Loch Lomond: Misadventures in Scotland

The uncanny tale of a Portland band, their lake namesake, a BMX biker, and a stint in the slammer.

By Anne Adams February 25, 2011

Tomorrow, Loch Lomond will celebrate the release of brand-new album "Little Me Will Start A Storm" with a show at Alberta Rose Theater. But a few months back, in a more surprising turn of events, the local chamber-folk troupe drifted into the force field of energy drink titan Red Bull. The unlikely pairing was brought about when BMX bike star Danny MacAskill suggested LL’s Wax and Wire for the soundtrack of a sports video he’d shot for the beverage company in his native Scotland. Indeed, the weighty waltz proves an oddly perfect compliment to the bucolic Edinburgh scenes, and the many three-point rotations of Danny’s bike:

As a follow-up to the video, Red Bull arranged a short trip to Scotland for four of Loch Lomond’s members: lead singer/songwriter Ritchie Young, drummer Scott Magee, and multi-instrumentalists Dave Depper and Jason Leonard. The group embarked last week with giddy anticipation of seeing the lake that bears their band-name, meeting the biker that loves their music, and playing a few shows in the land of Lochs. But it wasn’t long before reports started trickling back across the proverbial wire: Dave and Jason were in jail! Scott had somehow sprung them! Now back safe on Portland soil, and prepping for tomorrow at Alberta Rose, side-man Dave Depper answered a few of Culturephile’s many questions:

Did you get to see Loch Lomond the lake? How does it compare to Loch Lomond the band? What do the two have in common?

Our plan was to see the lake on the first day we arrived – doing time in London scuttled that. A real shame. *

What did you go to jail for, and for how long?

Well, to be honest, "jail" was a slight exaggeration. It was an airport detention cell. Without going into too much boring detail, most countries are very strict about having a work permit/visa if you’re performing there. We were brought over to play an event celebrating an amazing bicycling video that had been sponsored by Red Bull. In the meantime, an advocate of ours over there had set up a couple of small shows for us to play in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We weren’t getting paid for these, so I assumed that we wouldn’t need a performance visa, and if we did, that it would have been worked out by our contacts in Scotland. I’m still not exactly sure what happened, but when we landed at Heathrow, after asking us a few questions which we answered unsatisfactorily, passport control immediately detained Jason [Leonard] and me in a holding cell. We’d remain there for the next 22 hours, accompanied only by a book, the BBC, a vending machine, and blankets. It (no pun intended) royally sucked.

What would you prefer to have gone to jail for? (What crime would best enhance Loch Lomond’s cred?)

I’m trying really hard to come up with a clever answer for this, but the fact is that I really don’t want to go to jail (or whatever it was) ever again. Even though I knew the worst thing that would happen would be deportation, it was still an awful feeling to be a prisoner, held against my will, fingerprinted and mugshotted, separated from my possessions, and forced to sit on a bench in blinding fluorescent lighting with security cameras on me for an extended period of time. Especially in a foreign country! I came out of it feeling a little bit traumatized. Wuss alert!

Now that you’ve been in Scotland, are you going to start pronouncing your band name differently? Or will you feel guilty if you don’t?

I’ve always been an advocate for pronouncing it the correct way, but we tried it for a while and it simply sounded weird. However, when abroad, pronouncing it "our way" ("Lock Lo-MAHND") is simply not an option. We’d probably have warm pints of Carling thrown at our heads.

Any more sports collaborations in the works? What other sports would LL’s music work well with?

Well, we ended up in that video because the cyclist was a fan of the band and wanted to use the song—bless his wee Scottish heart. However, I’ve always thought that we’d go great with Ultimate Fighting. We have our people working on that as we speak.

For the moment, the lake, like its namesake band, retains mystique.

Loch Lomond will play at Alberta Rose Theater this Saturday and release "Little Me Will Start A Storm." For more upcoming arts events, visit

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