Glasgow Letter – 17.09.20

Skerryvore Live Across the World from Clydeside Distillery.

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‘Ear’s to social distancing filming

Earlier this week, I was doing a bit of filming for BBC Alba in the Arches in Glasgow which has reopened fairly recently as a vibrant events and hospitality brand called Platform.

As usual, Covid regulations threw up a number of interesting situations. As the presenter of the programme, I was the only member of the team who was not obliged to wear a mask and everyone involved was, of course, adhering to strict social distancing.

An interesting problem arose, however, when a cameraman pointed out that the type of back lighting being used was illuminating my ears to such an extent as to make me resemble Martin Clunes!

After much discussion, production decided the only solution was to gaffa tape the back of my ears to stop the light shining through.

As no-one is allowed to come within a meter, I had to apply the gaffa tape myself. Anyone who has ever gaffa taped their own ears will tell you, it’s no easy task!

I’m hoping I don’t turn on the telly in a few months to see me chatting away with a big bit of tape sticking out!

Skerryvore Live Across the World

The closest anyone has come to a real, live gig recently would have to be Skerryvore’s fantastic Live Across the World performance from the Clydeside Distillery.

Virtual tickets were available by donation and included a whisky tasting with piper, Martin Gillespie.

This is quite a regular occurrence at Skerryvore gigs but usually takes place out of the public eye!

The boys then took to the stage in the distillery (with full sound and lighting rig) and put on a tremendous set for the many people watching at home.

Skerryvore fans tuned in quite literally from all across the world: across 24 countries, in fact.

Yet another example of musicians and fans reaching out and connecting with each other despite the terrible circumstances.

Tional begins this weekend

Hands Up for Trad’s virtual Gaelic festival, Tional (Gathering),  that I wrote about last week begins this weekend, presented by Joy Dunlop.

I include the line up again for anyone interested in tuning in on the Hands Up For Trad facebook and YouTube channels. More info on the Hands Up for Trad website.

Friday night

8pm – Norrie McIver in concert

9pm – Hands Up For Trad Cèilidh House, featuring Kathleen MacInnes, Ian Smith and Iain ‘Costello’ MacIver


12pm – Covid Choral Workshop, with Joy Dunlop

1pm – Clàrsach workshop with Calum Macleod

2pm – Lunchtime concert with Marit & Rona

3pm – Scottish Pipes workshop with Alana MacInnes

4pm – Scottish Step dance workshop with Sophie Stevenson

5pm –  Hands Up For Trad Cèilidh House, featuring James Graham, Christine Primrose, Pàdruig Moireasdan

7pm – Evening concert, featuring Mary Anne Kennedy, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Brian Oheadhra and Fionnghal NicChoinnich, Ciorstaidh Beaton and Seonaidh MacIntyre and John Alec Mackay

9pm – Fairich audio-visual showcase with Whyte


1pm – Lunchtime concert with Iain MacFarlane & Ingrid Henderson

2pm – Fiddle playing for dancing workshop with Shona Masson

3pm – An audience with Arthur Cormack

4pm – Gaelic song for Learners workshop with Maeve Mackinnon

5pm – Final Hands Up For Trad Cèilidh House, featuring Misha MacPherson, Robbie Greig and Raymond Bremner