LOCKDOWN during a global pandemic was no picnic for any musician used to playing live, touring and recording in the studio.

It proved fruitful for Kevin McDermott, however.

“I’ve been collaborating with Argentinian composer Milo Castaneda during lockdown,” he explains in an email ahead of his forthcoming gig at Frets in the Strathaven Hotel on October 1. “Technology permits.

“The fruits of this are the lead track for the new Tarantino movie, Manos Arriba, and the track of the same name.”

At least some of this is rubbish, of course, as any diehard McDermott fan will know.

Milo Castaneda is McDermott’s alter ego, under which he has recorded several songs including Manos Arriba, Mary Don’t and Guggi in a Boat. Do any of them feature on a Tarantino soundtrack? As McDermott did not elaborate, who knows, but it’s probably - disappointingly - safe to assume not.

Such larks from McDermott aside, the Glasgow born musician, singer and songwriter is supporting Robyn Hitchcock at the latest gig in Strathaven’s Frets Concerts series, and that IS a fact.

Glasgow Times: Robyn Hitchcock

A whole host of Scottish stars have signed up to play acoustic gigs at the ‘off-the-beaten-track’ venue, including Hipsway and Altered Images, following in the footsteps of Lloyd Cole, James Grant and The Bluebells who kicked off the new season earlier this month.

McDermott, a former draughtsman at Yarrow’s shipyard on the Clyde, first came to the public’s attention with his original band, The Suede Crocodiles, who supported Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward on his UK tour.

He released his first solo album, Suffocation Blues following the demise of the Suede Crocodiles, and on its release in 1986 he performed live on Channel 4 music show The Tube.

After supporting Del Amitri on UK and US dates, Kevin decided to form a band and The Kevin McDermott Orchestra was born. They were soon signed by Island Records and the debut album, Mother Nature’s Kitchen, was released to much acclaim.

KMO embarked on a concentrated period of touring as both headliners and support slots, playing with artists as revered as 10,000 Maniacs, Squeeze, The Alarm, Sting, INXS, Simple Minds. The band opened for Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker and Status Quo at Celtic Park and Wembley Stadium in 1991.

He has fond memories of playing in the city over the years.

“My first stadium gig at Celtic Park with Rod Stewart was a blast,” he says.

KMO released 4 albums before fragmenting, with Kevin going back to a solo career. Two years ago – to mark the 30th anniversary of Mother Nature’s Kitchen – the band reunited to perform the album with a three-night residency at The Admiral Bar.

At Frets in Strathaven on October 1, Kevin is opening for Robyn Hitchcock, one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers.

Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums.

He describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. His most recent album is self-titled and he is looking forward to performing live again.

“After the pandemic struck, touring soon seemed like another life: I remember what touring was, but not how it felt,” he says.

“I’m looking forward to feeling in motion again, after 18 months being fairly static.”

Robyn has been busy, however.

“Those 18 months have been very fertile for me: I recorded a whole new LP in my house, which in deep lockdown felt like a space station,” he says.

“I sent the tracks out to musician friends around the world - Oslo, Melbourne, Manchester, Cambridge and beyond - who very kindly overdubbed their voices and instruments on it.

“Johnny Marr’s on there, amongst others. I’ve never made a record without going into a studio before.

“My partner Emma Swift and I now run a label and publishing house (Tiny Ghost) and a twice-weekly streamed show Live From Sweet Home Quarantine. And I have my first book, a collection of illustrated lyrics, available now. I did a few paintings, too, for the first time in years.

READ MORE: When the stars came to Glasgow for MOBO awards

“Emma released a fantastic LP of Dylan covers, Blonde On The Tracks. It’s been very busy for us…”

He has fond memories of playing in Glasgow over the years.

“Glasgow’s always been good, gig-wise,” he says. “The city seemed bleak and rough to my effete southern eyes when I first played there in 1980 - it’s had some love since then and feels like a happier place.

“My fave gig was on the Renfrew Ferry.

"The ‘weegies are a smart and lively crowd….”

Visit fretscreative.com for more information and tickets.