A MAIR’S TALE
ONLY ONES bassist ALAN MAIR has unveiled a new solo single and video.
The haunting ‘The Devil’s Porridge’ tells the story of Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel’s establishment of the world’s largest explosives factory in 1871 in North Ayrshire, Scotland and the terrible conditions under which more than 12,000 female employees had to work.
The cordite turned their skin yellow and their hair green and generations of women gave birth to yellow babies. The women worked on one-legged stools as falling asleep could kill them, and workers were prone to acetone addiction.
“When I was a kid I regularly played on the beaches in Ayrshire, particularly Irvine Beach and I always noticed there were very strange sand dunes all along the coast and even as a young kid wondered how they got there,” explains Mair. “It wasn’t until I read the phrase ‘The Devil’s Porridge’ last year and investigated it that I discovered it was from when Alfred Nobel had built the largest explosives factory in the world all along that coast. They had taken sand from the beaches and built it up to the roofs of all the dynamite stock buildings so that if there was an explosion the debris would go upwards and not cause a domino effect of all the stock buildings exploding, which is what happened at Nobel’s factory in Sweden, killing his brother and twelve others. It was playing in the sand dunes as a kid and the fact that none of my family ever told me all about Nobel’s history in Scotland that inspired me to write the song.”
‘The Devil’s Porridge’ will be available to stream from 17 June.