Posts Tagged ‘Claire Heminsley’

A Right Royale Bevvy at letham Nights

May 10th, 2011

A Right Royale Bevvy

Despite the fact that the nation was gripped by a wee wedding somewhere in London town and that the Bevvy Sisters second visit to Letham Nights had been postponed due to weather (once) and the unfortunate illness to Kaela Rowan (get well soon wishes from all Letham Nighters) a sell out crowd attended the rearranged show. The Bevvy Sisters arranged a fantastic replacement in Roberta Pia – aka Banana Bevvy, vocalist with the Banana Sessions band. David MacGregor was easily persuaded to provide support. We had attended a benefit gig for the Haiti appeal in Dunshalt and were hugely impressed by his virtuosity, humour and Dreadlocks. David, from Dunfermline, had been living in the Jazz quarter of Paris until recently and had recently cut off the Dreads much to our surprise when he turned up to the sound check.

As this Letham Nights was, for the first time ever, held on a Friday, all hands were on deck to get the hall turned into the atmospheric, welcoming and classy venue that people are now coming to expect. No warm cans of Tennents, folding Formica topped tables and strip lights for our discerning punters. Craft Scotland’s Emma Walker set up a POP UP SHOP promoting Scottish makers wares: jeweller, Jane Gowans, ceramicist, Cosima Sempill and textile designer, Claire Heminsley had a display, in the bar, of their gorgeous pieces. Sales were made during the breaks in the music.

Geoff Stevenson, once again providing superb sound on the night, ran through the sound check. The lights were dimmed and background music filtered through, it was time to open the doors. Around 110 people flooded through the doors, found tables, sorted out refreshments from the “Clap and Tipple Bar” ready for David MacGregor’s solo performance. Mike started the whole thing off with a wee chat about our venture, the way we came across the musicians, the ethos of Letham Nights, the POP UP SHOP and thanking every one for their continued support.

David then took the stage and the crowd were treated to a set of Jazz classics along with some self penned numbers, some of which were inspired by his stay in Paris. The audience sat listening intently to the mesmerising music emanating from his guitar. Huge skill and an ear for melody shone through and he was applauded Letham Nights style i.e. uproarious cheers and whoops at the end of his set. David thanked the crowd, reminded them that CD’s were available for sale as well as letting us know that he is available for one-on-one guitar lessons. Now there’s an offer all you budding guitarists out there…David’s set list is as follows, Improv intro into Summer time, Georgia on my mind, Danny Boy, DayDream, Red House,  La  Belle vie into Windy and Warm and finishing off with On Green Dolphin St.

During the short break, the Clap and Tipple Bar was under siege, selling a tempting range of mainly organic, locally produced and locally sourced wines, beers, ciders and soft drinks at reasonable prices.

The lights went up and The Bevvy sisters kicked off their first set with “Littlest Bird”, ”Cow Cow”, and more from the St James Session CD as well as a few new numbers, “Whirlepool”, “Cock a Doodle”, “and “Mary Don’t You Weep No More”. Banana Bevvy sang some of her own songs, “You You You”, “Just add Hot Water” and lead vocals on Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I love you”. I think that I said, in the review of the first Bevvy Sisters Letham Nights, that there couldn’t be three voices that were so meant to sing together. With the introduction of Roberta’s voice I realised the very high bench mark Kaela had set, within the trio of superb vocalists, had been reached. No disrespect to Kaela, loads to Roberta.

The second set started with “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Lovesick Blues” and continued to entertain with classics, “It Aint What You Do”, ”Baby I Love You” dipping into genre’s such as the Phil Spector sound, Trad Country, Swing, Jazz, Gospel and TV adverts (McEwans is the best buy). Guitarist David Donnelly and drummer James Mackintosh let the sisters shine but have a huge influence in the “Bevvy Sound” such is their virtuosity and musicianship. The encore, “Aint No Grave” slipped into the theme tune for “Are you being served” which was a fabulous way of letting the crowd know that there was merchandising available, CD’s badges and a first for Letham Nights……..PANTS, yes, PANTS, Knickers, underwear……which were in fine demand as soon as the band left the stage, sales went very well. To quote Heather Bevvy “We’ve had a run on our pants” Ooh err missus! Cue Mr Humphries…

A huge thank you to the Bevvy Sisters and to David McGregor for treating us to yet another very special Letham Nights and we look forward to seeing you back soon!

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A pop-up with (wedding) bells on!

April 25th, 2011

The craft shop will be back with (wedding) bells on! Following a successful pop-up at the November 2010 Letham Nights, craftscotland are presenting a range of gifts fit for any wedding pressie list. There will be rings from Jane Gowans who recently completed a year long artist-in-residency at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. Local lass Claire Heminsley’s tea towels, which are designed in Letham, hand printed in Edinburgh and each have their own story printed on the label, will be available to buy on the night. We will also be introducing ceramicist Cosima Sempill. Cosima’s work is featured in the current edition of Real Life Weddings magazine after she created 150 ceramic favours for her brothers wedding last year.


25% of all sales go towards the running costs of craftscotland, the national agency which promotes Scottish craft, and 25% of all sales are donated to Letham Nights. So whether you are looking for a wedding present or feel like treating yourself to something handmade in Scotland, make sure you bring cash to the pop-up shop as it’s cash only sales.

For more information on craftscotland visit craftscotland.org

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Letham Nights #14Review

January 10th, 2011

Letham nights 14

After what seemed like a long summer break, we welcomed the return of two favourites to Letham Nights for our 14th event in just less than two years. Yes two years, can you believe it? The “Loveliest Day of the Year” at the end of June was a huge success and it was some comfort to think we had a wee break before the amazing talents of the Moonzie AllStars and The Coaltown Daisies graced our stage.

The Moonzie AllStars played at the inaugural Letham Nights in December 2008 and one half of The Coaltown Daisies Vivienne Bern has supported twice. She has teamed up with the undeniable talent that is Lynzy Moutter.

Having previously seen and heard both Vivienne and Lynzy playing locally but not together, I was excited when they told us that they had hooked up together to form The Coaltown Daisies. As luck would have it, the timing of this collaboration coincided with the end of the summer break. So it was to great expectancy that the Daisies took the stage. It was apparent from the first few bars of the first song that this was not only a vocal match, but the acoustic guitar playing complemented the whole shebang. The Daisies charmed us with self penned songs including Star, I Need to Sleep, Falling for Artemis, It’s better this way, Forgive you, Take You There, Long Way Home, Fly by Night and Poor Man Blues in which they were accompanied by a number of the Moonzies. It seems that both bands hold each other in such high regard that to play a few songs together at Letham Nights was high on the agenda and boy did we benefit from this.

So onto the Moonzie AllStars set. As I mentioned earlier they had taken part in Letham Nights 1 when they were honing their cultural musical mix, I also saw them recently supporting another Letham Nights favourite The Chloe Hall Trio at the Byre Theatre. I could tell instantly that their time had been well spent, the music had moved onto another level. The band is David Adam on Pipes & Flutes, Graham Dickson on Bass & Guitar, Geoff Stevenson on Vocals, Guitar & Bouzouki and Johnny Beaver on Percussion & Drums.

The Moonzies played through two sets of self penned songs, inspired covers and old favourites. Starting off the proceedings with a stirring percussion and pipes intro the Moonzies zipped through a lively first set which included the Hypophant, La Vie Est Court, Disco Stu, Bertha and covers of Belly Dancer, Brand New Cadillac, High Drive. There was quite a squeeze on the dance floor during the lively set.

After a short break, when the Clap and Tipple bar got pretty busy, set two gave us an equally energetic dance floor work out, again mixing African/Brazilian/Celtic beats with classic rock and Pop. The songs included Jock Brown, Silver Salska, Whole Lotta Rosie, Bulgarian Red, Carnival d’Iparanga and Poker Face. And as the show was heading to the finale the Vivienne and Lynzy took the stage for a Let’s Go Crazy/Long Way to the Top segue way, the Daisies adding their tuppence worth to fantastic effect.

Craftscotland held their first ever pop-up shop at Letham Nights in November. Thomas Farrell, who selected lots of the craft on sale during a work experience with Craftscotland over the Summer, staffed the shop with Emma Walker, CEO of Craftscotland. The shop had a truly local flavour with handmade products onsale by crafters who live and work locally to Letham. Claire Heminsley, Letham Nights co-organiser and Letham local showcased her illustrated t-towels. Edinburgh based ceramicist Lara Scobie teaches in Dundee. Her porcelain tealight holders went down very well with the Letham Nights crowd, as did Fife based Lauren Crawford whose beautiful handwoven skinny scarves and brooches will be featured once again in the December pop-up shop. Jill Kitson completed the stand with doorstops, candle lanterns, mushroom brooches and tea cosies. More than £100 of work was sold with 25% of the proceeds going straight into Letham Nights.

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The heat is on at Letham Nights…

December 16th, 2010

And boy do we need it!  Baby it’s cold outside, but the Bevvy Sisters will be on hand in a very short time to warm the cockles of your heart with their delicious vocal harmonies, together with a set from the silky jazz guitar of David McGregor.  And just in case you needed more persuasion to make the journey on a cold winter’s evening, we wanted to let you know that….

  1. The car park around the hall has been heavily salted and gritted and is now safe for parking and walking.
  2. The new black stage curtaining has been fitted, greatly enhancing the performance space.
  3. A beautiful new Letham Nights sign has been created and donated by local artist Claire Heminsley whose other work you can see at her website Incahoots.
  4. Claire has also designed a new Letham Nights T-shirt which will be on sale with all proceeds for hall funds.
  5. craftscotland will be there with their delightful pop up shop of gift items selected from local makers for all your last minute Christmas shopping needs.  Letham Hall Fund receive a commission on all purchases
  6. The Bevvy Sisters will have their own range of new Bevvy merchandise too…
  7. Finally, a new Kiva group ‘Letham Nights on Loan’ has been created to support small-scale entrepreneurs in Arts, Education and Entertainment mainly in developing countries to help them get their business of the ground.  Join here if you would like to contribute.

So… Get yourself down to Letham Village Hall, Fife for Letham Nights #15, Saturday 18th December, 8pm.

Letham Nights – the best small gigs in the world!

There are still a few tickets left so please contact us with your last minute requests – contact details on this page.

See you there,

Mike 🙂

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The Loveliest Night of the Year

June 1st, 2010

Just imagine: it’s nearly midsummer. The evenings are balmy and light and spirits are high. Puck has administered his magic potion and you are feeling not just dreamy but a little daring…Put on your best bib and tucker and be a night wanderer to Letham Nights! Burgers, strawberries, a performance from local young people who have been taking part in drama and music workshops, an open-mic session compered by Dundee comedian Bruce Devlin.

And then… the Grand Finale – the return of another great Letham Nights favourite, highly acclaimed Dundee band Luva Anna.

If you want to take part in the performamce workshop / open mic session please contact richard@hoolet.com & see article Letham Nights Performance Workshop: Do it in a day!

There will also be the launch of new Letham Nights T-shirts designed by local artist Claire Heminsley will be on sale on the night. View Claire’s designs here.

Tickets to the evening performance will be £7.50 (£5 concs / under 12’s are free). To buy or for more information get in touch with Mike at lethamnights@btinternet.com, tel.01337 810372, mob 07802 436391. Bar provided by The Clap & Tipple.

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