Bothy Ballads & Burns

Bothy Ballads & Burns, Sat 17th Feb, Portsoy Bowling Club

Guests ~ Choras and Tom Dymock
3 Course Meal, Dram and a Glass of Port
~ All for £25 ~
~ Sat 17th Feb. 2024 Starts at 6:30pm Portsoy Bowling Club ~
Contact Bob Philips for your tickets
07968 872217 ~

Folk Club Cancelled – 19th Jan, 24.

This Friday’s folk club (19th Jan) has been cancelled

Due to adverse weather conditions the monthly meeting of Folk at the Salmon Bothy has been cancelled.
Keep safe and we’ll see you next month.

Don’t forget to book for our Bothy Ballads and Burns on 17th Feb.

2024 at Folk at the Salmon Bothy

Portsoy’s Folk at The Salmon Bothy have kicked off the new year by announcing an exciting programme of live music events.

Performers are invited to join an Open Mic Night on Friday 19 January at Portsoy Salmon Bothy, where they can share music, songs, ballads and poetry around the table.

All welcome, whether to perform, or simply enjoy the entertainment on offer.  Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm start.  Admission is £5, and guests may bring their own bottle. 

Open Mic Nights continue on the third Friday of each month throughout the year, including extended sets performed by The Sir Reel Clarks on 15 March, and Kenny Spiers on 18 April.

The club’s renowned Bothy Ballads and Burns event takes place on Saturday 17 February from 6.30pm, where special guests Choras and Tom Dymock will perform.  A number of Burns songs, tunes and poems, interspersed with bothy ballads will also be on the bill.

Tickets for the evening, priced at £25, include a three-course meal and toast dram. Booking is essential, please contact Bob Philips on or 07968 872217

The event will also mark the official launch of 2024 Haal festival, which is set to take place on 31 May, 1 & 2 June.  Now in its 14th year, the Haal continues to attract the best performers from across the regions to take part in a variety of concerts, music sessions, workshops and sing-arounds for all ages and performing abilities in venues across Portsoy.

Headliners for the Saturday evening include Jacquie McShee’s Pentangle, and one of the last of the travelling troubadours, Leeds based Allan Taylor.

Tickets for the festival are available now.

Bob Philips, chairman of Folk at the Salmon Bothy, commented, “We are looking forward to another packed programme throughout 2024.  As well as nurturing local folk music talent, we are also proud to attract performers from far afield to Portsoy for our audiences to enjoy.  This year is no different as we continue to add globally recognised singer-songwriters to our listings, and look forward to welcoming them, along with existing and new audiences to our many events across the year. Our sincere thanks go to our long standing sponsors, including Hydrasun, Kenway Tyres and Hamlyns, without whom we would not be able to host the Haal festival annually.”

Further information on all Folk at the Salmon Bothy events is available at or on the Folk at the Salmon Bothy Facebook page. 

Dates for your Diary. 

Coming up at Folk at the Salmon Bothy

  • Friday, 17th Nov – Regular Open Mic – in Bothy. Doors open 1900.
  • Friday 15th Dec. – Christmas Extravaganza. With punch and nibbles
  • 1st January. 2024 – New year session in Bowling Club. Bring friends an nibbles to share, plus a raffle prize.
  • 19th Jan and 16th Feb – regular open mic nights.
  • Sat 17th Feb – Bothy Ballads and Burns Night. 3 course meal. dram. Chaired by Tom Dymmock and songs from CHORAS and floor singers. All for £25. Bookings now being taken.

Keep safe and well.
Hope to see you all soon.

Folk club cancelled.

Due to the expected poor weather conditions the decision has been taken to cancel the regular club meeting on Friday 20th.

Stay home and stay safe 🏡😊

13th Haal – Friday Night – The Sands Family

Just a few tickets left for this fantastic Friday night concert featuring The Sands Family from Rostrevor, Co Down.
We invite you to take a stroll down the Ryan Road with one of Ireland’s most respected and admired folk bands.

Anne, Ben, Colum and Tommy have won international acclaim with their clever mix of traditional Irish music and song coupled with their own thought- provoking compositions reflecting the rich cultural heritage of their home county, An Dun. Renowned as performers, writers and presenters they have remained at the centre of Ulster folk music for a generation and show no evidence of running out of inspiration, enthusiasm or energy.

Ireland’s First Family of Folk have the gift of making their audience feel immediately home as they weave stories and jokes seamlessly into the fabric of their performance. Book early and avoid disappointment.

Support by Nathalie Chalmers, Danny Couper, Charlie Abel, Aaron and Andy Clark

New Year’s Day Bash

Sunday 1st January 2023.

New Year’s Day Bash.

Survived Hogmanay, then come along to very informal New Years Day Session. Portsoy Bowling Club. 2000 start. Entry free, but bring a raffle prize and some nibbles to share.

Coming up at Folk at the Salmon Bothy

Coming up at Folk at the Salmon Bothy. Here are some great events during the next few months.

  • Friday 18th November – Stuart Campbell is our MC for this months Open Mic Event. Doors open 1900. £4 includes Tea/ coffee etc. BYOB.
  • Friday 16th December. Mike Blackburn is to MC our Xmas Extravaganza. More info to follow.
  • New Years Day 2023 – Session on New Years Day 2023. Portsoy Bowling Club. Free entry, however bring a raffle prize and some food to share. 8.00pm onwards. Please let Bob know asap if interested. This event will only run if enough support.
  • Saturday 18th February – Bothy Ballads and Burns. The Wonderful Lennox Family will once again host our Bothy Ballads and Burns event, Portsoy Bowling Club. More details to follow. Bookings now being taken.
  • Saturday 25th March. – Tommy Sands in concert in the Salmon Bothy. Tommy is no stranger to Portsoy and is  a superb singer songwriter, story teller and peace activist. 

For more details please get in touch on FaceBook or email Bob at

Folk Singer Jimmy McBeath Remembered Through Music And Song

Folk Singer Jimmy McBeath Remembered Through Music And Song

Bothy ballads echoed through Portsoy recently as musicians gathered to remember the legendary late folk singer, Jimmy McBeath.

The event on Saturday 1 October was organised by the town’s Folk at the Salmon Bothy, to mark fifty years since McBeath’s passing in 1972.

One of Scotland’s most memorable and talented personalities, McBeath bequeathed a priceless treasury of songs as part of Scotland’s heritage.  Many of his songs such as Come aa Ye Tramps and Hawkers, The Wind Blew the Bonnie Lassie’s Plaidie Awa and The Bonnie Lass o Fyvie, have been adopted by internationally known folk singers, and are still valued and sung around the world today.

A group of twenty people, many who had known McBeath personally, gathered at Portsoy graveyard to celebrate the grand legacy of song left behind by McBeath.

David Denoon, who had known McBeath well, gave a moving tribute to ‘The Scout’ as he was known, prior to laying a wreath of autumn flowers at McBeath’s grave.

The day of celebration and remembrance continued in front of extended audiences.  An excellent presentation on McBeath’s life was given, compiled by Tom Spires and led by Arthur Watson. Songs and stories were contributed by Geordie Murison, Maggie Spiers and Scott Gardiner.

A number of bothy songs performed by local champion singers Doug Hay and Bill Gray kicked off the evening event, followed by a fantastic and moving performance of Jock’s Jocks, which brought tears to many eyes. The evening programme was brought to a close by Choras, who harmonised beautifully across a variety of songs.

Reflecting on the day, Bob Philips, chairman of Folk at the Salmon Bothy, commented, “The event was a fitting celebration of Jimmy McBeath, one of Scotland’s most talented and memorable personalities on the traditional folk music scene.  Performers and audience members alike shared both laughter and tears during a host of superb performances from talented musicians and singers throughout the day. The evening event concluded with all the performers and some of the audience singing A Parting Glass, which proved to be a very apt end to a day during which many a glass had been raised to the folk music legend that is Jimmy McBeath.”

Folk Singer Jimmy McBeath To Be Commemorated Fifty Years On

Folk Singer Jimmy McBeath To Be Commemorated Fifty Years On

On Saturday 1st October Folk at the Salmon Bothy will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of renowned Scots folk singer Jimmy McBeath.

McBeath was one of Scotland’s most memorable and talented personalities, bequeathing a priceless treasury of songs as part of Scotland’s heritage.  Many of his songs such as Come aa Ye Tramps and Hawkers, The Wind Blew the Bonnie Lassie’s Plaidie Awa and The Bonnie Lass o Fyvie, have been adopted by internationally known folk singers, and are still valued and sung around the world.

Born in Portsoy in 1898, McBeath served in France with the Gordon Highlanders during World War 1, followed upon his return to Scotland by casual work across farms in the north east.  During these times, he heard songs in barrack rooms and bothies, and soon himself began to perform songs of the north east. Supplementing his income by performing at hiring fairs, markets and in the streets, his distinctive voice and pawky sense of humour saw him became an easily recognised character.

Since his death in 1972, McBeath’s songs have remained popular, being frequently performed at traditional music venues and events all around the country.

Now fifty years on, the esteemed of the north east’s traditional folk music scene will come together to remember McBeath’s talent and legacy.

Following the laying of a wreath on his grave at midday, an event celebrating his life and contribution to folk song will take place at Portsoy Church Centre from 2pm.  Led by Arthur Watson, with support from Danny Couper, Geordie Murison, Scott Gardiner and The Spiers Family, a number of songs from McBeath’s repertoire will be performed, including a few recorded snippets from the man himself.

An evening concert from 7.30pm offers an equally impressive array of talented folk musicians and singers who will cover McBeath’s works, including Bill Gray and Doug Hay, as well as Aileen Carr, Barbara Dymock and Janice Clark, who perform together as Choras.

The concert will also include a performance of Jock’s Jocks, a one-act play based on the wartime stories of around sixty World War 1 soldiers who were interviewed by north east folk singer Jock Duncan, who was highly influenced by McBeath’s work.

Over fifty years of Jock Duncan’s life was spent seeking out and interviewing ‘the Jocks’, Scottish veterans of the Great War. Transcribing the recordings word for word on an old manual typewriter over two thousand Sunday mornings, his labour of love provides a truly unique glimpse into the lives of those who left the farms of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Perthshire for the fields of Flanders and France and the shores of Gallipoli. These memories have been lifted off the page and put on the stage in the musical play, Jock’s Jocks, featuring Scott Gardiner, Charlie West and Gary West.

Looking ahead to the full day event, Bob Philips, chairman of Folk at the Salmon Bothy, said, “Jimmy McBeath is without doubt one of Scotland’s most memorable and talented personalities, his influence is still apparent in the songs performed on the traditional folk music scene internationally today. It seems only fitting that in the fiftieth year since his passing, performers and musicians from across the north east’s folk music scene will get together to celebrate his life and works.  We are also delighted to be hosting Jocks Jock’s, in the most northern showing of the play to date, where audience members should be prepared to laugh, cry and sing as they watch the drama unfold. We are very much looking forward to an enjoyable and uplifting day of music and entertainment.”    

Tickets available now, priced at £10 for the afternoon event, £15 for the evening concert, or £20 for both, can be bought by contacting Bob Philips at or 07968 872 217.

More information at

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