Spring 2016

‘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 prestigious Scottish 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

Tickets for all the shows are available here: https://goo.gl/FL0GRH

Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer

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.


Welcome to The Tae Sup Wi’ a Fifer Website!

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.

Find out more about it here.