Loanhead Festival and Folk at the Loo

Celia and I will be super busy this weekend, playing at two different festivals and travelling to Scotland and back to do so.

First up is the Loanhead Music Festival on Friday. We’ll be playing in the concert in the Miners’ Club on Friday night at 7.30, alongside Kathy Stewart and Her Frequent Flyers and the Gallus Crows. Then on Saturday 2.00 – 3.00 I will be teaching a tin whistle workshop, also in the Miners’ Club.


We’ll be heading back from Loanhead on Saturday night, then off again on Sunday, this time in a southerly direction, to Blackpool for Folk at the Loo. This is a two-day event run jointly by Carla Farrar Music and the Waterloo Hotel, and showcases some amazing bands, including Troubadour, Cartoon Food, Phantom Voices and The Sail Pattern, all of whom are my particular favourites to see live! An unfamiliar (to me) band are The Blackaways, and a couple of solo artistes, Adam Smith and Emily Kate, but all of these come with rave reviews too.

Celia Briar and I are playing on the Sunday evening of this event, and I am only sorry I can’t be there for the Saturday as well to watch the rest of the acts. The good news is that we will be there to see the amazing Phantom Voices, who are astonishingly good.

This event is definitely well worth going to, especially as the whole weekend is free entry!

folk at the loo


Tin Whistle Workshop – Lancaster

Workshop14may2016Yet another enjoyable tin whistle workshop yesterday in Lancaster!

This one was at the Robert Gillow, in the upstairs room. We did two tunes: a slip jig called ‘Elizabeth Kelly’s Delight’, and the slow air ‘South Wind’. Participants came along with a range of abilities, which we worked into an ensemble piece with the more experienced players learning and playing the melody, and the beginners contributing a couple of legato harmony lines to give them experience of moving between the notes and learning finger patterns.

We also did quite a bit of work on ornamentation (ie cuts/rolls/crans), phrasing (breathing, tonguing and slurring), and techniques for making slow airs sound really good.

I’ll be setting up a date for the next whistle workshop in the Lancaster area soon – keep an eye on the 2016 Workshops and Classes page for details.