Showing posts with label banjo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banjo. Show all posts

Thursday 30 October 2014

Sandy Bells Bar

Sandy Bells, Forrest Road Edinburgh is a place that attracts traditional Scottish musicians.  I used to frequent the bar many moons ago when I dated a folk guitarist. It opened my experience to the live music scene and to unaccompanied singing and harmony singing. I remember evenings there with energetic fiddles, guitars and banjoes playing those foot stomping reels and jigs. Wonderful memories. The Scottish poet Hamish Henderson and traditional folk guitarist Dick Gaughan used to go there. I took these shots one evening during a more recent trip to Edinburgh.

Monday 4 March 2013

Kris Drever and Eammon Coyne Milngavie Folk Club

When Irish and Scots folk blend something fun and very unique happens. Both Kris and Eammon are very personable and with their easy manner put their packed audience at ease when they began their set with some energising tunes.  

Eammon is an accomplished banjo player from Dublin who has played with many well known Irish folk players and now lives in Edinburgh. I noticed Eammon first with Salsa Celtica and I noticed how much he enjoyed himself on stage.
Kris Drever
 Eammon Coyne
Kris is from Orkney and he is one of the most popular contemporary Scots folk singers. Drever originally played with the ceilidh band Session A9.  He was persuaded by John McCusker to record his own solo material and he released his debut album ‘Black Water’ to good reviews in 2006. He has worked with some of the top Scottish folk musicians and toured with Kate Rusby’s band.

They played a excellent selection of tunes and folk ballads. I particularly enjoyed Drever’s own composition Steel and Stone and we sang along to the Tannahill Weaver’s fine song Farewell to Fuinery Drever also sang the Burn’s song Parcel of Rogues to the Nation to good effect

Their tunes and reels were very well played and full of character. Kris has a fine voice and he performs quality songs. The music is an interesting mix of their own compositions and traditional folk and country influences. In 2007 Coyne released a cd with Kris Drever called ‘Honk Toot Suite’ and is worth checking out. 

SET  ( I read this set list upside down so I hope it is correct!)
Call and Answer/ Isle of France/ La Bestai/ Wild Hurricane/ Harvest/ Poor Mans Son
II Mthe/ Mazurka/ Crown of London/ Parcel of Rogues/ Twenty Quid/ Black Water/ Shady Grove/ Steel and Stone/ Farewell to Fuinery Honk Toot Suite.
I’ve seen Kris a few times before at Celtic Connections festival and at the folk club and I thought this gig was a step on with both Kris’s performance and Coyne providing colourful playing. I would perhaps have enjoyed hearing more chat about the songs. I also preferred his new look longer hair! 

When he moved from Orkney Drever started out playing at Sandy Bells Edinburgh, a place I have very fond memories of. Drever also plays with the band Lau with Martin Green and Aidan O'Rourke, and they performed on Jools Holland last year.  They prove to be one of the most promising new folk music collaborations.
Kris Drever PHOTOS -

Thursday 31 December 2009

Hobopop Collective - Live album No 5

Hobopop Collective - Live album No 5
'banjo-dominated americana from its tom waits-like washboard blowouts'
I was thrilled to travel down to Manchester to shoot for the bands live album. Mat met me at the Manchester station so I missed the BMP March.

Kirsty and Mat have a flowing and engrossing vibe to their upbeat tunes. Kirsty has moving soul-filled vocals and Mat provides the energy with his stringed instruments. Her songs feel light and easy, but are full of mystery and clever meanings. They do a mix of laid back jazz-infused bluegrass acoustic tunes. Kirsty sings her travelling songs that draw close affinities with nature – ‘Your Under My Skin’ (songs about dust!) ‘Killer Wasps’, the fun ‘Sandman’, the bluesy tones of ‘Easy’. She draws inspiration from her travels hobo style. She and Mat have been performing together the past 4 years and are based in Manchester.

McGee's evolving band is named the Hobopop Collective. With a diversity of musicianship the Collective consists of on drums Rob Turner ( jazz band Magic Hat Ensemble), on double bass Nick Blacka (Magic Hat Ensemble), and for this live recording on guitar James Steel (from the rock band Brute chorus) Chris Cundy on clarinet ( Fyfe Dangerfield's band the Guillemots and the Gannets) For her recent album - 'Live Album No 5' - McGee decided to have it recorded in one live take in a Manchester theatre to have that special live audience vibe.