Talking late into the night we got onto the subject of recipe’s. The discussion went onto discuss the fact that recipe’s aren’t
always food related. There are recipes for, say, a happy life, a good book or a perfect day, I bet you have many more examples.
With these thoughts bouncing around our heads Claire, Michael and I thought about the recipe for the perfect Letham Nights.
This is what we came up with
1800g of Celebrating Fife
2 fl oz of Midsummer
7 visiting relatives, From the USA
70°F of fantastic weather
13 Locally sourced performers, young and fresh
6-10 seasoned open mic musicians, various ages
1 compere, preferably juicy
2 professional, performing arts-based practitioners.
100 burgers from Pillars of Hercules
25 punnets of free strawberries
4 pints of cream, optional.
1 Clap and Tipple bar, fully stocked and staffed
1 Luva Anna.
To start, early in the morning mix together the two Arts practitioners with the 13 young performers, leave to photosynthesise for the rest of the day, making sure the creative juices flow nicely. Set aside to marinade towards a performance.
Meanwhile, arrange the Hall, the Clap and Tipple bar, the Pillars burgers, the strawberries, cream and the 7 relatives along with the PA, the Celebrating Fife funding and weather. Leave to soak up the atmosphere.
Then, mix all the elements together for the food part of the day, Make ready the audience by serving great veggie burgers/salad and very tasty free strawberries, allow situation to relax until done. Mix in 70°F temperatures and sunshine.
When replete, start the performance.
It started in a “flash mob” style, no introduction, straight into the performance, the young people walking through the hall from the various entrances. It took the audience a few seconds to realise what was happening. The performance included the spoken word, both solo and collectively, singing and musicianship. They conveyed a surprisingly honest take on teenage thoughts, fears, humour and sorrow. Being in the “gang” or not, loneliness, body image were issues also touched. Haggis man being particularly poignant.
They had written a song called the Loveliest Night of the Year and sang it beautifully.
Huge thanks to the young performers, to the tutors Fiona Miller and Mick Slaven for their fantastic efforts. What they managed to achieve in a day was remarkable.
Next, allow the musicians to play and sing their hearts out. First up, and as a wee taster for the music side of the day Roy Campbell and Mick Slaven performed two songs one of which Roy knew and the other Mick knew, neither had been practised beforehand.
Rhythm Is a Dancer and Pills and Booze were well received.
Steven Tom Smith soulfully sang through his beautiful songs, You Burn, Invisible Boy and If This Song Had a Name.
Mick Pritchard – Wow, who would have thought that voice would have come from Mick. He played Soul and Blues classics as well as a new song about his tortoise Herbert.
Kevin and Karen Scott, half of Ladybank Supergroup Skin and Bones played “May you never”, ”Still haven’t found what I’m looking for” and a version of The Black Oil Brothers’ Wednesday Afternoon.
Xander Duffy. Well, this was Xander’s second visit to Letham Nights and his voice soared and soared. He is completely unique and engaging, a tremendous voice and song writing skills. His songs featured a couple of covers – Hit the Road Jack and Halo along with his own I Go Back To and the brilliant Freedom.
Then add the acoustic Anthill Mob to finish. They played through rock and Blues classics from AC/DC to Zeppelin, to get everyone dancing.
What a fabulous mix of people – we do have some brilliant talent locally.
All this was seasoned with “peppered” comments from our comedy compere, the very “fruity” Bruce Devlin as each musician took the stage. Thanks Bruce… no really, thanks!
Finally, place on stage, one of the best live band’s the world has ever seen, Luva Anna.
They played for us in November and were truly fantastic then. This time it was no different.
They kicked off with the chillingly beautiful Sea Shanty, a 4 part vocal harmony that had the audience stunned. They then “battered” through old favourites like Coma Girl, Angry Fat Bouncer, Pigeon Song and The Ballad O’ Boaby Smith as well as newer numbers like Dumba Dumba, Sober, This is F*****g Urgent and Postcards – and of course the wonderfully evocative love song ‘Hold Still’.
Two encores were demanded by the audience which had an insatiable appetite for Luva Anna.