10 questions for… Lynsey

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m 34. I grew up in Elgin and used to sing and play fiddle in local traditional music festivals. As a teenager, I left all that behind for the glamour of amateur dramatics. I’ve been away from home for a long time but recently moved back to the area and this project has really helped me to re-discover my musical roots. I work at the local college as a disability advisor/student tutor and split my spare time between the beach and the pub.

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

My memory for things like postcodes and registration plates. I should probably exploit it somehow but I’m too lazy.

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

I’m good friends with Jamie Reid’s brother, Colin, as well as a few of the other Speysiders. Jamie visited my boyfriend and I last Hogmanay and asked if we’d be a part of all this as we were at the first open-house session a couple of years ago.

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

The moment I finally get myself out of bed every morning.

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

I was in the crowd for ‘Barnyards o’ Delgaty’ (other tracks didn’t make the album cut).

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

If I had to choose it would be ‘Both Sides the Tweed’ as it was the first song that I watched being recorded and the atmosphere in the room was electric! I hadn’t known how all this would come together so I was blown away by everyone’s talent, and it’s such a beautiful song, the sentiment of which is especially relevant for Scotland at the moment. So many of the tracks stand out to me though for various reasons.

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

People talking in Irish accents (Dan’s fault!), a crackling fire and a legendary Hogmanay party.

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Radiohead – ‘The Bends’.

9. Do you have any regrets?

I always regret buying biscuits…

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

I’ve never been one for material extravagance so it would probably be my six month New Zealand trip when I was 23, which cost me all the money that I had at the time and more. One of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself though!


10 questions for… Kevin

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am from Elgin – Bishopmill to be precise – a true ‘bishy boy’ as we call ourselves. I went to Seafield primary school before going to Elgin Academy where Jamie and a bunch of pals formed a 60’s covers band called “Plan 9” after Ed Wood’s ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’. We drank a lot of tea, ate a lot of biscuits and jammed in Colin’s mum and dad’s front room ’til we got good enough to play gigs in the local area . To much acclaim I may add, until the day we tried to write our own songs – that didn’t go down so well! Jamie and I thought up the “Speyside’ project to showcase local talent and for me personally to pay homage to my late grandfather Geordie Runcie – he was a great performer and could hold a packed pub of bevvied locals enthralled with his story telling and singing – I dedicate this record to his memory.

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

When I am ‘thinking’ or deep in thought, I sniff my fingers – weird right?

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

Jamie Reid and I thought the idea up over a few pints in London one day – it took about 2 years to organise the session – a lot of cajoling emails to all involved. The session became a bigger thing than we first expected , much to our surprise, most people we asked wanted to contribute.

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

The days my son Joseph and daughter Iona were born.

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

I played DADGAD guitar and vocals on most tracks except the Gaelic song Carron sings with Jamie. I sang lead vocal on “The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre’ ‘ Now Westlin’ Winds’ ‘ The Water is Wide’ and ‘ These are my Mountains’.

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

I love them all but I feel most proud of ‘These are my Mountains’ and ‘The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre’. The first I feel proud of ‘cos most trad players thought it was a sentimental song and not a true folk song. But once we had recorded it Paul Anderson (who is a dyed in the wool trad player) expressed to me how impressed he was with our rendition . On ‘Muckin..’ I feel proud because just to get through the song without bursting out laughing is an achievement. It is a very funny song to perform.

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

Abiding memory is the amount of laughter in the session, in the room and out. We all had massive communal dinners which my mum, Jamie’s mum, Iain Robertson, Jessie, Jane and Angus Robertson prepared. We all shared, sort of, the dish washing duties. I remember when my mum stormed into the recording room mid track, rubber gloves on hands, and yelled at everyone present that “we are not your slaves, everyone clean up your dirty dishes after yourselves, OK!”. We all felt suitably dressed down and regressed into feeling like naughty school kids again. Nothing like your mum to bring you all back down to earth eh?.. Also seeing my son Joseph sit in the sessions and watch the light bulb in his head go off as he witnessed the outpouring of live music was very important to me. On our return to LA, he decided to set up his own band – I like to think soaking in the sessions inspired him to do that.

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Tough one. Maybe Jimi Hendrix – ‘Are you Experienced’, Van Morrison – ‘Astral Weeks’ or John Martyn – ‘Solid Air’. So many….

9. Do you have any regrets?

What do you think?…

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

When I was really skint, I paid for the neon sign in Piccadily Circus to show a message to Jane, my wife, announcing to everyone our marriage. I paid for a car with a massive opening roof to take us down Regent Street to see it at midnight on our wedding night.

10 questions for… Jason

 

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m Jason. I’m 35. I grew up here in Elgin but left for the big smoke. I’m a drummer in two bands (Cuddly Shark with Colin Reid, and Le Reno Amps). I’m tall and funny lookin..

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like the Pixies!

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

Jamie Reid is an old mucker (and Colin’s brother). Over a year ago, he asked me, Colin and my girlfriend what we thought about this idea he had, and if we would be involved in it. The premise was like the Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions album so I thought it would be a fun challenge to be a part of.

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

Dunno. Really proud of my dog though.

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

Nothing that made the final cut (thanks for that…)

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

Charlie

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

The countdown at the Hogmanay party.

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Ridiculous! No way I can answer that!

9. Do you have any regrets?

Yes.

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

Nothing. I’m a struggling musician. Looked at one of those mortgage things once.

10 questions for… Shona

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m 26 and originally from Huntly in Aberdeenshire but now living with my husband Paul Anderson, our 2 wee lads and a dog in Tarland. I started playing the fiddle aged 9 and started singing traditional songs when I was about 14 after hearing great bothy ballad singers like Geordie Murison, Jock Duncan and Joe Aitken at festivals. After I finished school in Huntly I went to Glasgow to study Scottish Music at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

If I turn around in a circle I have to turn the other way to “unwind” or I feel a bit weird and I speak to myself constantly!

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

Angus Robertson had contacted my husband Paul and asked if he wanted to come along to the sessions. I just tagged along!

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

The birth of my two lads, Hector and Roderick. Musically, being voted Scots singer of the year in 2009 at the MG Alba Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

The Muckin’ o‘ Geordie’s Byre, Charlie is ma Darlin’, Achanachie Gordon, Raggle Taggle Gypsy, Westlin’ Winds, These are my Mountains.

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

I loved recording The Muckin’ o’ Geordie’s Byre. Hopefully when folk listen to it they’ll get a sense of how much fun Kevin, Garry and myself were having! I also love These are my Mountains and Diane of Pitgaveny.

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

My cousin, Diane Lunan, had her birthday during the sessions and Paul composed a tune called Diane of Pitgaveny for her. When he played it to her she was just overjoyed. Paul and Ali ended up recording it for the cd and whilst they were recording Diane and I sat on the sofa grinning like Cheshire cats the whole time! Just a lovely moment.

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Have too many but stand outs would be Ye Shine Far ye Stan’ by Jock Duncan, Attention all Personnel by Croft No 5, Faultlines by Karine Polwart and anything by Doris Day. Everyone needs a bit of Doris in their lives!

9. Do you have any regrets?

Not sitting my driving test before I moved to Glasgow to go to university. I’m going to start lessons again and I am going to pass my test before my provisional licence runs out in 2 years!!

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

I haven’t done and bought anything extravagant but I do buy far too many books!

10 questions for… The Speyside Otter!

 

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a semi aquatic carnivorous mammal. I seem to have acquired the derogatory nickname ‘The Speyside Otter’ these days… but my pals call me Tarka.

2. What is your weirdest quirk?

Unlike most of my otter pals, I cannae whack shellfish. Gie’s me the boak so it does, I prefer yer traditional Scottish fayre like mince ‘n’ tatties so I do. Didnae see any o’ they scoundrels at the Speyside Sessions offering me any though did ye? Selfish folk…

3. How did you get involved with the Speyside Sessions?

Well it wasnae like I was asked or anything. I’d been warming masel by the fire for years before those smelly folkies came up and caused such a din! I hadnae much say in the matter!

4. What is your proudest moment ever?

I’ll no deny- like most of these Speyside Session numpties- it has to be the birth of my children. All 45 of them! What can I say? Otter TV is rubbish…

5. What Speyside Session tracks did you perform on?

I wasn’t all that interested in performing on the album, there was so much booze flying aboot that I just took to that like an Otter tae water. I’m more a musical theatre performer you see, so I gave my card to that Nicky Webber to pass onto his faither… needless to say, it’s been a case of “don’t call us, we’ll call you”…

6. What is your favourite track on the album?

If I had tae choose one then it would be the last one. Aye, the very last track on the album- cos then I knew it was all over and I would get some peace and quiet! Don’t think me cold or anything (though before I was stuffed I did spend most of my time swimming in freezing waters so go figure), I mean I know it’s for charity and all that- but it’s no exactly for ‘Save the Otters’ is it?

7. What is your abiding memory from the sessions?

Probably watching all those folk swan at the feet o’ that Kevin McKidd… Kevin McWho if ye ask me.I starred in ‘Ring of Bright Water’ for goodness sake – not a single person asked for my ottergraph!

8. What is your favourite album of all time?

Don’t have any favourite albums as such but I’ve waggled my wee tail along to ‘You Otter Know’ by Alanis Morissette often enough. The late wife and I (bless her unstuffed heart) used to love that song by Old Blue Eyes himself- ‘I Get a Kick Otter You’… always makes me smile.

9. Do you have any regrets?

Not many to tell the truth, I just go on instinct ye know? Animal instinct. Though I regret not asking that wee doll Delane Morrison-Wallace out for a drink to be honest. See her in that mini-skirt? Ooft!

10. Most extravagant thing you’ve ever done (or bought)?

Well like I said, I’m faither to 45 weans, so what’s the most extravagant thing I’ve ever done? Probably when I took the family out for a fish supper. That was just after I did that Harry Potter film, but even then I was struggling. I tell ye: ‘Save the Otters’- that’s the charity ye want tae endorse!

10 Questions for… Paul

1: Tell us about yourself.

I’m from Tarland in Aberdeenshire which is a small village on the edge of the Cairngorm National Park. I went to Tarland primary school and then went on to Aboyne Academy. Started working on the family farm upon leaving school but started playing the fiddle professionally in 1998 after playing semi professionally for a number of years. As well as performing, composing and teaching traditional Scots fiddle music I also give lectures and talks on the subject.

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10 Questions for… Delane

1: Tell us about yourself. 

Delane Morrison-Wallace, 38 (3 days older than Kevin but evidently had a much easier paper round). Made my living as a retro-night DJ until my second child was born (9 years ago – eek!). Still occasionally dabble behind the decks but mostly I’m a mum and Avon lady now. Been playing music for fun all my life – my Dad, Garry, played in the sessions too. Been performing with Carey and Jen Lunan (also in the sessions) for a few years now under various guises – last year we were Flute Foxes…which caused much confusion!

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