This is the website of Neil McDougall, a musician/blogger/podcaster/bookie from Ayrshire.

STRAYA! A preamble ramble type thing

It’s been a while since I properly wrote something on here.  How are you?  I apologise in advance for the general scattyness of this piece, it’s mostly me getting my thoughts down on ‘paper’ and getting a bit of discussion/feedback going from friends/followers who have more travel experience than myself.

So, let’s get to the point.  Next year, I’m going to go to Australia for a month.  Mostly in and around Perth, but I’m also planning to nip across the subcontinent for 4-5 days to see the sights of Sydney.

Here’s the real head trip – it’ll be the first time I’ll have been abroad since 1992 and my first ever air travel experience (the first and previous time I was abroad, I went to France via Holland and Belgium on a ferry).  No better way to acclimatise myself to air travel than to spend 20+ hours in planes, right?  Just as well I don’t have a fear of flying – far from it.  Hell, I used to harbour ambitions of being a fighter pilot as a kid.  Then I discovered that I needed glasses, and as it turns out, I don’t really do well with the whole military discipline thing, so that wouldn’t’ve worked out all that well anyway…

Anyway, I digress.  Australia.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on May 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm, filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.


So, last night, at ICW’s show at the ABC in Glasgow, this happened.

That mashup of the Goldberg theme and the version of ‘Like A Prayer’ that Grado uses for his entrance was put together a few months ago after I had a daft idea sparked by Grado meeting Bill Goldberg in Las Vegas, and there’s my daft wee idea playing a part in over a thousand folk losing their shit.  Mental.

So, if you’re here, you probably fancy a wee cheeky download of the mashup, aye?  Well, fill yer boots!

And if you liked that, please do me a favour and go here and download my band’s debut EP.  And give us a wee ‘Like’ on Facebook while you’re at it.

(In case anyone’s interested in the technical side of it, short story is that I used Propellerheads Reason, with the default Orchestral sound bank that comes with it providing most of the sounds.)

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on July 28, 2014 at 9:26 am, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

My videogaming History

I originally posted this over on, but I thought I’d repost it here, seeing as this is my main blog and all.

Hello, G1s, I’m NeiloMac, a jack-of-all-trades geek from the wintery climes of south-west Scotland.

I’m not sure what prompted me to sign up for a ScrewAttack account, but I thought it’d be fun to start writing about my current thoughts on videogames, as many of you are already doing. I probably won’t be writing anything Earth-shatteringly out-of-the-box, but I hope what I do write is a fun read nonetheless.

Before I start harping on about my opinions, I thought it’d be an interesting excersise to think back over my videogaming life for the past 20+ years.


This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on November 19, 2009 at 1:16 am, filed under gaming, musings, tech, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Bah, I had to miss Dream Theater.

Gah. Need to vent. Going to go through the whole situation so you can understand.

So, a few months ago, my new friend Fiona and I started planning to go see Dream Theater in Wolverhampton once the tour date was announced. I, with my last pay from Ladbrokes (I was let go at the end of August – company was overspent on staffing and contract cutbacks and outright non-renewals across the board) I bought two train tickets. Fiona’s bought the gig tickets, but the hotel’s not booked (Fiona’s job – she spent £40 ish on the gig tickets, I spent £90 ish on the train fare, so a hotel room should’ve balanced it out nicely), but I’m thinking ‘we’ve got time.’

September passes, and every so often I quiz Fee about the hotel situation. September ends, still no hotel. I’m getting a bit concerned at this point. It’s around this point I start to get the feeling that Fee’s getting a bit more distant with me – I’m pretty good at reading the vibes people give off in conversation, even over the net it seems. Remember the timing of this, it’s important later.

So, we’re into October and the gig’s rapidly approaching, still no Hotel, so I badger Fiona about it, as I know she has the money to pay for it, so what’s the hold up? Then she springs something on me that I had kinda thought might be the situation in the back of my mind: she’d landed herself a boyfriend, a co-worker, who she’d been seeing on the quiet for the last month, pretty much about the same time I started to feel things were changing in the way Fee and I were interacting with each other. Now the reason for the lack of hotel bookage is a bit more evident: you get a new romance and some other things tend to go out the window, it’s understandable to a degree. However, she’s left it so long that the hotel I was hoping we could’ve got was booked out. And to cap it all her new beau isn’t too chuffed about the prospect of his new girlfriend trotting off to spend the night in a hotel in england with a guy who’s fancied her recently. Again, understandable.

So, Fee explores the prospect of her boyfriend coming along, which doesn’t overly appeal to me, due to the inevitable gooseberry factor. Turns out the boyfriend can’t get the time off work, so we decide that the best thing to avoid unpleasantness is to do seperate hotel rooms rather than splitting a hotel room as previously planned. Through all this, I’m getting a bad feeling about the whole situation deep in my gut. I could sense that the situation could be awkward due to the spectre of Fee’s new fella hanging over everything. I tossed the whole thing around my brain for a few days and decided to go with what my instincts were telling me, and cancelled going to the concert. I e-mailed Fee to tell her, and sent the train tickets back to Virgin with all the necessary details to get my ninety quid back.

Fee’s not happy about the situation, and I get the feeling that she thought I shouldn’t have sent the train tickets back and gave her her ticket so that she could go. Fuck. That. I bought the tickets with my own money and if I want to cancel them, tear them up, fold them into a paper aeroplane or wipe my arse with them, that’s my right. I’m not complaining about what she did with the gig tickets. They were her property…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Fast forward to last night, and in the middle of a game of Mortal Kombat: Deception on my trusty Xbox, my mobile rings. On comes a male voice I don’t recognise. The following conversation isn’t exactly verbatim, but it’s as close as I can get it from memory.

“Is that Neil? Neil o Mac?” (Neilomac is my nickname on the forum, where Fee and I first started talking to each other).

“Yes,” I reply.

(In a sarcastic tone) “Where would you really like to be right now?”

(Thinking it might be someone from the or VoicesUK forum, or even a UKMGer) “Err…Wolverhampton? Who is this?”

“Ahh, you go and leave her in the lurch…you left her in the lurch!” (And something about the train tickets too, I think)

“Who is this? Who am I talking to?” (I’ve got a pretty good idea who it is by this time, but I want to be sure)

He kept rambling on, so I just thought ‘fuck this’ and hung up on him, then turned my phone off. Later that night, I switched my phone back on to see if the offender, who I assume was Fee’s boyfriend, decided to leave any messages. Predictably, he did. More of the same, with added “I managed to get time off work after all, so we’re down here, and you’re not, nanny nanny poo poo.” and calling me a fanny. The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring to mind. As well as ‘fucking douchebag of epic proportions’.

Really, how was he expecting me to react? All “Waaahh, they went to DT! Boohoohooo!” All it did was reinforce in my mind that I made the right choice. I don’t appreciate being insulted by an insecure, smart-mouthed cock monkey though. If I was as much of a prick as him, I’d probably have phoned back and ripped him a new one. 😛

So, yeah, I missed what sounded like a killer DT set, but I get the feeling I might not’ve enjoyed it as much as I should’ve had I went with Fee. Bah, had I known this would happen I would’ve went with my pal Steven instead.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on October 27, 2005 at 12:32 pm, filed under life, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Hilariously bad cover versions…

The Queen and Beatles stuff have Freddie, John and George spinning in their graves so fast that it’s affecting the Earth’s gravitational field, and the Dream Theater stuff is just as bad. Highly recommended if you’re up for some comedy and pain at the same time.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on January 14, 2005 at 12:35 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

Random Tunes

A little meme I’m snagging from adrianclark…”Open your MP3 player, select the full playlist, set to random and list the first 10 tracks that come up”.

1. Jeff Wayne – Thunder Child (from Jeff Wayne’s War of The Worlds)
2. Dreamscape – Short Time News (from The End Of Silence)
3. Nightwish – The Riddler (from Oceanborn)
4. Joe Satriani – With Jupiter In Mind (from Crystal Planet)
5. Atheist – No Truth (from Piece of Time)
6. Bon Jovi – Love Ain’t Nothing But A Four Letter Word (from 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can’t Be Wrong, Disc 4)
7. Jellyfish – Let ‘Em In That’s Why (Live) (from Bellybutton)
8. Porcupine Tree – Cure For Optimism (from Recordings)
9. Slayer – Born of Fire (from Seasons In The Abyss)
10. Led Zeppelin – Moby Dick (from The Song Remains The Same)

Pretty diverse. I like that. 🙂

Of course, there’s still the other 7,425 songs on the list, but what the hell.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on January 10, 2005 at 11:49 pm, filed under Uncategorized. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.

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