Letham Nights #51 – She’Koyokh – The Review

May 25th, 2017
by Letham Nights

It was the first of the next 50…

We wondered how it would be possible to follow our 50th party with the extraordinary King Creosote…

But we needn’t have worried.  Read on for a wee review from Ron…

After the heady gig of Letham Nights’ half century with King Creosote, I felt a mixture of fear and anticipation as we embarked on the next instalment of our musical journey, wondering how we were going to manage to follow LN#50. I then recalled that when travelling in India, 51 was seen as a lucky number in the sub-continent – indeed you will be often paid £51 as opposed to the £50 price on the ticket; – it is a blessing to receive the extra coin: 0 signifies an end and the £1 signifies a beginning or a gift that you have been given to increase. And in inimitable Letham Nights fashion the night was a gift that signalled many new beginnings that I am sure will produce a heavy crop in years to come!!

First to grace the Letham Nights stage, was the raven haired Nicola Madill, an emerging singer songwriter from Tayside, ably supported by the strings of John Curran of Leveebreakers fame. I was concerned when she stood up to give us the first of the beautiful songs she has written, as the packed hall was unusually restive. But should I have worried? Definitely No! By the end of the very first line of ‘There is’ she held the heart of every man and woman in that hall in the palm of her hand and you could have heard the proverbial pin …. By the end of the second song – Diamond and Rust (Joan Baez’s lament for Bob Dylan) she had totally ensnared us in her web as she made this song her own.

I may be putting myself out there – but in my opinion at Letham Nights 51, we heard a voice that will be listened to for many years to come. In ‘Invisible Strings’, a track from her album Solene (to be released in June), Nicola sang “I don’t hear you knocking at my door’ – but I heard her hammering at the door of the music industry. She has a tenderness and a melancholy in her voice that I have not heard since the late great Sandy Denny. But just like Sandy she can put her pedal to the floor and ramp up the power of her voice at the flick of a switch. It is not just about the notes that she sings that speak to me, it’s in the gaps and her phrasing that she takes her art to another level. I suspect there is a great blues singer in there too and I look forward to hearing more. There was also a real sense that this singer has lived the songs she has written and if you missed this performance, I urge you to follow her journey as I know its going to be long and epic.

Well, I thought how could you possibly follow that. But She’Koyokh did and did it with great style and panache – a heady mixture of humour, virtuoso musicianship, spiced with the frenzy, joy and soulfulness that is inherent in klezmer music. The 5 piece band (they are usually 8) had the Letham Nights faithful first tapping their toes, then stamping their feet and by the end of the night cavorting around the dance floor inventing their steps as they whirled around like dervishes. Yes, it was an evening full of energy and musical exploration and you got the feeling that for these exceptionally talented musicians the act of making music and having fun while they were doing it was an end in itself.

The troupe was led by the mesmeric clarinet of Susi Evans who was like an elfin artful dodger as she picked the pockets of our souls – and as she led, we certainly followed. Just as prominent was the violin of Meg-Rosaleen Hamilton who took us on a journey through the Balkans (she honed her art with gypsy fiddlers in Rumania) then into Turkey with her spiralling notes. At the core of the band was the drumming of Christina Borgenstierna and the guitar of Matt Bacon, both graduates of the Plodiv Music Insitute of Bulgaria. But what about the vocals – well they were the icing on the musical cake that is She’Koyokh – Cigdem Aslan appeared like a kurdish Snowwhite that has flown in straight from plains of Anatolia – a voice like a nightingale that had dined on a dish of mulberries and with her coquettish theatrics she was a joy to watch and a delight to hear. This was one class act!

The gig was a platform for their new CD – ‘First Dance on Second Avenue’ – they entertained us with songs about love and romance , Thracian folk songs, an Armenian story of forced migration and loss to jigs from Greece. They led us a merry dance through the olive trees and vineyards of the Balkans with a humour and frenzy that will live in the memory a long time – Haste ye Back to Scotland She’Koyokh – I think I have become a klezmermaniac!!

And so to the next one…!

Letham Nights #52 – Rachel Sermanni with Hannah Jarrett-Scott

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Letham Nights #51 – She’Koyokh and Nicola Madill

February 22nd, 2017
by Letham Nights

And so we begin…

…the second half of our Letham Nights Century!

#LN51 with world class Balkan & klezmer ensemble, She’Koyokh

Saturday 6th May 2017 8pm

Tickets here >>!

For our 51st event, we are branching out again to another exciting musical genre. This time, we are proud to present the extraordinary Balkan & klezmer ensemble, She’Koyokh. Hailed as “one of London’s musical treasures, playing the best Balkan and klezmer music in Britain” (Evening Standard), the band have also been described as “amongst the finest klezmer ensembles on the planet” (The Australian).

The band will be touring their fourth album, ‘First Dance on Second Avenue’, a formidably gymnastic journey across Eastern Europe, She’Koyokh starts out in 1950s New York featuring klezmer, virtuosic Balkan dances and soulful songs from Albania, Armenia and Bulgaria, finishing up in a Turkish sauna, via Romanian mountains, and Serbian villages.  The tour takes in Southampton, Liverpool, York, Radlett, Edinburgh and Chichester, the Trondheim Jewish music festival in Norway AND OF COURSE LETHAM NIGHTS!!

As well as TV appearances and live sessions on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and World on 3, they have performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, Cheltenham, WOMAD and Sziget (Budapest). In March 2014 She’Koyokh released their third album, Wild Goats & Unmarried Women, on World Music Network’s Riverboat Records to critical acclaim, receiving 5 star reviews in the Evening Standard and The Australian and 4 stars in the Guardian.

So, if you know anything about Klezmer music, you will also know that the vibe on stage is going to be electric and the dance floor is going to be BURNING HOT!  Have a wee listen…

Opening Act – Nicola Madill

Opening for the band will be the supremely talented singer-songwriter from the east coast of Scotland, Nicola Madill.  Nicola is a solo artist but also lead singer and writer for The Jagged Violet. Inspired by the sounds of the seventies her solo work is a mixture of folk, blues and americana with some Eastern influences which will fit right in with our main act! Her debut album A Long Time a Comin’ features Sitar, Esraj Bouzoukie and open tunings. Nicola is a rising star and has made a number of ear-catching appearances on national radio.  Have a wee listen to this glorious track with Nicola’s rich vocals and a lush arrangement:

Tickets here >>!

Letham Nights #52

Picture by Mike Guest

We had to pinch ourselves when the amazing Rachel Sermanni gave us a resounding YES! when we asked if she would headline our 52nd show on Saturday 17th June.  How exciting is that!!

Tickets for this are now also on sale.  Please use the correct reference if booking for this show.

Tickets Available – Click Here!

Introducing Hannah Jarrett Scott

We are also now delighted to announce that the opening act for this show will be the fantastic Hannah Jarrett-Scott who has just launched her first EP, Pictures, to critical acclaim.

So you think you’re funny?

At Letham Nights we are no fans of walls and boundaries.  So on October 7th 2017 we will be breaking boundaries again and hosting our first and undoubtedly hilarious COMEDY NIGHT!  This will be a special memorial show to a great friend of ours with our main act taking no fee and the proceeds going to MacMillan.  Again, we will keep you posted with details.

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Letham Nights #50 with King Creosote – The Review

February 21st, 2017
by Letham Nights

Holy moly, mercy me, mama mia and OMG! What a night. What a celebration. WHAT. A. BELTER. Oh, yes, yes, yes, ladies and gentleman, it was sold out and rolled out, turned out not burned out, meltering, sweltering and purely beltering fun, shenanigans and all round good time action on the pretty, pretty occasion of Letham Nights Number 50! Yes, fifty! Or, as the Romans would have it ‘L’. Yes, L for loving it, loving it loving it.

As special Golden Jubilee guests go, we had a proper rip-snorter of an act, don’t you worry. But more on that in paragraph 3. You’ll just have to wait and see.

First of all were good friend of Letham Nights and all-round good egg, Stephen Wragg and his Rag House Band (get it?). Shredding ukulele and ably backed by family members and antipodean bush-bass buddies, Stephen and his cheeky ensemble gave us a charming, tuneful and, at times, amusing curtain-raiser for our special night. With Rachel Wragg’s beautiful voice (shades of Beth Orton, I hope she won’t mind me saying) leading the vocal line, husband Andy on bass uke (it’s a bass, but 20 inches long – no, honestly!) and Graham from Down Under working various contraptions made from cans (and a theramin), the foursome worked their three-part harmonies and laid back uke shapes into a belting little set. Last song, Needs and Wants, united the whole band on ukes and tickled many a funny bone. Think Manu Chao meets Flight of The Conchords. In a good way.

Did I mention we had a special act for our fiftieth? I did? Oh. Well, I wasn’t joking. Fife legend, singer-songwriter par excellence and all round nice guy, Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, was kind enough to light up our souls with his unique blend of mournful, soul searching earth sounds. Brilliantly backed by four amazing musicians (Des Lawson on keys, Andy on drums, Gogs McLean on bass and the incomparable Mairearad Green on accordian), Kenny brought his haunting ballads of welsh wind-turbine angst (Melin Wynt) and relationship break-up waltzes (Rules of Engagement) to delight our ears and ignite our better natures. For a while at least. Because then the mood changed. Movement was discerned upon the dance-floor. Participants, at first only in the single figures but swelling, swelling into ever greater numbers; the floor gradually filling with so much heaving flesh. Slow-burning beauty gave way to toe-turning booty (sorry) and the hall uprooted and took flight, carried along on the intoxicating, seedy breath of Bacchus, winging it’s way through the cold Fife sky. And the banter, oh, the banter. There’s only one thing a Letham crowd appreciates more than great music and that’s a bit of chat. And this charming man, as well as being troubadour number one, can also work a room like a comedy giant. Des Lawson and Les Dawson all for the price of one! HONK! Great music, lunatic dancing and #bantz. It doesn’t get much better. Mmmm… nice!

Special mention is given to our own Michael Farrell and his brave, honest and moving poem paying homage to his big bro, Gerry. Nice one, Micky! Another honourable mention to stage invader Richard who travelled all the way from Skye just to hi-jack the festivities and say a few stirring words on the nature of friendship and cultural stewardship. Well done, Richie Boy!

You can find King Creosote here kingcreosote.com

You can find the Rag House Band on Facebook here>>

Click here for another review of the show (and that poem!) in the Edinburgh Evening News >>

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Letham Nights @50 – King Creosote

November 27th, 2016
by Letham Nights

Letham Nights @ 50 – Party Time!

Saturday 28th January 2017

8pm – midnight


Well folks, it was always going to be a done deal!  We promised an amazing line up for our 50th Letham Nights on 28th January 2017 and asked you to contact us to go on the priority list for tickets for this special milestone party.  Needless to say lots of people trusted us and got themselves onto the list.  Then, at our final show of 2016 on 26th November with Rose Room we announced the big reveal and a further deluge of requests for tickets came in for our headline act, the one and only…

King Creosote

astronaut-packshotTo mark this major milestone, the Mercury-nominated and internationally acclaimed Fifer and co-founder of the Fence Collective, King Creosote, will be at the centre of a fantastic extravaganza of film and music.  This will begin in the afternoon with the screening of From Scotland With Love by our sister organisation and community cinema, Letham Lights, followed by a Q&A with King Creosote who wrote the score.  King Creosote will then headline our 50th show, supported by the Rag House Band.

And so, the evening show is now SOLD OUT!  Film tickets will not be on sale until after the Christmas screening by Letham Lights of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on 18th December.

The Rag House Band

rag-house-band-logoOur opening act for the show will be the wonderful Rag House Band, a family band with occasional guest players. They play a mixture of folk, blues and roots music with close vocal harmonies and exciting instrumental arrangements.


To go on the waiting list for returns or to express interest in going to the film screening, please email mike@lethamnights.org

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Letham Nights #49 – Rose Room with special guest Georgia Gage

November 2nd, 2016
by Letham Nights

rose-room-1High Class Gypsy Jazz From Rose Room

Saturday 26th November 2016 8pm

Tickets here >>!

For our next Letham Nights we present our first full jazz outfit – and as you have come to expect from us, we don’t just book any old jazz  band.  No, we bring you one of the finest in Scotland, if not the UK.  Scottish Jazz Awards finalists Rose Room have become one of Scotland’s leading ensembles influenced by the Gypsy Jazz genre. Sharing a love of Swing music and the style of the great Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, their “vigorous and vivacious” performance will be sure to go down a storm with the Letham Nights audience as they serve up their 1930s ‘Hot Club’ standards, Gypsy Jazz favourites and self-penned originals with virtuosity, verve and panache.

Wow!  What a line up!

Based in Glasgow, the quartet features award-winning violinist and vocalist Seonaid Aitken (who also plays with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble and was the featured violinist/fiddler on ITV’s recent period drama ‘Jericho’ as well as orchestrating and appearing on the BBC/Richard Curtis film ‘Esio Trot’), Scotland’s No.1 guitar maker Jimmy Moon on double bass, and Danny Kyle Award-winners Swing Guitars’ Tam Gallagher and Tom Watson on rhythm and lead guitars respectively.

With three albums recorded to date – ‘The High Life’ (2015), ‘Am I Blue’ (2013) and ‘Somewhere In Roseland’ (2011) – Rose Room have headlined at all of the major Scottish jazz festivals, appeared at the celebrated Shetland Folk Festival, and toured Ireland performing at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Rose Room were delighted to have been nominated for ‘Ensemble of the Year’ in the last ‘Scottish Jazz Awards’ and are frequently played on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘The Jazz House’ and Jazz FM. They are involved in teaching and fundraising for The Clutha Trust charity, and recently performed to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in a special event alongside young musicians supported by the trust. Two of Rose Room’s tracks are also featured on The Clutha Sessions charity CD.  Have a listen and then get booking!!

Tickets here >>!

What the press say:

“As close to the sound of the great Stephane Grappelli as I think you’re going to hear in Scotland”


“Rose Room swing harder than an elm tree in a force nine English gale…”


“Classy, very accomplished”


“The way that Rose Room plays this material manages to revitalise it while remaining true to its origins”

Read a full review from The Herald here >>

And an opening set from new singer-songwriter, Georgia Gage…

georgia1Georgia Gage is just starting out on her musical career but we think you are going to hear a lot more about her in the near future! From an early age, Georgia LOVED music and toyed with becoming a classical pianist.  But out of the endless piano lessons and hours spent at choir practice has grown her beautiful and unique vocal style and a love of song writing. On receiving recording kit for her 17th birthday she began to record her songs, adding layers of harmony and experimenting with different sounds from violin, piano and guitar. Her song writing is compositionally complex, but immediately appealing and filled with memorable hooks. They tell tales of the mundane made fantastical, like a wonderful hot chocolate in an Edinburgh café and a summer romance with a sailor called Jerry. Slowly slowly, whilst studying for her Physics degree in Manchester, Georgia began to do live gigs. Whilst her records feature violin arrangements and layers of harmony, she performs acoustically, armed with a wealth of charming stories and an inimitable voice. Her gigs are intimate and enchanting, but feature as many hilarious moments as they do haunting ones. Having drawn comparisons with Joni Mitchell and Linda Perhacs, Georgia is a magnetic character and a masterful folk songwriter.  We think she is a right good fit for our atmospheric wee venue!  Have a wee listen here…

Tickets here >>!

Letham Nights @ 50!

Meanwhile we have also booked an amazing line up our 50th Letham Nights for 28th January.  If you would like to be on the priority list for tickets for this special milestone party then make sure you email mike@lethamnights.org. More exciting news soon!

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Letham Nights #48 – The Review

October 5th, 2016
by Letham Nights

blueswaterlnLetham Nights #48 – The Review

‘The blues had a baby and they named it rock n roll’. Well, who are we to argue with Muddy Waters? Nobody, that’s who. In fact, we’d like to think we’re in pretty good with the Hoochie Coochie Man, wherever he might be, and you can bet a dime to a dozen that the big man was looking down beneficently on our wee jamboree for Letham Nights 48.

naomilnFirst up was the ludicrously talented Naomi Iris from Perth. Her soaring, soulful vocals and beautiful guitar and piano playing belie her tender years. From thoughtful opener, TV Screen Neighbours, right through a pitch perfect interpretation of KT Tunstall’s Other Side of The World, Naomi left us all hushed in rapt appreciation of this musical butterfly unfurling her creative wings. We can only hope the sky is large enough to contain her talent. Lovely stuff.

blueswaterln2And so, to The Blueswater, and what a rollicking, frolicking, be-bop-a-lollocking good time frenzy of riffs, licks, stomps, wails, rhythm, blues, rock aaaaaaaaaaand roll they have in their locker. Yes, Felipe Schrieberg and his motley band of blues rock n roll desperadoes treated us to a sensual journey through the USA from 50s Chicago to 20s Mississippi via Louisiana and a few stops in between. With fellow travellers, Simon Gibb holding it down on drums, Gordon Jones wailing away on harp, Charlie Wild on searing electric guitar and Jed Potts shredding axes, both four strings and six, this is a band that can lay down some serious sonic foundations. And Felipe can wail, baby!

nicole-smit2And we can’t forget the combo’s secret weapon, long-time collaborator, Nicole Smit. What. A. Voice. Like a delicious scoop of honeycomb ice-cream covered in hot butter sauce, Nicole owns the microphone. Her version of Etta James’ I Just Wanna Make Love To You was a low-key highlight and Bonnie Raitt’s Love Me Like A Man (with Charlie showing some serious solo blues chops) was unassailable. Cue the whirling, swirling, acceleration towards the heaving, sweating, dance-floor wetting finale. Y’ dancing? Y’ asking? Oh, hell, yeah!

Check out The Blueswater here >>

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Letham Nights #48 – The Blueswater

August 14th, 2016
by Letham Nights

Letham Nights Presents Award-Winning Blues Act – The Blueswater!

And introducing special guest, Naomi Iris

Saturday 24th September

8pm – MidnightOfficial pic 2 BW unaltered

cropped-Single-line-small1Straight from their award-winning show at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we are excited to present The Blueswater for an evening of full-on, high-energy blues.  The Blueswater is a young award-winning and highly-regarded, Edinburgh-based band that tours internationally. Influenced by gritty, old-school rhythm and blues they blend the Chicago sound of Chess records with the earthy, droning grooves of Mississippi to create a style that is truly unique. Thick guitar riffs and frenzied harmonica solos are built around driving rhythms to create raucous, high-energy performances. Over the past few months and years they have attracted some exceptional reviews such as this one from online review site, Broadway Baby.  Or this, from the Scotsman.

Their 2016 Fringe Shows have been selling out to wildly enthusiastic crowds and have been described as “the most ambitious blues music programme ever seen at the Edinburgh Fringe, featuring seven unique shows and 126 performances”.  And now they are coming to Letham Nights!

Here are a couple of wee tasters:


 Find out more about The Blueswater >>

Introducing Naomi Iris…

naomi irisOpening the show for The Blueswater will be 17 year singer-songwriter Naomi Iris.  Naomi is from Perth, still at school, but has an amazing talent.  Her quiet soft spoken manner gives no warning of the soaring, soulful vocals and beautiful keyboard playing that leave you thinking you are maybe actually listening to Carole King or Aretha Franklin.  This passion and depth are rare in such a young performer.  And sorry, no, we cannot let you have a preview.  This will be Naomi’s first public performance and she has not yet recorded any of her songs. So there will be no pretensions, no merchandise, no airs and graces.  Just raw talent. We guarantee you will be blown away!

Naomi Iris on Facebook

Naomi Iris on Twitter

Get booking!

Tickets here >>!

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Letham Lights – Home Grown Cinema in the Village Hall!

August 14th, 2016
by Letham Nights

Letham Lights Launch Event

Sunday 21st August 3pm

Book Tickets

addicted to sheepWe are delighted to support a fantastic new community arts initiative in Letham from a group of local film enthusiasts, Letham Lights.  The group join Letham Nights to bring more voluntary, not-for-profit community arts and culture to our fantastic village hall.  The initiative has already attracted some very positive press attention and with just a week to go before the launch event, here is more from Letham Lights group spokesperson Keith Taylor:

We are really excited to be launching a new community cinema in Letham. A few of us in the village had been talking about ways of putting on events for the community to bring people together and a cinema seemed like a great way to do this. Many people remember how cinemas used to be a focal point in small towns throughout Scotland and how exciting it was to see a film with other people no matter what it was! It is sad that over the years these have slowly vanished and been replaced with generic multiplex cinemas outside large cities which are often very expensive, inaccessible, and can feel a little soulless. We wanted to revive the idea of film being something for everyone to enjoy together rather than sitting alone in your living room.

We have been supported by the Grow Your Own Cinema scheme which is part of the Cinema For All initiative. This helps to develop grass-roots community cinemas by giving advice on equipment, funding and logistics. It has also been invaluable meeting some other local cinema groups which seem to be popping up all over the country to learn from their experience. We are all volunteers and any money we raise will go towards supporting the village hall and buying equipment to make the cinema sustainable in the long term.

Over the coming months we plan to show a variety of films that will appeal to different ages and interests. We have some quite ambitious ideas for how we would like to develop in the future with some great possibilities for themed events. We are already planning a spooky family event for Halloween and of course “It’s a wonderful life” for Christmas complete with 1940s costume and mulled wine. To begin with we want to focus on providing an affordable, entertaining and interesting experience for everyone young and old. We will be learning quite a lot from the audience as we go!

Addicted to Sheep    Book Tickets

Our first screening is on Sunday 21st August at 3pm. We are starting with something a little unusual – a charming documentary called “Addicted to Sheep” about a year in the life of a family on a remote hill farm in the Pennines who are on a quest to find the perfect sheep!

We thought this might appeal to a lot of us who live in a rural area but have little appreciation of what goes on in the fields around us.

Into the Middle of Nowhere

We will also be showing a couple of short films that perfectly capture the innate spirit of hope and adventure that children take into the world.  One of these films “Into the middle of nowhere” was filmed at the Secret Garden nursery in Letham a few years ago and follows a child’s eye view of the beautiful woodlands in the village.

One or two of the stars of the film might even be in the audience! You can find out more, book tickets or even offer to help out at our website www.lethamlights.org or on our facebook page. We really look forward to seeing you there so come along, have some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show!

Addicted To Sheep press packs are available from http://www.addictedtosheep.com/

Keith Taylor
Letham Lights Community Cinema
July 2016

Book Tickets

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Letham Nights 47 – The Review – The Cut Throat Razors

July 25th, 2016
by Letham Nights

CTR@LN1BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! Did you hear that? It was massive! Yes, big was definitely better on the most raucous occasion of Letham Nights 47, as we welcomed two widely different but wildly wonderous whizz-bangers of wickedness. Romping, stomping and soul pomping was the order of the night, but we’ll come to all that later.

IrenieA rose by any other name might smell as sweet but would she sound as stonkingly brilliant as new LN fave, Irenie Rose? I should coco! As the late spring evening grew in, Irenie serenaded us with her songs of her home island, Lewis (flat and no trees, apparently – pure poetry), and love’s labours lost. If your sense of humour is of a certain warped persuasion then Irenie’s banter is worth the admission alone. When is a chocolate peanut not a chocolate peanut? Go see Irenie and find out. Lovely guitar picking and sweet vocals combined with the best use of loop pedal you’ll see anywhere. Not every rose has its thorn, it would seem. Brill!

And so to the big bit. There were ten of them, I tells ya. TEN! Deep breath then while we introduce the band:
Scott Crawford, Fran Schoppler and Trez Henderson – Vocals
Stewart Bentley – Keys
Phil Rasmussen – Guitar
David Hartley – Bass
Gary Walker – Drums
Alison Hendrey – Trumpet
Alex Chandler – Sax
Dave Scott – Trombone
Yes, the stage was creaking and the horns were speaking as new ska rebels, The Cut Throat Razors, slashed their way through a scorching two sets of funking good tunes, evoking everything from ska to blues to soul. A bit Wigan Casino, a bit Southside Chicago and perhaps even a nod to Belle & Sebastian on third number, Beautiful Day. Yes, the horns were honking, the strings were cronking, the keys were swinging and cymbals pinging (sorry) as 2014’s Best Unsigned Band (Sunday Herald) took our dancing feet here, there, everywhere and back again. If it’s fun times you’re looking for then you should look no further than this gang. BOOM!

Check out The Cut Throat Razors at: thecutthroatrazors.com

Check out Irenie Rose at: missirenierose.com

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Letham Nights 46 – The Review – The Railsplitters

June 2nd, 2016
by Letham Nights

railsplitters at lethamRoll up, roll up, roll up! Come ye hither, all who swing, sing, and shake yon thing. A sexy, sassy spring evening of lively licks, rippin’ riffs and rollicking rhymes were the reward for those who chose to forego their evening stout by the fireplace and do something more interesting instead. And a tantalising triptych was on hand to massage the senses of regulars and occasionals alike.

sleeping gypsy at lethamYou know how it goes. You wait ages for an alter-ego and then three come along at once. And so it was that the proverbial came to pass in the form of our old friend, Sleeping Gypsy aka Bob Honson aka Robbie Ward (formerly of Luva Anna and Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher). Some musicians blast you with vocal range or bamboozle with tricksy guitar manoeuvres. And there’s nothing wrong with that but how lovely it is to see an artist who can draw a line from his heart to the audience seemingly without breaking sweat. Looks easy, but it’s not. Brilliant.

mark richardson eisenbergNext up we had Mark Richardson, the Poet Chandon of Tayside. In one of his first performances (not that you’d know it), Mark explored the whole range of life, the universe and Dundee. If you want to see humanity, red in tooth and claw, spat out with real talent and bare emotion, go and see Mark. And the Heisenberg notebook was a nice touch.

And so to round off the evening, our headliners were wizardly wonderful The Railsplitters. The flavoursome fivesome brought their heavenly hewn pieces of wood and string across oceans, down valleys and up A roads and B, to deliver a bluegrass class of simmering sass that made mountain men and maidens of all us. Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, The Railsplitters take the clever, pretty songs of banjo maestro (and beard in chief) Dusty Rider and spin a neat, sweet web of sound around them. Down in the bassment comes Leslie Ziegler on upright bass, up top, working away like a hummingbird is Christine King on fiddle. Peter Sharpe on mandolin fills things out beautifully and Lauren Stovall fronts (if you can say that of such an ensemble cast), plays her guitar like a country queen and sings with the voice of an angel. The all round playing and singing is just bloody lovely. Great!

Check out The Railsplitters here: www.therailsplitters.com

Sleeping Gypsy is here: www.jollification.uk

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