The Great Fife Road Show returns

The Great Fife Road Show
Photograph by Jurek A Putter

One to look forward to in January…The Great Fife Road Show featuring; Maureen (Chalmers) Blyth, Davie Craig, Barbara Dickson, Noel Farrow, Cilla Fisher, Jim Herd, Jimmy Hutchison, Brian Miller, Rab Noakes, Davey Stewart and Artie Trezise.

Back in late 1969 a troupe of singers from the Fife Folksong Scene gathered themselves together for a trip to Belfast. The occasion was an invitation to provide a show around Folksong from Scotland at Queens University. Later that year a wee tour of East Anglia was undertaken and here the name The Great Fife Road Show was unveiled.

As 1970 emerged, ambition was rife and a tour over the summer months was suggested. And so it came to pass. The numbers expanded and the tour was plotted. It’s here the late John Watt makes his presence felt and a level of professionalism and organisational skill is introduced. The tour covered Scotland from Dumfries to Ullapool, a total of some 25 dates.

Following that outing, the personnel altered slightly as new members arrived and others went on to establish substantial presence in the world of music’n’song. Reunions and celebratory events have occurred occasionally and The Great Fife Road Show has gone on to achieve legendary status.

This celebratory show will be performed by all surviving ex-members. Singer/Guitarist Des Haldane, who died too young in 2008, will be fondly remembered and there’ll be a segment of the show devoted to the seminal John Watt which will contain several of his masterly compositions. The show will revisit some of its renowned ensemble pieces and solo performances. There’ll be old songs, new songs, old jokes and a delicious camaraderie on display.

To quote the song ‘Fife’s Got Everything’ – “Fife’s entertainment, finest in the country, when it comes to arty talk we’re no’ the mugs”. But we’ll let the audience be the judge of that claim.

Laughter, tears, nostalgia and memories of 50 years of friendship, wrapped up in The Great Fife Road Show.

Saturday 18 January 2020 Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly, Fife. KY5 9RD. Show 8pm Tickets £10 Tel. 01592 583303 boxoffice.lochgelly@onfife.com www.onfife.com/venues/lochgelly-centre

Rab Noakes announces new album

Welcome to Anniversaryville released on Friday 13th July 2018

Rab Noakes
Photograph by Brian Aris

In February of 2017 Rab Noakes performed a well-attended, highly-acclaimed concert, with his ‘70/50 in 2017’ band of musicians at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket, as part of that year’s Celtic Connections festival. That concert, its songs and its players form the backbone of this record. The songs are mostly by Rab and span nearly 50 years of songwriting from ‘Together Forever’ [1969] to ‘It All Joins Up (In The End)’ [2017]. They form a sequence which contains interpretations of songs from a diverse range of sources from Scots traditional to Scots Gaelic to Al Jolson to Doris Troy to Pee Wee King to Marijohn Wilkins.

The band members are a rich mixture of people, some of whom Rab has worked with before and some he hadn’t. Some of them had played together before and some hadn’t. They are Stuart Brown – drums; Christine Hanson – cello; Jill Jackson – guitar, singing; Kathleen MacInness – singing; Una McGlone – double-bass; Lisbee Stainton – 8-string guitar, banjo, singing; Innes Watson – fiddle, guitar, singing. A broad range of songs was chosen, and rehearsed, for the concert. It was an easy decision to reach to arrange to visit the recording studio on the weekend immediately following it. Over those three days, the backbone of this record was laid. Some of the songs were performed live in the studio.

Some were laid as backing tracks. New tunes, awaiting lyrics, were laid and Welcome To Anniversaryville  was well underway. In no hurry, so not using up a large amount of days, John Cavanagh, Stephy Pordage and I were in John’s upstairs room, in Muirend, with musicians coming to complete this work. Sometimes they were alone, at other times there were two, even three, of them at a time. Guest musicians appeared such as Davie Craig – fiddle, singing; Alex Gascoine – violin; Sue McKenzie – baritone plus soprano sax and Emily Tse – bass trombone. In time the seventeen tracks were worked on to a satisfactory conclusion.

Rab says, “It’s all too easy for artists to believe their latest is their best work. It’s seldom true and, in any case, it takes time for that to be proved. In this case though, for me, it may well be true. The quality of the contributions from all involved, the attitude and sound achieved alongside the subject matters of the songs and their provenance does seem to add up to something. I always strive to make a record only I can make. I leave it to you to put that to the test”.

Artist’s website: http://rabnoakes.com/

‘Jackson Greyhound’ – live with Jill Jackson: