Homecoming News: Spirit Of The West

Item Posted: Friday 14th November, 2008

16th-17th MAY 2009

A Dram Good Festival

LFW is pleased to announce that they have been asked to be associated, as a local partner, with a new festival - the ‘Spirit of the West’ – A Homecoming Scotland event.

Music is just one element of this eclectic and exciting festival project. This weekend is a celebration of WEST COAST CULTURE including: Whisky, Food, Fashion, History, Heritage, Genealogy, Crafts, Storytelling and Drama. A Burns Supper and Ceilidh will also play their part in making this a weekend to remember.

The Whisky Coast Marquee will hosting the over 18s Whisky Theatre where 10 whisky master classes with key industry figures and nosings & tastings of peaty and smoky golds will take place. The marquee will include 16 world famous whisky distillers, from Arran in the south all the way up to Talisker on the Isle of Skye

Joined by celebrity Nick Nairn on Sunday 17th May, The Taste of the West marquee plans to cook up a treat, bringing food & drink from up and down the west coast of Scotland to mouth watering pallets. Meats, seafood, confectionery, bakery, wines and beers from high quality, local & fresh suppliers will be available over the weekend.

Also lined up for the big event are the Spirit of Dram(a), Play, Stay and Enjoy and Spirits of the Past Marquees along with a Crafts Village and open air activities including golf and Walking Theatre historical trails

Further event announcements are to be made over the next few months, so return to our web site for regular updates about the music and the rest of the festival.

As well as the music detailed below the festival is hoping to arrange a Gaelic Choir, groups from a West Coast Fèis and other traditional musicians.

So far the music includes:

World Champions Inveraray Pipe Band, who most locals will already have heard – but are well worth while hearing again! As well as being World Champions they were finalists in the Hands Up for Trad Awards (Best Scottish Pipe Band) 2006.

The town’s first pipe band in 70 years – is the brainchild of piper Stuart Liddell. He hit on the idea of forming a pipe band while giving weekly bagpipe lessons in local schools. Stuart received £17,000 from the Scottish Arts Council and Awards for All, enabling the group to buy instruments and other equipment. They battled off competition to shine through as one of the UK’s favourite Lottery funded projects - scooping the Local Legend trophy at this year’s National Lottery Awards. The band takes part in competitions and is regularly asked to play at local community and charity events. Stuart sees the band as a fantastic opportunity for the youngsters as they're learning discipline and teamwork and about Scottish history and culture.

Robin Laing, who probably represents the links between music and whisky better than anyone in Scotland.
Robin has produced numerous cds, and his combined passions of folk song and whisky culminated in a one-man show on the subject of Scotch whisky called "The Angels' Share", and an album based on the show. He has toured extensively both in the UK and abroad. He has also been running traditional song classes in Lanarkshire and has become the Convener of The New Makars Trust, which promotes songwriting in Scotland.
As a member of the Tasting Panel of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society he is highly respected in the Whisky business. It's a difficult job, but someone has to do it! During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe he has joined forces with Jim Malcolm to do "Whisky, Women and Song" at the SMWS.
In terms of folk music, Robin's real interest is in folk song and especially the old Scots Ballads, or "Muckle Sangs" as they are sometimes known. However, he also has a tremendous respect for the songs of Robert Burns, and the tradition of Scots fiddle music that has come from people like William Marshall, Scott Skinner and the Gow family. Robin's instrument is the classical guitar and some of these fiddle tunes transfer surprisingly well.
Ceilidh Minogue will be playing at the Burns Supper and Ceilidh on the Saturday night. Ceilidh Minogue is an enthusiastic, high energy Scottish ceilidh band that never fail to make functions a success – the main surprise is that someone did not come up with their name before!
Gregor Lowrey (accordion) is one of the best known accordion players in Scotland today. He started his professional career with 'Black Eyed Biddy' in 1988, and was the featured box player in the hit celtic dance show 'Sheihallion'. He worked with the Canadian band 'Clan Terra', touring Scotland with them. He has appeared on various TV plays like BBC's 'Monarch of the Glen' and 'Heartless'.
Alastair Morrow (drums) - Big Al has played with most of Scotland's top musicians in the Jazz, Rock and Traditional music scene. He too has played all over the world at festivals and at the Sacramento Jazz Festival with Scotland's top jump-jive outfit Fat Sams Band .
Gavin Marwick (fiddle) - Gavin was a founder member of 'Iron Horse' but now works in various projects including 'Cantrip'. He has recorded extensively with many artists like Johnnie Hardie, Session A9 and Annie Grace and appeared at Celtic Connections with 'The Unusual Suspects'.
Bob Turner (piano) - Bob started his career on accordion but in recent years has switched to piano which has put him in even more demand. He can be heard regularly with Brian McAlpine (accordion) and has worked with fiddler Bruce MacGregor and with Pete Clark in the Neil Gow Ensemble.
Clann an Drumma, (Gaelic for “Children of the Drum”) is one of Scotland’s most hypnotic and astounding acts. A dizzying mix of pipes and drums best heard live.
Their music involves heavy use of percussion (traditional Scottish drums) and Highland Bagpipes with an emphasis on the more traditional "tribal" sounds of ancient Scotland. The band's motto is "Keep it Tribal"!
One of their more well-known pieces is "Sgt. MacKenzie". It was composed by Joe MacKenzie in memory of his great grandfather, Charles Stuart MacKenzie, who died bravely in battle during World War I. "Sgt. MacKenzie" is perhaps a departure from their normal style, as its drumming and piping are very subdued and it is primarily a vocal piece. It was featured in the soundtrack to the 2002 film ‘We Were Soldiers.’
The core of the group is Joe Kilna MacKenzie, and recent revisions to the line up have seen the return of fellow founder Tu-bardh Stormcrow Wilson. Other members include Robbie MacFarlane and Brian Cartwright who is the bands piper
We will keep you up to date with the music and other developments for the festival. PLEASE REVISIT US SOON!

The Workshop is NOT involved in ticket sales.

www.seetickets.com/spiritofthewest or www.homecomingscotland2009.com
Standard adult ticket prices are £14 per day or £22 for the weekend. Family, concession and children tickets are also available. Whisky master classes cost an extra £10 per class. Ceilidh tickets cost £65 per person. Both musy be booked in advance
In the meantime if you want to know more about the festival, please go to:

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