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Nicol MacLaren & The Glencraig S.D.B.

It was a full house in the function room of Portree’s Royal Hotel when Skye Accordion and Fiddle Club held their November meeting, with several visitors from worldwide being welcomed by m.c. Jim Campbell. Although fiddlers outnumbered box players in the local bill it was accordionist Emily Matheson who started the entertainment with some excellent solo sets on piano accordion. Emily’s talents were further displayed later in the evening when she returned for several sets accompanied by the pianist from the guest band, ‘Issy’ Hodgson. The other local box player, Ellie MacPherson, entertained the appreciative audience with some sets, again with ‘Issy’ on piano and joined on second box by guest bandleader Nicol McLaren. And so to the local solo fiddlers starting with Julia Rudram and Wendy Riva who gave their usual excellent performances. Youngest musicians of the evening by far were six year old Anna MacDonald and seven year old Tilly Ng with their fiddles who each played a set to an astounding standard followed by a couple of sets on fiddle by their tutor, Laura Harrington, in true Shetland style. Sadly for music in Skye Laura is moving shortly to the east coast and will be hugely missed for her contribution to the local music scene. Highlight of the night was the entertainment provided by the Club’s guest band, The Glencraig Scottish Dance Band, famous throughout the world as one of the finest bands around for many years. Leader on accordion was Nicol McLaren, with drummer David Bell, both of Blairgowrie, and on piano it was the ever smiling Isobelle ‘Issy’ Hodgson of Prestonpans. Those three top notch players have been together for more years than they care to remember and it showed in their playing. A first class varied programme interspersed with information on many tunes and humorous anecdotes, all of which made for great fun for the appreciative audience. The evening closed with a final ‘stramash’, the last rousing set of which was led by the Club’s own Emily Matheson! Next Club night will be on 7th December when guest band will be The Andrew MacDonald Trio from Lochaber.

John Grundy.


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Nicol MacLaren & The Glencraig S.D.B.
2nd November 2017

Colin Garvin Duo
5th October 2017

Accordion and Fiddle Festival 2017
25th - 27th May 2017

Elizabeth MacKenzie & Iain MacDonald
4th May 2017

Iain Cathcart Scottish Dance Band
6th April 2017






Isle of Skye (Photograph)