Posts Tagged ‘James Mackintosh’

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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The Bevvy Sisters Return – By Royale Appointment!

March 31st, 2011

29th April – A very special day!  Why?  Well, dontcha know?  The Bevvy Sisters are coming to Letham Nights by Royale Appointment for a Right Royale Bevvy!

The Bevvy Sisters: Powerhouse harmony trio. Radio-era chic, now retro cool.
Three sassy lassies. Reinventing the genre and covering all the exits.

Mixing classy original songs, vibrant vintage folk and artful contemporary covers into the headiest of musical cocktails, Scottish harmony outfit The Bevvy Sisters unites the richly seasoned voices of Heather Macleod, Lindsey Black and Roberta Pia, with Shooglenifty percussionist James Mackintosh and David Donnelly (ex-Salsa Celtica/Finlay Quaye) on guitar, mandolin and backing vocals. With sell-out shows at Glasgow’s world-famous Celtic Connections festival for the past two years, they have won a string of glowing reviews and extensive UK radio play. Check out songs from their album The St James Sessions.

And take a look at what the experts think:

‘I feel it’s my calling to be an understudy Bevvy Sister’ Eddi Reader

‘Luscious. Lovely. Tuneful. The Bevvy Sisters can mix the dirtiest martini in town, then sing it.’ Eliza Carthy

‘The only thing better than getting to listen to The Bevvy Sisters, is getting to sing with them’ Dick Gaughan

David McGregor, who we first met at a Haiti benefit gig in Dunbog, is a virtuoso jazz guitarist with a huge talent – and he has agreed to open for the Sisters.  His intricate and delicate picking on his own compositions and some classic jazz covers, is captivating.  After many years living in Scotland working in bands, recording and tutoring guitar, David is now living in Paris in the heart of the European jazz scene  …but he was not going to miss the chance of playing at Letham Nights with the Bevvy Sisters! Have a listen at http://www.myspace.com/davidmacgregorjazz

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Letham Nights #11-Review of The Bevvy Sisters with Kirsty Keatch

May 31st, 2010

Mostly at Letham Nights the acts come to us. They see the website or someone recommends them. It is one of the delightful things about this venture that lots of people out there are great musicians and they just want to be heard. But with the Bevvy Sisters it was different…

How it happened…
Location: Falkland
Occasion: “The Big Tent” Festival Summer 2009
Reason: handing out flyers for Letham Nights
Outcome: The Bevvy Sisters appearing at Letham Nights 11.

Sheltering in a tent to avoid the rain we stumbled across The Bevvy Sisters set. Luck was on our side that day because we were blown away by the performers on the stage. The Bevvy’s and their band played with joy, harmony and humour. Brilliant vocals shone through, I can’t think of three voices that were meant to sing together more than Kaela Rowan, Lindsay Black and Heather MacLeod. David Donnelly, guitar and mandolin and James Mackintosh on drums and percussion provided the perfectly judged backing to the sisters. Their incredible musicianship gave a huge soundscape to balance the beautiful vocals.

Michael and I approached them after the performance, handed them our card and gave them a wee resume of what Letham Nights is all about. They promised to get in touch as they were booked for the rest of the summer. That suited us as we were also sorted for artists.

Subsequent investigation revealed a gathering of fantastic reviews, a CD release, The St James Sessions, recorded (in single takes) at The St James Hall in Innerleithen and then wowing the crowds at this year’s Celtic Connections, pulling huge crowds wherever they played.
The e-mail came through and the date was set. Around this time Michael had been contacted by Colin McLean of the Edenists, recommending a young singer songwriter called Kirsty Keatch. She has just back from Manchester after winning the prestigious MIBI songwriters award. Chris Martin from Coldplay awarded her 25 out of 25 and Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe commented that her song is a “heartbreaking, gorgeous, ethereal pop track”.

And so to Letham Nights #11
Kirsty gave us a very impressive and confident show of self-penned songs using her electric guitar and a bank of effects to create loops of soaring melody. She sang her way through Silent Voices, Riddles, Moonbeam, Little Butterflies, Teardrop and the beautiful Dragonfly to name a few. The audience were held in a quiet and reflective mood by these lovely songs and by this future star. If there is any justice in this world Kirsty will be around singing for us for a very long time.

The Bevvy Sisters then graced the stage. There are others who have waxed eloquent about the rich, magical, sweet vocals that flow through swing, jazz, folk and Americana. I cannot add much to what has already been written. Songs from their debut St James Sessions CD were fully represented, amongst them The Littlest Bird, 1000 miles, The Way You Know You Do, Draw the Line and Apocalypse. They also covered the classics, Mary Don’t You Weep, Rock My Soul and Leadbelly’s Cow Cow Yikkey. The Letham Nights crowd were keen to get up and dance and were even tricked into descending onto the dancefloor to a 20 second ad jingle in the style of 50’s American TV! If the Cohen brothers are looking for some tunes for their next film, they should have a listen to The Bevvy Sisters. Each song was greeted with enthusiasm by the Letham Nights full house. There was dancing and audience participation and during the song Smoke, lighters blazed as the song was sung. As we had seen from the gig at the Big Tent, where they are booked to appear again this year, this band are certainly going places, and deservedly so. A straw poll taken at the end of the gig and the results were unanimous…Utterly Fantastic!

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