Photos from Letham Nights #19.
featuring The David Latto Band, Chloe & Silas and the Adriana Spina Band
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!
LETHAM NIGHTS #16
18th February 2011
Letham Village Hall
After the disappointment of having to cancel the Bevvy Sisters gig due to the awful weather, we were really looking forward to blowing the winter blues away with Letham Nights 16. We had Buckley’s Chance and the Howie Fyfe Experience booked to entertain you. The crew had bought in the beverages and snacks, the hall was looking as classy as ever, Geoff the sound guy was ready……… when we got the call……. Buckley’s Chance singer Syuzan had been struck down with a bad case of food poisoning and would have to cancel. They were “gutted” not to be able to play such is the reputation that Letham Nights has earned. We will reschedule, that’s a promise. We, on the other had, didn’t have time to be “gutted”, a few phone calls later we had arranged for half of the Moonzie Allstars and the very impressive Mick Prichard, self confessed ”South Yorkshire’s premiere ”sighted” blues man”. David Adam, from the Moonzies, came all the way down from Blairegowrie to play for us. Mick was attending the gig anyway but brought his guitar and vocal chords along with him. The Howie Fyfe Experience were able to lengthen their set accordingly. I have to say at this point “Well done to everyone involved, out of adversity, it’s amazing what can be achieve with a positive attitude”, thanks again to Roy, Claire, Michael, Mick, Emma, Zoe, Leo and Geoff as well as all the musicians mentioned earlier.
The Howie Fyfe Experience kicked off the proceedings with a first set, plucking from the very rich sea that is Americana, a varied and diverse selection of well known and lesser well known songs. Written by or made famous by the great and the good, John Prine, David Allen Coe, Bobby Bare, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Steve Earle, Gram Parsons, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen to name a few. Songs including Speed of the Sound of Loneliness; Lafayette; You Never Even Call Me by my Name; Miller’s Cave; Streets of Baltimore; He Lays in the Reins; Willin’, were the highlights amongst great songs of the first set.
A short break to allow the Clap and Tipple to fill everyone’s glasses was followed by the birthday celebrations of Lynne. Lynne, Sharon and friends have graced us with their presence on almost all of the Letham Nights held over the two odd years we have been in existence. This was followed by Mick Pritchard. Mick had already graced the stage at the open mic section of The Loveliest Night of the Year event. He played a short set, having been asked to play just hours before the show started. Four songs, two covers, Neil Young’s Harvest Stack ‘o’ Lee by Mississippi John Hurt, one self penned Minnesota Bound and a brilliant rendition of “The Bear Necessities”, the reception to this almost like an encore. I have to say Mick is becoming a force to be reckoned with, his performance has come on in leaps and bounds since his last appearance in June. Great guitar picking and a versatile, powerful and soulful voice really wowed the crowd.
Geoff and David, after a short break performed a “Half Moonzies” set, the musicianship, the songs and the chemistry between Geoff and David was electric. Great interplay between the Cumbrian Pipes, whistle, guitar, bazouki and percussion (Yes, there were only the two of them on stage) ensured the crowd rose from their seats to dance a jig during their set. They roared through 9/8’s, Mutt and Bear (David’s creative use of a loop pedal, multi layering the pipes), AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie and Good Bye Bertha (from the Moonzie AllStars debut CD Hypnagogic)
The Howie Fyffe Experience performed their second set which was more upbeat than the first, exactly what the crowd wanted. The dancing continued as Copperhead Road; Splendid Isolation; Long Black Veil; Wild Horses; Do Bad Things; Worry Too Much; Jezebel; Bible and a Gun; Wine Do your Stuff; Poncho & Lefty; Peaceful Easy Feeling; Keep Your Distance; Two More Bottles of Wine were rattled off. Some of the best Americana songwriters songbooks were lovingly rendered by Ned |Geddis, Guitars, CC Campbell, keys and fiddle, Pete MacLeod, bass and Colin Maclean on percussion. Ned brought out quite an evil looking black and chrome Fender Telecaster during the set which seemed right for the encore, Six Days on the Road and You Aint Goin’ nowhere.
The Clap and Tipple bar was left with much less stock than when they set up, all that dancin’ is sho’ ‘nuff thirsty work. Once again the bar was kept busy all night, well done every one, once again fabulous wines and Scottish beers and Organic Ciders, all as locally sourced as practical.
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.