Glasgow Letter – 21.11.19

Under the shadow of the Tiree flag, the wonderful performers of last weekend's Tiree Gathering Concert. Left to right: Kirsteen Grant, Sean MacCallum, Margaret MacKinnon (president), Donald Iain Brown (chair), Ruairidh Cormack, Kirsty MacKinnon, and Ellen MacDonald.

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An Excellent Tiree Gathering Concert

It is not very often I have weekend nights to myself so I was delighted to have made it along to both the Tiree Gathering concert and dance last Thursday and Friday evenings.

In a change to the usual Partick Burgh Halls, the concert was held in the beautiful Hyndland Parish Church. It was an absolutely freezing cold evening but the music was tremendous.

Chairman DI Brown, who spoke passionately about how the island’s culture and language has shaped him and featured throughout his career, seemed to welcome star turn after star turn to the stage all evening.

The instrumentalists (Gordon Rowan on the pipes, Sean ‘Buddha Beag’ MacCallum on the box, and Kirsteen Grant on piano) had everyone either tapping their feet or singing along – particularly to Kirsteen’s selection of Scots and Gaelic tunes. The solo singing was totally brilliant.

Kirsty MacKinnon, Ruairidh Cormack, and Ellen MacDonald (all of whom I’ve heard many times before) genuinely all seemed to bring their ‘A game’.

A real highlight was Kirsty’s version of the beautiful Tiree song Òganaich an Òir Fhuillt Bhuidhe. It wasn’t the only Tiree song she sang – she also sang a couple of songs that her grandmother (who hailed from Tiree) used to sing – and all of them went down very well indeed with the audience.

Ruairidh was also in fantastic voice (hands firmly in his pocket, just like his father, Arthur!) and had the audience swinging away to Fàgail Bharraigh among other crackers.

Ellen very successfully tested out a new song for her called Ho ro Bhodachain – inspired by the singing of the MacDonald Sisters all those years ago.
It was a tremendous concert, enjoyed fully by those in the audience but also by a large contingent watching on Facebook live; many, no doubt, back in Tiree on this incredibly cold November night.

And not a bad dance either!

The following night, I took the well trodden path from the Park Bar, up the Kelvin Way, to the Glasgow University Union (as I was apt to do some years ago as a fresh-faced student!), where the dance was in full swing to the music of Gunna Sound.

Campbell and Johnny had the floor filled and everyone was in tremendous form.

Extra info for the Glasgow Skye

The Glasgow Skye’s Annual Dinner will be held on Friday December 6 (the evening before the concert and dance) in Glasgow University Union at 7pm for 7.30pm. Members and friends are most welcome but they must contact the Secretary Karen Campbell to make their choices from the menu (indicating any special dietary requirements) before Monday December 2.

Gathering Dinner Dance

This weekend it is the turn of the Glasgow Uist and Barra Association whose dinner dance takes place in the GoGlasgow Urban Hotel on the Paisley Road West.

Tickets are no longer available which surely means it will be a great night for those in attendance. Music for the dance provided by Beinn Lee.