The Banana Sessions are a Scottish five-piece, each with their own musical style and wild imagination. The band formed in 2007 and soon became known for their unique style of pop music with heavy folk and jazz influences. And in the four years that they’ve been together, they’ve played blazing live shows across the UK; recorded two EPs – the Yellow EP and the Green EP; and most recently, released their debut album, Mixtape.
The Yellow and GreenEPs were both recorded live over a few days, in an attempt to catch the band’s energy at its best, but Mixtape sees The Banana Sessions explore a much more intricate and mature sound. The album features a selection of Scotland’s musical finest, including Martin Green & Aidan O’Rourke (Lau); Lindsey Black & Heather McLeod (The Bevvy Sisters) and Ross Ainslie (Treacherous Orchestra/Salsa Celtica); and was produced and engineered by Garry Boyle (The Depot), mastered by Stuart Hamilton (Castlesound Studios) and with concept production by Dave Hook (Stanley Odd).
The Banana Sessions are a live force to be reckoned with, and are now renowned for their explosive live performances both on stages and off. Their much talked about bout of guerilla gigs included appearances on various forms of public transport (buses, trains, subways, etc.) across the UK. And on a train from Glasgow to Edinburgh one night, their impromptu performance impressed a writer from The Skinny so much he gave them a four star review. After this, they were asked to perform at Glasgow’s Subway Festival, ventured further afield to Ireland and London, where they played an impromptu gig at Fruit Towers – home of Innocent Smoothies – and entertained the crowd every night at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival aboard a most unusual venue, The Pink Bus.
The band are now UK festival favourites; and have had their Wellington boots firmly wedged into the muddy fields of such staples as Wickerman, Insider, Knockengorroch and Kelburn Garden Party. More recently, they were delighted to be named one of the highlights of Beatherder 2009/10 and in 2011, rocked the socks off Glastonbury.
The Banana Sessions’ reputable shows have gained them recognition across the UK but they’ve also managed to make an impression worldwide with their famous ‘Prodigy Medley’ (view below), which has reached over 200,000 hits (and counting) on YouTube and was posted by The Prodigy themselves on their own website. February 2012 sees the band embark upon The Banana Sessions Mixtape Album Tour… so keep your eyes peeled for them at venue near you.
The Banana Sessions are:
Roberta Pia – Lead vocals, Calum Wood – Guitar/Backing Vocals, Tom Pickles (Flute, melodica & whistles), Calum McIntyre (Drums, percussion & backing vocals), Tom Donaldson (Tuba or Sousaphone)
Letham Nights has come of age! And we have in store for you our first proper SUPERGROUP, the amazing Sandford City Rockers.
The Sandford City Rockers are no ordinary band but a coming together of some of Scotland’s finest musicians from some of our greatest rock and pop bands of the 80’s and 90’s. They are: Ken McCluskey and David McCluskey of The Bluebells and The McCluskey Brothers, Douglas MacIntyre of Love and Money (and CEO of Indy Label, Creeping Bent), Campbell Owens of Aztec Camera and The Leopards, Andy Alston of del Amitri and Mick Slaven of Deacon Blue, del Amitri and the Leopards.
Formed after a marathon 19 hour jam session in an illicit shebeen in the village of Sandford, Lanarkshire, The Sandford City Rockers initially came into being to raise money for charity. ‘We need to help the kids, man’ said founder member Douglas MacIntyre. The other members agreed, and the ones who couldn’t talk raised a thumb to show that they were down with this plan. The SCR were ready for action!
The band have now done several gigs to raise money for research into Downs Syndrome and proceeds from the event will go to Downs Syndrome International.
The band will be supported on the night by Doonwatter Bros. Prepare to be rocked!
This is no ordinary gig so in keeping with the stature of the musicians, tickets will be £10/ £7.50 concessions. To book see contact details opposite.
After a “summer” break we started to look towards the Letham Nights triple header that was to take place on the 13th August. We had been contacted by David Latto for a chance to play (check this link for a free download of a new recording!). He had attended a show last year and was impressed. Chloe Hall, a Letham Nights favourite, had intimated that she and Silas Palmer were to be touring the UK in the summer. Adriana Spina contacted us 18 months ago expressing her interest in the Letham Nights experience. Adriana was touring her new album “Never Coming home” this summer. So, it was easy then! All the players were on board, the will was there and the venue was waiting……Ah, but was it?
A little local difficulty…
Oops! A minor detail had been left out – booking the hall! Wouldn’t you know it was the same day as the Letham village Annual Flower Show – one of the biggest days in the year for the Hall and the local community. Undaunted, and with the blessing of the Flower Show Committee, we decided to go ahead anyway realising it would be a monumental task to turn the hall round from a Flower and Produce Show so quickly to the quietly understated ambience that Letham Nights has become known for. On the day the team were on hand to help with the flower show tidy up and we were grateful to the flower show people who helped with the Letham Nights set up. Good work everybody! Geoff the sound man hot tailed it from Glen Elg where he was playing a gig in the afternoon. With people beginning to queue outside, sound checks were completed by the skin of our teeth. We heaved a sigh of relief and the show got under way.
The David Latto Band (David and Gavin Brady) started their set with “Wait a Minute” and “Black Horse” before delivering a beautiful “3000 miles from Nashville” the story of the shy and retiring Shetlander Thomas Frazer who was recently inducted into the Nashville Hall of Fame, talked about in the same breath as Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. “15”, “Wooden Heart”, and “Alcohol and Pills” from the newly released EP “3000 From Nashville” along with “A song you will never hear” and “Byway man” were amongst the fantastic set that David and Gavin played. There was even an encore…for the support…fantastic…The whole audience had a sense that they had just listened to an incredible performance from the David Latto Band. The guitar arrangements and vocal harmonies were truly beautiful. A strength of voice and assured confidence with the songs were what I picked up from this performance.
After a very short break Chloe and Silas graced the stage. Chloe introduced each song with warmth, joy, sadness and humour (not all at the same time). Chloe and Silas played from the newly released “Spring Hill” album “Love songs, dedications and requests”, “Tax Office Love Song”, “Worst House” and a song with a story everyone will recognise “Third Drawer Down”, throwing in “Dance with me”, “White Street” and “I’m Still Here” from the “Outside and “White Street” albums. The addition of the gentle harmonies and the stripped back fiddle playing Silas gave to the mix was a superb backdrop to Chloe’s beautiful songs. The songs have a resonance in truth, love, humour and vulnerability. During the set Chloe asked if any one had a request, obviously some audience members who had been enthralled last year expressed their wishes and “Shipwreck” was delivered. Chloe and Silas were enthusiastically called back to do an encore as well. One couple I spoke to had driven up from Berwick. They had seen The Chloe Hall Trio last year and were determined to see them again no matter what. I was sitting with Andrew Watson, guitar player with the Adrianna Spina Band who said to me “I wouldn’t mind it at all if I were to sit here all night listening to this calibre of music.” Adriana, with a twinkle in her eye said “Thanks for putting us on after Chloe and David….no pressure!!” Bass player Mark Fleming said, “This is a brilliant thing you’ve got going here, really unique with a fantastic atmosphere, I’ve never played a venue like this in years of gigging”.
A break allowed the audience, who had been captivated by the show so far, to top up their drinks, chat, meet new people and generally reflect on the show so far. There was a lovely buzz in the room. The Clap and Tipple Bar was pretty busy as usual.
Adriana and her band took to the stage and opened by acknowledging the quality of the preceding acts. Her show started off with a couple of songs from the “Never Coming Home” album, “The Hardest Thing” and “A Thousand Lives”. These songs were a different groove and when Adriana played “Two Steps” and “Fire in me” solo, she had the crowd completely with her. The band returned on stage and “Faces”, “Let You Fall”, “Jeannie” and “Aisha” were delivered with gusto. Adriana and the band did not disappoint us, the quality of the songs along with her very tight band showed through. Despite not having played with the band for over a year, the stand in drummer didn’t miss a beat (scuse the pun!). No wonder they got rave reviews from the Belladrum Festival and Celtic Connections. The set finished with the rocking “Way Down”: foot stomping was the order of the night and another encore demanded. Adriana invited David, Gavin, Chloe and Silas to join them on stage for a rousing and triumphant rendition of “The Weight” by the Band, ably supported by most of the audience. A great end to a great night!
And of course, thank you to everyone who contributed to the impromptu raffle for the Alzheimers Society which raised £111!
Can you believe it? The brothers are coming back again. With new songs in their locker and a swagger in their step from playing support to Buddy Guy at Buddy Guy’s!!! in Chicago, the boys are desperate to get back on stage at Letham Nights. This is their 3rd Annual Tour of the UK, and as always, it would not be complete without a stop in their favourite village to see their favourite folks. This from band member Tony Manno: “A TBOB UK tour without a Letham Nights stop is not a tour at all. This time we’ll be bringing Johnny Action on the drums to make sure every foot in the house doesn’t stop stompin’ all night!”. Blues was born in the Mississippi delta and raised on the streets of Chicago’s south side. The Black Oil Brothers draw from the same well as their heroes and that lets your ears know that there ain’t a damn thing wrong with the sound of a good man feeling bad. Such is the blues: finding outlets in music that turns heartbreak into ass shake. Such is the music of The Black Oil Brothers and it very well may be saving our souls. Let them save yours, in Letham!!
And opening for the brothers, we are delighted to present again the inimitable, pared down, gutsy, bare-necessities blues of Mick Pritchard. Born and raised in the backwater of Maltby, a mining town in the heart of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Mick Pritchard spent most of his teens dreaming of playing bass guitar. Aged 16 and after raising £90 he bought an Encore six string electric guitar from Argos, replaced the strings with bass strings and started playing along to Stone Roses records. In 2008 Mick moved to Edinburgh, swapped his two bass guitars for an acoustic guitar and began to teach himself blues picking. Mick will be picking his way through a number of ‘oldies’ through to more contemporary fare and even one or two modern classics and originals including songs about tortoises and handheld media/communications devices…!
A huge thanks to all you Letham Nighters who thought it was worthwhile to take part in our Right Royale Raffle at the Bevvy Sisters gig on April 29th in aid of the AGLIT project in Malawi. You will be pleased to know that not only did we raised £158 on the night. Even better however, a further £600+ was raised the following morning at the Letham Village Hall coffee morning held by friends of Judith Fairley. This brought the total raised for AGLIT to £766.51. This will help to support the continued work of the project which Judith had championed before her untimely death. A fitting memorial and well done to everyone concerned!
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.
Are you ready for your Christmas Bevvy Shpecktackular at Letham Nights on Saturday 18th December?
Tickets £9/ £6 (concessions). Kick off at 8pm. Letham Village Hall, Letham, Fife
We are currently trying to set up online ticketing for this gig. Priority for this will go to those who have already reserved a ticket by email. In the meantime, please send us your reservation requests. Contact details on this page…
It is an exciting prospect to have the Bevvy Sisters back at Letham to delight us with their sublime, sultry, snazzy and superlative singing. If you have not got a ticket yet well now is the time to let us know and get on the reserved list. Last time it was a sell-out and there is no reason to suppose this is not going to happen again. So get yer skates on!
David McGregor, jazz guitarist extraordinaire, will open for the Bevvy Sisters and treat us to a spell-binding set of his own tunes and jazz covers.
…And for your last minute Christmas shopping needs, craftscotland will be on hand again with their highly successful and popular pop up shop of gifts and artefacts by local makers.
The Clap and Tipple Bar will have its usual selection of rather classy but reasonably priced – and where possible organic, local or fair trade – fine wines, beers and soft drinks. Might even be a mince pie or two…. Scrumptious!
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.01337 810372, mob 07802 436391. Bar provided by The Clap & Tipple.
I can’t believe 2 weeks have passed since the last Letham Nights. Here is a wee update:
Letham Nights #9 – 28th November 2009 – Luva Anna and the Bum-clocks
Reviews will shortly be posted on letham.org.uk and on smartcommunityfife websites. In short, we had another brilliant night with everyone leaving the hall glowing with pleasure and buzzing with excitement – and in some cases a little tipsy!
You can view some video clips of the evening and previous ones at our Facebook Group Letham Nights or on letham.org.uk. We would also love you to join the group and add any comments. Clips can also be found on youtube by searching for Letham Nights.
If anyone has any photos (or indeed video clips) of the evening we would be happy either for you to upload these to the group or send them to me by email.
Letham Nights #10 – The Black Cat Jook Band – 16th Jan 2010
This will be the band’s second slot at Letham Nights – this time as headliners. We are all looking forward to this winter warmer with their unique brand of southern ragtime blues. You can add your name to the list of folk attending on the Letham Nights Facebook Group Event and send me an email to book your tickets.
Letham Nights #11 – The Bevvy Sisters – 13th March 2010
We have only gone and managed to book the magnificent Bevvy Sisters for Letham Nights #11!! Not only that, the band would like to invite you to their gig at Celtic Connections in January in Glasgow where they will be launching their debut album ‘The St James Sessions’. This bunch are headed for great things – just take a look at the reviews below. See the end of this email for details then get your tickets booked for Glasgow and Letham!
Cupar Blues & Beyond Club
On Friday 4th December a small group of Letham Nighters had a night oot at the Cupar Blues & Beyond Club. On show were the magnificent Baby Isaac. We will keep you in touch with all their events in the coming months.
The Friends of Collessie Church are holding a fundraising concert in Collessie village hall on 12th February 2010
It features a Scottish folk band called “Cabrach” (please have a look at their website there are also sound clips!) and tickets will be £6 per person available from Andrew McCafferty on 01337 810440 or alternatively from email@example.com
Any profit made will go towards the upkeep of the Collessie Church building.
Thanks a lot for all your support, have a great Christmas and roll on January 16th!
THE BEVVY SISTERS ? ST JAMES SESSIONS
DEBUT ALBUM LAUNCH
CELTIC CONNECTIONS FESTIVAL, JANUARY 30TH 2010
CLASSIC GRAND, JAMAICA ST, GLASGOW 7.30PM Read the rest of this entry »
Less than two weeks to go now to the Luva Anna show on 28th November with the Bum-Clocks. Luva Anna continue to get rave reviews across the country and were crowd pleasers on bonfire Night at Baxter Park in Dundee to a huge audience though we missed it due to the heavy traffic. Here are some clips on youtube should you feel inclined to have a look.
We have had to put the price up a little to £7.50 (£5). Under 12’s are free. We think that this is still a good deal for the entertainment on offer.
Tickets are selling steadily but there are still plenty left so just get in contact either by replying to this email, phoning or texting the mobile no. below. We will put you on the list and then you just pay on the door.