Hamish Matters in Blairgowrie & Rattray, 10-12 November 2017

November 3, 2017 by Perthshire Creates

Hamish Matters is a new Blairgowrie & Rattray festival taking place on 10-12 November 2017 featuring live music, storytelling, sessions, film and more celebrating the life and works of Hamish Henderson. 

On Saturday 11 November as part of the ‘Hamish Matters’ weekend there will be a Ceilidh in Blairgowrie Town Hall which will recall the People’s Ceilidh of 1951 and celebrate the memory of Hamish Henderson.

Hamish Henderson, the renowned Scottish poet, writer and folk archivist was born in Blairgowrie on 11 November 1919, and from early on was introduced to folksong by his Mother who brought him up to speak Gaelic. As well as being a decorated soldier in WW2, and a major figure in the Scottish Folk Revival, Hamish travelled throughout Scotland with the renowned American folklorist, Alan Lomax, which culminated in the legendary 1951 People’s Ceilidh which took place in Edinburgh.

Henderson and Lomax brought together and recorded these performers from the various traditions of Scottish Music, in particular, the Gaelic singing of the Western Isles, Aberdeenshire Bothy Ballads and Border Ballads.  And, of course, Henderson working with Blairgowrie writer Maurice Fleming became renowned for recording the music of the Travelling People of Strathmore, famously the Stewarts of Blair.

The weekend will include choir singing by local primary schools in the Blairgowrie Library where there is a bust of Hamish; a showing of Robbie Fraser’s highly acclaimed documentary ‘Hamish: the story of a Scottish Cultural Icon’ in Rattray Halls on the afternoon of the Sat 11 Nov and the Ceilidh on the Saturday evening, featuring Perthshire’s acclaimed two-piece Mad Ferret; Iona Fyfe, one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers; Gaelic singer Aileen Ogilvie and the Perthshire Gaelic Choir; and local performers such as Hamish MacGregor and young piper Callum Douglas. The evening will be will be compered by Poet and Hamish aficionado, Jim Mackintosh.

Information is available from the ‘Hamish Matters’ Facebook Page and tickets for the Ceilidh are available from Blairgowrie Library, 01250 871305 or from Rattray Community Connect, 01250 871538.

The Project has been supported by a small grant from the Perth City of Culture Funding and organised by a group comprising of Community Council, Strathmore Arts, Perth and Kinross Council, Culture Perth and Kinross and local fans of Hamish who hope that this will raise his profile in his hometown.