On St Valentine’s Day, Wigtown County Buildings echoed to the sound of fiddles, expertly played by three members of RANT.
The fourth member of the band, Sarah-Jane Summers, was unfortunately indisposed but Jenna Reid, Lauren MacColl and Bethany Reid agreed to perform as a trio. This undoubtedly necessitated some last-minute adjustments but this was not noticeable in the performance and they delighted the large audience with their sensitive and skilful playing.
RANT took us on a musical journey from the Highlands to Shetland, then to Norway, Sweden and Canada before returning to Scotland and a small church in Cromarty where they recorded their first album in 2013. Many of the tunes were composed by members of the band, including Bethany Reid’s ‘Dad’s 60th Birthday March’, Lauren MacColl’s fiddle hymn ‘East Church’ and Jenna Reid’s haunting ‘Jan’s Return’. Part of the programme was played on fiddles with ‘high bass’ or EAEA tuning which is used in many different fiddle traditions.
At the end of a fine performance, RANT treated the audience to a delicate arrangement of ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, a fitting finale for this Valentine’s evening.
The concert was presented by Newton Stewart Music Club as part of its 2014-15 season. The final concert in the series will be at Wigtown County Buildings on Sunday 15 March at 7.30 pm and will feature the Agnew McAllister Duo playing flute and guitar.