The Tartan Specials are heading to Oslo next month to play an acoustic gig ahead of Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Norway. Their blend of new terrace anthems and classic Scottish covers have long been a live favourite of the Tartan Army, and their international popularity grows with every campaign.

The Tartan Specials are set to play under an inflatable marquee in the Youngstorget area of Oslo, on Tuesday 11th August, the night before Scotland face Norway. Tickets will shortly be now available from Tickets Scotland.

Over a quiet beer in New York in the autumn of 2003, Kenny McIntosh told Larbert born Kenny McColl (ex-Subverse) that he had written a song that might go down well on their upcoming trip to see the Scottish national team play Holland in Glasgow and Amsterdam. The excitement of two games against the Dutch brought back memories of 1978, and McIntosh was rightly proud of having managed to include the phrase “Archie Gemmill’s Goal” into the chorus. As the beer flowed, the idea of recording this song grew and grew and so the Tartan Specials were formed.

At this point, the trip was about a week away and McIntosh was to spend most of that time in Argentina, so they were on a tight schedule. “Sex & Drugs & Sausage Rolls” was finally completed on 2 a.m. of the day they left for Glasgow.

The duo put the track on the Tartan Army NYC web site, posted a few messages on the various Tartan Army lists and message boards, and then left for Glasgow. It then took on a life of its own. The track was downloaded about 1000 times, was mentioned in the Daily Telegraph and had links posted to it on various other football message boards.

On arriving in Amsterdam, they twice heard the song being played in bars as they walked in! The song was later re-recorded to be less specific to the Euro 2004 play-offs.

The duo have also had over 50,000 downloads of two cartoons on their website, their second MP3, “My Favourite Things” has been downloaded 17,000 times, they have nearly 1400 people on their mailing list, and their version of “We’ll be Coming” has been played on the radio many times, and twice at Hampden.

2007 saw the act return with a new downloadable track entitled “Euro Vision 2008”, as they played their live debut in September, flying in from New York to play at the Renfrew Ferry the night before a Scottish international match. This was repeated the following month, with the band also playing an acoustic session on XFM.

The end of the year saw the release of their official self-titled debut album, as well as atrack being included on the Official Scotland CD.
2008 saw the band playing some New York dates to co-incide with “Tartan Day”. For Scottish dates they were supplemented by Graeme McIntosh (Drums) & Steve Suttie (guitar / vocals, ex-Influx).

Falkirk Music Scene

Dates below. More news on the Tartan Specials coming soon.