NEWS

4th December – Jim and Susie Malcolm

Jim Malcolm – the man who plays simultaneous guitar and harmonica to an exceptional standard – is back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 4th December and, for the first time here, playing in a duo with his wife Susie.

Jim Malcolm is known as a quality performer – very polished and very relaxed. Since he last played at Irvine some three years ago, Jim and his wife Susie now go out as a duo.  He is an accomplished songwriter but for many it is his thoughtful interpretations of traditional Scottish music that is his great strength.  Jim is a longtime admirer of the works of Burns and one of his solo CDs  Acquaintance  is made up entirely of the Bard’s compositions. But Jim can sing in any style.

The outstanding and confident guitar work and subtle harmonica playing of Jim just have to be heard. He is a master of inventiveness. So don’t be altogether surprised if you hear a Calypso or Jazz rhythm now and then.  Add to that, quality vocals from both Jim & Susie and it makes for a talented musical package. Holding the music together is Jim’s wry humour plus the history and story of the songs. A particular love of his and a source for his choice of much of his material is the wildlife and nature of the Angus Glens – and probably features strongly on their most recent album, The Berries.

The Berries is the second duet album the Malcolms have released. This is in addition to a solo album by Susie, Jim’s 13 solo albums as well as albums recorded when Jim was lead singer with Old Blind Dogs for eight years. In short, it adds up to a lot of material much of which has been written by Jim.

As well as playing at clubs and festivals, Jim and Susie, organise and lead Tours of Scotland which have gone down a storm – they are now taking bookings for 2021!  The Malcolms are two very busy people and still manage to tour extensively in the UK, Europe and America. So, to re-acquaint yourself with troubadour Jim Malcolm or to hear the talented Jim & Susie Malcolm for the first time, get along to Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 4th December for 8pm in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. You’ll be glad you did!                                 

20th November – Winter Wilson

The duo, Winter Wilson is back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 20th November and you are well advised not to miss them. One reviewer says that if you can’t get to a gig by the husband and wife duo of Kip Winter & Dave Wilson, then buy a CD!

This will be their third visit to the Irvine Club and on both previous occasions they were very well received. The superb harmonies of Kip and Dave, their musicianship plus their off-the-wall humour all makes for an excellent night.

Having turned turned full-time professional musicians in 2012, a glance at their busy touring schedule indicates that it was the right choice for Kip and Dave. This year, apart from touring the UK, they have also performed in Australia, Spain, Belgium and Canada and still found time to release their first and long-awaited live album Live & Unconventional. That makes 10 albums to their name.

Kip’s nomadic upbringing saw her being raised in Holland, Germany, England, Scotland and France. She just loves singing – anything, classical to jazz but especially folk and blues. Kip learned to sing harmonies on long car journeys back to the Outer Hebrides in the family car and as well as having a fine voice, she plays Accordion, Guitar and Flute.

Lincolnshire man Dave bought his first Yamaha Guitar as a 17 year old and taught himself to play by studying The David Bowie Songbook. As well as having an excellent voice, Dave plays Guitar and Banjo. On tour, Dave plays Martin Guitars but at home he loves to play his Fender Strat. His sharp and observational songwriting talents have put him in the top tier of British songwriters.

Winter Wilson’s CDs include a song on their Cutting Free album which was written especially for Kip’s Mum by their good friend the late and much missed Nick Keir.

Winter Wilson is a class act. Their faultless harmonies seem effortless and added to their well-chosen repertoire and easy        on-stage chemistry, it all adds up to a duo well worth a listen. To hear Winter Wilson be at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 20th November for 8pm at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road  where it’s BYOB.

6th November – Anthony John Clarke and Dave Pegg

Anthony John Clarke – the man with the red guitar – is back at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 6th November and this time he will have Fairport legend Dave Pegg with him.  For the last ten years, every November they team up for a tour and happily the Irvine Club is on this year’s gig list. The Grin & Tonic Tour 2019 is how they title it!

From the minute softly spoken, fast talking and very engaging Belfast born Anthony John Clarke heard Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve of Destruction’, he knew he wanted to write songs. He was hooked. Although having trained as a teacher, the call of music was too strong and so he followed his calling. His admiration for songwriters is such that for many years AJ reckoned himself to be very much an apprentice songwriter – despite by then having songbooks and umpteen albums to his name and being held in high regard by his peers.  AJ’s keen eye for observation and sharp wit are what sets him apart as a much respected writer.  The perceptive ‘The only life Gloria knows’ remains one of his most requested songs.

AJ started off playing a second-hand Eko Ranger 6 as a youngster, and has become well known for his accomplished playing of a snazzy, red acoustic guitar. He sings songs that make you sit up and listen, songs that make you laugh, songs that make you think and most are self-penned.

AJ and Dave Pegg have been great pals for many years. Dave – or Peggy as he is known to family, friends and fans – is Fairport’s longest serving member. He also spent 15 years with Jethro Tull. He plays electric bass like few others and has been described as a virtuoso player. He also plays mandolin and has a fund of stories and tales – many of which are included in a book by him called ‘Off the Peg’ – an autobiography. His friends urged him to write the book so that there was a permanent record.

Great songs, great tunes, great stories delivered by two great pals all make for a great gig at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 6th November when Anthony John Clarke and Dave Pegg are the special guests. Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road is the venue and it’s BYOB.

23rd October – Mike Silver

The much-respected performer Mike Silver has notched up 50 years  experience as an acoustic singer and songwriter and he tops the bill at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 23rd October.

Starting off as a 15 year old apprentice with the Gas Board at Croydon, Mike’s greater love of music was too big a pull. His first band, The Sundowners – a Brylcreemed duo that played Shadow’s material at youth club dances – was where his musical career started.  In the mid ‘60s the music of Big Bill Broonzy, Bob Dylan and then Gerry Lockran in particular were his great influences.

Despite his 50 years as a professional musician, Mike flies under the radar and is another in the ‘best kept secret category’. His undoubted talents as a songwriter and performer plus his intricate guitar work are what makes a  Mike Silver gig not to be missed.  There is also a tremendous humour about the man. Mike is particularly pleased that he now has a Music Room at his home where his acoustic guitars adorn the walls. Guitar aficionados should visit his website and perhaps drool!

Mike writes thought provoking songs and whilst his set list will have an emphasis on his self-penned material, it is not to the exclusion of people like Dylan, Ray Charles plus some traditional melodies.

Playing music every day is for Mike, like having a birthday every day.  Music still fascinates him.  To him it’s a never-ending voyage of discovery and it’s that kind of enthusiasm that he communicates to audiences. And in answer to why is he still touring after 50 years, Mike says it’s the energy he gets from the applause or when someone takes the time to say ‘I liked that’.

Hear Mike Silver at Irvine Folk Club on 23rd October at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

ALASTAIR McDONALD

A wee plug for Alastair’s upcoming concert at Ayr Gaiety on Tuesday 22nd October. The concert starts at 7.30pm and promises to be a good night.

9th October – Louise Jordan

Something Very Different

In a departure from the usual way of things at Irvine Folk Club, on Wednesday 9th October the scheduled special guest Louise Jordan will be performing her one woman play The Hard Way.

Louise made her first appearance at the Club in 2014. She is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and now a playwright. The Hard Way is an inspirational story about Hannah Mitchell who by sheer force of character and with only two weeks of formal schooling escaped drudgery at a remote hill farm in the Derbyshire Moors to become a campaigner, speaker, writer, suffragette, councillor and finally a city magistrate in Manchester.

Hannah’s story is told by Louise through storytelling and song and charts Hannah leaving home as a 14 year old exchanging one exploitative situation for another – to coming face to face with Winston Churchill in 1906 at a public meeting  and spending time in Strangeways Prison. The Hard Way celebrates one woman’s determination to take power in the face of insurmountable barriers, motivated by a desire to improve life for those round her.

In The Hard Way, theatre and folk music combine to make for a richer experience.  Louise is inspired by the impact music can have on people and The Hard Way follows her play No Petticoats Here, which tells the story of remarkable women through song.

At Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 9th October, the first half will be devoted to floor singers and musicians with The Hard Way being performed in the second half. A different night at Irvine Folk Club. The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road, starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB. There is also a very good café.                         ,r,d),

James Keelaghan and Hugh McMillan

The internationally recognised Canadian folk singer and songwriter James Keelaghan is the very welcome guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 25th September – his third appearance at the Club. He is a terrific artist and it’s great that he is back in Irvine as part of his current UK tour.

Calgary born but now based in Perth in Eastern Ontario, James has been in the music business for almost 30 years and has twelve albums to his name. It’s said that he has one of the most distinctive and easily identifiable voices in Canada. James is an acclaimed and popular member of the international singer and songwriter community and his albums have brought him an impressive share of nominations and awards from Australia to Scandinavia.

James’ Dad was an Irish man and his Mum was English and they encouraged James’ interest in language, storytelling and music.  His Dad was a great storyteller and James says he is still trying to be as good as his Dad. James has a passion for history and in particular about science and WW1.  He writes songs of a historical nature with underlying universal themes and the tangled emotional paths of human relationships.  James is a baritone and plays acoustic guitar, as well as his own material, he also does some covers, Gordon Lightfoot being a favourite.

James’ other passion is reading and books. In any one year he will get through around 80 books. His songwriting talent may also have been influenced by his fondness for the work of W.B Yeats – a fondness which started when he was 14.

As well as touring extensively, James also leads coach tours in Ireland which are a mix of visits to places off the beaten track and folk music. He has just completed the most recent one earlier this month before starting his UK tour with Hugh McMillan.

Hugh is also Canadian and describes himself as a folk/jazz/rock musician. He is a member of the folk rock band Spirit of the West and a multi-instrumentalist.

Expect to hear a mix of roots, rock and contemporary folk when James Keelaghan & Hugh McMillan play at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 25th September in Vineburgh Community Centre. The Club starts at 8pm.                                                                                                                    

11th September – Colum Sands

‘Whatever you say, say nothing, when you talk about you know what’ is a line from one of the seemingly endless flow of original songs by Colum Sands  and he is the very welcome guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 11th September.  It is always good to welcome back to the Irvine Club this gifted and internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter from Co Down.

Colum has been singing for some 40 plus years, having started out as part of the renowned Sands Family way back in the early 70s. Hailing from Newry and now resident in Rostrevor, Colum is a natural stortyteller with a warm, and engaging personality on and off stage. His songs record life past and present and some of his work in recent times has helped break down cultural barriers particularly in places like Israel where he has collaborated and made recordings with local musicians.

Having learned to play the fiddle from his late Father, Colum also plays concertina and is also a fine guitar player.  When he first played in Irvine as part of The Sands Family, he also played the double bass – but touring with a double bass can be challenging!

Colum is a hard-working musician, taking his music all over the world and has played in over thirty countries.  As well as smaller venues like Irvine Folk Club, Colum has played in New York’s Carnegie Hall and frequently finds that his songs arrive before him, being carried by other singers or recorded by other performers. His songs have been translated into German, Dutch, Danish and Hebrew. In addition, since the 1990’s, Colum has presented BBC Radio Ulster’s Folk Club from Belfast. He has his own independent label Spring Records and produces albums at his recording studio at home.

It’s been five years since Colum’s last appearance at the Irvine Club, so don’t miss the chance to hear him on Wednesday 11th September. He is one of the folk scene’s most accomplished and entertaining performers.  The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre, starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

14th August – Davie Craig and Rod Sinclair

Two men who have been round the block a few times – Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig – are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August – the final Club night before this year’s Marymass Folk Festival.

Denmark based Rod Sinclair is a guitar virtuoso who plays banjo too and is a fine singer. Rod has been part of a number of musical collaborations including with Dick Gaughan, the late John Munro and of course Davie Craig. He is also a member of the band Ransvik. In short, Rod simply likes performing. He is also a published author and has a number of CDs to his name including a forthcoming one with a Danish band featuring Burns’ songs.

This is the second appearance this year at the Irvine Club for Davie Craig, the first one being with Rab Noakes which suited all concerned when the scheduled artist had to cancel. The booking for 14th August has been in the Club diary for a while and is part of a Scottish tour by Rod and Davie.

Davie is a Fifer. He plays fiddle and guitar, does vocals and has a fund of stories which he likes to share. Davie also has a mischievous sense of humour. Well known on the Americana music scene, Davie was part of the legendary Great Fife Roadshow from which sprung High Speed Grass of which Dave was founder member. His other bands include Honky Tonk Ceilidh Band and the whimsically named The Streets of Raith.

So, gear up for the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival which starts on Friday 23rd August by being at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August to hear Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre and starts at 8pm.

And finally, on Saturd Two men who have been round the block a few times – Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig – are the special guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August – the final Club night before this year’s Marymass Folk Festival.

Denmark based Rod Sinclair is a guitar virtuoso who plays banjo too and is a fine singer. Rod has been part of a number of musical collaborations including with Dick Gaughan, the late John Munro and of course Davie Craig. He is also a member of the band Ransvik. In short, Rod simply likes performing. He is also a published author and has a number of CDs to his name including a forthcoming one with a Danish band featuring Burns’ songs.

This is the second appearance this year at the Irvine Club for Davie Craig, the first one being with Rab Noakes which suited all concerned when the scheduled artist had to cancel. The booking for 14th August has been in the Club diary for a while and is part of a Scottish tour by Rod and Davie.

Davie is a Fifer. He plays fiddle and guitar, does vocals and has a fund of stories which he likes to share. Davie also has a mischievous sense of humour. Well known on the Americana music scene, Davie was part of the legendary Great Fife Roadshow from which sprung High Speed Grass of which Dave was founder member. His other bands include Honky Tonk Ceilidh Band and the whimsically named The Streets of Raith.

So, gear up for the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival which starts on Friday 23rd August by being at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 14th August to hear Rod Sinclair & Davie Craig. The Club meets at Vineburgh Community Centre and starts at 8pm.

And finally, on Saturday 17th August, a tribute Rugby Match between Ardrossan A.R.F.C. and Irvine R.F.C. takes plays at Ardrossan Accies in memory of the late Dick McAllister who as well as being a faithful supporter of Irvine Folk Club had long-standing associations with Irvine R.F.C. and The Accies.                             ay 17th August, a tribute Rugby Match between Ardrossan A.R.F.C. and Irvine R.F.C. takes plays at Ardrossan Accies in memory of the late Dick McAllister who as well as being a faithful supporter of Irvine Folk Club had long-standing associations with Irvine R.F.C. and The Accies.                                                       

31st July – Archie Fisher

Nicknamed affectionately by Danny Kyle as folk music’s old smoothie, Archie Fisher is the guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 31st July. He’s played in Irvine on many occasions over the years and it’s always good to welcome him back again.

Archie last played Irvine at the 50th Marymass Folk Festival as one of The Four A’s in a sell-out concert where he took to the stage along with Adam McNaughtan, Arthur Johnstone & Alastair McDonald. Folk singer, songwriter, master guitarist, producer, broadcaster and a marvellous ambassador for folk music are all aspects that would feature on an Archie Fisher CV.

From birth Archie was surrounded by music. His Mum from Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides was a native Gaelic speaker and also a fine singer. His Dad was a member of The Glasgow Polis Choir. Exposure to a variety of singing styles contributed no doubt to Archie and his two sisters Ray and Cilla all becoming professional singers.

Growing up as folk music was hitting new-found heights, Archie discovered and was hugely influenced by role models like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Through musicians like them he found the power of song as a way to comment on politics and as a way to voice protest.

His long and wide- ranging musical career with many collaborations along the way paved the way for him to present BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship Travelling Folk programme for over 25 years. The ‘folk music’s old smoothie’ description was probably first aired live on Travelling Folk by Danny Kyle who was a contributor in its later years.

Archie is known for his skilful guitar picking ability, choosing good songs that suit his voice and a gentle presentation style. He has many solo albums to his name and his singing and guitar skills have seen him feature on the albums of a number of other artists. Canada and the USA are familiar stomping grounds for Archie as well as regular UK tours.

Clear your diary for Wednesday 31st July to hear Archie Fisher at Irvine Folk Club in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry. The Club starts at 8pm.And finally, Information Flyers for the forthcoming 52nd Marymass Folk Festival are now out. Check out your local library and if you can’t do that then go online at www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk for full details or phone Joyce on 07798572926.                                                        

Marymass Tickets now on sale, Online

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evening Marymass Festival concerts are now available to purchase Online. FRIDAY 23rd August. 8pm Vineburgh Community Centre – The outstanding Celine Donoghue – fantastic tenor banjo player and fiddler and vocalist – will be joined by Neil Sturgeon on guitar and vocals and Thomas McCabe on Button Box for the opening concert on Friday Night at Vineburgh Community Centre. It would be advised to book a seat – Celine is a firm favourite with Irvine audiences.
SATURDAY 24th August. 7.30pm The Volunteer Rooms The Tannahill Weavers headline the Marymass Saturday Night Concert in the Volunteer Rooms.

To book online http://www.irvinefolkclub.org.uk/tickets/

For all info on the 52nd Marymass Folk Festival email JoyceIFC@aol.com phone 01294 551047 mob 07798 572926