Iain Cathcart and his band

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The Stanley Ceilidh

2011

Another successful Stanley Ceilidh was held at the Tayside Hotel on the weekend of 4th to 6th November 2011. Since Bill Black retired from running his famous Ceilidh we have continued on the same vein for the past eight years continuing to raise thousands of pounds for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.  The final total raised this year was £1,620. This figure included a donation of £350 made by Edmund MacKenzie of Plockton who sadly couldn’t be with us this year. This sum was collected in his famous Craft Shop throughout the last year.

Friday Evening Revellers

Numbers of players and visitors were down on previous years, having said that it didn’t detract from the quality of music we were treated to during the weekend.  Players and enthusiasts from all over the country made their way to the Tayside to enjoy another Stanley Ceilidh.

We were delighted to see a few new faces at the Ceilidh and many of the regulars who have been coming along for years. Many of the country’s top bands keep the date free to come along and give their services free of charge for a great cause. New visitors to the Ceilidh included Iain Stewart from Muir of Ord, Craig MacFadyen from Oban, Lisa Mitchell from Huntly and Ian Riddet from Dumfries. Ian has been threatening to attend the Ceilidh for years and we were delighted to finally see him and his wife make the long journey North. They thoroughly enjoyed their weekend of music and hopefully we will see them return some time in the future.

Lynne Christie, Iain Cathcart, Susan Gordon

Mrs & Dr Berry (happy!)

So, to the music. Some 45 different musicians took to the stage at one time or another during the course of the weekend and provided a variety of differing styles, tempos, interpretation and tastes which collectively created this year’s Stanley Ceilidh mix.  In alphabetical order, those who entertained us were as follows:

Name

Home

Instruments

Iain

Anderson

Gartocharn

Accordion

Angela

Berry

London

Piano

Graham

Berry

Newburgh

Piano

Duncan

Black

Edinburgh

Accordion

Iain

Cathcart

Law

Accordion

Shirley

Cathcart

Law

Accordion

Duncan

Christie

Kennethmont

Drums

Lynne

Christie

Aberdeen

Accordion

James

Coutts

Dysart

Accordion

Neil

Dawson

Alford

Fiddle

Karen

Ferguson

Dunlop

Accordion

Marie

Fielding

Rumsford

Fiddle

Owen

Fielding

Kirkcudbright

Piano

Shauna

Flockhart

Fenton Barns

Piano

Neil

Galloway

Cupar

Accordion

Colin

Garvin

Livingston

Accordion/Piano

Scott

Gordon

Westhill

Accordion/Drums

Susan

Gordon

Westhill

Fiddle

George

Gray

Alloa

Drums

Joe

Hunter

Brindister

Drums

Pauline

Irvine

Westhill

Fiddle

James

Leask

Lerwick

Accordion

John

Leask

Lerwick

Drums

Rhona

Legget

Fenton Barns

Fiddle

Scott

Leslie

Bathgate

Accordion

Hamish

MacDougall

Muir of Ord

2 row

Craig

MacFadyen

Oban

Accordion

Neil

MacMillan

Rowardennan

Piano

Ross

MacPherson

Connel

Accordion

Alistair

MacLeod

Crofthamie

Accordion

Nicol

McLaren

Blairgowrie

Accordion

Robert

Menzies

Glasgow

Accordion/Fiddle

Graeme

Mitchell

Huntly

Accordion

Lisa

Mitchell

Huntly

Fiddle

Graeme

Munro

Fenton Barns

Accordion

Helen

Murray

Inverness

Accordion

Scott

Nichol

Pathhead

Accordion/Piano

Callum

Nicolson

Brindister

Accordion

Tom

Orr

Aberdeen

Accordion/Piano

Craig

Paton

Kinross

Accordion

Michael

Philip

Cardenden

Accordion

Ian

Riddet

Dumfries

Drums

Davie

Scott

Dunbar

Drums

Iain

Stewart

Muir of Ord

Accordion/Piano

Lindsay

Weir

Livingston

Accordion

 

There were fantastic sets from all of the above players with a particular highlight for me being the playing of young Iain Stewart who was brought along to the Ceilidh by a long standing supporter of the event, Hamish MacDougall. Iain is a relation of Hamish and a naturally talented player in his late teens. Once he had composed himself, Iain went on to demonstrate a fabulous technique that looked and sounded effortless.

Young Craig MacFadyen led his band with Lisa Mitchell playing her fiddle; they thrilled the crowd with some very swingy pipe playing. I hope to see more of this duo around the circuit in the coming years.

Lisa Mitchell & Craig MacFadyen

Of course the Ceilidh wouldn’t be the same without some Shetland company and music. Peter Leask brought his usual enthusiastic team down to the Ceilidh. Given the busy time of year in our musical calendar we are always grateful for their support and encouragement. A longboat full of talent arrived on the Friday evening and entertaining us all weekend. John and James Leask, Callum Nicolson and Joe Hunter gave some brilliant sessions to please the knowledgeable audience.

Many thanks to all who contributed raffle prizes, none more so than the donors of the main prizes of food and drink hampers for each of the two evenings. Dave & Lil Millward, Robert & Jenny Campbell and James & Sheena Cathcart. Both hampers were a fitting grand prize and went to regular Ceilidh attendees from opposite sides of the country.  As usual the traditional bottles of tonic wine were included in the raffle, this year Lanarkshire’s National Drink made its way over the sea to Shetland (if it made it that far…).

What can I say about Marina Bruce from Lerwick that hasn’t been said before? She is an absolute gem and does so much to raise funds at the Ceilidh by selling raffle tickets all weekend long. Thanks Marina!

The dance on the Saturday night was to the music of Iain Anderson and his broadcasting band featuring Susan Gordon on fiddle, Neil MacMillan on piano, Duncan Christie on drums and myself on 2nd box. This dance is well renowned within the scene as being an enjoyable one for the band on stage. Whether it is the close proximity to the dance floor or just the overall atmosphere, I can safely say that we have never had a bad night at the Ceilidh. Iain and the band were in top form, ably demonstrating why they were nominated in this year’s Trad Awards in the Best Scottish Dance Band category.

Iain Anderson Scottish Dance Band

In addition to our normal format of informal sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were delighted to receive the offer from Marie Fielding of a free musical session by Tribute on the Sunday afternoon. Tribute comprise the amazing talents of Marie on fiddle, her brother Owen Fielding on piano and none other than the fabulously talented Duncan Black on accordion. Duncan, being the son of the aforementioned Bill Black is no stranger to Stanley, having being brought up nearby. Tribute played an hour long set of magical melodies played with a vibrancy and power for which they are renowned; all without a scrap of music. For the last few sets the trio were augmented by Tom Orr on 2nd box and Duncan Christie on drums to produce a fantastic band sound. Thanks to Marie and the boys for a most welcome session; we wish Tribute the very best with their forthcoming CD release.

Tribute plus Two!

The Stanley Ceilidh could not happen without the help of a number of people; Dave & Lil Millward, Graham & Angela Berry, Scott & Susan Gordon, Lynne Christie, Jo Hardy and all her accommodating staff at the Tayside Hotel.

Special thanks are due to my wife Shirley for all her assistance during the year and in particular the sterling job she does selling tickets for the dance and also rounding up players and arranging them into bands on the Friday night.

Eileen Hunter, Shirley & Elizabeth

Next year’s Stanley Ceilidh will be back at the Tayside Hotel over the weekend of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th November 2012. Accommodation is available on a first come first served basis, contact the hotel on 01738 828249 for further details.

John Carmichael and his band have agreed to provide the music for our Saturday dance, so that promises to be a special night. Tickets will go on sale from Shirley Cathcart from 1st September 2012. All details will be on http://www.iaincathcart.com/stanley.htm

Following the success of Tribute closing the Ceilidh with an hour long set on the Sunday afternoon, we are open to offers from any other groups who may wish to perform for us in future years.

 

Cheers
Iain Cathcart
December 2011

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