Songwriters AwardsJune 11, 2012
Oh what a night!
It was with trepidation and apprehension that I ventured out to the Edinburgh Folk Club Songwriting Awards on wed 6th June. As most of you will know, I havent really been writing folk songs for very long, so to be included in such an established environment, alongside some really, really good songwriters was indeed an honour. And it made me rather nervous.
Mr Gibson was to be joining me onstage that night for Burke and Hare, so we met up outside the venue, and nipped off for a quick glass of something. Balking at the £7 + price’s of pints (I shant mention where we were), we opted for a fine Wellmans Ceasar and Augustus ale, something stoutish for the Gibster, and a wee chat.
Back to the venue, we were handed a slip of paper with running order and song titles. I noticed I was on eighth, which seemed a fine slot indeed. A scan down the sheet also let me discover I was to play last also. Having only really prepared for one song, I broke out the guitar, and started prepping The Hangmans Chorus for a more acoustic setting. And the nerves grew….
The show began!
First up was a breathless Matt Frame (he had ran along the ‘Mile to get here on time), who almost had me in tears with a beautiful song about his father.
Next was the beautifully talented Sharon King, usually playing with her ‘Reckless Angels’, but tonight, it was stripped back, laid bare, beautiful fingerpicking and lush vocals. Her song ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, is amazing, and features on her new album.
ME NEXT!! After a lovely introduction by the legend Paddy Bort, me and Mr Gibson stalked onto the stage. Looking back at the video (taken by daddy Blair, of course), its a good performance. Gibby’s use of double-shaker during the chorus is spot-on, and the pace is good. At the time, I was so disappointed in my own performance, little fluffed notes on the guitar, and badly timed gulps of air seemed SO loud and obvious, but in retrospect, it were grand.
There were a few brave souls who had no need of guitar, Malcolm Hughes was one of them, and we all thoroughly enjoyed his rendition of ‘Porridge on a Sunday’, a quirky little scene about a young boy being tricked into eating his breakfast porridge of a morning.
The judges look on and scribbled furiously as the night continued until it was time for me to go up again. Imagine my astonishment when the crowd joined in singing the chorus with me. A lovely, special moment, and one that made me really happy on the night.
With the performances over, the judges judged, and the audience voted. Then came the announcements.
Winner – Tom Clelland with his song, ‘Dig’.
Audience vote, 1st place, Mr George Machray with ‘The Quays of Cockenny’.
Audience 2nd place, again Tom Clelland (see 2 pics above).
By this point, I knew there was sadly no way I was getting ‘ought. These people had been writing for many, many years some of the loveliest traditional folk going. A wee whipper-snapper with too much gel in his hair had no chance.
A joint 3rd place audience vote….
Mr Chris Blair with ‘The Hangmans Chorus’.
Speechless. Did not expect to have any sort of recognition from this night, being among so many faultless writers. But it does show, compared to anything I have been involved in musically, the folk world and people themselves are some of the loveliest and friendliest I have encountered.
Everyone got a big round of applause, people joined in with your song, and as me and Gibby left, everyone that passed us had a kind word, and a big smile.
A lovely evening spent.