Taynuilt Ceilidhs are back

Hands Up For Trad's Simon Thourmire is helping bring Taynuilt Ceilidhs online

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Taynuilt’s famous ceilidhs are making a come back in lockdown with help from Hands Up For Trad aficionado Simon Thoumire.

The concertina player, composer and dynamic force behind the traditional music advocacy outfit Hands Up For Trad is helping bring a new series of Saturday night ceilidhs online to a virtual worldwide audience.

The monthly ceilidhs can be watched via The Taynuilt Ceilidhs Facebook page for free.

This year marks 91 years since the ceilidhs started but lockdown, striking the day before its 90th birthday party, had put the popular events on hold – until now.

Taynuilt Ceilidhs’ Moira Dunlop said: ‘I still have the giant cake and bottles of whisky in the spare bedroom waiting for when we can all get together again but for now these on-line ceilidhs are the nearest and best we can do to carry on.’

Taynuilt Ceilidhs’ 90th birthday cake is still waiting to be enjoyed

Money from the Feisean Nan Gaidheal Tasgadh Fund is backing the online ceilidhs and will help organisers support the singers and musicians taking part.

It was Moira’s singer and broadcaster daughter Joy Dunlop who made the move to get Simon Thoumire’s support with the technical wizardry needed to make it all possible – he will also be performing at one of the future ceilidhs.

‘Going online does bring us opportunities of being able to invite musicians and singers who might not otherwise have been able to travel to Taynuilt, they could be abroad or busy elsewhere. For our first ceilidh we have singers from Lewis and Dundee, they can do it from their own homes. The same goes for the audience, it could be people living all over the world. It’s very exciting!

‘The only thing we won’t be able to provide on ceilidh nights is our lovely baking – people will have to supply their own!’ added Moira.

The first of the new online ceilidhs is this Saturday February 20 starting at 7.30pm with Joy Dunlop and featuring singers Wilma Kennedy, Ronnie Murray and Nicola Pearson as well as Scott Wood on pipes and whistles, Mhairi Marwick on fiddle and Grant McFarlane with the accordion.

The next online ceilidh date for your diary is on Saturday March 13, also at 7.30pm and via The Taynuilt Ceilidhs Facebook page.