Australian-based Jim will bring his Celtic music mix back home at free gig

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His group is called The Borderers but it is continents that Jim Paterson has spanned in his quest to make music with its distinctive Celtic Rock twist.

It’s an odyssey that’s taken him from Abronhill’s Hawthorn Road to the bright lights of London, across the Atlantic, to the Far East and then, ‘the lucky country’ Australia.

The venturesome former Our Lady’s High School pupil made a life for himself in Adelaide - and stamped his own soundtrack on the City of Churches and far beyond.

And now he’s back albeit briefly.

Jim whose Belfast-born wife Alex is in the band will be giving a hometown crowd a taste of the sound that has spawned 10 albums, two EPs, two CDs aimed specifically at younger listeners and three DVDs.

The duo have two top Scottish session musicians in tow - Graeme Gass and Mark Donaldson who is the brother of Jim’s best pal in Australia - and they will be giving it their all at free gig at Bar Yellow on Sunday, October 21 at 6.30pm for one night only.

And it promises to be one of the best live music events you’ll hear in Cumbernauld this year.

This is a nostalgic time for Jim who has been looking back at his youth and the time he sought a fresh start elsewhere way back in 1986 – inspired by a Scottish musician who was living the dream.

Jim said: “I read an interview with Midge Ure about what he had achieved in London.

“That made me decide to up sticks from Abronhill and move to England.

“I actually emigrated to Australia in 1993 when I was 31 after giving up on making music. I didn’t know I was emigrating; I just bought a round-the-word ticket and the first stop was India, followed by Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

“I already knew people in Australia; a mate that I worked with at a summer camp in the USA in 1991 was from Adelaide.

“It was only when I got to Adelaide and happened to go to a recording studio to hear The Borderers that I knew music was going to play such a big role in my life in my new homeland.

“In the space of four weeks, I had joined the band, helped them with six of my songs plus production and started going out with the lead singer, which consequently led to acquiring a three-year-old stepson!

“Since then, we’ve played and recorded with symphony orchestras, Indian, African and gospel singers. We’ve recorded with a Dixeland band and played with Australia’s finest session musician.

“Name the style and we’ve probably done it.

“The appeal in Australia and the rest of the world is due to the energy that comes off the stage.

“We also like to tell funny anecdotes and get the audience involved. The crowd will be laughing one minute and waving their hands in the air the next.

“We love it when the whole room is dancing too”.

How would Jim sum up his life in the band?

He replied: “I would say it’s always different and no two gigs are the same.

“People think that it’s glamorous touring and performing but mostly it’s about organising things and a hell of a lot of admin.

“You get to meet great people though. We’ve performed for the Australian Prime Minister and met Tom Jones, Donovan, Billy Connolly, The Proclaimers and Eddi Reader.”

What does Jim miss most about Cumbernauld?

“My family and friends,” he said. “I’m arranging a school reunion while I’m home so that I can catch up with people that I haven’t seen for 38 years.”

And what does he like best about living Down Under?

“The weather and the laid back attitude,” he replied. “Plus I was on the dole when I lived in the UK but my life in Australia has afforded me the luxury of buying my own home, as well as an investment property.

“I had no money when I arrived so I had to start busking. I figured if I worked harder than the rest of ‘the musos’, then I’d do well.

“It has vastly exceeded my expectations.

“The main thing is we’re an authentic Celtic band in that I’m from Scotland and my wife is from Belfast. That made us stand out.

“I never thought I’d perform at the Sydney Opera House or play in front of 750,000 people.”

As for his upcoming gig. Jim added: “Cumbernauld audiences can expect a bloomin’ good night!

“Folk always leave with a smile on their face, saying what a great a night they had.”