6th January – Brian McNeill

Brian McNeill – composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, teacher and novelist is the first guest of 2016 at Irvine Folk Club. He will be the special guest at the Club’s opening night on Wednesday 6th January. What a start to the year.

Brian is a bairn ie he hails from Falkirk. For over four decades he has been at the centre of folk music in Scotland whether as part of the Battlefield Band of which he was the founder member, as a soloist or as Head of Scottish Music at the RSAMD for six years.

As well as his arsenal of fiddles and guitars, Brian also plays concertina, mandocello and bouzouki. He is an accomplished songwriter with songs like No Gods and precious few heroes and Strong women rule us all with their tears being just two that come to mind. Falkirk Council thought so much of Brian’s song about the Falkirk Tryst that some lines from it were carved in stone at a popular viewpoint in the town. The Lads O’ The Fair is the song and it’s about a piece of the town’s social history. Brian was delighted that the song was so much thought of by ‘his own’.

Brian has toured around the globe and has umpteen albums to his name as a soloist, part of Battlefield and two with the late Iain MacKintosh. A voracious reader of crime fiction, Brian has written three crime & mystery novels. How many hours are in his day!

Brian heads up Scotia Nova: Songs for the Early Days of a Better Nation – a show produced by Ian McCalman for Celtic Connections on 20th January. It makes sense therefore to get along to Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 6th January to hear the talented Brian McNeill. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and starts at 8pm.

And finally, Sessions continue at The Ship Inn on Tuesday nights and, in various Glasgow venues, a who’s who of artists take part in Celtic Connections from 14th – 31st January. All info at celticconnections.com