A former Largs rock band who were compared to The Rolling Stones back in the day are the inspiration for a great new musical touring Scotland.

I was fortunate enough to take my Australian family to the show, Battery Park, written and directed by Largs man Andrew McGregor at The Beacon Theatre in Greenock.

Andrew, who co-founded Largs Youth Theatre and performed and directed with the local Players club, has based Battery Park, featuring his script and songs, on the story of his former band, Blind Pew, who formed in the town in 2003 after meeting at school.

The Largs Academy group (pictured) comprised Andrew on vocals and keyboard, Stuart McIntosh (bass and vocals), Paul McGranaghan (guitar and vocals), and Derek Lamont on drums.

Music newspaper and website reports of their early years when they toured Britain, described Blind Pew as writing and playing "down and dirty rock'n'roll" .

Critics also rated them as one of the most promising bands on the Scottish music scene. Indie Music People wrote: "Their own irreverent brand of rock styling have drawn comparison to the likes of The Rolling Stones and The White Stripes and has been met with the enthusiasm of critics and crowds alike."

Their first record release was an EP (remember them, normally with four tracks?) entitled "You're Claimed." which was described as "indisputable garage rock prowess interspersed with energetic theatrics".

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Much of this was down to the embryonic talents of Andrew McGregor, whom I first spotted as a talented teenage actor in Largs Academy and Players productions. Little did we know that he was to emerge as one of Scotland's current leading playwrights, directors and composers.

His earlier musical plays, 'Crocodile Rock' and 'Spuds' have been televised and staged at the iconic Oran Mor theatre in Glasgow's West End where he also writes pantomimes and plays.

I wrote, in a previous column, that when I attended his summer panto last year he had to take over the Dame role at short notice and actually got me up on stage to be presented with a packet of Love Hearts. Why? Just because he spotted me in the front row!

When I met him at The Beacon last week I joked that he had inspired me to take on a panto dame role this year (more of that in another column).

Despite signing a record contract in London and issuing an LP, 'Blueprints for World Domination' there was a legal problem which stopped the young band in their tracks in 2007 - though it is still featured on Amazon music and similar websites. Disagreement and disappointment among band members, which has been fictionalised in the new musical 'Battery Park', led to their demise.

However, similarities of what went wrong inspired the play, which has been received with publicity and acclaim around the country.

As Andrew said, "musicals are the closest thing we have to a time machine" - underlined by the nostalgic and emotional themes in the script, centred on Greenock, with references to working in IBM and going to the town's drinking establishments like The Dugout and Rico's. (What's that? You've been there, madam? My daughter certainly has.)

When the Australian family arrived from Perth, to where daughter Sarah emigrated 14 years ago, a psychic friend told me that I "had" to take them to a show. I'm glad it was this one.

PS: Blind Pew was a pirate character in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The blind character was trampled to death by horses. The Largs band was trampled to death by a record company.

PPS: Andrew went on to form another Largs band, One Man Town, which featured Stuart McArthur - now Academy music teacher - on bass, Kay McLaren on drums and current Brown Bear lead singer Matt Hickman on guitar.

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Thought for the Week: There are some weirdos read this page. Someone messaged to ask me to meet in the woods naked for a satanic ritual but they didn't even show up.

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After writing the above article I note that Andrew McGregor - whose brothers, Scott and Stewart, run Largs Printing Company - has been in a spat with the Scottish Government.

His new show for his Sleeping Warrior theatre company has been supported by Creative Scotland, the former Arts Council. However, the Holyrood government has reduced funding for the arts by more than £6m a year.

Andrew stated on social media: "It is pretty shocking for those of us in the arts. At the start of the year the SNP announced they were uplifting culture spending by £6.6m. They weren't. They just got rid of a cut they wanted to impose.

"Now, we know that they did, in fact, cut that £6.6m despite clearly stating the opposite. It's infuriating. It's people's jobs, livelihoods and the cultural life of the country at stake."

In his own inimitable style he posted a new song with a chorus of "you can't run a country by simply lying".