Paisley 2021 – City Of Culture – New Video
August 7, 2017
With all the hype about Paisley in the running for City of Culture 2021, it’s been making me think on the city’s rich tradition, not only in industry, but also in poetry and music.
Here is a song myself and Alistar recorded a few weeks back at a rehersal, by one of Paisley’s Bards; Robert Tannahill
Born in Paisley, Tannahill worked as a weaver, while writing poems and songs about nature, love and topics of the time with which he sympathised, such as the plight of the Highlanders after the Jacobite rebellions and the Irish immigrants who flooded into Glasgow looking for work, both of whom were discriminated against.
Although this song was written sometime between 1774-1810, it still has relevance in the fast-paced world we live in. At some point, I think we all wish we could be at peace on a desert island, escaping daily life with the ones we love most.
Have a listen here:
First Helensburgh Folk Club
September 11, 2016
Tomorrow (Monday 12th September) is the first Helensburgh Folk Club, in association with ‘Hands Up for Trad’. Our headline act will be Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal.
Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal are a Scottish duo who are in great demand in the UK and abroad. Their performances combine many of their own tunes and songs along with old traditional music on fiddle, guitar and vocals. With many influences from Argyll and the West Coast of Scotland. They have toured extensively around Europe with concerts in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections, outdoor gigs to over 4000 people in Verona, supported the pop band Madness and have been the backing band for actor/singer Ewan McGregor.
Myself and Ryan Young couldn’t be happier with the wonderful venue where the club will take place. The Tower Digital Arts Centre, Helensburgh was know to us as a unused church, but has been transformed in to a wonderful venue/cinema that values and showcases local talent. The venue supports local businesses by selling a few select products before and during the show, including alcoholic and soft drinks, as well as tubs of Helensburgh’s famous Dino’s Ice Cream.
Myself and Ryan Young will be opening the evening with a few songs and tunes at 7.30pm.
Please come along and support our new venture!
June 20, 2016
Thank you to everyone who came to see me showcase my original songs in my home village of Cardross on Friday night. I was so glad to see so many from the village, along with some old pals. I also must thank Colin Greeves, Grant McFarlane and Ally Forsyth for a fantastic opening act of tunes, mostly penned by Colin himself, along with some lovely folk songs, including ‘The Mission Hall’, which is an old favourite of mine. And I can’t forget the wonderful and talented musicians who performed alongside me: Alistair Paterson (Keyboard), Angus Tikka (Bass), Neil Paton (Kit), and Chris Amer (Guitar).
And a massive thank you to everyone to helped me organise the event, I appreciate all your help, I couldn’t have done it without you all.
As most of you know, this was something totally different for me, as I mostly perform folk songs, especially Gaelic song, with a few of my own compositions interspersed. However, this writing project has taken me in a sightly different direction and enabled me to experiment with different genres, including jazz and pop. However, the folk influence will always find a way to appear one way or another. Examples of this can be found in my own creations, such as ‘Touch the Gate’ based on a magical place in Cardross, which I recently released as a single and made a music video with Barluath, and ‘Aberlour’, which describes many aspects of the Speyside distillery, including the whisky and it’s creator, and how the landscape around the distillery influences the product and creates a special flavour that is renowned the world over.
Follow the link if you’d like to view a video clip of the last few numbers of the show. You’ll be listening to ‘Touch the Gate’, ‘Seagull’ and ‘Muddy Waters’: https://www.facebook.com/1346906049/videos/10210157941528812/