John Gibson: Room for 12 on this gravy train

Tom Ponton
Tom Ponton
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Long time no see Tom P. Busy, I’d say industrious, in his so-called retirement from high-profile public life.

Tom Ponton was a fearless, aye cantankerous Conservative, latterly Lib Dem councillor for Dean at the City Chambers.

When he’s not at home in the West End he pampers himself in Florida, living on the fat of the land. Noticeably portlier since I’d last seen him earlier this year.

He’s back in town to host his annual Jazz and Pie Night for the 15th year in the Oz Bar in Candlemaker Row, formerly his pub, now son Iain’s.

“Of 60 or so city councillors I’ve invited only a dozen. Last year I vowed we’d have fewer politicians on the night, more real people. The menu’s the same. Live jazz and mouth-watering pies,” says Mr P.

“Pies made in Kinross by singing butcher Iain Hunter, a vocalist of considerable talent.”

Chancers at the door will be knocked back.

Get in tune

This is good music week in Edinburgh. Tomorrow it’s Gregg Wright, former guitarist with Michael Jackson, jamming at the Voodoo Room with Ash Gupta.

“Gregg has reinvented himself as a blues man but gets uncannily close to Jimi Hendrix,” gushes Gupta. “We’ve room for just 80. Tickets a tenner at the door.”

Thursday night, inventive songwriters Kenny Herbert and Rab Howat will be at rustic Canongate pub the White Horse with their acoustic guitars, playing their own material and classic covers. Be there. It’s free. I said free.

Chicken breast

You couldn’t get a chicken fillet in an Edinburgh eaterie at the weekend for love or money. Well, maybe for love. Women were using the fillets as bra boosters after a 28-year-old was cut free from a car crash by firefighters who discovered that fillets stuffed into her bra had saved her life in the head-on collision.