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The Gigha Music Festival

September 10th - 11th 2004

 

In spite of the weather, and the ferry having to stop running, the Gigha Music Festival 2004 was a great success. Friday night saw the concert off to a great start with the multi-talented Ali Hutton helped by a new discovery for the Gigha Music Festival of Innes Watson, who could make music with any instrument. This was followed by the delightful Gaelic singing of Maeve Mackinnon, a student at RASMD in Glasgow who was recommended to the festival by her tutor Mhari MacInees and was very much appreciated by the audience. The evening's MC, none other than Mr Davy Robertson, whose repertoire of songs, followed this and his great wit makes the whole evening such a delight. The piece de resistance was the Anna Massey Trio, a young group of multi instrumental talent that leaves you astounded. Anna has a great rapport with the audience; it is hard to believe she is so young. The evening finished off with a ceilidh, the band made up of various musicians who had appeared during the evening.

The weather wasn't kind to us on Saturday and the rain came lashing down driven by the strong winds, however, people were not deterred. The procession was a little late in starting as one of the pipe band had a problem with his instrument that had to be addressed before things could get under way. Once on the field the pipe band continued to entertain us. This was followed by “Threes a Crowd” a young girl group from Campbeltown (Lauren used to live on Gigha). Unfortunately during their performance, I was given the message that people were advised to make their way to the slip for the 2.30 ferry as they did not know if there would be another sailing and I had to make an announcement informing everyone. As it happened, many people decided to stay. Unfortunately the brass band and highland dancers had to go away before they could perform for us. However Andrew Mackintosh regaled the children with some entertaining stories followed by another performance from Threes a Crowd and the “RagMan”, a musician from Glasgow with a repertoire of songs about his local environment. We also enjoyed a performance of Line Dancing. The main event of the afternoon was the Tug of War, which we hope to hold annually. Unfortunately because of the ferry stopping, our opponents the TA Team had not arrived, so we managed to persuade the opposing team from the morning's football match to take their place. Gigha's team won and John Martin accepted the cup and a bottle of whisky, and a half bottle was presented to the gallant losers. This closed the events for the afternoon on the field and, while we struggled to take down the marquee before the wind did, people made their way to the Boathouse for a delicious barbeque.

During the morning there were workshops for Clarsach, highland dancing, pipes, bodran and penny whistle. At 2pm in the hotel lounge the winners of last November's poetry competition in local schools were presented with their prizes by Christine de Luca (a poet from Shetland and Edinburgh) and they read their winning entries. Then Christine read some of her own poetry followed by Vie Tulloch, Susan Grant and John Martin.

The evening concert opened with Ali and Innes once again to get everything off to a fine start, then we were enthralled by the much travelled, and still very young, Fiona Hunter's singing accompanied by Callum MacCrimmon. Some of the locals knew Fiona as a child so this made it even more special. Campbeltonian Anne Leith was our MC for this evening. She has a wonderful voice and is a favourite with the Gigha Festival. We were also treated to Anna Massey solo with a superb flat-picking acoustic set. The evening rounded off with the fiery Canterach consisting of regulars Ross Kennedy and Lorne MacDougall helped out by some of the other musicians, as unfortunately the girls who are regularly with the band did not manage to make it over because of the ferry. This brought the concert to a rousing close. After a short break the evening continued with the very popular Deoch and Dorus ceilidh band. Again unfortunately Andrew didn't make it because of the ferry so they were helped out by Ali and co and after three hours of dancing the evening came to an end with the usual rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

There were sessions in the pub on Saturday and in the Boathouse on Sunday, so all in all, a very successful festival in spite, or because of, the weather!

This report is late due to exhaustion and stomach bug. Hope you can join us all next year

Sheila Mohr

 




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