The Outside Track and Jim Byrne: Linlithgow Folk Festival 2013


Headline Concert – The Outside Track

Support: Jim Byrne

Saturday, 14th September, 2013 – The Academy

Jim has often played at Linlithgow, on the Nora Devine Outside Stage and also at the Canal Festival. We’ve made many trips to Linlithgow and always have great fun. The people are warm-hearted, they love their music and audiences are invariably enthusiastic. It’s also a lovely place to visit; very picturesque with its loch, castle and canal basin.

This year Jim was delighted to be invited to play at the festival, supporting The Outside Track at the headline concert. It was a great night.

The Academy was bursting at the seams, the stage looked superb and the committee, in their usual efficient manner, had everything well in hand from lighting and sound through to a lovely buffet for the performers and volunteers.

PBYRNE_DSC9750Jim Byrne

It’s marvelous when people have really come along to listen to the music and enjoy themselves and, despite mislaying his set list – not a good idea when you’ve got a rotten memory – Jim’s set went down very well.

He kicked off with one of his finger pickin’ numbers and went on to play a varied set; crooning some emotional songs, playing some folk tunes and a little bit of country, where the audience joined in with gusto. He even got them doing a bit of whistling.

He was a happy man, selling CDs, signing up new fans for his newsletter and receiving praise galore. Including admiration expressed for his songwriting, guitar playing and ‘the emotional connection of his songs.’

It was also really nice of the Festival Committee to email, saying that feedback on his performance had been very positive.

outside trackThe Outside Track

The Outside Track, an award winning traditional Celtic band, were a big hit. They are an exceptionally energetic and engaging band made up of four talented young women: Mairi Rankin, from Cape Breton on fiddle, vocals and stepdance, Aoife Scott, from Dublin, lead vocals, whistle and bodrain, Aillie Robertson, from Edinburgh, harp, Fiona Black, from Easter Ross, accordion and Cillian O’Dálaigh, the lone man in the band, born in Germany and raised in Ireland, on guitar.

They are a talented group of musicians, who are very relaxed on stage and immensely entertaining, with each one displaying their musical expertise to advantage. Their show is very varied and includes traditional ballads, toe tapping reels and polkas and a few of their own compositions. They also throw in a few jokes and Mairi and Cillian’s stepdancing is a novel and unexpected treat. Aoife Scott on lead vocals has a beautiful haunting voice, Aillie Robertson’s mastery of the harp is superb and Fiona’s fingers fairly fly across the keys.

They built tremendous rapport with the audience – applause was rapturous, time flew in and everyone headed home with a smile on their face. In fact, I think the pubs of Linlithgow would be heaving with happy late arrivals and possibly a session or two late into the night.

Review by Pat Byrne
Photograph of Jim Byrne by Cat Egerton [email protected]

This section: Music Reviews

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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