Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile! 2014 has been a year full of amazing opportunities and travel, but also marred by family illness. I’m very grateful to my lovely friends and colleagues for all the support given to me and my family over the last 6 months.
After a busy summer with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, I headed off with Brian McAlpine and Ross Martin to join the mighty Breabach in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. We had a fantastic tour, playing to sold out audiences in beautiful venues, with some fine weather, food and wine thrown in. Vielen dank Dietmar and Renate Haslinger for an amazing tour! And Breabach were, as ever, on brilliant form. Many thanks also to Creative Scotland for their generous support of the tour.
A spot of filming for BBC Alba’s Stoidhle (Style) ensued, a Gaelic mother-daughter show with my fab mammy. We had some great laughs dressing up, chatting to the fab Sandra and even we got our hair and makeup done. The series will be going out around April 2015, so look out for that. A big thanks to Kenny, Iain Finlay and co for making us feel so welcome.
I will be hitting the ground running in 2015, with shows at Celtic Connections sandwiched on either side of an American tour. First up is a gig on January 17th at the CCA in Glasgow with fab regular NASC collaborators Grainne Holland, Donal O’Connor and Ross Martin. I am also delighted to announce that a brilliant group of teenage Gaelic singers who I work with in Perth, Glè Seniors, will be doing a Flashmob performance for the audience prior to the gig. I head off to the States on 18th January to join dance show extraordinaire The Stepcrew. It is the start of several tours with the band in 2015 and I am delighted to be part of it. Check out www.stepcrew.com for more details. West Palm Beach, Florida is our first stop on January 18th, finishing up in Nashville on 29th. As my father would say, “call this work?” 🙂 For my sins I’m coming back to Glasgow for two more slots at Celtic Connections festival. 31st January is a tribute gig to Glasgow political folksinger Arthur Johnstone. I’ve long been an admirer of Arthur’s and am really looking forward to the gig.
On 1st February I am delighted to be judging at the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year award. This award was a springboard for launching my own career and I am delighted to be able to join the panel this year. As always I’m sure it will be a tough call, as the standard of young musicians gets better and better every year!
Also in February the Songs of the Trades choir resumes for another term. The choir is in great voice, with swelling numbers, and a number of excellent shows throughout the year, including at the Commonwealth Games! Anybody interested in joining or hiring the choir should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
For now, wishing everybody health and happiness for 2015!
Leis gach deagh dhùrachd – With Love