Deep Joyheads

This past weekend we followed our favorite dance band, Deep Joy, south to the little village of Arduaine, and were pleasantly surprised to get more than we bargained for- Italian Disco Night! Deep Joy played at our wedding and roundly earned the title as the Best Wedding Band Ever by the dozens of guests that boogied with abandon all night. With Rab’s fellow Céilidh Bandido band member Dave on keyboard, a soulful lead singer, Vee, and a bad ass bass player Nigel, in all his afro-wigged glory, this five piece funk machine is not to be missed. The venue was the Lord of the Isles pub, in the yachty community of Croabh Haven, not far from Lochgilphead. They advertised Italian Night to start out the evening, three courses for 12.95. That’s a real deal, and since it was Valentine’s Day weekend, we decided to book a table and make an evening out of it.

Only in Scotland are wellies considered appropriate disco attire. You see girls in dressy frocks with army green wellies, and frankly, in context, they look FABULOUS!  It takes a sassy Scottish lass to pull it off. I’ve even got fancy flowered wellies but I’m not sure if I’m pulling it off. At any rate, heels just won’t do much of the time, and this particular night, they weren’t cutting it. Nothing for it but Disco Wellies.

The drive south down the A816 south of Oban down the coast is always lovely, and the Croabh Haven marina- well marked off A816- offered a picturesque view over the water under the full moon. The pub is welcoming and warm, and the roaring fire in the woodstove made for a cozy setting. The menu offered a basic Italian fare- I got the minestrone, local mussels and linguine in tomato sauce and the tiramisu; Rab chose a chicken in tomato sauce and ice cream. The service was efficient and in no time at all we were tucking into our soup. The food was nothing fancy, but it was fresh, well prepared and really hit the spot on a cold winter’s evening- and the price was easily half of what you expect to pay for a three course meal at any gastro pub in Argyll.

After we demolished dessert, we moved to the bar for a drink while the band set up. Soon, the first chords of Chain of Fools lured dancers to the floor. Vee belted out Son of a Preacher Man, Feeling Good, Respect and other groovy soul classics and we shook our wellies until the wee hours. Having had our funk itch well scratched, a fat full moon lit the way home, sliding from the mountains and reflecting off the ocean as we rolled in between.

Lord of the Isles is definitely on my radar now, and we look forward to visiting this hidden Argyll gem again. The meal was good, but Deep Joy was the star attraction, and they always rate- Five Wellies!




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