IT’S about as far as you can get from running a mobile disco in a school hall.
So, teacher Graeme Easton could be forgiven for a few nerves ahead of the biggest gig of his career so far – Scotland’s clash with the Auld Enemy at Murrayfield tomorrow.
Mr Easton is preparing to take over as the stadium’s Six Nations announcer and will welcome in the rival squads for the Calcutta Cup match before 67,000 cheering fans.
For the 41-year-old, the move is a long way from performing at school discos with his brother Keith in the early 1990s.
Father-of-three Mr Easton – a school teacher from Craiglockhart – has moved up from announcing sports such as basketball to land the top job for the tournament.
Today, the rugby fan said: “If Scotland score a try I’ll be shouting as loud as anybody, I’ll just have to make sure it’s not down the microphone.”
Mr Easton also revealed that fans can expect a shake-up of the usual staid bagpipes, with more music and entertainment at half-time.
He said: “For tomorrow’s game we’re trying to up our game and make match day more interactive for the fans. Until now, it has been very much pipe bands on the pitch and that’s it.
“So, without giving the game away, we’re going to change it quite a bit so the fans will have a bit of a different experience – music will be played a lot more and we’ll be talking to the players and going behind the scenes at Murrayfield.”
Mr Easton, who also works at a secondary school in Edinburgh, is aware of the pitfalls of announcing, but insists his nerves will hold.
He said: “The pronunciations are pretty important but luckily we’re right next to the BBC guys.
“We’re being encouraged to be enthusiastic, and get the crowd excited before the match. But the balancing act is to make sure you don’t sound like a Redcoat from Butlins.”
Mr Easton runs Woosh Entertainments with his brother Keith and DJ Jim Gellatly. He said he will largely be relying on his brother – who is in charge of the music at Murrayfield – to ensure the fixture goes to plan.
He added: “We’ve worked together for a long time, but if anything goes wrong it’ll be down to one of us.”
Today, pubs across the Capital were preparing for a massive influx of England fans.
Thousands of people are expected to arrive in Edinburgh and watch the game in city centre venues along with those attending the live match.
Merick Dickinson, assistant manager at the Three Sisters in the Cowgate, said the venue was expecting about 1000 punters.
She said: “It’s always a very good turnout, but this weekend is looking like it could be bigger than usual.”
RUGBY fans will be able to step back in time to explore memorabilia from Calcutta Cup matches of years past at the city’s Central Library.
During the Six Nations tournament, photographs capturing the teams which contested the first ever rugby international in Stockbridge will be displayed to mark the annual event.
The faded sepia pictures feature the England and Scotland squads which played at Raeburn Place on the afternoon of Monday, March 27, 1871.
Each team had 20 players and the game lasted 100 minutes, resulting in the Scots triumphing over their English neighbours.
The collection, at the George IV Bridge library, also includes a collection of programmes, including the cover of the programme for the 100th match between the sides, which took place in 1984.
Councillor Deidre Brock, the city’s culture and leisure convener, said: “With the Six Nations about to kick off this coming weekend, the Central Library is harnessing the city’s growing rugby fever with this interesting display of archive photographs and rugby books.”
The exhibits will be on public show for the duration of the tournament.