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News ... Naidheachd

31 March 2014Still chilly!

Minishant? It’s way, way down, between Ayr and Maybole, a fifty mile run from Inverclyde. Four of Sgioba Luaidh set off really early and arrived in the village at six o'clock. We had a nice bite to eat in the Minishant Restaurant. (The Cullen skink was sublime!) Catherine is not able to perform with us very often because of work commitments, but that day she was working in nearby Galston, so was able to join us. By coincidence she caught up with us in the restaurant. (Food is a priority for Sgioba Luaidh!) Then off we went to waulk for the SWRI. What a cheery crowd they were! And what a lovely supper they gave us! We love going on our travels!

Nearer home, we had a Saturday afternoon date at Cardwell Garden Centre. Only four of us could manage on the day, but we did the work of a dozen! The Garden Centre is a busy and popular place, particularly at the weekend, and there was the added attraction of a craft fair. So we were kept really busy, with lots of nice folk to chat to. We had a wonderful big, solid wooden table, positioned on the main walkway, just outside the restaurant. We were sheltered from the heavy showers, but were exposed to the bitter March wind. We had a lot of fun, but Thighearna, it was chilly!

Click here for some pics of Sgioba Luaidh in the lovely surroundings of the Garden Centre.

We now have a bit of a slack period till the Saturday of Easter week when we have our first visit of the season to our beloved Auchindrain Township, which will be open from Tuesday 1st April. (That’s no joke!) A magical place, very well worth a visit if you haven’t been before. Click here for details of when Sgioba Luaidh will be performing.

Beannachdan na Càisge dhuibh uile.

21 March 2014Chilly spring!

Four intrepid souls from Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh ventured forth to the Back House on a cold, sleety February day. They put in a wee heater for us, with the apology, "Sorry, it's not much better than a hairdryer"! We put on a somewhat curtailed performance before our fingers went dead! There were a few hardy visitors who braved the cold, and showed great interest in what we had to tell them, so it was all worth while. But, mo chreach! bha e fuar fuar!

Still in February, an interesting venue was Renfield St Stephen’s in Glasgow. Sphere is the music project based in the church, with Saturday lunchtime and Friday evening performances.

We had a brilliant afternoon with some lovely children to help us. Innes was tinkering with her spinning wheel before the start, and was tickled pink when a very tiny boy piped up: “Oh look, it has a coupling rod just like a steam locomotive.” The children were wonderful - they would have waulked all day! Afterwards Maeve, aged seven, said "I didn't just enjoy it - I LOVED it!"

Click here for pics, taken as we prepared for our performance.

Our first engagement in March was back on home territory, when we gave a Sunday afternoon performance at Greenock Wellpark Mid Kirk. We were almost at full strength - ten of us turned up. It was cold and raining as we humphed all our gear inside, but the foul weather didn't deter the audience, who arrived in good numbers. It takes more than a drop of rain to put Greenockians off! They were very appreciative and interested, though a bit shy of coming to the table to waulk with us.

However, we were joined by our "old" friend, "wee" Kirsty (not wee any more!), who came and sang with us. 'S math a rinn thu, eudail!

Next day three of us crossed the Clyde on a mission to Toward Primary School. We spent the morning teaching the children a waulking song, then after lunch (lovely soup!) they recorded it for a CD they are making. Intensive work, but the children were fantastic, learning very quickly in spite of having no Gaelic. We had a lot of fun - and  have been invited back, so we must have done something right!

We had a visit at one of our practice sessions from three delightful sisters, Anna, Sophie and Katie,who are doing an art project on the theme of waulking. They came from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee to work with us. We hope they found it worthwhile. We certainly enjoyed their company. Click here for pics.

10 February 2014Into a New Year

Oops! We have been chided for not updating this News page! So here goes.

We met on Monday 6 January for our usual New Year house ceilidh. A cheery evening as usual, with a good feed and a bit of a singsong – there’s never enough time! Eleanor and Frances, who share a birthday, blew out their candles with aplomb – only one each otherwise it would be a fire hazard! Click here for pics.

We had a full house for our first practice the following week. It was good to get back together again after a long break. Pics here.

Our first performance of the year was 15 January at Lochwinnoch SWRI. They were a great audience, and the evening really took off. Rhona's tummy felt a bit queasy because of the twisty roads, but she recovered enough to sing. And Eleanor sang like a lintie despite having had a wisdom tooth out that day! Two real troupers! Homeward bound, Frances dropped off Christine and Hermie, then took Margaret way up to the top of the hill, stopped outside her house – EEK! Margaret let out a screech! “My car is down in Houston St!” And indeed it was, where she and Frances had arranged to meet earlier! So away down to the bottom of the hill again! Good job she remembered in time!

Next we had a trip to Renfrew to perform for Trinity Guild; then on home territory with the Ripe Bunch, who meet in the McLean Museum in Greenock. They are a lovely bunch of ladies, and very civilised, giving us a cup of tea both before and after our performance! A complimentary vote of thanks: "a very professional performance, entertaining and informative".

Frances was invited to "appear" on Dunoon Community Radio, basically to talk about Gaelic song. "Bring some CDs", they said. So it turned into somethng of a "Desert Island Discs" session, with a good sprinkling of waulking songs, of course, and a good plug for Sgioba Luaidh! Click here for pics.

Four of Sgioba Luaidh ventured up to the big city to see a show at Celtic Connections. Fiona J MacKenzie was presenting her programme “A Little Bird Blown Off Course” at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. It was a very evocative presentation of the songs collected by Margaret Fay Shaw, mainly on South Uist. Wonderful to hear some of the really old recordings. Pic here.

Dates coming up: we will be at the Back House in William St, on the morning of the 12 February, when there will be an exhibition in the Dutch Gable House, showcasing the work of local heritage volunteers.

On Saturday 22nd we’ll be doing a lunchtime performance as part of the Sphere programme at Renfield St Stephen’s in Glasgow. https://www.facebook.com/SphereRSS

Then we are into March with an afternoon concert at Wellpark Mid Kirk, Greenock.

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