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!
October is Oxjam month when music events across UK are dedicated to raising money for Oxfam. Letham Nights will be supporting this campaign with a fantastic open mic night on Saturday 1st October at 8pm featuring a talented array of acts as well as a set from Edinburgh band Buckley’s Chance. If you would like to reserve a ticket, contribute to Oxjam or offer to perform at the open mic session, please use the contact details opposite to let us know!
Donate to our Oxjam campaign – click on the link below…
Please note that we are raising funds for, but do not represent, Oxfam 🙂
Before we get on to Letham Nights….
For those of you who live within the magic 7 mile radius of Letham and are eligible to enter, we hope you have all your produce ready the Letham Flower Show this Saturday. The hall is all set up and looking tip-top! Entries can be submitted on Friday evening but must be in by 10am at the latest on Saturday morning. Judging then takes place until the show opens from 2-4pm.
Everyone is welcome to come along and view the exhibits, have a cup of tea or coffee and contribute to the closing auction of flowers and produce.
And then Letham Nights… From 4pm we need as much help as we can get to clear the hall after the flower show and get it set up again in time for soundchecks etc. If you are available, please, please, please lend a hand!!! The more help we have, the easier it will be.
You won’t be disappointed. When the dust settles, the Clap and Tipple bar opens, you take your seat under the soft lighting with friends and neighbours and the music starts…
First up, some Americana from young local star, David Latto. David, even in the last few months, has grown in stature and is singing better than ever – giving voice to a rich natural talent. Just listen to his recent recordings at Annfield Studios.
Then it’s over to Chloe and Silas for more delightful heartwarming songs showcasing their new album, Spring Hill. Check out ‘Show on the Road’, Chloe & Silas’ video diary of their tour of the UK.
Finally, to kick up a storm and get everyone up on the dancefloor we will have the wonderful Adriana Spina band, fresh from Belladrum and displaying the talent that has made Adriana one of the rising stars of the Scottish music scene.
Come and enjoy! There are still some tickets left so just use the contact details opposite to phone or email one of us and we will get back to you – or just turn up at the door on the night!
“’David has a nice style about him with a warm, sincere singing voice and a good sense of how to put a song together. Thomas Fraser was hooked on Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams and very consciously imitated them; David’s style is much more his own and much more modern – reminiscent, but not imitative, of the likes of Slaid Cleaves. There’s a warmth to his performance and an elegance to his songwriting that promises much..A very nice calling card, then, from David Latto and it’s in the finest tradition of Scottish country-based music’”
Australian singer-songwriter Chloe Hall has embarked on her third UK tour and is on her way to Letham! When she played Letham Nights in 2009 with her trio, we could see she’d fallen in love. With Letham. With the locals. With the magic that happens when everyone pulls together to make these special nights happen. This year, as part of a UK-wide tour, Chloe has teamed up with fiddle legend Silas Palmer (Women in Docs, Spot the Dog, Deep Blue Orchestra) to form a duo, groundbreakingly called ‘Chloe & Silas’. With over 30 years performance experience between them, they’ll be bringing their blend of uplifting harmonies, great songs and exciting playing to Letham Nights for the first time. This is music that will make you feel good! “Sheer joy. A Sixties vibe with a true modern day slant” Dirk Maggs, BBC Producer (UK) “A breath of sweet, fresh air” Gonzo Magazine (Canada)
Here is their full schedule…
Chloe & Silas: UK 2011
July 30: Shotley & Benfieldside Tennis Club, Shotley Bridge
August 4: Kellington Hall, North Yorkshire
August 5: Ropewalk, Barton-upon-Humber
August 6: CB2 Acoustic, Cambridge
August 10: The George Hotel, Argyll
August 11: Falkirk Folkclub, Falkirk August 13: Letham Nights, Fife– THE BIG ONE!!
August 20: Blue Walnut Cafe, Torquay
August 21: Forest Folk Club, Lydney
August 23: Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Leigh on Sea
August 25: Route 2 Wine Bar, Topsham
August 26: Bow Village Hall, Crediton
August 27: Teign Valley Community Hall, Christow
August 29: The Tyne Bar, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
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…!
On 29th April we had the return of the Sisters (of the Bevvy variety) to Letham Nights. But can you believe it? Now the brothers (of the Black Oil variety) are coming back again to be reunited with their extended family. With new songs in their locker and a swagger in their step from playing support to Buddy Guy (at Buddy Guy’s!!! in Chicago!!! – I know, right!), the boys are desperate to get back on stage at Letham Nights. The boys are embarking on their 3rd Annual Tour of the UK, and as always, the tour 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!”
Opening for them will be the inimitable Mick Pritchard with his pared down, gutsy, bare-necessities blues. Quiet and unassuming offstage, when he gets behind that microphone, you’ll know he’s there alright!
So what’s keeping ya? Get your reservations in quick – It’s only 5 weeks away.
To reserve a ticket use the contact details on this page.
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
Letham Nights, with support from Celebrating Fife 2010, will be offering an all-day, free drama and music workshop for 12-21 year olds called ‘Do it in a Day’ on Sat 19 June 2010. The participants will kick off Letham Nights with the performance they have co-written and rehearsed that day, followed by local organic food provided by Pillars of Hercules, an open mic set compered by comedian Bruce Devlin and, to finish off the evening, a set from highly-acclaimed Dundee band Luva Anna.
About the workshop
Starting at 10am, with theatre skills, music and your imagination, you will devise a piece of theatre that you will perform at 7pm the same day! If you have an instrument bring it. If you don’t play an instrument and love music this is for you too.
* No Experience Necessary
* 12 to 21 year olds
This workshop is FREE
What will you do in the day…
10am to 12.30pm: workshops…
1.30pm to 5pm: workshops and rehearsals…
7pm: performance… to kick off…
Letham Nights special celebration, the ‘Loveliest Night of the Year’!
Fiona Miller, Director & Theatre Practitioner
Fiona is a highly experienced and versatile artistic director, who designs and devises new drama projects across the UK. She is also: Artistic Director, Tricky Hat Productions / Creative Partner & Lead Artist, National Theatre of Scotland / Associate Artist, Cumbernauld Theatre.
Mick Slaven, Musician
A talented and versatile musician with a wealth of experience in composing, teaching, recording and performing.He has also performed and recorded with: Deacon Blue, Justin Curry, Del Amitri, Leopards, Eddi Reader and many more.
To book your free place please complete this form or contact Michael at the usual address (Top righthand corner)
Letham Nights would like to thank Fife Council for the generous support from Celebrating Fife 2010