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Wildcat Traditional Music Association Newsletter #34

12th July 2005

Can I first of all make my sincere apologies to Dod Pain and anyone else I forgot to mention in my last newsletter who performed at the Wildcat on the Prowl evening. I did rectify it in a later edition, of course but most of you won't have received the update. Sorry about that but I keep on believing I'll remember everything I'm supposed to and forget that I hardly ever do. I know it's a sign of old age but if my golf is beginning to improve at long last why isn't my memory doing the same thing! I'm sure there's logic there somewhere.

Anyway the Mick West Band comprising on this occasion Fraser Fifield complete with whistle, saxophone and a neat line in percussion, Frank McLaughlin, a beautiful and sensitive guitar player, (his playing I mean of course though a fine looking fellow he was indeed) and of course Mick West supplying the vocals. We could have done with a larger audience as always but those unable to attend missed a cracking night. It was the first time I'd heard Mick and was very impressed indeed. He's a fine singer who puts his heart and soul into his music, which helps to carry the song. Aided by two of the finest musicians in Scotland in Fraser and Frank, they provided some wonderful accompaniment. I particularly enjoyed their version of "The Ramblin' Irishman" a song I first heard Cathal McConnel singing many years ago. "Rantin' Rovin' Robin was another classic which rattled along nicely. "It was for a' oor Rightful King" brought out one of the best songs of the evening with guitar and whistle blending with Mick's voice just beautifully and with a wee touch of Sax to round it off.

This was an excellent evening and I look forward to hearing them again. Fraser has his own trio and has played in Caithness before at Lyth Arts Centre and Frank too has played in Thurso in a previous existence. He currently performs with Gillian MacDonald and with a Newcastle group, Tod's Assembly.

Next Wildcat evening -
"The Midden" Pentland Hotel Thurso
8pm Saturday 16th July

This is a relatively new band on the scene and I've yet to hear them. However they come highly recommended indeed. If I might quote some quotes!

"At last, a band that makes traditional music look as good as it sounds! A talented (trio) of young musicians as fun on stage as they are at the bar! Featuring great instrumental playing and soulful harmony singing. A real pleasure to work with and an asset to any festival trying to capture the imagination of the next generation of traditional music lovers or stir up any jaded old folkies" Jim Malcolm (solo singer/songwriter, Old Blind Dogs.

"This impressive trio may play modern folk/pop mixed with the Celtic music of their home country but that's where the similarities to the Corrs ends; mostly because the Scottish sisterly trio who are "The Midden" are a damn sight more interesting and inventive than the Corrs. And while they might not have as high a profile as their Irish counterparts that looks set to change pretty soon." Doug Johnstone.

Kate, Hazel and Meggan Reid on guitar, violin and whistle make up "The Midden". I'm sure there's a story behind the name, which no doubt we'll hear on Saturday. Having been brought up in a Glasgow tenement with a backcourt midden and an air raid shelter which served as a gang hut for all the kids and a ban from parents to stop us jumping from one to the other (which we all heeded of course), I'm intrigued by the name!!

See you all on Saturday with as many friends and relations as you can drag along!


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