It was a big weekend last week and some of the last BIG Gigs of the year.
On Friday 11th December I was in the Woodlands Centre, Stornoway for Colin and Katherine Macleod’s second annual ‘Alternative Christmas Carol’ show opened by none other than our host Colin Macleod with a short four song set that included a Folksy Bluesy rendition of ‘Silent Night’, and a heart-warming ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ accompanied by Jane Hepburn on fiddle and Iain ‘Froggy Beag’ Mackinnon on vocals.
This was followed by ‘Neosa’s solo acoustic set of ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, the title track from his recently released Penny ep, a cover of The Kinks ‘Sunny Afternoon’, original ‘Goodbye My Friend’ and a crackin’ cover of Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan’s ‘Fairytale of New York’.
Up next was Eleanor Nicolson vocals/acoustic guitar accompanied by Paul Martin acoustic guitar who gave us originals ‘It’s Complicated’, ‘Whispers in the Rain’, ‘Until we Arrive at the Sea’, and a cover of Lennon and Maisy’s ‘Christmas Coming Home’.
Iain ‘Spanish’ Mackay covered ‘a new Christmas tune’ (the one in the John Lewis advert) Oasis’ ‘Half the World Away’, Paul Martin joined in on guitar/backing vocals for a cover of Rob Thomas’ ‘A New York City Christmas’, and original ‘Run With Me’.
Eleanor Nicolson dueted on ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’ and they closed with Colin sharing three part harmonies on The Bands ‘The Weight’.
Jane Hepburn carried on the entertainment with fiddle and “magic orchestra in a box” and mesmerized on her instrumental version of ‘Silent Night’, original tune ‘Kid’s Christmas morning’ and an excellent hoedown version of ‘Jingle Bells/Frosty the Snowman’ with Colin on guitar.
The Dun Ringles featured ‘Tale of Two Tractors’, top new tune ‘Anthem for Bodachs’, a cover of The Darkness’ ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’ sung by Froggy Beag, a cover of Spinal Tap’s ‘Stonehenge’ (replaced with the lyric ‘Callanish’), original ‘Carry Me Home (Cal Mac)’, a cover of Poison’s ‘Nothing But A Good Time’ with Froggy Beag on vocals.
And all the night’s players encored together on Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and ‘White Christmas’.
What a thoroughly enjoyable night and incredible array of local talent!
On Saturday 12th December at An Lanntair - Iain Morrison and band gave us an electrifying evening of music and a super mix of tunes from Iain’s repertoire, which included: ‘Pills’, Crash My Model Car’s (Iain’s previous band) ‘Go Home Child’, ‘Come and Go’, ‘A Flame of Wrath for Patrick Caogach’ from critically acclaimed current album Eas, ‘Siubhal(47)’ also from Eas.
He continued with the classic ‘Broken Off Car Door’ from 2008’s Skimming Stones, Sinking Boats, ‘Hermits Castle’ and the title track from 2012’s To the Horizon, Sir, superb new song ‘Our Best Damned Clothes’ that he just finished writing on the ferry journey from Ullapool that day, A Lewis Summer’ from 2010’s Trust the Sea to Guide Me, ‘Bring The Sea’ from 2012’s Sleep. Fly. Wake. ep, ‘Dear Goose’ from To the Horizon, Sir, The title track from Trust the Sea to Guide Me, two in a row from To the Horizon, Sir - ‘Homeward’ and ‘Dream of the Bear’, ‘Macintosh’.
And after a massive round of applause the band returned to encore with a magnificently sprawling ‘To the Sea’ from Eas.
An absolutely stunning set from start to finish and as an added bonus, after what’s seemed like forever, Iain is back playing electric guitar (on four tunes) again with fire and passion, an altogether great night of music.
Then I night-capped the weekend in the Sea Angling Club with George and Paul’s one and only DJ night of 2015 and whatta massive monster production of sound and vision it was.
An awesomely good time was had by all!
Pictured - there was a great line up at the Woodlands Centre where the audience were treated to an Alternative Christmas Carol.