North Mainland Notes

Muckle Roe ‘Bid’ in the New Year

Muckle Roe Hall had a wonderful start to the New Year when sensational Shetland band, Fiddlers’ Bid, came first fittin’ on New Year’s day. For days prior to the gig, members of the hall committee questioned whether the event would go ahead because of dreadful road conditions and promises of heavy blizzards. But fortune shone and Fiddlers’ Bid came nort for the night.

The boys and Catriona were missing Chris Stout, who was stuck still on the mainland, but it did not dampen their spirits. This was obvious to one hall committee member who said they were raring to go as they practised full tilt in the empty hall beforehand. It was obvious this sell-out evening was going to be a great night from the outset. The hall looked warm and welcoming. The lighting crew cast subtle hues on the stage and hall, Christmas lights twinkled on the beams and candles glowed warmly on the tables in anticipation of a great night ahead. The boys welcomed folk with a dram at the door as they arrived and then the concert commenced to a packed hall.

The first half was absolutely brilliant. The band pulled off a blinder of a set, incorporating tunes from their newly released, award winning All Dressed in Yellow album. Every one in the band put in a star performance, as is always the case with Fiddlers’ Bid. If you haven’t already got the new album go out and get it! Guest musicians also joined the band during the night, adding an extra dimension to the concert. The multi-talented Seamus Egan of Solas wowed the crowd with his skills on the tenor banjo and later Fiddlers’ Bid welcomed local lads Adam and Peter Johnson onto the stage for a set of tunes with a Scandinavian flavour.

After the first half, and a break for a tasty supper provided by the hall committee, the band also took the opportunity to launch their new DVD – Skeklers. Skeklers was filmed in Shetland during the All Dressed in Yellow album launch gig, and was shot for the album track of the same name. It incorporates one traditional Estonian tune and three traditional Shetland tunes and features the Bid frolicking on the beach and playing music at the fireside. There are also a few appearances from some unknown (or maybe not so unknown) Skeklers dressed in guizin’ suits made by local kishie-maker Ewen Balfour. The DVD debut at Muckle Roe brought lots of laughter from the audience, so it’s well worth purchasing.

A special impromptu moment came later in the evening when Catriona MacKay and her harp accompanied a frequent visitor to the isle, professional musician Michael Robinson. Michael sang powerful renditions of My Love is Like a Red Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss that went down well with the audience. The evening moved on to a more informal footing with a packed stage and a very lively session incorporating the Bid, visitors and Muckle Roe folk. The highlight of the night for many was a wonderful bassy-esque rendition of the Trowie song near the end of the night featuring the Bid boys and Peter Johnson.

The last word goes to Muckle Roe hall committee member Diane Wood: “A fabulous night was had by everyone, both young and old. We are delighted that Fiddlers’ Bid chose to come up nort and we all hope they will come back and see the Roe folk again some day very soon. Here’s to a great start to the New Year at the Muckle Roe Hall and lots of fun to come.”

‘Game on’ at Hillswick

Many of you may have spent the last few days glued to BBC2 for the 2010 BDO Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships. Darts legends like Tony O’Shea and defending champion Ted Hankey have been slogging it out at the oche, with the title and almost £100,000 in prize money up for grabs. But Lakeside will pale into insignificance when the BDO (Brawly Daft and Overly) World Professional Darts Championships take place at “Voeside” in the Hillswick hall next Saturday night. The BDO Championships will be (loosely) based on the men’s and women’s invitation system and structure. The event will feature 16 top class international players from far-flung regions such as Mossbank, Gluss and da Nort Galley Shed. All will be playing for the Sandison Spaegie Tonic Trophy and almost £2.49 in prize money.

Commentators for the Voeside event are still under wraps, but indications are that two highly admired and respected fellows from the darts commentary world will fly in from as far away as North Roe. Players will begin their warm up sessions at 7pm and it’s game on at 8pm. A catering team will be on hand, so hungry audience members can purchase a fish supper or two to keep the life in during what promises to be a magical evening of arrows. Entry will cost £5 for adults and £3 for under-16s.

Maree Hay


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