Posted by: myrtlecottagefindhorn | June 14, 2010

What a great musical lineup for the Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy June 26th-27th

I’ve taken the liberty of replicating here what is shown on the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival site.

Please go to the Boat festival site for a full run down of food, crafts, maritime, gallery etc. This will prove to be a wonderful weekend at Portsoy.

The Peatbog Faeries

The Friday Night Show Case Concert at the Wally Green will feature the internationally renowned, celtic fusion band The Peatbog Faeries.

Based on the Isle of Skye, the Peatbog Faeries have been described as ‘the future of celtic dance music’. They incorporate many influences which take them from traditional jigs and reels through jazz, hip hop, reggae and more. This is high octane Celtic dance music so be prepared to dance!

They are Peter Morrison (pipes and whistles), Peter Tickell (fiddles), Tom Salter (guitar), Innes Hutton (bass, percussion) Graeme Stafford (keyboards) and Iain Copeland (drums), plus The Wayward Boys – Brass

Alastair McDonald

MC for, and performer at, the Friday Night Show Case Concert at the Wally Green will be the legendary Alastair McDonald

Sara Grey

One of the best things about Sara’s singing is that it reflects her great knowledge of and feeling for traditional music. She just seems to know what is right in the interpretation of a traditional song. She is a ballad singer of great strength with a fine understanding of the importance of understatement in the art of ballad singing. Her singing is richly emotional and she is equally at home with a gentle lyric or a harsh account of life on the frontier.

As well as performing Sara will be running workshops Upstairs at the Bothy.

Ben Paley

Born in London, Ben was surrounded by traditional music from the outset: his father (Tom Paley, one of the great figures of the American folk revival), mother (singer Claudia Gould) and step-father (Ron Gould, writer on jazz, country and folk music) were all enormous influences.

Currently he’s working in a duo with Tab Hunter; with Duck Baker and Maggie Boyle in The Expatriate Game; with poet, playwright and songwriter Nick Burbridge in McDermott’s 2 Hours; with his father Tom and Joe Locker in the New Deal String Band; with old-time banjo-player and singer Sara Grey and her son, singer and guitarist Kieron Means; and in English dance band The Sussex Pistols, amongst other things.

As well as performing Ben will be running workshops Upstairs at the Bothy.

Four ‘n Aft

We call ourselves a maritime group (as opposed to a shanty group) as our songs cover a wider aspect. In our repertoire there are traditional ballads, love songs, humorous songs, songs about the ladies, even a ghost song and, of course, we also sing some of those wonderful shanties and forebitters. But whatever we sing, the group have gained a reputation for having a powerful rich sound with any of the four members having the strength to lead a song with the other three voices working intuitive harmonies around the melody.


Tunna delivers a refreshing, energetic, mix of upbeat traditional and contemporary fiddle driven excitement, boosted by intoxicating combinations of colourful rhythms to create a unique sound.

Tunna have played in various venues from pub gigs to private parties and are currently expanding into the festival scene. They are in the process of recording their first album which includes recognised tunes in their own style as well as original material.

The line up includes Adrian Newth – Bass Guitar, David MacFarlane – Guitar, Ian Hartshorne – Drums, and Karys Watt – Fiddle.

Big Bang and Guarana

Big Bang Street Drummers of Aberdeen is the kids equivalent of the adult band Guarana. Both are community street drumming bands. Big Bang is for kids between five and 14. Big Bang are NOT about the serious or rigid tunes of musicians – Big Bang is about self expression and enjoyment but above all we meet and have plenty of fun!

Guarana Street Drummers play a range of Samba based rythums. The Group currently has 15 members who practice once a week.

Both groups will be performing around the Festival on the Sunday.

Guarana: and
Big Bang:

Hyttetu Men`s Choir

Hyttetu Men`s Choir was established in 1996. Most of the members live in Stavanger, but they have cabins or summer houses in Kvitsøy, a little island community with 540 inhabitants. The choir belongs to Kvitsøy and it is taking part in important events in the island.

The choir started performing only during the spring and summer season but it expanded its activities through the whole year, as it was soon asked for to perform in different arrangements in the area. The choir has been performing at festivals in Stavanger, in Ryfylke and in Skudenes. It has even taken part in the fishing festival in Johnshaven in Scotland in 2005. This was such a happy event and the choir felt so welcome that all the singers really wished to visit Scotland again.

They all look forward to taking part in the festival in Portsoy. For their performances they are planning a variety of songs. Shanties, schottisch folk songs and some traditional Norwegian songs.

The conductor of Hyttetu Men`s choir, Eugenie Prøis Lunde, has been conducting the choir from the start. She was educated at the Conservatory of Music in Stavanger. Her main instrument is her voice and she has conducted special studies of choir conducting and methods of using the voice. She is also the conductor of two church choirs, one in Kvitsøy and one in Stavanger.

Deveron River Brass

Tam Horne formed Deveron River Brass, a registered charity, on the 28th April 2009. He had been urged by family, pupils and parents to start a band that would primarily give fun and enjoyment. The band at the initial stages was to be small but by time word got about, in only two short weeks, a rehearsal hall had been arranged at Banff Parish Church Lower Hall and a date set for the first rehearsal. 22 brass players turned up from Banff and the surrounding area.

The band rehearses at 7PM every Tuesday for two hours. Lessons are offered to band members on Thursday evenings for those who want to progress to exam standards or who just want a little bit of help.

The music traditionally played by Brass Bands was Hymn Tunes and Marches and transcriptions of orchestral works. But Brass banding has now moved on. We can now offer a wide variety of music catering for all tastes. Our music ranges from film, television, swing and song as well as a new generation of original works.

Brass band music is now much more entertaining for everyone. And we hope you enjoy listening to us at the Boat Festival on Saturday!

Shanty Jack

Folk music and song provided the foundation upon which “Shanty Jack’s” interest in the music and songs of the sea developed. He is now kept busy with performances throughout the U.K. & Europe and the occasional visit to the U.S.A. In addition to deep-sea Shanties and sailors’ songs he has a repertoire of songs from the traditions of the barges and fishing smacks of the east coast of the U.K. and lots of tunes on the melodeon collected from here, there and everywhere.

The experience gained and contacts made as a performer were put to good use in September 1990 when “Shanty Jack” played a major part in the organisation of the first “SEA FEVER” international Sea Shanty Festival in the port of Hull. “Sea Fever”, now regarded as one of that City’s flagship events, has gained an enviable reputation both in the U.K. and abroad and this year celebrates its’ twentieth anniversary. The success of “Sea Fever” has led to a demand for “Shanty Jack’s” services as “Consultant, Artistic Director, Adviser or Co-ordinator” at a number of other notable maritime events in Britain and Europe, including all five IFOS (International Festival Of the Sea) events at Bristol, Leith and Portsmouth.

“Shanty Jack” (aka Pete Hayselden) recently retired from his job in the Tugboats after over 30 years on the River Humber. He is now planning a recording of Fishing and other songs from the East Coast of the U.K. and another recording of Sea Songs and Shanties with “Monkey’s Orphan”.

Bob Knight

Bob’s musical interests range from Classical to Country, but for his Scottish influences he owes much to his mother’s family: his uncles, aunts, and numerous cousins who sing, play bagpipes, fiddle, accordion, piano and guitar.

“There always seemed to be music around when I was growing up. Pipers seemed to outnumber every other instrument by about three to one, which probably explains their love of grace notes when singing. I think a little of that has rubbed off on me too!”

Bob will be running a songwriting workshop Upstairs in the Bothy on Saturday.

Danny Spooner

In recent years Danny’s sung at festivals, clubs and house concerts in Europe, England, Canada and the USA. But for 40 years in Australia audiences have enjoyed his concert brackets, workshops and one-man shows, his deep multi-disciplinary understanding of social history, his personal warmth, and his immense repertoire of songs covering the full range of human emotions, endeavours and experiences… He is a spellbinder.

Danny will be running workshops both Upstairs and Downstairs at the Bothy

Shepheard, Spiers & Watson

Simple, powerful and effective fiddle, whistle and melodeon underscore three big voices as they revel in a colourful, broad sweep of Scots song.

Pete, Tom and Arthur have known each other for many years and, after enjoying each others’ company at sessions, festivals, hogmanay and suchlike seasonal gatherings, they began to gain bookings together and formalised this as Shepheard, Spiers & Watson in 2003 for an appearance at the great Whitby Festival – where they have been regular guests ever since.

They bring together a wealth of song in a repertoire gleaned from the many traditional singers they have known – with a showcase of songs selected specially for their visits to Portsoy’s Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

Find out more at their website: –

Helge Arildsoe

Helge will be joining us again with his unique Scandinavian blend of traditional music, sea shanties and some of the songs he has written himself over a career that spans 25 years.

More at

Katie Mackenzie

In spite of her youth Katie is already well established on the traditional music scene as one of the rising stars of the future. She has toured in Sweden, France, Ireland, Wales, New York, the Netherlands as well as playing all over Scotland.

She has already featured on five cds (3 with Feis Rois) and more recently on Fiona Mackenzie’s albums; Orain nan Rosach and Duan Nollaig (2007).

Within Scotland she has appeared regularly at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles and has played for Princess Ann, as well as visiting Balmoral to play for Prince Charles and Camilla and the Queen in London.

Fiona Mackenzie

Fiona, a native of Morayshire, has lived in Dingwall for the last 20 years and after working in Gaelic Medium Education for 5 years, worked as the Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellow for Highland Council between 2002-09.

In 2004 she won the coveted BBC Scotland Traditional Music Personality of the Year Award at the Scots Trad Music Awards. She has also been nominated as Gaelic Singer of the year in both 2005 and 2006.

Her work has taken her abroad to teach, lecture and perform, to Cape Breton, Germany, Estonia, Brittany, Holland, Seattle, New York, Washington DC, North Carolina, Virginia, Ireland and Wales.

She continues to manage a vocal harmony group for young people called Fionnar who have performed in Wales at the International Eisteddfod where they took the Pavilion by storm with their traditional ‘waulking’ and also in Ireland where they won the premier group prize at The Pan Celtic Festival in April 2006. They also released an EP (June 2009) on Fiona’s own label, MacDug Music, entitled “Sgoil Roc”.


Hetherstey is an innovative and powerful new threesome which rocks with a hint of folk and some jazz undertones.

Roger writes the songs, plays the guitar and sings, referencing and fusing the voices of Jack Bruce, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Patti Smith, whilst his guitar playing has been heavily influenced by Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend and Robin Trower.

Bob plays base guitar, rocking like his heroes the fab four and the Who, improvising and intuitively responding to Roger’s lead guitar.

For many years Linda has attracted complements as an unaccompanied singer around the local folk scene, a tribute to Maddie Prior who has strongly influenced her music making. Her voice adds depth and power, singing and harmonising alongside Roger.

Linda and Bob were previously members of Kindred Spirit with Neil Sharp. Roger has become a familiar figure at the Boat Festival, playing the whistle around the harbour.


There are now five of us in the ‘band’ playing a range of instruments including fiddle, whistles, small pipes, highland pipes, guitar, and bodhran. We’re a fairly international lot coming from Scotland (Derek Cooper – fiddle, whistles; Andy Duncan – guitar), England (Jo Duncan – fiddle, whistle), Germany (Kerstin Jeuck – small pipes, highland pipes) and Norway (Oystein Ulrichsen – bodhran) although the music we play is generally Scottish in origin. We do have an informal name of the ‘Whitewispers’ which is after the street in Dollar where a number of us first met.

Whitewispers have busked at the festival for quite a few years now.


One of the top Scottish ceilidh bands, are playing again at our Saturday Night Ceilidh. Last year’s was the best ever with the dance floor full within minutes and even if your energy levels start to fade – these guys still keep your toes tapping to their driving music – until you recover.

“We’re really looking forward to it” they all agreed. Fiddle player Alastair Duthie said “We thoroughly enjoyed playing last year, and the crowd were brilliant”.

Book your tickets early or just head over to Wally Green on Saturday 26th June for this exciting and lively event with great music.

Visit us at

Anne McArthur’s Dancers

Anne McArthur’s Dancers were formed in 1976 and the classes have run continuously for 34 years in the Institute Hall, Portsoy. Most dancers come to learn Highland Dancing and almost all sit exams annually with100% pass rate. Presently there has been a surge of boys taking up dancing lessons. Most dancers enjoy participating in concerts and galas and the highlight of the year is to dance at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival both on the harbour stage and in the Wally Green tent.

Scottish Country Dancing came to the forefront in recent years when Active Schools and the Banffshire Branch of the RSCDS put forward a programme of ceilidh and Scottish country dancing in the primary schools in Banffshire. A team of dancers from Portsoy School went to the Schudeshavn Festival, Norway in 2008. Two teams of dancers danced for the Queen and her nieces Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at Balmoral in 2009. Anne McArthur has been a Scottish country dance teacher since 1971.

Nanne Kalma and Ankie van der Meer

Nanne and Ankie have been playing together since 1980. First of all in the group Irolt, later in Kat yn’t Seil, Kajto and Liereliet. With these groups – and together as a duo – singing in Esperanto, in Frisian and in Dutch, they recorded more than 30 LP’s and CD’s and regularly tour(ed) many countries, not just Europe, but also North America and Australia (“Woodford Folk Festival”). In the summer of 2009, Nanne and Ankie toured America for 10 weeks.

They sing traditional as well as newly written songs and have a wide repertoire. They like to sing about different subjects. Maritime and historical themes play an important role, but they also sing about humorous events from daily life. They love to put music to Esperanto and Frisian poems.

At festivals, concerts, cultural evenings or singing workshops, Nanne and Ankie’s programme is always witty and adapted to the situation wherever they are. They announce their songs – depending on where they are – in Esperanto, Dutch, Frisian, English, German or French. They accompany themselves on several instruments, such as guitar, mandolin and concertina (a six-sided small type of accordeon).

During the first decade of the 21st century they released 11 new CD’s in several languages namely Esperanto, Frisian, Dutch and English (with lyrics by the Australian author Michael Roads).

In the last 15 years they wrote and performed several music-theatre shows of which ‘The Silver of the Sea’ will be performed in Portsoy in June 2010. This is a programme about the herring, featuring not only Ankie and Nanne, but also Gaye Anthony and Trish Norman from Aberdeenshire and Shanty Jack from Cleethorpe.

Also they will present a couple of their own songs that have been translated into English.

For more information about Nanne & Ankie please visit their website:

Stewart Duff

“I live in the Isle of Skye. I have been playing Bodhran for quite a few years. Played from Shetlands to the Borders. At present I guest with a local ceilidh band and play at local sessions throughout Skye and Lochalsh. I have taught people from Skye to Falkirk, trying to make learning and playing an enjoyable experience.”

Stewart will be running very informal bodhran workshops downstairs in the last chamber of the Bothy over the weekend. Saturday will be come along and have a go and Sunday will be a beginners workshop. Come along and have a go or bring your own bodhran, it’s great fun.

Gaye and Trish

G&T, otherwise known as Gaye and Trish, have been performing at the festival regularly since 1999. They sing at festivals and private functions at home and abroad, including the Netherlands, Poland and Brittany, on a variety of stages in venues including schooners, barges, castles and even the odd harbour wall.

As soloists their voices and styles are very different. It is the quality of their singing and the richness of their close harmony arrangements as a duo which has led to them appearing in three International Festivals of the Sea and being invited to the prestigious Hull Sea Fever Festival several times.

At maritime festivals they appear in costume and specialise in songs of the sea and the fishing – mainly from a woman’s point of view. Their repertoire ranges from the traditional to songs acquired from other maritime groups from America, Australia and the Netherlands. With 3 CDs to their credit. Number 4 is a work in progress.

As well as singing as a duo, this year they will be appearing with Nanne and Ankie (Netherlands) and Shanty Jack (England) in special performances of ‘The Silver of the Sea’, written by Nanne Kalma. This will be in the Salmon Bothy on the Saturday and Sunday.

Fisher Folk

The Fisher Folk are pleased to be invited back to Portsoy for our third festival, and looking forward to meeting old friends. The band consists of Angus Thow from Dundee, guitar and lead vocals, Willie Williamson from Shetland, guitar and vocals, Iain Mackie from ‘Bervie, drummer, Bobby Gowans from Gourdon, bohdran and harmony vocals, and last and least (youngest!) Rab Thompson from Oban on vocals, sound, marketing, tea-making etc…

The Fisher Folk perform a variety of traditional Scottish and Irish ballads, as well as various sea shanties and forbitters. (Posh word for fo’castle songs!) As a tribute to our neighbours we do perform one traditional English folk song…….The Drunken’ Sailor.

Our 15 track CD recorded at ARC studios, is made up of our most requested songs at gigs over the past years. Unfortunately, the guitarist on the CD, Bert Innes, has joined some of his heroes in that great guitar school in the sky. As a tribute to Bert we always finish a gig with his unique version of “The Rambles of Spring”.

emails to-

Street Stylers

The Street Stylers are a local, innovative dance group. You can catch them performing at the Wally Green, at the Loch and at various prime busking sites around the festival.

For lots of pix see their bebo site

Or see them live in Banff on youtube

Skip 2 The Beat

Skip 2 The Beat were formed about 6 years ago and the age range of the skippers is 5 to 15, they currently have 36 members and a long waiting list!

The club is coached by Silvanna Matheson who founded the club. They meet once a week in the Town Hall and they have recently put 3 very brave and modest assistant coaches through their Level 1 certificates. At last years British Rope Skipping Championships in Birmingham, seven pupils took part and they came home with a great total of 27 medals. Isla Matheson qualified for the European Championships and travelled to Hungary with the Great British team in October 2008.

The group can be contacted by calling either Diane, Club secretary on 01261 842339 or Silvanna, Club Chairperson on 01261 842892. They have shown their skills at festivals all over the North East travelling as far as Montrose.

Have a look at their website on

Skip Sensation

Skip Sensation have been together for two and a half years and are all local to Portsoy. They have been skipping since they were age 7 and they meet every Tuesday and coach themselves

Six of the group attended the Birmingham Rope Skipping Championships in 1998 and succeeded in winning 6 medals in the speed and freestyle categories.

The group is available for displays throughout the year and can be contacted by calling Lesley McKay on 01261 843873 or Shona Murray on 01261 843284.

The Strathspey Fiddlers

The Strathspey Fiddlers are a traditional group of talented young instrumentalists, Dancers and Singers from around Moray and West Aberdeenshire. While they play mainly in the local area, they have represented Scotland at Celtic festivals and corporate entertainment throughout the British Isles, Republic of Ireland, Frankfurt and Bavaria. In 2007 Texas in USA.

Aberdeenshire Youth Pipes and Drums

The Strathspey Fiddlers are a traditional group of talented young instrumentalists, Dancers and Singers from around Moray and West Aberdeenshire. While they play mainly in the local area, they have represented Scotland at Celtic festivals and corporate entertainment throughout the British Isles, Republic of Ireland, Frankfurt and Bavaria. In 2007 Texas in USA.

The Silver of the Sea

Who owns the sea?

Who owns the herring?

Who owns the Doggerbank?

So, what is the importance of the gutting and curing of the herring?

What about the quarrels, the laughing and the salt tears?

These will be some of the subjects covered in ‘The Silver of the Sea’, a sparkling musical show, of songs stories and film.

‘The Silver of the Sea’ was developed, written and composed by Nanne Kalma.

Performances will be presented in the Salmon Bothy on Saturday (3.15 – 4.15pm) and Sunday (1.45 – 2.45pm) during the festival by a group of international singers:

Peter Hayselden from England

Gaye Anthony and Trish Norman from Scotland

Nanne Kalma and Ankie van der Meer from the Netherlands

Alex and Madeline Green

Alex Green from Aberdeenshire is the maestro of the tin whistle. He is appreciated by a much wider audience through playing at many Traditional Music and Song Association festivals throughout Scotland. He has released one of the few recordings dedicated to Scottish whistle playing: Whistle O’er the Lave O’t. For the past 25 years, Alex has been ably and sympathetically accompanied on accordion by his wife Madeline.

Together, this stalwart duo are well known around the traditional music scene, not only in the north east, but throughout Scotland. They still regularly support many of the Scottish traditional festivals.

In 2007, Alex celebrated 30 consecutive years as a performer at the Keith TMSA Festival, where he has taken whistle workshops and judged competitions. Apart from her accordion playing, Madeline also sings with the Banffshire based women’s group, ‘Local Vocals’ and the Forres based, ‘Too Many Kooks’. Both Alex and Madeline are founder members of the very popular Portknockie Music Night which is held on the second Friday of each month at the Victoria Hotel.

Alex and Madeline Green

Frank Reynolds & John Starsmore

This dynamic duo will be turning up on various stages as performers and also as Master of Ceremonies. Frank Reynolds and John Starsmore are singer/songwriters living in this area who have been collaborating over the last few years with some extremely ‘ear catching’ and original results. Sometimes we have lyrics by Frank and music by John, showing how well they have ‘tuned in’ to each other.

Frank’s own songs, which he has been producing prolifically over the last eight years or so, cover a huge range of topics; sometimes taking a humorous swipe at politicians; sometimes wryly observing more everyday stories of life around us and, at others, expressing tenderness which touch the heart.

Likewise, John has crafted beautiful songs expressing such things as his feelings on moving to this part of the world, to his treatment of the powerful emotions evoked (on becoming a grandfather) by generations past and future.

Their recently produced CD, ‘The Best Bit Of The Day’, demonstrates some lovely examples of their work.

Reynolds and Starsmore

Folk at the Salmon Bothy

Folk at the Salmon Bothy is a vibrant folk club bursting at the seams with local talent. It meets every third Friday monthly 7pm-10.30pm – with Guest MC each month.

Folk at the Salmon Bothy

Salmon Bothy Folk Page

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