Glasgow Letter – 19.5.22

Donnie Munro and Friends performing at Skye Live.

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The Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association, Ceòlraidh Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu (affectionately known as the GGs) are looking forward to their first annual concert since 2020 which was just before the pandemic struck.

It takes place on Saturday June 18 at 7.30pm in Hyndland Parish Church.

The choir’s social media announcement of the concert explained that it will be their first chance to remember their dear friend Gordon McKeeve, who was a stalwart of the choir for 35 years, and they will be celebrating with a mixture of choir songs and soloists.

I wrote about Gordon in this column when he passed away because he was someone I held in very high regard. First and foremost, he was a lovely person who (along with all the choristers) made me feel very welcome when I took my seat among the tenors for a few rehearsals and a concert having just arrived in Glasgow as a fresh faced and nervous 17-year-old.

As a singer, though, he was first class with a light tenor voice that made him the ideal soloist both from within the choir or in his own right at concerts, cèilidhs, and mòds.
It is really lovely that the GGs are dedicating this concert to Gordon and I am sure, between the choir and their soloists, they will put on an evening that befits Gordon’s memory.

In other choir related news (about another choir!), Govan Gaelic Choir recently presented their long-serving member, Mairi MacKenzie with flowers to mark her incredible 60-year membership of the choir – quite an achievement! Congratulations to her.

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles north of Glasgow, a lot of Glasgow-based musicians made the journey last weekend over the sea to Skye for 2022’s edition of Skye Live. There seemed to be so many people making the trip from Glasgow (almost as many as headed out to Seville this week!) that I felt it worth a mention in the Glasgow Letter.
The Friday night line-up included Niteworks, Talisk, Kinnaris Quintet, Project Smok, Heisk, Lauren Collier Band, and Falasgair, while the Saturday night presented Elephant Sessions, Trail West, Dàimh, Blazin Fiddles, Fat-Suit, Siobhan Miller, The Islands, Brìghde Chaumbeul, Eabhal, and Ceilear Cèilidh Trail.

Donnie Munro and Friends headlined the Thursday evening and, going by videos I have seen taken from the stage, he certainly had a lot of friends! A few of the Mànran lads joined him for Loch Lomond in what looked like a brilliant horo gheallaidh.

Gary Innes commented on Facebook that playing that song alongside Donnie Munro was a boyhood dream of his and I don’t think you would find many Highland musicians who would contest that sentiment.

Skye Live is such a brilliant festival in a fantastic setting up above Portree and it is great to see it back up and running again this year.

I look forward to a summer of many more festivals which, I am sure we can all agree, is long overdue!