5th February – The Morgan Lee Band

5TH February The Morgan Lee Band
The Morgan Lee Band, a five piece outfit from Glasgow who have described themselves on occasion as ‘Celtica Eclectica’ to convey their range of material, are the guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 5th February. Yes, the second month of the year already!
The five band members are Hugh Lee on lead vocals, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica and whistles; Anne Morgan on fiddle, viola and backing vocals; Emma Bullen on lead vocals; bass player Stevie Mason and Tony Llewyn on acoustic guitar and backing vocals. The sometime sixth band member is Zoe – a small, toffee coloured Terrier.
The band plays everything from traditional through to Dylan plus some original material too. Mostly their gigs are in Scottish folk clubs and at festivals such as Moniaive and Arran. One of their favourite venues is at the Kibble Palace in the Glasgow Botanics where they have played several times.
Whilst this will be the first time that Morgan Lee has topped the bill at the Irvine Club, the band has played at Irvine before. To hear The Morgan Lee Band, get yourself along to Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road, home of Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 5th February. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.
Looking slightly ahead, the North Ayrshire Young Traditional Musician of The Year competition takes place on the evening of Thursday 20th February at Irvine Burns Club in Wellwood. This annual event is open to pupils from all Academies in North Ayrshire and is organised by the Council’s Music Services. The weel-kent and much respected Gillian Frame will be the judge. The young competitors deserve a good audience, so put the date in your diary.

22nd January Celtic Quines

Celtic Quines are three of Scotland’s finest female vocalists and they are the special guests at Irvine
Folk Club on Wednesday 22nd January. The trio made a brief appearance at last year’s Marymass Folk Festival but this will be the first time at the Irvine Club for the Quines.

Katherine McLeod, Celine Donohue and Eilidh Grant are the Celtic Quines. The three all have first class singing ability and a love of good songs. Katherine, Celine and Eilidh emerged on the folk scene by different routes. This variety of backgrounds serves to make a Celtic Quines performance all the richer.

Celine Donoghue is well known to Irvine audiences having played at the Club and Marymass Festival. She is at home playing either banjo and fiddle both of which she does extremely well. Celine is also a fine singer and just likes playing music. This combined with a very relaxed stage presence makes her a very entertaining musician.

Eilidh Grant’s stunning voice helped her win the best Folk/Trad recording in 2011 – and it was with her debut album ‘Masks and Smiles’. She also won the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in 2004. It’s all about the songs with Eilidh. She has a love for classic folk songs as well as original material but her real passion is Burns material.

Whilst there is little information to be found about Katherine McLeod, suffice to say that with Celine and Eilidh as her band mates then we can be assured of her strong musical pedigree! Somewhere along the way these three females have found a musical chemistry that clearly works for them and for audiences.

As with so many bands these days, appearing as the Celtic Quines is not their only performance base and so it’s fortunate that the Irvine Club has secured a booking of this richly talented trio.

Get along to the Irvine Club on Wednesday 22nd January for 8pm at Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road where it is BYOB and there is a very good café!

Finally, opportunities abound from 16th January to 2nd February to take in the breathtaking range of music offered by Celtic Connections in Glasgow. Enjoy keeping music live.

8th January Alastair McDonald

8th January
Alastair McDonald

Scotland’s musical minstrel, Alastair McDonald is Irvine Folk Club’s first guest of 2014. Alastair plays at the Irvine Club on Wednesday 8th January in Vineburgh Community Centre. He played the closing Club night in 2012 and now balances the equation by opening this new year.

Alastair is a man of ever-extending musical horizons and, depending on the venue is described as a folk-singing banjo player who also plays jazz or the jazz banjo player who also does folk music! In 1970 he became a full-time professional musician and since then has taken his music to the USA, Denmark, Thailand, East Africa, Israel and numerous places in between – with Scotland always being where he does most of his work.

Equally at home in folk clubs, jazz venues, concert halls, theatres or churches – Alastair’s aim is to share some of the very best of his wide repertoire. Scottish historical ballads, Gospel, humorous music hall ditties, Gaelic laments are all covered by Alastair. Thought-provoking, wholesome, uncompromising, uplifting are the main criteria for Alastair’s choice of material.

Glasgow born Alastair emigrated with his family at the age of eight to Australia. It was while growing up in the Australian outback that he developed an interest in ‘home made’ entertainment. Returning to Scotland four years later, there was a growing pop scene and skiffle had also arrived. At just 21, Alastair was already regarded as one of the leading jazz banjo players and the reason he can be still heard all over the country with various Jazz combos.

The always entertaining Alastair McDonald is a very popular guest at the Irvine Club and you are advised to get along in good time on Wednesday 8th January to Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

And finally, on 16th January Celtic Connections begins its 21st birthday celebrations with an 18 day event in venues across Glasgow and the help of 2000 musicians – home grown and international. Too much on offer to mention, visit – there’s bound to be something to interest you!

Eddie Walker 11th December

Eddie Walker is the special guest on Wednesday 11th December at Irvine Folk Club – and that will be the final Club night for 2013 already! He is a firm favourite with Irvine audiences and a popular choice to close the Club’s year.
Middlesborough man Eddie Walker is well-known to Irvine audiences and his skill as a musician and evident enjoyment in what he does has made him a frequent visitor here. Eddie has a fiendishly dexterous style of guitar playing and his repertoire reflects a lifelong exposure to and love for a number of musical influences including bluegrass, old time, rags, blues and country.
Red Shoes and Blues featuring harmonica wizard Fraser Speirs is Eddie’s most recent CD and it has been very well received. He and Fraser perform as a duo on occasion and will continue to do so despite 2013 being Eddie’s last year as a full-time touring solo act. Eddie has been a professional folk singer for more than 40 years and understandably feels the pull of retirement increasingly attractive. Life on the road takes its toll. However, if any of Eddie’s musical pals ask him to play on occasion, he would most likely answer in the affirmative!
At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year Eddie played a one-night-only gig with Welshman John James -another amazing guitar-picker. Eddie and John used to go under the name of Carolina Shout and played often at the Irvine Club but went their separate ways some 18 years ago. So, either as a soloist or as part of various duos, Eddie Walker has not been a stranger to Irvine Folk Club or Marymass Folk Festival.
So, for exposure to Eddie’s loud shirts and his sheer enjoyment of music, make sure that you are in the Irvine Folk Club audience on Wednesday 11th December – it looks like it will be the last time Eddie Walker plays solo at the Irvine Club. The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and it’s BYOB.

Jez Lowe 27 November

Jez Lowe is one of the busiest and most popular and respected performers on the international folk scene and happily he is back at Irvine Club on Wednesday 27th November when he plays at the club as part of his current UK mini-tour.

Born and raised in the coalmining community of Easington in County Durham, Jez has been playing since the early 70’s. His vitality and simplicity of style accompanied by a driving guitar and engaging humour are just some of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Jez Lowe. He also plays mandocello and a prize if you have ever seen him not wear a stripey t-shirt on stage!

He is a prolific songwriter -Richard Thomson thinks Jez is the best contemporary English songwriter. A number of his songs address the economic distress suffered by the North Country as a result of the decline of the coal industry and the ensuing social repercussions. His songs can be heard in all corners of the world and artists of the calibre of Fairport Convention, Cherish the Ladies, The Dubliners and The Tannahills have all recorded Jez’s material.

Jez has played in Irvine on a number of occasions sometimes solo and sometimes with his backing band The Bad Pennies. For anyone who has not heard him, go along to the Irvine Club on the 27th November. With Jez Lowe topping the bill, you will not be disappointed.

Irvine Folk Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

Finally, Celtic Connections will soon be upon us. The Winter extravaganza has 300 events, starts on 16th January and goes right through until 2nd February. All information is available on the web or from the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

Mairearad Green & Anna Massie – guests Wed 13th November – Don’t Miss Them!


The guests at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 13th November are Mairearad Green and Anna Massie and the amazing thing is that they are able to fit in Club bookings at all in their hectic schedule! So hats off to all concerned for securing this booking of two multi- talented and much acclaimed musicians.

The visit to Irvine is part of Mairearad and Anna’s Doubling Tour Part 11 which takes in venues from Belfast to Gateshead to Dartford and a lot of places in between.  Doubling is the name of their recently released second album. The two girls started playing together some ten years ago and it has often been said that on stage they have an almost telepathic communication.

Mairearad from Achiltibuie has been described as ‘one of Scotland’s foremost musical exports’. A deft accordion player she is in much demand as a performer and a composer. Having started writing original music at an early age, Mairearad’s talent was formally recognised when she was made the PRS Composer of the Year in the 2009 MG Alba Scots Music Award.

As well as being part of a duo with Anna, Mairearad also plays with Box Club, The Unusual Suspects, The Buie Ceilidh Band, The Poozies and in December has a number of gigs with Mike Vass.

Fortrose born Anna Massie is an excellent guitarist who also excels on fiddle, mandolin and banjo.  Such are her musical talents that Anna is also a member of Blazin’ Fiddles and The Unusual Suspects – the Celtic Big Band. Anna has twice played at the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton and it will come as little surprise that she is a former winner of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Mairearad and Anna are a captivating duo with a warm and friendly stage presence. KT Tunstall was so impressed by their Celtic Connections performance in 2012 that she immediately joined their growing fan base. Not a bad endorsement!

Judge for yourself when Mairearad and Anna play at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 13th November at Vineburgh Community Centre. The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

P.S.  A post script from Pete Heywood who saw Mairearad and Anna at Stonehaven Folk Festival this summer.  He described their performance as ‘simply stunning’.  “They had everything, great musicianship, great tunes, a fabulous rapport with the audience.  These days we tend to use superlatives too easily – but all I could think was ‘that was stunning’.”



Guests on Wed 30th October – Drever, McGuire & Young

A new band with three very experienced musicians will top the bill at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 30th October. Drever, McGuire & Young is the band.


Ivan Drever, Frank McGuire and Rich Young are the musicians who met at a Folk Club in early 2012 where they first played together ….and a new band was created.

Irvine audiences are well acquainted with Ivan Drever and Frank McGuire, both having played at the Club and at Marymass Folk Festival over the years.  Rich Young will be a new face.  English born Rich lives in Scotland and has a very varied musical background. On guitar and keyboards, he has played, performed and recorded with the likes of Eurythmics Dave Stewart and Dire Straits’ David Knopfler. He also writes music for radio and TV shows and produces and records music.

Orkney isles man Ivan Drever fronted the acclaimed folk rock band Wolfstone and then went on to a variety of musical collaborations from all of which he has 28 albums to his name! Can he really be old enough to have done all that !

Percussionist and Whistle player ‘of note’ Frankie McGuire is just at home whether playing at a small session in a Bar or at a Concert in a large hall.  Most usually heard in Irvine as leading Lyra Celtica, Frank like Ivan and Rich brings a wealth of musical experience to the band.

Drever, McGuire & Young play vintage folk plus blues and soul. The band has just released their debut album and it promises to be another good night on Wednesday 30th October at Irvine Folk Club.  The Club meets in Vineburgh Community Centre in Quarry Road and starts at 8pm.  It’s also BYOB.

For more details see:

Other News

Elsewhere, the Celtic Connections programme for 2014 was launched last week.  There will be 2,100 artists – yes that’s two thousand one hundred – appearing in 20 venues at 300 events from 16th January to 2nd February.

For more details on Celtic Connections see: www.




Accessing the Folk Club website

For technical reasons you can’t access the Irvine Folk Club website at the moment via the address. The website is still up and running though and accessible through a second address. You will find the site if you Google Irvine Folk Club or you can access it directly here.

We are currently doing some training on updating the website, so over the next couple of weeks you might a few more emails than normal. We apologise in advance for any errors. Man didn’t get to the moon without the odd snag, hopefully Joyce and Anne’s journey into cyberspace will be a smooth one!

Encourage your friends to join the club email mailing list.  Everyone who is subscribed to the Club Website will be getting this email automatically.  If you have any friends who you think would like to know what is happening at the club, the best way to keep in touch is to ‘subscribe’ to our news via the website.  All you need to do is to enter an email address on the website.  And it’s FREE!

Barbara Dymock & Christopher Marra – guests on Wed 16th October

Portrait photo of Barbara Dymock

Barbara Dymock is back at Irvine Folk Club and this time with Christopher Marra, brother of the late Michael.  They top the bill on Wednesday 16th October at the Irvine Club which meets in Vineburgh Community Centre.

Barbara Dymock was a member of the celebrated Ceolbeg in the ‘70’s and  now, after a 20 plus year break to concentrate on her career and raise three sons, is described as a tradition bearer.  Methil born Barbara learned Scottish and Irish traditional songs from her grandparents. As a student at Dundee, she took part in the University Folk Club and began taking a serious interest in music. A founder member of Coelbeg, Barbara was also part of other musical collaborations including Rathlin and Palaver. Along with Christine Kydd, she formed a duo called Sinsheen. That duo remains in place to this day.

Barbara took a break from music when the long hours of a Junior Doctor ‘put a dampner on social activities’. Now she’s back – happy to hang round sessions and festivals and has released an album, Hilbert’s Hotel. Produced by the late Michael Marra, it includes the first CD recording of his song Maggie Sha’. The album has been well received with reviews rejoicing in Barbara’s return to the folk scene.

Barbara loves being part of the constant evolution of tradition.  It’s that enjoyment which has sustained her 35 year interest in music. At Irvine Folk Club, Barbara will be joined by Christopher Marra. With a musical career spanning four decades, Dundonian Chris is a much respected guitarist and has played in many bands. As well as the new musical collaboration with Barbara, his other current band is The Hazey Janes.

Barbara and Christopher have a considerable musical pedigree. Make sure you are in the audience to hear them on 16th October at Irvine Folk Club.

The Club starts at 8pm and it’s BYOB.

For more details see: