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November Club Night Report

 

The Highland Cub once again had a very large crowd in the hall for the November meeting.

First up was Michael Macmillan, fresh from his recent starring role at Highland Showtime in Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. Michael was in great form and had Jacquie Macdonald on keyboards and Bob Wares on the drums.

Hamish Macdougall was to follow and Jacquie retained the seat at the keyboards. Calum Mackaskill joined in with the guitar and Jock Sephen took custody of the drum stool.

Nichol Mackay with his 5 row button box then took to the stage and was accompanied by Colin Donaldson on second box, Jacquie Macdonald on keyboards and Bob Wares on the drums. Nichol has very recently released a CD and it is available now from all good record shops and is a splendid addition to any record collection.

Club Chairman Fraser Maclean has the box with him every club night but rarely gets the chance to play it. He did on this occasion and had backing from Jacquie on keyboards and Mike Smith on the drums.Mike can't manage in too often and it was a pleasure to have him on stage.

Another welcome return to the stage this time in the shape of Colin Donaldson. Colin has had a busy summer season and Monday nights were otherwise engaged. Coln had Jacquie on keyboards and Bob Wares on the drums.

Colin has also just very recently released a CD and it too is a classic. Great stuff from a very talented musician.

Time for the guest artistes now and Neil Caul did the honours with a 5 piece band. Neil is as steady as a rock and his timing is impeccable. His many years of experience with some of the leading lights in the dance band world was obvious for all to see. He was backed by some very able musicians with Nicol McLaren on second box, Alastair McGirr on keyboards, Jane Davidson on fiddle and David Bell on drums. 

Graham Wilson opened he second half with Jacquie Macdonald at the keyboards and Bob Wares on the drums. Graham has hundreds of tunes in his repertoire and several are of the singalong variety, and tonight was no exception. Great stuff Graham thank you.

Megan Meikle took to the stage and had the current guest artiste of the year, Roya Maclean on keyboards. Roya is Megan's teacher and Megan is making serious progress and is fast becoming a very accomplished player indeed.

Roya remained on keyboards and fiddler Lisa Moyes took to the stage. Lisa is another very accomplished young player and certainly knows how to handle a fiddle. A beautiful sound from these 2 young ladies which was very well received by the audience.

Back to the guest artistes to bring the evening to a close, and Neil Caul and his Scottish Dance Band were once again in top form. Solo fiddle and piano spots in amongst the very best of traditional dance music, all played to the right tempo made for a fantastic night's entertainment.

Once again another great evening at the Highland Accordion and Fiddle Club.

 

Saturday 12 November 2011

HIGHLAND SHOWTIME

 

The Highland Accordion and Fiddle Club held their annual Highland Showtime in the spectacular setting of Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. A capacity audience was treated to the very best on offer with laughter and outstanding musical talent the order of the night.

MC for the evening was John “The Prof” Matheson from Moray Firth Radio. John  had the place rocking with laughter and found himself tangling with a wayward cleaner on stage and even managed to do the Highland Fling with the dancers in the guise of a dancing champion from Canada! John is a master of these events and reigns supreme in this part of the world.

Thes how was superbly produced by Club Secretary Jacquie Macdonald.and she can relax for a wee while now until she picks up the reigns for next years show in just a few weeks time.

The Sileas Sinclair Ceilidh band opened the show and were accompanied right from the start by the Elizabeth Fraser Dancers in their tartan outfits. A great splash of colour and action to set the tone.

The Monach Isle Ceilidh Band brought a mixture of old and new with their own versions of traditional tunes and had the fiddle, bagpipes, small pipes and whistles alongside the accordion. All local lads and leader Michael Macmillan can be very proud of his contribution alongside Chris Mackenzie on everything else and Gordon Ferguson the fiddle.

The Elizabeth Fraser Dancers under the direction of Elizabeth Fraser herself brought glamour and elegance to the proceedings with a superb dancing display. No Highland dancing is complete without the pipes of course and Yvonne Kerman was on hand to complete that function brilliantly. Yvonne was able to demonstrate her skills in a wee solo spot and she is undoubtedly an exceptionally talented musician.

The Gaelic speaking patrons were not to be forgotten and Mod Gold Medallist Paul MacCallum sang beautifully with a really polished piano accompaniment from Hamish Menzies.

For the purist Jacquie had turned to Sileas Sinclair from Oban who has just recorded a CD which should be in the shops soon. Sileas was backed by the brilliant fiddler Deirdre Macdonald, keyboards with Ruaridh Campbell and the drummer was Ryan McGlynn. Together they made a formidable sound and were joined for a couple of sets by 13 year old Hannah Macrae. Hannah was a winner at the recent Mod in the 18 and under fiddle class and is a real star of the future. Hannah is a pupil of Dierdre and the whole dance band scene is in good hands with a secure future when young, raw talent as was displayed here is on display.

The splendour of the whole occasion was brought home at the finale when the whole company assembled on stage with Sileas Sinclair and her band playing in the background.

A great night of talent, all of whom come from the Highlands but a huge thank you must go to Jacquie for her skills in putting the whole show together.

Bob Wares