—> 2015 —> Reporting back from the Islay Sessions 2015

Disathairne, 21/Nov/2015

Reporting back from the Islay Sessions 2015

Islay Music in stencil

Yes, I've already been back in Aldermaston Wharf for a week and the Islay Sessions were two weeks ago. But then again I've decided to write this entry on Islay time. The sessions (and following holiday, but that's for another time) were fantastic. You can find a report on the Islay Sessions website and read Gráinne Brady's memories. Here's one of my pictures of a large share of the musicians (unfortunately didn't manage to get them all in one picture) at the end of the Fraser Shaw tribute concert in Bruichladdich Hall:

Picture of musicians on a stage

As mentioned in my Looking forward to the Islay Sessions 2015 post I was going with slightly mixed feelings, this being the first sessions without the late Fraser Shaw. But the organisers, musicians and his family made it a great weekend, celebrating the music Fraser wrote and the music Fraser liked. In particular the tribute concert in Bruichladdich Hall was wonderful, stories, music and banter made it a wonderful evening. A well earned standing ovation for the musicians, Fraser's family and of course Fraser himself at the end. I didn't record much video, but when the Maverick Angels, one of Fraser's bands, took the stage I couldn't resist. It's not great quality (as I recorded it with my smartphone), but at least gives an impression of their performance for those who had to miss out (and I'm aware of a few):

YouTube: The Maverick Angels at the Islay Sessions 2015 Fraser Shaw Tribute Concert

I also enjoyed the pub sessions in the Port Charlotte Hotel (Grahame and Isabelle are great supporters of the Sessions, providing some of the accommodation for the musicians and Grahame opening the proceedings at the concert). Every time I'm fascinated by the various musicians just playing together, a huge variety of tunes. A great experience every time. There were also some special moments, like Laura-Beth Salter silencing the whole pub when singing a song while playing her mandolin and Adam Sutherland supporting her.

I'm not sure how many tickets are still available, but if you're interested in hearing the music I suggest you check out the Islay Night on 16/Jan/2016 at Celtic Connections in Glasgow. There will be music from both ‘The Islay Sessioners’ and local Islay talent.

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