Our third annual folk festival kicked off in style last night with the well established Jimmy McBeath Memorial Concert. There were many fine performances from guest artists from near to home and around Scotland. Compered wonderfully by folk stalwarts Jim Taylor and Geordie Murison we enjoyed bothy ballads, traditional songs, some fine lowland piping and some more recent tunes and songs.
The large audience was also in fine voice, and showed their ready appreciation of singers Joe Aitken (Scots Traditional Singer of the Year in 2010) and the Spiers Family. French Willie Nyffeler is a wonderful cauld wind piper, who brought us tunes from around the Celtic map to the great enjoyment of all in the hall. We closed out the concert with an extended set from singer Arthur Johnstone, fiddle and mandolin player Charlie Soane, and Guitarist Brian Miller; the finale being a gathering of all the artists from the night singing “Freedom Come All Ye”. Afterwards there was a sing-around to which all were welcome to contribute, and most definitely a grand time was had by all!
Today (Saturday) there are great opportunities to get involved and enjoy the wealth of talent we have on show in and around Portsoy. Please check out the full weekend itinerary for details, but there are workshops, performances and a singing competition during the day, culminating in the Grand Saturday Night Concert featuring Archie Fisher, The Poozies, and Duncan Wood with Cathal McConnell at the Station Hotel. Don’t miss it!