It has to be Portobello Beach – or “Porty” beach – because that’s where our mum and dad used to take me and my sister, Hazel. It seemed like miles and miles away – felt like a holiday – but it was just a ride on the 42 bus from where we lived in Newington in Edinburgh. They had the open-air swimming pool with the wave machine at Porty. When I was a wee boy so it was great fun; a highlight of the summer.


Well, I think 4 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh. We used to live across the road in a wee ground floor place and my mum always used to look over at this top floor flat and think it must be wonderful because it would have amazing views over the Pentlands. She always dreamed of moving there… and we did, finally, when I was about 10. She stayed there for the rest of her life so I have many happy memories of that flat.


The Shore in Leith is my home from home, because I’ve been playing a Sunday afternoon gig at the Shore Bar for the past 30 years, and I love the atmosphere down there. It is its own place, distinct from Edinburgh, with a more laid-back and down-to-earth vibe. I’ve made so many friends down there over the years and it’s got a thriving wee music scene thanks to pubs like the Malt and Hops and the born-again Leith Jazz Festival.


A very vivid memory is of my dad taking me down to Waverley Station, when I was five, to see my mum off to Glasgow to visit her relations who lived in Dumbreck. As my mum was standing at the door of the carriage waiting to be waved off, my dad scooped me up and put me and a case on the train beside her. Mum explained that I was going on holiday with her – which was completely unexpected and very exciting because it was my first time on a train!


I haven’t done it in years – I now live in Glasgow – but from Arthur’s Seat to Duddingston used to be a favourite walk, culminating in lunch at the Sheep
Heid Inn.

The Herald:


The view of Loch Long from Portincaple in Garelochhead. I used to visit there a lot. I’d go to stay with my friends Fionna Duncan and Ronnie Rae who had a fabulous house right on the water. We used to sit in their sun lounge and watch the boats and the birds – and the occasional nuclear submarine.


Up until the pandemic, I had travelled to Cromarty in the Black Isle each year to work at a jazz vocal workshop. The first year there I discovered this award-winning Dutch cheese shop (The Cheese House) in an old jail. What a find! They store the cheeses in the original cell. Fantastic cheeses and chutneys – needless to say, an awful lot of my wages went in to their till over the years.


Fruit pudding is my favourite part of a full Scottish breakfast – though it’s not always served, but combined with crispy bacon and egg, it’s the bee’s knees. I’m also very partial to a white pudding supper, which in recent times I’ve bought from the Deep Sea on Nicolson Street in Edinburgh – just the ticket after a late-night set at The Jazz Bar.


Dog-friendly cafes are a high priority for us and luckily Shawlands is well served in that department.

I’m often to be found in Spill the Beans on Skirving Street. It’s very dog-friendly so our dog, Zuzu, and I often pop in after she has exhausted herself playing with her ball in the park. She’s a very well-kent face in there and is often given wee treats by the staff who are very fond of her. It’s always busy but there’s a patio area out the back where we like to sit in the summer.


Queen’s Park is a wonderful park five minutes’ walk from our house on Glasgow’s southside. It’s full of wee nooks and crannies and you can easily find places to be on your own, away from the madding crowd – although when I say “alone”, I am always with Zuzu. I wouldn’t dare go to the park without her; it’s her favourite place. There are loads of quiet spots where I can sit, throw the ball to her and do some thinking – or listening to music on my phone – in peace.

Brian Kellock headlines two concerts at this month’s Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Brian Kellock & Enrico Tomasso (trumpet) on July 15 and Brian Kellock at 60, on July 20 – both at the St Bride’s Centre. Tickets/more info at

Brian’s solo CD, Bidin’ My Time, is available to stream via all the usual outlets.