THE ARTS

Singer’s show high­lights range of Scots’ in­flu­ence “Very well re­ceived”

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Lau­rna Robert­son

Fiona opens the

kist on some Scot­tish delights.

WHEN the words Scot­tish and mu­sic are put to­gether, most minds jump to bag­pipes, ceilidhs and, at a push, The Pro­claimers. How­ever, singer and pre­sen­ter Fiona Kennedy hopes to put an end to the pre­con­cep­tions. Her show The Kist, which is com­ing to Aberdeen from Au­gust 25, will show­case Scot­tish mu­sic from an­cient Gaelic times right through to to­day’s chart top­pers like Paolo Nu­tini and KT Tun­stall. “I want to stop Scot­tish mu­sic be­ing put in a box and show the amaz­ing range that is out there from this coun­try,” said the 50-some­thing who lives in Blairs. “I want to show that Scot­land is re­ally con­tem­po­rary but also is steeped in his­tory and that a wide range of mu­sic has been af­fected by our lit­tle coun­try, in­clud­ing coun­try and blue­grass. “There’s a Bob Dy­lan track and a Woody Guthrie in the show. “I think peo­ple will be sur­prised by how many kinds of mu­sic Scot­land has in­flu­enced.” The Kist is not only a col­lab­o­ra­tion of dif­fer­ent styles of mu­sic but also of dif­fer­ent mu­si­cians. Amer­i­can Mar­cus Hum­mon, who has had six Amer­i­can Bill­board num­ber one hits, has flown in to take part and he will join The Al­byn School choir in the line-up. Fiona held a range of au­di­tions to find her per­form­ers for the show and has of­fered the artists tu­ition along the way. “They all au­di­tioned and we of­fered men­tor­ing and tu­ition for them. “As well as The Al­byn choir, who were picked be­cause it’s my old school and the head of mu­sic is bril­liant, a 17-year-old singer Jor­dan Ma­cAskill from Aberdeen is also per­form­ing.” The show is be­ing per­formed at His Majesty’s Theatre for three nights and Fiona is de­lighted to be per­form­ing in the town she calls home. She said: “We’re pre­view­ing the show for 18 nights in the Edinburgh Fes­ti­val, and there’s no bet­ter venue to come to af­ter that than HMT. “I think it’s head and shoul­ders above most the­atres in the UK and a good part of the show was con­ceived near Aberdeen in my home so it feels right to bring it here first.” Fiona had the idea to do some­thing about kists, the Scot­tish word for a travel chest, when she was vis­it­ing El­lis Is­land nine years ago. All im­mi­grants had to go through the cen­tre – be­side the Statue Of Lib­erty – to get into Amer­ica. And at the time of Fiona’s visit the cen­tre had an ex­hi­bi­tion of Scot­tish kists. Fiona said: “The kists rep­re­sented the Scot­tish peo­ple that trav­elled through the cen­tre and their lives when they trav­elled from all the ports in Scot­land to Amer­ica. “I was af­fected by it and woke up in the mid­dle of the night to write a song about it. “Five years later I man­aged to get Beth Nielsen Chap­man to work on the song with me which we called The Kist and it was very well re­ceived on my show High­land Heart­beat. “While the jour­ney could have ended there I felt there was still more I wanted to do – so I cre­ated this show.” Fiona was born into a fam­ily of folk singers – her fa­ther was Calum Kennedy and her mother was Anna Gil­lies. From a young age she would badger her dad about let­ting her per­form with him. “I would ask and ask and ask and he kept telling me I wasn’t ready un­til when I was eight he al­lowed me to join him on stage in In­ver­ness. “I was off then – he couldn’t get rid off me and I’ve never lost the buzz of per­form­ing.” And now the per­form­ing gene has been passed on to Fiona’s youngest daugh­ter So­phie Kennedy Clark who’s starred along­side David Ten­nant in Sin­gle Fa­ther and worked as a model for Burberry. “So­phie’s un­der no il­lu­sions

STAR: Mu­sic by KT Tun­stall will fea­ture in the show. MU­SI­CIANS: From left, Claire Hast­ings, Dar­ren Mclean, Rachel Oates, Fiona Kennedy, James Mul­doon.

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