Kirkcudbright gears up to be right on song

Robyn Stapleton
Robyn Stapleton

A musical treat awaits those who venture into Kirkcudbright this weekend as the town embarks on its second song festival.

Welcoming some big names in the musical world, alongside some local faces and sounds, a programme of songwriting workshops and gigs is open to anyone with an interest in music.

Organisers say the festival’s aim is to show that Scotland’s artists’ town is about much more than just great visual art.

Highlights include a first visit to the region for DMY (Drever McGuire Young) led by former Wolfstone frontman Ivan Drever who has visited the area over several years, both in solo guise and with fiddler Duncan Chisholm.

BBC Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year Robyn Stapleton, from Castle Kennedy, is sure to wow audiences on Saturday night and also hosts a Scots song workshop in the afternoon.

Also hosting a workshop and appearing in concert on Saturday night is Kim Edgar, the former Burnsong winner who has performed in the Scottish Parliament and across the world.

Friday night’s late blues session is provided by Tom Attah, one of the most renowned artists on the UK scene.

The weekend kicks off today (Friday) with the Gallawa’ Voices showcase, which features some of the finest local performers and songwriters including Scruffy Buzzards, the Dykeside Rablers, Richard iPaint and Paul Winter. The gig is headlined by superb young Dumfries trio Sticks & Stones, whose debut album is due for release soon on Distilled Records, a Bladnoch-based company.

The weekend forms part of the town’s famous seasonal programme from the Summer Festivities committee.

Bruce McKenzie from the committee said: “We’ve tried to cover a range of styles of music whilemaking sure there’s a real emphasis on quality songwriters and song collectors.

“It’s a real coup to get artists of this calibre to the town like this, which just doesn’t have an established live music touring venue.

“We’re grateful to Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival for their support, which helps Kirkcudbright Summer Festivities to stage this event.”

All events will be held in the parish hall in Kirkcudbright, with a bar and real ales from Sulwath Brewery during the gigs.

A weekend ticket is £28, or £8 for each gig. Workshops are free. Visit www.kirkcudbrightsongfestival.com.