Iain Cathcart and his band

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The Stanley Ceilidh

2009

Shorty after 4pm on Sunday 8 th November 2009 James Leask and his band brought the curtain down on another tremendously successful Stanley Ceilidh. Almost two days previously my own band opened the proceedings at the 31 st Annual Ceilidh, which took place, as usual, in the customary surroundings of the function suite of the Tayside Hotel, Stanley .

"The Soundcheck"

During the course of the weekend, some 50 plus musicians came along to the Tayside and gave their time and music for free to provide a quantity and quality of Scottish Dance Music entertainment unequalled anywhere else in the traditional scene today. It is particularly encouraging to see players returning year on year, and this twinned with the large number of “Stanley Virgins” [ie first timers], ensure that the Ceilidh goes from strength to strength.

Our early reservations regarding licensing regulations spoiling the weekend were unfounded and this year's ceilidh turned out to be one of the most successful in terms of enjoyment and funds raised.

Welcome

Once the dust had settled and the money was counted, I'm delighted to report the final amount raised coincidentally turned out to be £2,009. Quite fitting for the 2009 Ceilidh. As in previous years this sum will be donated to Children's Hospice Association Scotland [CHAS]. This sum also included a tremendous donation from Edmund MacKenzie from Plockton, who kindly handed in £300, which he had raised from a collection tin in his newsagent cum gift shop in the village. Edmund has been attending the Ceilidh for as long as I can remember and it's great to see him make the long trip from the West Coast each November.

Raffle sales, as in the two previous years, were in the capable hands of Marina Bruce from Lerwick. Marina made her annual pilgrimage Sooth to help us out and enjoy a wee trip on the boat. Her enthusiasm for the Ceilidh is a real treat for us, she loves the music and likes nothing better than meeting friends old and new through her several tours of the hall, raffle books in hand. I believe, in the end, Marina beat her target of last year by selling over £900 single handedly. Thanks Marina, hope to see you back next year.

Lynne, Boab, Spunky, Susan & Scott

Players came from far and near to be with us during the weekend. Many on the Friday evening, but also a number who couldn't make the main event came along on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon to give us a tune. In alphabetical order, those who entertained were as follows:

First Name

Surname

Home

Instruments

Ian

Adamson

Springfield

Drums

Graham

Berry

Newburgh

Piano

Jim

Berry

Newburgh

3 row

Bill

Black

Stanley

3 row

Colin

Brown

Edinburgh

5 row

Gordon

Brown

Kelso

Accordion

John

Burns

Falkirk

Accordion

Iain

Cathcart

Law

Accordion

Shirley

Cathcart

Law

Accordion

Duncan

Christie

Kintore

Drums

Lynne

Christie

Aberdeen

Accordion

James

Coutts

Dysart

Accordion

David

Cunningham

Cupar

Accordion

Neil

Dawson

Alford

Fiddle

Karen

Ferguson

Dunlop

Accordion

Marie

Fielding

Rumsford

Fiddle

Shauna

Flockhart

Edinburgh

Piano

Neil

Galloway

Cupar

Accordion

Colin

Garvin

Livingston

Accordion/Piano

Bill

Gillie

Kelso

Drums

Scott

Gordon

Westhill

Accordion/Drums/Bass

Susan

Gordon

Westhill

Fiddle

George

Gray

Alloa

Drums

Mabel

Gray

Alloa

Piano

Drewie

Hawick

Lerwick

Accordion

Martin

Henderson

Lerwick

Piano

Joe

Hunter

Brindister

Drums

Ian

Hutson

Blairgowrie

Accordion

Alan

Irvine

Edinburgh

Drums

Linda

Irvine

Scalloway

Fiddle

Pauline

Irvine

Westhill

Fiddle

Andy

Kain

Newmains

Fiddle

Keith

Lauder

Edinburgh

Drums

James

Leask

Lerwick

Accordion

John

Leask

Lerwick

Drums

Louise

Leslie

Bathgate

Piano

Scott

Leslie

Bathgate

Accordion

Hamish

MacDougall

Muir of Ord

2 row

Fraser

MacInnes

Tobermory

Drums

Alistair

MacLeod

Crofthamie

Accordion

Nicol

McLaren

Blairgowrie

Accordion

Robert

Menzies

Glasgow

Accordion/Fiddle

Dave

Milward

Kilmelford

Accordion

Owen

Muir

Perth

Piano

Graeme

Munro

Edinburgh

Accordion

Scott

Nichol

Pathhead

Accordion/Piano

Callum

Nicolson

Brindister

Accordion

Tom

Orr

Aberdeen

Accordion/Piano

Michael

Philip

Cardenden

Accordion

Ian

Robertson

Englandshire

Fiddle

Davie

Scott

Kellas

Drums

Gillian

Stevenson

Inverness

Fiddle

Liam

Stewart

Galston

Accordion

Lindsay

Weir

Livingston

Accordion

 

Highlights from the weekend are difficult to single out, however some of mine included the playing of two bonnie sisters from the Shetland Isles. Pauline and Linda Irvine delighted the crowd with their tasteful selections. Both in unison and harmony, ably backed by fellow Shetlanders Martin Henderson and James Leask. More about Martin later. My personal highlight was getting a wee kiss from them both whilst I was on stage as they were leaving on the Sunday afternoon… [that's from the girls, not their accompanists!]. The trio that played on the Saturday afternoon became known as “Beauty and da Bush”. Da Bush, aka Martin Henderson, is destined to be Guizer Jarl at the Cullivoe Up-Helly-Aa next March, and has been growing his Viking beard for the past two years. He's scary looking enough without it….!

PJ, Shirley, Fraser & Linda

Susan Gordon and Robert Menzies, both on fiddle also played some great sets on the Friday night. Nice to see Robert playing the fiddle as well as the accordion. Another Stanley favourite, Neil Dawson wowed the audience with his swingy playing.

The biggest laugh of the Ceilidh came during Bill Black's spot on the Saturday. Bill invited Mabel to play a piano solo whilst the rest of the band on stage looked on. Midway through Mabel's rendition of the Black & White Rag, Dave Milward delivered a daily newspaper to the front line of the band. Bill & Marie Fielding then took to reading the paper whilst Mabel completed her piece. Priceless.

Bill Black SDB "enjoying" Mabel's piano solo

 

Furthest travelled I believe was Ian Robertson from Englandshire, who enjoyed a return visit to Stanley after an absence of 8 years or so. Ian played three times for us over the weekend to great acclaim. All who heard him very well appreciated his laid back bouncy touch. Maybe see you back next year with the family Ian?

It was nice to see some new faces to Stanley this year. Michael Philip, Andy Kain and Liam Stewart all appeared for the first time and all thoroughly enjoyed their visit. Michael returned for the Saturday night dance and his rendition of Shiftin' Bobbins had to be seen to be believed.

Michael Philip SDB

Arch Armstrong and Nat Shaw [our very own Ant & Dec] from Northern Ireland have been coming to the Ceilidh for many years now. This year the boys were joined by another couple of friends from across the water. It came to our intention that Nat was celebrating his 65 th birthday at the Saturday night dance. Great to have you back with us guys. Here's to your 66 th , back in Stanley next year.

Nat Shaw, 65 years Young

Our long serving Shetland contingent were back amongst us this year led by Peter Leask, organiser and transport manager. Around 25 Shetlanders made the journey to join the festivities. They even had their own reserved table in the usual spot for the Saturday dance entitled “Shetland Abstainers Society”. Aye right. Thanks for all you do for the Ceilidh folks.

Another Shetlander and good friend who made the journey South from Lerwick this year was none other than South Lochside's very own Drewie Hawick. It's been several year since Drewie visited Stanley and his music was very well received. Glad you could make the trip Drewie and great to hear you in top form.

This year's dance was in the capable hands of David Cunningham and his Band from Cupar in Fife. David on Lead Accordion, Marie Fielding on Fiddle, Neil Galloway on 2 nd Accordion [and also lead for a number of sets], Graham Berry on Piano & Ian Adamson on Drums and vocals. The band was in great form all evening and delighted the enthusiastic audience with a fantastic selection of material and dances. David and the band have been staunch supporters of the Ceilidh over the past few years and gave a great account of themselves. Most of the band's work is normally playing for RSCDS dances, but they demonstrated their versatility by taking this Ceilidh/Old Time dance in their stride. Their tight bouncy sound was a delight to listen to and even better to dance to. Well done to all.

David Cunningham SDB

Survivors Sunday arrived all too soon and it was time to head for home. Approx 70 listeners/players stayed around for the tunes before we closed up for the weekend.

Big thanks go to all who helped in any way, be it donations or raffle prizes. Hampers were sponsored again this year by Dave & Lil Milward, Jim & Sheena Cathcart and Robert & Jenny Campbell. My main thanks go to my wife, Shirley, without whom I'd have really struggled. Shirley organised the ticket sales for the dance and also made sure there were always artists ready to take to the stage all throughout the weekend.

Jedward

This year's Ceilidh also saw the release of our 2 nd Stanley Ceilidh CD. Sales are off to a great start already. The CD features 14 great tracks recorded live at recent Stanley Ceilidhs. Anyone who would like to assist with sales of the CD can contact me at the telephone number or email address below.

Next year the Ceilidh is on Friday 5 th to Sunday 7 th November 2010 and the Saturday Dance will be in the capable hands of current Top of the Pops in the Scottish Dance Band World, Tom Orr SDB. We'll look forward to that one. Tickets will again be limited and sold in advance from early September 2010.

 

Iain Cathcart, November 2009

 

A Few Photos from the Weekend

Alistair MacLeod SDB

 

Graham Berry, Iain Cathcart & James W. Coutts

 

Duncan Christie, Susan Gordon & Robert Menzies

 

The Lovely Pauline Irvine & not so Graham Berry

 

Scotts - Nichol & Gordon

 

Dancers, of sorts

 

 

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