '3 Hot Nights in July' festival this summer.  'It's been something that has been on mind for some time now and we may continue to organise it on a yearly basis.'  The Tap Room, a brewery and bar just across the road, is participating in the festival and will also be putting on shows.  

So if you haven't made the trip to Kinross yet then maybe this summer is the time to start.  If you do go, then don't forget to check out the 'Mundellorebellia' on the walls!

Mundell- Stairway to Satisfaction!

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