Glasgow Letter with Robert Robertson 18.07.19

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Care for a Ceilidh celebrates 250th

Renfrew Care Home was the setting of the recent 250th Care for a Cèilidh as the residents were entertained by Mòd Gold Medal winner Darren Maclean, award-winning Seann Nos singer Roisin Chambers, fiddler Sally Simpson from HEISK, and Ceitidh Martindale and her Highland dancers.

The fact that this was the 250th event just proves how much this voluntary idea of Donald MacLeod’s has flourished over the past few years, bringing so much joy to so many people in homes across the country.

Donnie himself was commanding the stage at Tiree Music Festival last weekend where he was the MC alongside Tiree man Arthur Donald. While he was over on the island, though, he made time to visit the Tigh a Rubha care home where he sang and told stories with the residents – no doubt bringing them a bit of the cheer from the festival.

New series of FUNC

This week, in the Grosvenor Cinema on Ashton Lane, there have been two exclusive first screenings of the second series of BBC Alba’s latest comedy series, FUNC.

Many people are looking forward to this second series after the resounding success of the first, which featured a Gaelic-speaking Donald Trump, a group of walking and talking Callanish stones, and an ingenious sketch from Stornoway airport where the attendant asks for a passenger named MacLeod to stand up and the whole departure lounge gets to their feet.

The point behind these screenings is to record the audience’s laughter to be used on the series. If the comedy is of the same standard as the first, they will need to turn the microphones down because the laughter will be so loud.

Keep your eye on BBC Alba for word about when this series will be released. I don’t think it will disappoint.

A great weekend at TMF10

I do not suppose that Tiree Music Festival is strictly the correct subject matter for the Glasgow Letter but such are the numbers in which Glasgow Gaels flock to the island that particular weekend that every year, I deem it worth a mention.

The festival’s 10th anniversary year (TMF10) brought a very special atmosphere as people reminisced about festivals over the past decade in a sunny field full of friendly faces.

We got the lucky break in the weather that the festival has been so badly in need of and the line-up did not disappoint.

I am writing this in Glasgow – shattered as I reflect on a memorable few days. It started for us on Friday with a journey down to Ely Folk Festival in Cambridgeshire. As soon as we came off stage there, we started the 505-mile journey to Oban – stopping only for three hours at a Premier Inn in Leeds.

It was not as unpleasant as it sounds because we knew TMF10 would be worth it.

I now definitely feel more than a hint of sadness that such a heavily anticipated weekend is over. Just as well I am off to HebCelt up in Stornoway tomorrow morning so that should take my mind off the blues.

We are headlining Thursday night in the main arena before heading off down to England for a couple of shows at the weekend.

I can’t wait. And, after having been away the length and breadth of the country for the past week or so, I’m off to wash some pants and socks and hope they dry in time for us setting off to Lewis tomorrow. I shall report back next week.