At the Black Swan on March 26th we welcomed Lyra Celtica, from Rothbury. Lynn, Frank and Mark raised the roof and the floor was no doubt thumping away for the pub guests downstairs as they played a set ranging from high energy jigs and reels, through Scots songs delivered in a powerful deep tone by Frank, to some quite beautiful slow airs. Our thanks to this trio who brought in a packed house, the most we have yet seen in the Swan.
For April, we had a previous two-times guest at the club, American folksinger Debra Cowan, making a special appearance at the Cobbles Inn on Saturday April 10th with the support of TMSA Borders. TMSA is the Scottish traditional music and song association. Debra astounded us with her Harvey Leach Voyage-Air – a handmade prototype of the folding airline friendly guitar which the US Dragons’ Den sharks failed to grab!
The bad news is that the day before Debra arrived, TMSA ran out of national funding and announced that its head office staff would be made redundant on May 6th, which duly happened. It is a credit to the staff that the annual remittance to the Borders branch was made before their jobs ended. This does not dissolve TMSA which remains with a committee and the same mission, but without the financial backing for its offices and staff.
Kelso Folk and Live Music Club is an affiliated club of TMSA and took the decision not to require the agreed under-writing of Debra’s appearance but to leave the Borders branch with a balance in hand for future activities.
On April 30th, much-travelled (and much recorded by other artists) songwriter Allan Taylor appeared at the Black Swan. Allan’s songs are crafted to ‘industry standard’ quality and he’s been on the road with concert tours, to festivals, to Europe, to the USA for many years. Allan certainly presented one of the most professional yet personal evening we have had, thoughtful and entertaining. He continues a tradition of truly excellent solo performers in our small Kelso venues.