Scotland's Favourite Folk n' Fun Band

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click here for printable version Newsletter  July 2017


Contents (go to):                            Alistair's Updates                            Walter's Wisdom                            Peter's Blog                            Gig Guide


The Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival 2017


Hi, Folks.


This year will be our twenty third year playing and hosting the “Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival“ at The Guildford Arms, Fringe venue 107, during the Edinburgh Festival. This year  the show will run from Thursday 17th  to Saturday 26th of August. Sandy Tweeddale will be hosting the show and introducing his guests from Thursday 17th to Monday  21st and Yard Of Ale will be hosting from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th. We are looking forward to meeting up with the many friends we’ve made at the Guildford over the years. We will follow the usual format of an 8.30 start with Yard Of Ale, followed by our guests on stage from 9.45 to 11.15 and then Yard Of Ale finishing the evening at midnight. We hope to see you there sometime during our five night stint.


A new faces this year are Mad Ferret Band, who are carving out a name for themselves throughout the the country at festivals and folk clubs. Their lively, energetic performances should be a big hit at the Guildford Arms.


Remember, it’s not only great fun, it’s FREE.






Thursday 17th to Monday 21st

Host: Sandy Tweeddale

Tuesday 22th to Saturday 26th

Hosts: Yard Of Ale


A stalwart of the “Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival, Edinburgh based, “Blues 'n Trouble” and “Blue Hyenas” singer/guitarist is an internationally renowned exponent of blues, country and ragtime, played with style.

Sandy will be hosting the show from Thursday 17th to Monday 21st August, playing solo and with two different band line-ups.

The Sandy Tweeddale House Band with Norval Barclay and Kenny Potter. They’ll be playing middle of the road sing along, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan,  Beatles etc.

The Sandy Tweeddale Blues Band with Chris Agnew and Andy Munro. They’ll be playing cool blues/Jazz and will be joined by their guests, “Delacroix” for a few numbers at the end of the evening. Saturday night will be cool blues night.


Hosts of the “Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival” since its first year, Yard Of Ale return to the Guildford Arms for its 23rd year from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th August .

Guitars, banjo, fiddle, mandolins and harmonicas along with some nifty three part harmony and plenty of good crack between numbers has established the band as a complete entertainment package. Their repertoire and its presentation is a refreshing slant on popular folk music which has proved to appeal to all tastes.

 “These guys know how to entertain with an eclectic mix of songs and their excellent musicianship on guitars, with some banjo, mandolin and fiddle appearing in the mix. They perform numerous Scottish and Irish favourites and broaden out to include songs from Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, Rick Nelson and Lindisfarne.”


Thursday 17th

with the Sandy Tweeddale House Band

Bedford Falls


Tuesday 22th

with Yard Of Ale

On The Wagon


“Bert” Bertram and Richie Henderson form one of Edinburgh’s most popular and hard working local outfits, bringing an eclectic mix of music and styles, ranging from Crowded House to Little Feat, Steve Earl to Bruce Springsteen.

Bedford Falls have featured at the “Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival” at the Guildford arms for some years now, creating a wonderful atmosphere and always drawing an amazing crowd of followers and devotees.

Their top notch guitar playing and clever harmonies get feet tapping and audiences singing along wherever they play.


No strangers to the Guildford Arms, On The Wagon is a lively, three piece folk and ceilidh band from Perthshire, specialising in Scottish/Irish folk music and their own arrangements of country, blues, pop and rock 'n' roll.

The instrumental lineup includes guitars, mandolin, keyboards, moothies, accordions, bass pedals, percussion, bazooki, small and big pipes, whistles, ukeleles and banjo.

They play in clubs, pubs, festivals, hotels, Conference Centres (Edinburgh & Glasgow) and at corporate events up and down the country. They travel regular to play in Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Channel Islands.


Friday 18th

with the Sandy Tweeddale House Band

Mike Whellans


Wednesday 23th

with Yard Of Ale

Mad Ferret Band



A long time fixture on the British and European club, concert, TV, radio & festival circuit, as a solo performer, band leader and session musician, Mike Whellans is now living back in the Scottish Borders again and working as Scotland's only one-man blues band with his guitars, mouth-harps, vocals and drum-kit - and of course his show-stopping, "mouth percussion"; a real tour de force. Mike is once again making his mark in the UK - topped off by going down a storm at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival.

Mike is an astounding guitar picker, equally at home on 6, 12 string or electric guitars, and is an amazing mouth-harp player too. And the other things he can do with his mouth? Well, you've just got to see and hear his vocal percussion to be convinced. Added to this; he sings, is a drummer of no slight talent, writes songs, seems to have boundless energy, and you've got a great entertainment in prospect with the most dynamic one-man blues band any side of the Forth delta.

Instruments played: Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Mouth Harp, Drums, Percussion, Mouth Percussion.

Mad Ferret Band from Perth are known on the Scottish music scene for their hard hitting blend of traditional and contemporary folk music. Their lively, energetic performances are packed with “blisteringly fast mandolin solos”, tight vocal harmonies, driving Cajon beats and earth-moving guitar sounds.

The Duo features Chris Woods on Mandolin, Guitar and Vocals and Sandy Stirton on Guitar, Cajon and Vocals.

They are an extremely hard working band performing an average of 180 gigs a year in intimate venues, cavernous concert halls & frantic festivals, both at home and abroad.

 Notable gigs include: Live performance on BBC Radio Scotland, Danny Kyle Stage at Celtic Connections, Perth Concert Hall, Northern Roots Festival, Montrose Music Festival, Mull Music Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Oran Mor, DingsDo Festival – Italy & multiple European tours.rs.

Saturday 19th

with the Sandy Tweeddale Blues Band



Thursday 24th

with Yard Of Ale

Bedford Falls 


Delacroix is a rootsy, Blues-Groove Duo formed by Harry Higgs and Tomlin Leckie, two blues loving musicians in Edinburgh.

Tomlin Leckie is a soulful bluesy guitarist, singer and harmonica player who enjoys grooving solo and acoustically or with his electric band The Strollers, Tomlin’s versatility has led to comparisons with John Mayer, James Taylor and Jack Johnson.

Harry Higgs is a highly experienced professional guitarist with a wide and extensive knowledge of the music industry. During his youth, he lived in several different countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. He attended music college in London before returning to Qatar to work as a music teacher for several years.

Harry loves rock, blues and jazz, and will delight you with his playing style.


Bedford Falls make a second appearance at this year's run having been Sandy Tweeddale's guests last week.

Bert and Richie have been guests of Yard Of Ale at the Guildford Arms for many years now and have proved to be so popular with our audiences year after year that the "Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival" would be incomplete without them.

They bring an eclectic mix of music and styles, ranging from Crowded House to Little Feat, Steve Earl to Bruce Springsteen to create a wonderful atmosphere.

Their top notch guitar playing and clever harmonies get feet tapping and audiences singing along wherever they play.



Sunday 20th

with Sandy Tweeddale

Coaltown Daisies 


Friday 25th

with Yard Of Ale

FC Ukulele



'Best Folk Performance' winners The Coaltown Daisies from Fife are a rising duo of singer songwriters who write and perform folk, soul and americana music.

 The Coaltown Daises bring together the musical stylings of established singer-songwriters, Lynzy Moutter and Vivienne Bern; their shared passion for music in all shapes and sizes steered them towards meeting in the middle and collaborating on their original songs.

 Detailing their music with dual harmonies, intelligent lyrics and raw emotion, they want nothing more than to perform them in front of a great audience. Described as 'spell-binding', 'spine-tingling' and 'breath-taking'.

 The Coaltown Daisies have performed at an abundance of venues and festivals on their journey so far and have a very busy future ahead; they want to continue sharing their music as far and wide as possible and already have great plans to keep on doing so, both home and overseas.   They continue to progress strongly in the Scottish live music scene and have currently just released their debut album 'This Old House' which includes some of Scotland's most highly credited musicians.


The return of this unique 5 piece band - consisting of ukuleles in all shapes and sizes,  drums, harmonica, 4 part vocal harmonies and the occasional kazoo! Expect unique arrangements of classic songs, old and new, with a repertoire that covers blues, rock, pop, soul and anything else in between. Not to be missed!

As Scotland's premier ukulele band, FC Ukulele have been gigging for around 8 years to rave reviews and are Edinburgh Fringe favourites. Their repertoire consists of old favourites, contemporary classics and original material arranged for their unique 5 piece set up of Baritone, Tenor, Bass and Solid Electric Ukuleles, close vocal harmonies, blues harmonica and drums.

"You can't say you've experienced the Fringe until you've seen a ukulele band play an eight minute version of Sultans of Swing"


Monday 21st

with Sandy Tweeddale

Hot Tin Roof 


Saturday 26th

with Yard Of Ale

FC Ukulele 



Hot Tin Roof are a guitar based duo featuring Andrew Challen on Guitar/Vocals and Gavin Jack on Guitar. Based in Edinburgh, they are weekly residents at Edinburgh’s award winning Jazz Bar and have played extensively throughout Scotland and the rest of Europe. The music has a stripped back blues feel and can vary in style from old 30’s blues to 60’s psychedelia, right through to modern blues and jazz.

Originally from Plymouth, Devon, Andy first picked up a guitar in 2005. He moved to Edinburgh with his wife in 2009 and started performing the open-mic circuit. Andy first met Gavin  in 2010 at a gig he was playing with his other band the awesome Missing Cat where their music immediately blew him away.

 Gavin is from Thankerton, South Lanarkshire, and started playing when someone lent him a guitar and a Rage Against the Machine book at the age of twelve. He went on to form the rock band Sheva and has since played with the Keith Dickson Accordian Orchestra, Arbory, The Gav and Paul acoustic blues/ethnic/weird duo and blues outfit - Missing Cat 2005-2013. 

FC Ukulele return to bring "The Caledonian Folk and Blues Festival 2017" at the Guildford Arms, Edinburgh to a fantastic finale.

See you next year.


Hope to see you there.



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Walter's Words of Wisdom


On the Road Again 


Hello, again

Well I’m just back from a European tour with the Really Terrible Orchestra (exaggeration - we only went to Stockholm!) which was fun - a city with more water than land.

But it’s back now to a packed summer of  gigs with the band in far-flung exotic places like Wishaw and Aberdour. We are gradually expanding the repertoire with hopefully interesting new songs in different styles, you will hear them at  the Guildford in August.

 At the risk of diverting you from the delights of the Guildford, the RTO also has a Fringe gig at St Cuthbert’s Church, Lothian Rd, 12th August at 16:00. A bit like Yard of Ale, it is as much about entertainment as it is music. Unlike the Guildford it isn’t free!



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Peter's Blog


Pedro's Sunshine Slavers!

Jolly Lolly Sticks and Heatwave Havers


Greetings, dear reader, as I waft a palm frond around my neo-overhotted napper-it’s summertime again. It’s not rained for two days and not snowed for even longer so I reckon that qualifies as an official heatwave. The goldfish have been running relays to and from the house for ice cubes and a troop of Barbary apes have taken up residence under the Wallyford railway bridge, because it’s handy for the miners’ club.

Thoughts of summer lead indubitably to the festival once again, whereupon we return mob-handed to the Guildford, an establishment of esteemed refinery which will be once again endorsed and engulfed by our dulcet tones and dearth of decorum.

‘Twill be a pleasure to see you all turning up to revel in your masses among the front-stage passes and join us as we criss-cross the country, knowing we should have driven in a straight line. However and wherever you are, rest insured we will get there by hook or by fluke when I shall once again be…

‘Twill be a pleasure to be out among you sharing the fruits of all the highly enjoyable time spent with Al and Walter working on lots of fine material when they’ve dragged me screaming from my cell. Should the odd faux fur occur, you can rest assured we will keep smiling (remember the speakers point away from us) and you shall be thoroughly entertained and underdone, and I shall be….

Yours Aye,


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Next Edition: October 2017


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