Hamish fes­ti­val plans

Events shape up for fes­ti­val

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Clare Damodaran

The fi­nal prepa­ra­tions are be­ing put in place for the in­au­gu­ral Hamish Mat­ters fes­ti­val which takes place in Blair­gowrie over the week­end of Novem­ber 10 to 12.

The cel­e­bra­tion of Hamish Hen­der­son - the renowned Scot­tish poet, writer and folk ar­chiv­ist who was born in Blair­gowrie on Novem­ber 11, 1919 - will in­clude a ceilidh in Blair­gowrie Town Hall on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11, which will re­call the Peo­ple’s Ceilidh of 1951.

Hamish was in­tro­duced to folk­song from an early age by his mother who brought him up to speak Gaelic.

As well as be­ing a dec­o­rated sol­dier in the Sec­ond World War, and a ma­jor fig­ure in the Scot­tish Folk Re­vival, Hamish trav­elled through­out Scot­land with the renowned Amer­i­can folk­lorist, Alan Lo­max, which cul­mi­nated in the leg­endary 1951 Peo­ple’s Ceilidh which took place in Ed­in­burgh.

Hen­der­son and Lo­max brought to­gether and recorded per­form­ers from the var­i­ous tra­di­tions of Scot­tish mu­sic, in par­tic­u­lar the Gaelic singing of the West­ern Isles, Aberdeen­shire bothy bal­lads and Bor­der bal­lads.

And Hen­der­son, work­ing with Blair­gowrie writer Mau­rice Flem­ing, be­came renowned for record­ing the mu­sic of the Trav­el­ling peo­ple of Strath­more, most fa­mously the Ste­warts of Blair.

The week­end’s cel­e­bra­tions will in­clude choir singing by lo­cal pri­mary schools in Blair­gowrie Li­brary where there is a bust of Hamish; a show­ing of Rob­bie Fraser’s highly ac­claimed doc­u­men­tary ‘Hamish: the story of a Scot­tish Cul­tural Icon’ in Rat­tray Hall on the af­ter­noon of Satur­day, Novem­ber 11, and the ceilidh on Satur­day evening, fea­tur­ing Perthshire’s ac­claimed two-piece Mad Fer­ret, Iona Fyfe, one of Scot­land’s finest young bal­lad singers, Gaelic singer Aileen Ogilvie and the Perthshire Gaelic Choir as well as lo­cal per­form­ers such as Hamish MacGre­gor and young piper Cal­lum Dou­glas.

The evening will be will be com­pered by poet and Hamish af­fi­cionado, Jim Mack­in­tosh.

Fur­ther de­tails are avail­able on the ‘Hamish Mat­ters’ Face­book page.

Tick­ets for the ceilidh, which gets un­der way at 7pm, cost £10 or £6 for con­ces­sions and are avail­able from Blair­gowrie Li­brary on 01250 871305 or from Rat­tray Community Con­nect on 01250 871538.

Stovies are in­cluded but bring your own drinks.

The fes­ti­val has been sup­ported by a small grant from the Perth City of Cul­ture Fund­ing and or­gan­ised by a group com­pris­ing of mem­bers of Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Community Coun­cil, Strath­more Arts, Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil, Cul­ture Perth and Kin­ross and lo­cal fans of Hamish who hope that this will raise his pro­file in his home town.

Cel­e­bra­tion Blair­gowrie-born Hamish Hen­der­son

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