Testimony

October 15th, 2015
by Letham Nights

What they/ you say about Letham Nights…

kirsty almeida band

Kirsty Almeida at Letham Nights

Letham Nights has now been ‘a thing’ since December 2008 and in January 2017 we stage our 50th event.  We have showcased the talents of nearly 70 acts to an audience averaging 90 happy, satisfied, dancing and clapping music lovers.  Each time we ask people to tell us what they love about Letham Nights and what would make it better.  Here is some of that testimony from musicians and audience:

The Musicians

“Genuinely one of the Coal Porter’s favourite gigs EVER. That’s a lot of gigs passed over in favour of you fine folks – and rightly so. Aye. Neil Herd, The Coal Porters

I’ve toured extensively from Moscow to Trinidad and I can honestly say one of my most memorable shows was Letham nights. We were treated with real kindness and shown respect for our talents and care for our wellbeing as artists. We were looked after from way before our arrival at the venue to after we returned home. The sound was fantastic and the stage crew patient and helpful. Such a special audience too in a beautiful venue. I honestly loved it all. Our hosting accommodation has stayed with me and become a bit of an influence on mine and little Ray’s new home too x Kirsty Almeida musician and host at new creative wellness centre, The Wonder Inn, Manchester

What Kirsty said! It’s true! Letham nights is a little gem of a scene, run by great people who’s passion and dedication to live music is real. I met Roy at night in Manchester when he was watching a band from America play at our own night. He told me about Letham Nights and I was sold. It took a while to make it happen but I’m so happy we did. We had a beautiful time and ate a lot of cheese and drank all the beer. The gig went well too I think.
I can’t wait for our return in 2016! (Nudge, wink). Jo Dudderidge, The Travelling Band and host of Shut The Far Cupboard live music sessions at the Odd Bar in Manchester

“Letham Nights is everything I want in a gig – comfy, well-organized, beautiful setting, great sound, and totally focused audience. But here’s the special part: once you play Letham Nights, you are part of the family. The friendship and support continue well after the gig is over. The community is the real core at Letham, and that’s what sets it apart.” Devon Sproule, Musician, Virginia USA

Letham Nights is one of my favourite gigs to play. With so many promoters and venues that treat musicians like the scum of the earth, it’s refreshing to be made to feel like royalty. There is never any question about being paid, fed, watered and accommodated, and as a result, it’s one of the easiest and most relaxing gigs. They do all the hard work so you can concentrate on the job of entertaining, which means the shows themselves are pure MAGIC. Nobody ever walks on to that stage feeling stressed or under-appreciated. As for the audience, they are always a total delight. The community love music and you can tell. They listen to every single note. The Letham Nights team have just as much love for music and it shines through in everything they do. I’ve attended as a musician and a spectator and I have always, always, always had the time of my life… and I owe it all to Letham Nights” Roberta Pia, The Banana Sessions, formerly of The Bevvy Sisters

“If every community had a Letham nights, musicians would not struggle to make a living and would not be frustrated by trying to play over bar crowds. It was so special to become a part of the village for a night and to meet so many great folks who are there to listen to and to support the music. It really says how rare this concert series is when musicians from all over the world talk about this amazing show and experience. It’s one that truly stands out from all of the the other gigs I have played.” Matt Blackie, Musician, Drummer with Picture the Ocean, Edmonton Canada

Letham Nights is one of the most extraordinarily inspiring community artistic ventures and a joyous celebration of music for both performers and loyal audiences alike. It is run impeccably, professionally and with real verve and spark. Each gig is a major event and always memorable. The emphasis on sustainable, organic refreshments is a perfect example of the thoughtfulness and care that the organisers devote to this unique project. As a professional musician, I have been utterly delighted by the ambition and aura of genuine enthusiasm for what music can mean as an occasion for uniting disparate music-lovers together. It really is a thing to treasure and deserves lasting success.” Christopher Mildren, The Chloe Hall Trio, Melbourne Australia

“Letham nights represents the best kind of gig you can have in Scotland. I love playing village halls in general, but it’s particular magic really makes it for me. Logistically speaking they make sure you are fed, watered and paid a decent fee,.. but more than that, they put their heart and soul in to promoting, networking and spreading the word, before AND after a gig. Most art centers in Scotland and England could learn a thing or two form the likes of these fine folk, because they get absolute foot-stomping gems in the door, they research bands to invite top acts and they create a most excellent atmosphere full of contagious good vibes. Most people think about what show they want to go see, but Letham Nights thinks about what audience they want to be, what scene they want to start and what energy they want to create from nothing, which is what artists do every day. it’s nice to see that reciprocated in such a humble way. I’m certainly not alone in noticing this.” Cera Impala of Cera Impala and the New Prohibition and the Bevvy Sisters

Letham night was one of my first gigs and also one of my best gigs. The atmosphere was insane as everybody was there for the music. I instantly felt at home and the event was very well organised. I would definitely love to perform there again! Such a great start to my music and i am always grateful to have that positive start. Thanks for having me.  Erin Scott, Musician & local resident, Ladybank

“Top Gig Letham Nights!… really friendly people. very switched on about music and an absolute pleasure to play for. The other acts on the bill were outstanding. I would happily have stayed in the audience and let them do the whole night!” Andrew Watson, Adriana Spina Band

“It’s a total pleasure to play for such an amazing community – and alongside a stellar cast of amazing musicians. Wow! You’d be kicking yourself if you missed it.” Silas Palmer, Chloe & Silas, Melbourne Australia

“What an awesome night guys. The Bevvy Sisters were fantastic. Support act Kirsty Keatch was great too – what a talented lass! You guys really have something special going on up there and I was glad to be part of it ! See you soon” Vivienne Bern, the Coaltown Daisies

The Audience

I live in a small rural community. The kind of ‘commuter village’ you could easily disappear in. Our village is different. One of the things that makes it different is Letham Nights. This amazing concert series has been a gift to our community brought to us by passionate and hard-working volunteers determined to bring quality music to the heart of our village. With the added goal of creating a carbon neutral village hall it is a fundraising venture as well. The music is always of an amazing quality and Michael and the team have brought so many new musical experiences into my life. Not only this, but they create an environment that genuinely welcomes children. As a single parent this has been invaluable and my 11 year old daughter has benefited from being introduced to live music from some seriously talented musicians. An inspiration to a young musician. It is always a great night from the warm welcome, the relaxing ambiance and the amazing Clap ‘n’ Tipple bar. It is the kind of high quality entertainment you just don’t expect to get in a rural village hall. I think a testimony to its greatness is the fact that many artists return to our hall again and again. I love Letham Nights and hope that it continues for many years to comeLouise, local resident

“Why I love Letham Nights – I am a single woman in my 50’s and as this is a regular community event /evening entertainment I find I can just take myself to Letham Village Hall and there is always someone whom I can sit with and feel safe and comfortable in their company. So you see that gets me out and that is important to community living (being included) THEN there is why I go and that is because the entertainment is fabulous – serious musicians and songwriters from all over the world – AND then there is the amazing talent that we have on our doorstep. Letham Nights give local up and coming artists a platform to perform which is always such a surprise the standard that is presented – the BAR IS HIGH!  The organisers ARE JUST AMAZING – DEDICATED and COMMITTED putting themselves forward to find talent, compere the night, meet the requests of the community, ensure our safety, not to forget meeting our needs in the Clap and Tipple where staff are beautiful in all ways serving and keeping all in order providing us with great local beers, wines and soft drinks also giving a platform for local bakers to share their goods and supporting charity work AND not to forget many a GREAT NIGHT DANCING. Letham Nights gives you what it says on the packet – It’s a medicine for your health. We need this to stay – its what community is truly all about.” Marie, local resident

“I have been at many Letham nights over the last few years and am impressed by the set up, both musically in terms of the quality of acts engaged and also in the way they encourage young local musicians. By providing a serious platform where their work is actually listened to, local aspiring performers are given opportunities that most support slots and pub gigs do not provide. Lack of appreciation can disillusion young, especially solo, scuds, who are after all, often’ bearing their soul’ and I would also say that the link with the transition toun and the local wares on offer at the bar instead of the usual mass produced stuff is a stroke of genius and is part of the attraction in addition to the wonderful music.Pete Beaver, Cupar

“Letham nights has showcased an astonishing amount of great talent over the years, and what we love about it is the variety and quality of the music. Not just blues or folk or punk or rock or indie or country or pop or bluegrass or ballads or accapello, but all of those and more. It is a great venue which is welcoming and friendly to everyone, and the perfect size for cosiness and a good wee crowd, for listening with friends or a dance. The committee work very hard and deserve support to keep this going for many years to come.” Katy Stevenson, Moonzie

“Letham nights is a truly exceptional musical enterprise: located in the splendid Letham Village Hall, the acoustics of which made it one of Jimmy Shand’s favourite venues – it promotes and presents musical events featuring artists of outstanding talent from Scotland and beyond – both established and up-and-coming – and this attracts folk from both the local community and across Fife and beyond. Add to all of that superb hosting and organisation and you have musical evenings of total enthrallment. Letham Nights is really important – and everything should be done to enable it to carry on its great work, and to thrive.” Paul Pia, Edinburgh

“Letham nights has been providing fantastic music to an area devoid of venues or choice for years now. The headline acts have been top class and the event organisers have taken the opportunity to give support slots to many local and unsigned acts. The respect offered to the musicians by the organisers, the knowledgeable crowd, the great homespun bar and food, all come together to make for magical, friendly, thrilling nights of live music. The commitment of the team to drive on, constantly improving the experience for the crowd deserves to be supported. Letham nights is a gem of an event, a genuine community based organisation that enriches the lives of all involved” Grant Ritchie, Dundee & Angus College

I have been to numerous Letham Nights and they are an incredible experience. The music plays a central part to each event but its the feeling of bringing together a community – which isn’t well served for entertainment – that is the most most amazing thing. The people who organize these evenings do so out of their love of good music, good people and good times. They should be helped and encouraged so that they are able to bring more talent to this beautiful part of Scotland.  Long may they continue! Ian Dougan, Belfast.

And from the feedback sheets collected at our show on 11th June 2016 with Miss Irenie Rose and The Cut Throat Razors:

“It’s such a great atmosphere and there’s real communication between the musicians and the audience”

“Moved me to tears; moved me to dance”

“It’s people of all ages having a fabulous time and I get to hear new music”

“The music is ALWAYS amazing!”

Please feel free to add a comment about your experience of Letham Nights!

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