It was nearly three years ago since I’d last seen The Tannahill Weavers and they were absolutely brilliant, so when I heard they were playing in Sussex again I went along to our local venue, despite the dreadful weather; after all, they’d driven all the way from Scotland, so I had no excuse for not driving along the road!
Their line-up has changed recently, since I last saw them.
John Martin has retired and was sunning himself on a Spanish beach.
Lorne MacDougall, the bagpipe player, got fed up with touring so he’s now teaching the bagpipes.
Founder member Roy Gullane is 70 and Phil Smillie is 63, but I think they wore him out!
There are two new members, Malcolm Bushby, who plays the fiddle, joined the group in March 2019, and Jordan Aiken who plays the bagpipes started on Thursday night, just two days ago! But he’s really working hard to learn everything, and you wouldn’t know that he’s the New Boy as he’s so good.
Phil’s wife Maggie is still selling the cds and t-shirts, and sorting out their website, www.tannahillwevers.com
LYN Did you release a 50th Anniversary album?
ROY Yes we did. It’s called Orach. It was great fun to record, as former Weavers members, plus lots of friends, played on it. Sadly we’ve lost some friends, but members of their families played instead.
LYN Isn’t Orach a whale?
ROY No, it’s Gaelic for Golden.
LYN What have you been doing since I last saw you?
ROY We’ve toured in the States 2-3 times a year, plus Canada, Europe and the UK. And we’ve been nominated for the Folk Band of the Year, so please vote for us on our Website! The Winners will be announced early December.
LYN Of course I will! What have you got planned for 2020?
ROY We’re touring Northern Britain, the States April and October, Festivals in September and a Southern UK tour, and Europe in November.
Jordan looked really excited while we were talking. He’s obviously looking forward to touring with his new group.
They had to leave then to start their act. They were brilliant right from the first few notes!
Roy is the joker of the group and announced, and explained each song.
He said, This song is about Glasgow, where they think Hepatitis B is a vitamin!
Another song had a simple chorus which he asked us to sing. A few people mumbled along. He said, Sing along! I’m not asking you for a kidney!
There weren’t many people in the hall as it was a rough, cold, rainy night. But I was introduced to a lady called Lynda Morrison who used to run a nightclub in the crypt under St Martins in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, https://b-c-ing-u.com/architecture/trafalgar-square-londons-national-heritage-grade-1-square/ and the Tannahill Weavers had performed there 40 years ago. When Lynda heard they were performing in Uckfield, she jumped in a taxi from Lancing and came to watch them, with a taxi booked to take her home. Now that’s dedication. It cost her over £100.
Lynda said, It was worth every penny!
Thanks to Graham Pope of Graham Pope Events for organising the evening.