G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Thursday 25 July 2024
 13.5°C   SSE Fresh Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Folk Festival 2014 / Carnegie pulls out all the stops for folkies

Adam Holmes and his band at the Carnegie Hall on Thursday night. Photo: Chris Brown

It might not have been the Carnegie Hall, but Thursday’s Folk Festival concert in Sandwick had no less style. The recently reopened local venue offered a touch of class with its table service, half time food, fairy lights and printed food and drinks menus, which set the scene for a brilliant night of music.

Kicking off were locals Kansa, who set the bar high. Featuring double bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals, and gathered round one microphone, the band have an authentic bluegrass sound that had me looking forward to seeing them since I first encountered them at a singer-songwriter night in Mareel.

They played Americana standards, with singer Karlyn Grains’ deep vocals proving an excellent match for Bill Monroe’s ‘Can’t You Hear Me Callin’’ and the Carter family’s ‘My Old Cottage Home’. A set of American tunes showed off fiddle player Stewart Grains’ skills to perfection.

Next up was another act I had been looking forward to seeing, having played their album Heirs and Graces almost to death in recent months.

Up and coming Scottish folk band Adam Holmes and the Embers played a selection of soulful original songs, the first of which front man Holmes admitted were on the sombre side. With a full band featuring keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, they had a big sound for the peerie hall. The mood was lifted towards the end of their set, with ‘Monday Morning’ just asking to be danced to, and the John Martyn-esque ‘Where the River Meets the Hill’. ‘Ballad Fire In the Sun’, with its country guitar twang, was a favourite.

Festival stalwarts Bryan Gear and Violet Tulloch followed, with a set of new and old tunes beautifully delivered. A Canadian waltz learnt from April Verch, who visited Shetland for last year’s festival stood out, as did Phil Cunningham’s soaring slow air Quendale Bay, written for the Braer disaster. It was dedicated, as undoubtedly many tunes will be this weekend, to the festival’s late great Davie Henderson, and Shetland musician Billy Kay.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

The fourth act of the night was Scotland based Rose Room, with an outstanding set of gypsy and hot house jazz classics, who drew the first real whoops and hollers from the crowd. Special mention must go to Seonaid Aitken, on vocals and fiddle, whose deft playing throughout the performance, but especially on a Dorado Schmitt bossanova, blew my mind. The band are real entertainers, and a joy to watch, which is an added bonus when you sound like they do.

Rounding up the night were Newfoundland folk act the Dardanelles. Head-banging guitar player Tom Power entertained the crowd with stories in between tunes, while the sincere vocals of bouzouki player Matthew Byrne grounded the set on traditional folk tunes ‘The Banks of Newfoundland’ and ‘Eastern Light’. Drawing parallels between Shetland and their homeland, the band’s easy humour and lively music made for a fitting end to a fantastic first night of the festival.

Louise Thomason

For our comprehensive folk festival coverage go to http://www.shetnews.co.uk/features/folk-festival-2014/

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.