Ian McMillan is a writer and broadcaster. His latest collection To Fold The Evening Star – New and Selected Poems was published last year. As well as presenting BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, he’s a regular on BBC Breakfast, Coast, Countryfile. ‘inching towards the status of a National Treasure’ – Andy Kershaw
Grace Petrie, A folk singer, songwriter and activist, Grace Petrie’s Heart First Aid Kit was one of Mojo magazine’s top 10 albums of 2017. She has racked up tour supports with Emmy the Great and Billy Bragg, and supported comedians Robin Ince and Josie Long. She has collaborated with some of the most respected names in folk, including Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey and Peggy Seeger.
Withered Hand – aka Dan Wilson. His two albums, ‘Good News’ and ‘New Gods’, have garnered accolades and been praised for their depth and startling honesty. A Rolling Stone ‘Artist to Watch’. “New Gods is a record whose amiably DIY musical quality is perfectly matched with a lyrical tone which is at once tuned to a laser-like precision and helped no end by a voice which sounds agonised but still hopeful at every turn” ***** The Scotsman
Rare UK appearance by hugely influential American alt-folk music legend Michael Hurley. His debut album, First Songs, was released on Folkways Records in 1965. Michael describes his music as “jazz-hyped blues and country and western”.
Phill Jupitus is a comedian, actor, performance poet, cartoonist and podcaster. For 20 years he was team captain on BBC Two’s popular music quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Influenced by a classical training, Parisian chanson and smoky jazz, Siobhan Wilson’s incisively written, boldly unorthodox indie-pop/folk-noir songs have earned rhapsodic reviews.
Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer returns – with three brawsome line-ups, all the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy:
September 16 2017 – The Vaselines / Salena Godden / Marry Waterson & David A Jaycock
November 25th 2017 – Philip Selway (Radiohead) / David Thomas Broughton / Kathryn Williams
December 2nd 2017 – Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit) / Serafina Steer / Alasdair Roberts
September 16 2017
The Vaselines / Salena Godden / Marry Waterson & David A Jaycock
The Vaselines were formed in Edinburgh in 1987 by singer/guitarists Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, soon signing to Pastels frontman Stephen Pastel’s newly formed 53rd & 3rd label.
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain regularly cited the Vaseline’s influence in interviews with the music press and Nirvana would go on to cover the Vaselines’ ‘Molly’s Lips’ and ‘Son of a Gun’ (both later compiled on their Incesticide collection) as well as perform ‘Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam’ on their legendary MTV Unplugged appearance.
Cobain’s gospel-spreading no doubt accelerated their rise to cult sainthood, but the Vaselines would have gotten there sooner or later on their own accord. Lewd but naïve and abrasive yet tender, the band’s shambling, primitivist squall remains a perfect distillation of pop at its most guileless and euphoric.
Eugene Kelly later went on to front Captain America / Eugenius, while McKee spent the better part of the decade out of sight, resurfaced in Suckle, and released a solo album in 2006. The Vaselines reunited proper in 2008 to record their second full album, Sex with an X. In 2014 they released V for Vaselines, a Ramones-inspired album featured many of the same players who helped make Sex, including Belle and Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson and Teenage Fanclub’s Francis MacDonald.
The Vaselines appearance at Tae Sup will be as a duo.
“Even those too young-or not yet born-for the Vaselines’ heyday can appreciate the earnest fun of Sex With an X” – Billboard
“A welcome return, then – let’s hope they stick around for a bit longer this time.” – BBC Music
She has been variously described as ‘The doyenne of the spoken word scene’ (Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 3’s The Verb); ‘The Mae West madam of the salon’ (The Sunday Times) and as ‘everything the Daily Mail is terrified of’ (Kerrang! Magazine). She writes and performs poetry, fiction, memoir, radio drama and lyrics.
Salena has appeared on radio as a guest on Woman’s Hour, The Verb and Saturday Live and most recently wrote and presented a documentary, Stir it Up! – 50 Years of Writing Jamaica for BBC Radio 4.
“Her writing is urgent and detailed, colourful and clamorous. Like all love stories, her memoir is intense and intimate.” – The Times
Marry Waterson & David A Jaycock:
Celebrated folk singer Marry Waterson is set to release a brand-new album this September along with guitarist David A. Jaycock whom with she collaborated to write and release 2015’s critically acclaimed album Two Wolves. The new album, Death Had Quicker Wings Than Love will be released via One Little Indian Records. Having enjoyed roaring success with Two Wolves, which was produced by guitarist Neil MacColl and Kate St. John, the duo toured extensively at the beginning of this year supporting Richard Hawley. The album garnered praise from The Guardian, The Independent, Q, Mojo, Metro, fROOTS, R2 and Songlines, and was nominated for two folk awards from BBC Radio 2.
Marry Waterson is the daughter of English folk legend Lal Waterson, who was a member of legendary folk quartet, the Watersons.
David A Jaycock has been described as “A Cornish hermit and underground psychedelic freak-ball”, his guitar playing taking on John Fahey inspired shapes, with echoes of Flamenco and Julian Bream style classical.
“This is an impressive exercise in brave new work.” – The Guardian
November 25th 2017
Philip Selway / David Thomas Broughton / Kathryn Williams
Philip Selway has been a member of Radiohead since the band started at school in the mid-Eighties. He plays drums in the band and has toured extensively with them over the past twenty-five years, releasing nine studio albums.
Outside the band, he has been building up a body of solo work, performing and releasing two albums of his own material, and also composing for film and dance.
In 2010, he released his first solo album, ‘Familial’. This record was based around a selection of songs that Philip had been writing for the previous decade. He sang and played guitar on this album, and was joined in the sessions by Lisa Germano, Sebastien Steinberg, and Glenn Kotche and Pat Sansone from American band, Wilco.
In 2014, Philip released his second solo album, ‘Weatherhouse’. He recorded this album with two musicians, Adem Ilhan and Quinta, who toured with him in the live band for ‘Familial’. A particular highlight of the touring for this record included a performance with The Dap Kings on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Philip was also commissioned by Rambert Dance Company in 2014 to write the score for the first re-contextualisation of Merce Cunningham’s choreography. He collaborated with Adem Ilhan and Quinta for this, and performed the piece at the Rambert Event in the dance company’s new home on the Southbank in London.
He has also recently written the score for a film called ‘Let Me Go’, slated for release in Autumn 2017, starring Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May and Lucy Boynton.
In 2001 and 2008, Philip took part in the ‘Seven Worlds Collide’ projects, put together by Neil Finn in New Zealand.
Also, if you look very carefully and don’t blink, you’ll see Philip playing drums in the wizarding band ‘The Weird Sisters’ in ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’.
David Thomas Broughton:
David Thomas Broughton’s performances are sometimes unsettling, and feel at risk of everything falling apart, yet somehow David remains in control. Since David’s first few shows in his native Yorkshire in the early 2000s, he has performed at numerous festivals, toured extensively across the UK, Europe, USA and played a handful of shows in Japan, Korea and China.
His organic approach to looping electronics includes embracing all glitches and mistakes… building pieces to let them destroy themselves, before swiftly moving into the next. On the face of it, a performance of sad self-deprecating songs and extended ‘sonic strangeness‘ pondering the awkwardness of the human condition through the trial of love and loss, but for those with patience it can reward with great moments of beauty, and sometimes comedic delight.
“Broughton’s live shows are miniature spectacles… He layers sounds in slightly haphazard ways, as though his songs weren’t so holy that he couldn’t subject them to chance” – Pitchfork
“The most brilliant and baffling show I’m likely to see this year.” – Timeout NY
“Straddling the line between music hall turn and avant-garde performance artist, Broughton’s live show is not to be missed.” – MOJO magazine
Often compared favourably to Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams was born in Liverpool in 1974. Her father was a folksinger and, as a child, Williams studied piano and guitar while listening to such ’60s icons as Bob Dylan. She began her career in 1999 with the release of Dog Leap Stairs, a beguiling set of low-key folk songs that drew comparisons to the hushed musings of Nick Drake.
A native of Liverpool, Williams relocated to Newcastle to pursue a fine arts degree, emerging somewhat unexpectedly with a promising musical career when her second album, 2000’s Little Black Numbers, was nominated for Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize. More expansive than her debut, yet still winsomely intimate, the album was initially released on her own Caw Records label, though it was soon delivered to a much larger audience via a licensing agreement with Warner’s EastWest imprint. With her newly raised profile, Williams began writing her third album and making collaborative appearances with folk legends like Bert Jansch and John Martyn. She has since shared the stage with acts like Ray LaMontagne, Martha Wainwright, and KT Tunstall, among many others.
Kathryn’s album, Hypoxia, a lyrically and sonically ambitious set of songs inspired by Sylvia Plath‘s novel The Bell Jar, was co-produced by Ed Harcourt and released in 2015. The following year saw the release of Resonator, a set of jazz standards recorded with vibraphone player Anthony Kerr.
“Nine albums into a solo career that has rarely been anything other than thoroughly captivating, Kathryn Williams delivers a short, succinct and staggering record inspired by the work of Sylvia Plath. By inhabiting and responding to a genuinely significant work of literature, Williams has produced her own spellbinding piece of art.” – Clash
December 2nd 2017
Scott Hutchison / Serafina Steer / Alasdair Roberts
Scott Hutchison is the lead singer of Scottish indie-rock band Frightened Rabbit, though he occasionally steps out of the woods to perform as Owl John. He has been making music with Frightened Rabbit for over a decade and the band have released five albums during that time.
Frightened Rabbit initially began as a solo project in 2004, with Scott writing songs whilst living in his brother’s cupboard, playing occasional shows around Glasgow. He now lives in a normal-sized flat and plays a lot more shows than he used to. We are delighted to have him perform a rare solo show at Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer.
“The sheer quality and array of styles found on Owl John’s self-titled debut is testament to the prolific song writing skills of Scott Hutchison.” – ALLMUSIC
Serafina Steer is a freelance musician who was born and lives in London, via brief spells in Manchester and Suffolk. As a classically trained harpist, she works in contemporary, improvised, collaborative and pop projects. After leaving music college, she started writing songs and went on to make 3 harp-based albums – Cheap Demo Bad Science (2007 Static Caravan), Change Is Good Change Is Good (2010 Static Caravan) and The Moths Are Real (2012 Stolen Recordings). The latter being produced by Jarvis Cocker and receiving very positive reviews across the board.
After harp, Serafina started writing with (at the same time as teaching herself) the bass guitar. This lead to the formation of Bas Jan, an all-female post-punk-esque trio. Serafina is the main songwriter and the band is now on it’s second line-up but it’s bumping merrily along with a Lost Map vinyl release of their eponymous EP recorded by Leo Abrahams and Leafcutter John due in autumn 2017.
She has recently played in Sean O’Hagan’s ‘Mind On The Run’ a tribute to Basil Kirchin at Hull Festival, performed with 7 harps under the direction of Steve Mackey for a Gucci fashion show in Florence, contributed to two soundtracks in collaboration with Jarvis Cocker for filmmakers’ Iain and Jane, broadcast live with Bas Jan from Maida Vale on Marc Riley’s 6 Music. This summer she was touring harpist with Karen Elson (1965). Last year there were two performances of ‘Medea’ mini opera drama for two voices & midi. This was commissioned by Brighter Sound for Manchester International Woman’s Day 2016 and performed again at Supernormal with Natalie Sharp (AKA Lone Taxidermist) in the lead role.
“Steer is an astringent, droll, sometimes touching narrator; it’s easy to hear why Cocker was so bewitched.” – MOJO
“The Moths Are Real is a crisp and atmospheric set of idiosyncratic and finely crafted pop songs” – The Wire
Alasdair Roberts is a Scottish musician, born in Germany, who was raised near Callander and has been based in Glasgow since 1995. He is primarily a songwriter/composer, singer and acoustic fingerstyle guitarist as well as an interpreter/arranger of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond.
Alasdair Roberts is one of a rare breed of musicians whose work has found favour with aficionados of both experimental/avant-garde music and traditional/folk music – as such, he has been the cover star of both Wire Magazine (March 2010) and fRoots Magazine (October 2003 and January/February 2017).
Since 1997 Alasdair has produced several full-length albums of music (initially under the name Appendix Out and later under his own name), primarily working with Drag City Records of Chicago. His most recent Drag City album is Pangs, a collection of ten original songs recorded with bassist Stevie Jones (Arab Strap, Sound of Yell) and drummer Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells, Alex Rex)– it was released to critical acclaim and a successful UK tour in February 2017.
Over the years, Alasdair has collaborated with a wide variety of fellow musicians (such as Will Oldham, Jason Molina, Josephine Foster, Mairi Morrison and Karine Polwart) as well as with other artists including poet Robin Robertson, puppeteer Shane Connolly of Sokobauno Puppet Theatre and film-maker Luke Fowler. In 2013 Alasdair became a member of the Scottish/English folk group The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The Furrow Collective has released two albums on Hudson Records, the most recent being Wild Hog in late 2016; the quartet won the accolade of Best Group in the 2017 BBC Radio Two Folk Awards.
‘One of our most talented, important and relevant songwriters and song-adapters.’ – Folk Radio UK
‘Quietly escalating towards Scottish national treasure status’ – Mojo
‘An artist in consummate control of his art’ – Uncut
Well, here we are. Delighted as ever to announce the first three Tae Sups for 2017. For more information on the artists, please click through below. Suffice say, every line-up is looking Braw as the Craw.
01/04/17 Adam Smith Theatre Kirkcaldy: Roddy Woomble / Oliver Coates / Yorkston Thorne Khan
Lynched are a four-piece traditional folk group from Dublin, Ireland, who combine distinctive four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle and guitar. https://lynchedmusic.com/
‘The most convincing band to come out of Ireland for years!’
5 stars, The Guardian
‘Anarchic, yet connected, rootsy and gutsy… I love their music, it is just so damn good!’ Mike Harding
Michael Chapman is one of the UK’s finest finger picking style guitar players and is part of a continuing musical lineage that includes the likes of John Fahey, Jack Rose, Ralph McTell, John Martyn, Davey Graham & Bert Jansch. Chapman is still as active as he ever was and his playing is on top form. http://www.michaelchapman.co.uk/
‘This is the sound of a real songwriter who’s lived a real life and all that entails’ – Q Magazine
‘The nicotine drawl is more mature and evocative than ever. Settle back with your Jack Daniels and enjoy’ – Record Collector
‘His playing, the stuff he does with guitars and the way that he builds atmosphere, never ceases to amaze me. If this was a sensible world, where talent and originality counted, then it would sell hundreds of thousands of copies and be up for a Mercury Prize’ Review of Americana – Marc Higgins:
Harry Giles – 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion Harry Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney who lives in Leith; their latest book is Tonguit (Freight 2016) was shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. http://www.harrygiles.org
As a poet, Harry has toured North America, given feature performances at venues from the Bowery Poetry Club to the Soho Theatre; hosted events at festivals from StAnza to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, won multiple slams including the UK Student Slam (2008), the BBC Scotland Slam (2009), the Glasgow Slam (2010)
Roddy Woomble / Oliver Coates / Yorkston Thorne Khan
Roddy Woomble – With a long running career in both Indie and folk music, as a solo artist and with his band Idlewild, Roddy’s place is firmly set as one of Scotland’s finest songwriters.
‘The harmonies are pitch perfect, the bass and drums drive a stake through the heart and Woomble‘s voice is gritty enough to deliver material that deserves to be soaked in whisky by a roaring fire’
‘One of Britain’s most distinct and talented voices’ Kerrang
‘Tender and epic, enormous yet touching’ BBC Music
‘… a moving and quietly joyous collection of pieces weaving together strands of folk, jazz and country. Frankly, it sounds like the sort of record you might make if you had largely decided to turn your back on the modern world. – The Guardian
Yorkston Thorne Khan – An experimental collaborative group that includes James Yorkston one of the most “influential singer/songwriters on the Scottish folk scene”, Jon Thorne, best known as jazz double bass player with electro outfit Lamb and Suhail Yusuf Khan, award winning sarangi player and classical singer from New Delhi. YTK will release their second album in Spring 2017.
★★★★★ Record Collector ‘New Album of the Month’ “Throughout, this is the sound of three world class talents raising their respective games, as if trying to keep up with each other, creating something far greater even that the sum of their world-class parts.”
★★★★★ fRoots “Joyous, contemplative, playful, euphoric and bleakly beautiful album”
★★★★★★★★ UNCUT “It isn’t easy to pigeon-hole but it could just be one of the albums of the year”
“Martin Simpson has transcended borders and oceans to quietly become a superb storyteller and musician of great depth and unquestionable taste.”Stephen Fearing
Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. His own songwriting produced the poignant ‘Never Any Good’, from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year.
Duke Special is a writer, performer, singer and artist who magpies between art forms, then brings it all to a boil in the world of music and song. His creative talents have seen him involved in projects as diverse as writing the theme tune for the Irish Sesame Street to writing the music for and appearing in Deborah Warner’s critically acclaimed 2009 production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ at London’s National Theatre. More recently, he has joined forces with stand-up comedian Andrew Doyle and together they brought a brand new musical adaptation of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ to the Lyric Theatre in his native Belfast, where he has also just completed a year as their Artist In Residence. As part of this residency, he also wrote a musical adaptation of Huckleberry Finn, based on songs written by Kurt Weill, which will premiere at The Lyric in 2018. He has also recently been collaborating with traditional Irish band, Ulaid, to create a new body of songs entitled Belfast Suite.
Seamus Fogarty left his home in the West of Ireland in 2009 and ended up in Anstruther performing at the legendary Homegame festival. His debut album, hailed by the Irish Times as ‘one of the best Irish albums of recent years’, was released on Fence Records in 2012 leading to a slot on the main stage of Greenman and tours alongside James Yorkston, Pictish Trail and Malcolm Middleton. Having spent the following two years touring the UK and Europe, he released an EP “Ducks & Drakes” on another Scottish label, Lost Map, in 2015. Gideon Coe from BBC6 Music proclaimed the title track to be ‘one of the songs of the summer’ while Max Rheinheart from BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction proclaimed it the work of an ‘Electroacoustic Wickerman’. A new album is due out in late spring.
‘Deep listening psychedelic folk, a peaty brew’ – The Quietus Magazine
King Creosote Fife’s Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, has become one of Scotland’s most acclaimed and prolific singer-songwriters: a squeezebox Casanova and a seafaring pop heart-breaker.
Kadialy Kouyate is a singer songwriter and kora player, born into the great line of Kouyate Griot in Southern Senegal and inspired by the West African Griot repertoire. http://kadialykouyate.com/
Laura Cannell plays fiddle, overbowed fiddle, double recorders, sometimes percussion and other rarefied wind instruments, “Exploring the space between experimental, medieval and improvised music”. http://www.lauracannell.co.uk/
A further six shows will be added for 2017, dates and acts TBA.
‘Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer’ returns to the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy for Spring 2016
Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer is a club that began life in 2015, when James Yorkston was invited to curate some nights for the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy. Pretty soon the evening developed a reputation for its quality, diverse line-ups and laid-back, welcoming nature. There was Steve Mason, Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Richard Dawson, Lisa O’Neill, Aidan O’Rourke, Bill Wells – some well-known, some less so, but all worth watching, all worth the admission price.
And we’re delighted now to announce that this Spring there’ll be further three shows:
March 5th: Martin Carthy, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) (solo), Geoff Hattersley
April 9th: Linton Kwesi Johnson (solo), Kathryn Joseph, Randolph’s Leap (solo)
May 7th: Malcolm Middleton, Viking Moses, Yorkston Thorne Khan
Now, don’t those line-ups just look barry? Let’s have a closer look:
March 5th 2016
Martin Carthy: Legendary and extremely influential English folk-song singer and guitar player. `Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all’Q Magazine
Alexis Taylor: Best known as front man of electro-pop outfit Hot Chip, performing here in his solo guise. “It’s a fine collection of intimate, slow-burning, understated songs meshed together by Taylor’s unmistakable voice. In short: beautiful.”Clash Magazine. Alexis comes up to Scotland to sit down at the piano and play some new songs of his own as well as the occasional gospel, torch and local ballad song he has learned on his travels.
Geoff Hattersley: Geoff edited the independent literary magazine the Wide Skirt between 1986 and 1998, publishing more than 300 writers. ‘A powerful and uncompromising poet’ — Ian McMillan. ‘A poet whose work I scour the bookshops for… He’s like a flat-cap wearing, ale drinking Yorkshire Bukowski’– James Yorkston
April 9th 2016
Linton Kwesi Johnson: A Legend of both British poetry and British reggae music, Linton has received an uncountable number of prizes and honours for his work and his political activism. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Classics series. ‘…the newest and most original poetic form to have emerged in the English language in the last quarter century’Fred D’Aguiar
Kathryn Joseph: Winner of the prestigiousScottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award in 2015. “Kathryn Joseph has crafted one of the year’s most raw, unflinching and remarkable records”The Skinny “There’s something haunting and utterly compelling about this debut.” – The Herald
Randolph’s Leap: “They will be huge” – Ian Rankin. “A band deserving of every shred of love and success which came Belle & Sebastian’s way” – The Scotsman. “Adam Ross is a witty writer who sings fulsome melodies whilst strumming away looking mischievous. He’s like a mouse who’s escaped onto a Rolling Stones record and pee’d onto the snare drum” – Bob Agnews. “They’re ace!” – Marc Riley, BBC 6Music. “The next generation of witty Scottish indie pop” – The Quietus
May 7th 2016
Malcolm Middleton: “Right up there with Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash” (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH), Malcolm Middleton returns to the limelight after a 7 year hiatus with his masterfully crafted new album ‘Summer Of ’13’. Siphoning his influences from the worlds of pop, metal and folk, Malcolm will be appearing in this intimate setting to perform a rare acoustic concert. “Middleton shows off impressive acoustic guitar skills oddly reminiscent of a young Paul Simon” (THE TIMES). While on the one hand he “achieves ABBA-like moments of pop greatness” (MOJO), Malcolm also “has a warm, immediately engaging voice that makes even his saddest songs sound strangely joyful” (THE GUARDIAN).
Viking Moses:“If the DIY house show circuit has a pied piper, his name is Brendon Massei. Massei, who plays music under the name Viking Moses, has been recording and touring independently as a full-time job since he was 14, and he’s spent more than half of his life paving trails for other musicians to follow. Artists that Massei took on their first tours include: Deer Tick, Scout Niblett and Nat Baldwyn of the Dirty Projectors.”MTV. / “Viking Moses is ‘The Most Uniquely talented musician since Kurt Cobain… an absolute genius, and one of the best musicians I have ever released.” Alan McGee
Yorkston Thorne Khan: A new project from James Yorkston, featuring Jon Thorne of Lamb on double bass and Suhail Yusuf Khan of Delhi on Sarangi and vocals. Their album ‘Everything Sacred’ was released to great acclaim in January 2016. Album of the Month ***** – Record Collector / Folk album of the Month – MOJO / “One of the albums if the year”UNCUT. / *****fRoots / “This is an uncategorisable, hugely original concoction of folk forms” – Rolling Stone
So the second night of Tae Sup wi’ a Fifer is almost upon us – October 3rd, 2015 – and we’ll have Karine Polwart, Dick Gaughan and Lisa O’Neill.
Three fine acts as ever, two well known, one less so in Scotland but a wonderful talent she is. Karine Polwart you’ll all be aware of I imagine. I first heard her sing when she was part of the group Malinky. Indeed, Malinky and my own backing band The Athletes shared a fiddle player for a while, Jon Bews, and we were fortunate enough to have them name a set of tunes after myself and my band – Yorkston Athletic on their Three Ravens album. Karine possesses a canny song craft and beautiful voice and I’m looking forward to sitting at the side of the stage and watching and listening. Here she is singing ‘Daisy’
Karine’s talent for crafting enduring melodies and her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case have established her as one of the foremost songwriters on the Scottish and UK folk scenes. Four times winner at The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including twice for Best Original Song, her 2012 album Traces was picked as Album of The Year by both The Herald and The Guardian and was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year Award.
“One of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain” The Guardian
Dick Gaughan I first saw play way back in sometime in the early 1990’s when an old band I was in Miraclehead were invited to play at a wee festival in Cupar. When we arrived, we saw also on the bill was Dick Gaughan (and a band o’ ne’er do wells named the Skuobhie Dubh Orchestra). I didn’t know Dick’s music back then but was urged to watch and listen. I liked what I saw, did a bit of digging and picked up a few of his albums which I continue to listen to this day. It’s a privilege to have him play oor wee club. I’m not sure if he still sings this auld song, but here he is with ‘Willie o’ The Winsbury’
The only performer to hold the dual honours of a Lifetime Achievement award by BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and induction into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame. “One of the five or six great voices of our time.” (John Peel). “How music from the gut really sounds” (Guardian). “Gaughan is absolutely one of the best in the world” (Frets). “In any style, on any stage, Gaughan is one of folk music’s guitar geniuses as well as one of Scotland’s finest singers” (Dirty Linen).
Lisa O’Neill hails from Cavan in Ireland and is one of my favourite singer songwriters of the last few years. You know when you hear someone sing and something just instantly clicks? Well, that’s how it was with me and Lisa’s music. As braw as a craw. I’ve done a few wee tours with her now and am delighted she’s coming over, especially for Tae Sup. Here she is singing ‘No Train to Cavan’
Lisa O’Neill’s songs are like milking stools or three-wheeled cars or unicycles: they’re scuffed and unusual and they’re built to do specific jobs. Lisa does not sugar her truth. She has self-released 2 albums and is currently writing material for the 3rd. Over the last couple of years Lisa has toured North America, Canada, Central Europe, Scotland & the UK, opening for David Gray, Mick Flannery, Angel Olsen as well as Glen Hansard and Sixto Diaz Rodriguez along the way.
”O’Neill is real. Her songs, poetry. Her gift, of the ages. It’s possible she’s the most important artist out of Ireland for decades.”– The Herald
Welcome to Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer.
These events are being programmed and hosted by me, James Yorkston. If you don’t know me, here’s a wee potted history: I’m from the East Neuk and I’ve lived there over half my life, barring an 18 year stint in Edinburgh. In 2001 I signed a record deal with Domino Records and since then I’ve spent most of my time as a musician – writing, recording, touring, writing, recording, touring. I’ve released nine official albums and all sorts of oddities, had a book published… What else? – ach – here’s my website, you can see what I get up to there.
The idea behind Tae Sup is quite simple – we’re putting together well-kent faces, folk I’ve met on my musical travels, old friends – just making interesting, entertaining and unusual evenings. The first three line-ups are up and announced now and I’m feeling they’re looking pretty good. Am I looking forward to these? Of course. The chance to see three acts whose music I admire and love on one evening is pretty special.
First up is Bill Wells with Aidan Moffat, Aidan O’Rourke and Sheena Wellington. Bill Wells’ music I first heard in 2002 when Domino Records sent me a copy of Also in White up. It’s a beautiful suite of sparse piano and a bit of a cult item, the sort of album one drops into conversation sporadically that on occasion finds a fellow enthused admirer. When Domino Records had their tenth anniversary celebrations I was asked to choose one of my favourite albums of theirs and this is what I chose. It’s here – listen. His work with Aidan Moffat carries along the same path but with the added flavour of Aidan Moffat – Aidan who provided the lyric and vocals for Arab Strap for all those years. It’s a successful combination, reminding me in part of Lalo Shifrin and in part of Steven Jessie Bernstein. Here’s what they sound like together.
Aidan O’Rourke you’ll probably know from his work with Lau. I know him a wee bit now, bumped into him throughout the years at festivals and in bars and such. A great player, we all know that. My finest musical memory of him was when I was booked to close one of the stages at the Greenman festival – lovely to be asked of course, but I had no band – so I roped in a load of pals – Lau, Seamus Fogarty, Pictish Trail, Emma Smith. We rehearsed for an hour or so in Lau’s camper van and then played the show. What was it like? Pretty chaotic. Here’s some footage of us doing the Donna Summer classic ‘I Feel Love’. Is this clip in anyway representative of what Aidan will be playing at Tae Sup? I doubt it. I hope not. Here’s a clip of him playing in Cork a few years back, which I imagine will be a little more representative. He’ll be joined on stage by Graeme Stephen.
Sheena Wellington I’ve known since childhood, my wee brother being in the same class as her son. I’ve heard Sheena sing at various stages throughout my life and my father used to play her cassettes endlessly – her songs are still sometimes mentioned when my family and I have pub reminisces about days of yore – The Dandy and the Beano, The Women o’ Dundee – plus it was one of my first exposures to songs like The Death of Queen Jane. Sheena’s great live, relaxed and amusing and I’m delighted she’s agreed to play, she’s a treasure in Scotland’s musical history. Here’s Sheena singing A Waukrife Minnie.
Now, there’s all the info about parking and all the practical stuff here. We’re aiming for the music starting at 8pm and there’s a bar folk can mingle in beforehand.That’s it. Come a’ ye, I’ll see you there.
As one of Scotland’s most prolific and best-loved singer-songwriters, James Yorkston now launches a new kind of club night in his home county, attracting a comfortably brilliant gathering of stars from the worlds of music and literature across the borders into Fife.