16th August – Mike Whellans

Topping the bill the week before the 50th Marymass Folk Festival is not an easy gig but in the capable hands of one-man Blues powerhouse Mike Whellans, there’s no need for any concern. Mike is Irvine Folk Club’s special guest on Wednesday 16th August.
From Lauder in the Borders, Mike’s first musical instrument was his Dad’s Drum Kit – his Dad being a well-respected Jazz musician. Moving on to Acoustic Guitar, Mike began his professional career as a musician in 1969.
Mike’s early years included being one half of a very popular duo with Aly Bain and then as a member of one of the early incarnations of Boys of the Lough. He was also a member of The Vindscreen Vipers and The Flying Dugz. Latterly, Mike has carved a name for himself as the UK’s foremost one-man Blues Band. But it’s not Blues as in gloom – he has a really broadchurch approach to the Blues and it suits his lived-in voice very well.
Mike does simultaneous multi-tasking of instruments. Watch him play guitar – electric and acoustic, mouth-harps, harmonicas, drums, his trademark mouth-percussion – and he sings too! He is also a songwriter. Mr Whellans has boundless energy despite his lean build.
Having toured extensively in Scandinavia, Germany and the Low Countries, Mike settled in Denmark for a number of years but is now back resident in his native heath. He has played at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Tonder and Glastonbury Festivals among others and has recorded or been a session musician on some 30 albums.
Wednesday 16th August at Irvine Folk Club in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road is where to hear the skilful musician Mike Whellans. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.
And on Thursday 24th August the 50th Marymass Folk Festival begins. Tickets are moving fast for the Saturday Night Concert in particular and little wonder given the line-up. Visit www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk for full details or phone Joyce on 01294 551047 for all info and tickets. Running parallel to the Festival is an Exhibition in The Townhouse in Irvine’s High Street. It charts the origins and development of Marymass Folk Festival and Irvine Folk Club and it’s well worth a visit. The Exhibition is open until the end of September.