Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Celebrate Fairfax! More like Celebrate Heatstroke!

This was one of those gigs that could have gone a lot worse.

The Celebrate Fairfax! festival was a great one. I spent Sunday working the Virginia Scottish Games tent, and got to see a bit of it, which was impossible on Saturday. But it was possibly the hottest day of the year, and that was saying a lot.

I came straight from an outdoor wedding in 104 degree heat to this gig, and I was boiling. They combined two alternating stages so that performers could stay out of the sun, so we had to set up while a juggler performed - on the same stage. And no time for a sound check.

Things didn't start well. We tried to debut The New Reels, and things went badly quickly. I think I was heat-stricken, and simply forgot how to play the bagpipe. It was ugly. Chris and Andrew did a great job carrying us to the end. I recovered my composure while Chris sang Killiecrankie, then we ramped things up to a great conclusion with The Devil's Reels, Cairn o' Mount, and The Virgin Wedding Night.

So 4 out of 5. Under the circumstances, I'll take that.

Another act requested our Sunday slot, which was probably for the best. We were all pretty tapped out. But it was fun, and we'd love to come back and do the festival again in the future. Just let's hope the weather is nicer!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Lineup - Andrew Dodds on fiddle

We unfortunately lost Lauren for the upcoming Celebrate Fairfax! gig, but we have retained the services of Andrew Dodds, recently of Iona, on fiddle. Andrew's a brilliant fiddler, and I've had the pleasure to play with him in a gig for 50 Man Machine, and to compete against (and lose to!) him on many occasions. Alas, he's only with us on a per-gig basis, as he is swamped with projects of his own, but it's a pleasure to have him on board.

We all wish Lauren the best, as she's heading off to college this fall!