Author Archive | eilidh shaw

The latest shenanigans…

Well, we have been having a magic old time over the last few months.

Here’s a wee picture of us playing at Eden Festival:

  taken by our lovely friend Kathryn from Canna.


And here’s a very silly video of us going to play at the Howlin Fling Festival on Eigg:


We also played at the Fringe, which was the hottest gig ever, and at Edinburgh’s finest house concert, which you can see a wee snippet of on the Home page, and had a fantastic night in Tayvallich, although Joe and Sarah got into a wee bit of bother on the way home….

The latest excitement for the band was our massive gig at Fèis na Mara, where we were joined by Mairearad Green, Rick Taylor, Michael Owers and Tim Lane, with additional impromptu guest spots from DJ Dolphin Boy on tambourine and Joey Sanderson on musical saw. There will be film footage of that shortly, meanwhile here’s a few photies:

Next up we’re off to Denmark to take part in the 25th anniversary celebrations of Halkaer Kro Festival, then our first time at the Oban Winter Festival, which includes a Haggis Fest, a Whisky Fest (of course), a shortbread competition and a reindeer parade!!! Fantastic 🙂

More Sarah news


Tomorrow I’m off tae Barga, Tuscany in Italy to teach for the second year at Hamish Moore’s School of Scots Music Song & Dance.
It’s gonna be great crack teaching alongside the Scottish talents of Kathleen MacInnes, Finn Moore, Garry West and Siobhan Miller, as well as the beautiful Melody & Derrick Cameron from Cape Breton.
I got in fiddle training last week playing with Eilidh and her Mum at The Oban Balls’ eight hour marathon, two nights running… feeling ready for any amount of fiddle tunes thrown at me in Italy now.

Well apart from playing the fiddle there has been a fair amount of dressing up in grand attire and painting my face white and dancing around various locations in Scotland with my banjo performing with Oceanallover again. We’ve been back to Orkney for a week, where we got to play in a large oil tank from World War II. We also performed at The Boy’s Ploughing Match, where it wasn’t obvious who out of the two groups were the most eccentric. See photos and video…

Then we did the Edinburgh Fringe at Dancebase and got this beauty of a 4star review from The Times! Woohoo!

Oceanallover is a company based in southwest Scotland that specialises in site-specific performance. Staged in and outdoors at Dance Base until yesterday, and then at Dalkeith Country Park today and Saturday, this free but ticketed production was inspired by a seaside tradition in the Orkneys that dates back more than 200 years. Known as the Festival of the Horse and Boys’ Ploughing Match, it has been adapted by Oceanallover’s director Alex Rigg and his collaborators into a strange but inviting and beautiful event that’s a top photo opportunity.
The hour-long performance begins in the reception area, with a cast of 15 leading us on a ceremonial journey up through the building and out into gardens. The performers are white-faced, like classic mime or butoh artists. They are also wearing elaborate, gorgeously detailed garb that suggests medieval folk tales, travelling minstrels and, most importantly, horses. Four are in leather and hide; each has a staff attached to their back that curls above the head, and sports a tail. When close you can smell their costuming.
The music and vocals (attributed to Joey Sanderson and Sarah McFadyen) are wonderful, and for irony’s sake includes familiar western tunes such as the theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It all leads around and down to the Grassmarket, where the movement finally becomes more unbridled before an unsuspecting crowd. Well worth seeing, and Dance Base is providing a bus to and from the two performances in Dalkeith for £6.50 a person.

A brilliant first run of gigs!

What an excellent time we had on our first little tourette out with all our brand new music. The very first gig was sold out, and the energy in the room was amazing! It was so exciting to be showcasing a whole hour and a half of music that we’d never played in front of anyone before, and we all loved every minute of it. Here’s a quote from the promoter, the lovely Gordon MacLean from An Tobar on Mull,: ‘I know it’s only May, so probably a bit early to call, but I would say that was gig of the year!’ We were chuffed to bits with that one.

The following night in Oban we’d taken a bit of a gamble with a bigger venue in a town that’s not renowned for getting bums on seats but we did it! Only 6 tickets off a complete sell-out and the crowd were fantastic again. Off we went the next day to the tiny island of Muck…. Population: 34, tickets sold: 50! That was definitely the best night for the dancing in the aisles. We finished the week with two of our favourite places in the world – Knoydart and Eigg. By that time we were all just ecstatic and the whole thing seemed like an amazing crazy dream. Luckily there’s a little video on youtube you can find if you search up Poozies and Knoydart. So it definitely did happen.

Coming up next – Eden Festival! Ya beauty! Hope to see some of you there ….

Eilidh’s News

I started off the year with a couple of gigs at Celtic Connections, including the epic ‘Night For Angus’. This was a huge production in the main auditorium of the concert hall with around 60 musicians and over 2500 audience members. It was a beautiful celebration of our dear friend’s life, and an honour and privilege to be involved. Shooglenifty then asked me to join them for a few more gigs later in the year, which is slightly terrifying but very exciting. If you can make it along be sure and come and say hello, I’ll be at the bar trying to calm my nerves.


Mary up for a Radio 2 Folk Award!

Voting is open until 23.39 on Friday the 17th of February for Best Album at the Radio 2 Folk Awards, in which Mary’s epic collaboration ‘Songs of Separation” is nominated. All the albums nominated in this category are brilliant, but only one of them has Mary Macmaster in it. If you’d like to vote you can do so here.

Things are shaping up…

There’s a few gigs and festivals coming in now, which is making us all very happy. We can’t wait to get out there and play! We’ll be adding them to the gig page as they get confirmed/announced by the venues and festivals. If you’d like to book us please just get in touch.

All systems go!!

Well we’ve been very eager to share with everybody the news of our lovely new band members and now, thankfully, the time has come! There are still a substantial amount of miles between the four of us and so getting together hasn’t been all that easy, but we had a first meet up at the end of April last year and straight away we knew we were going to really enjoy making a din together. And of course, making dinner, which is equally as important. Although not quite as important as eating dinner, we definitely all enjoy that.

We thought it would be a good idea to make a couple of videos so people could hear what we were doing and see us doing it so we went to Chez Paddy and Libby Shaw of Loch Awe where we had some amazing food cooked for us by Shuna and Beady, and got some valuable help in the camera department from Breagha. It was very much a ‘learn-as-you-go’ experience, but with two new savvy young band members that wasn’t a problem! (Mary and I look on in admiration.) We also had a photo shoot with some tiny instruments, a camera on a timer and no photographer, which was brilliant fun!

We’ve got a few gigs lined up which we’ll announce soon, we’re very much looking forward to getting out on the road, and hope to see you all there. 🙂