2nd of September

by on September 2nd, 2014

Stuart Duncan at Redbarn Studios, who is editing, mixing and mastering my new CD. He is a wonderful combination of hardworking and cheerful as well as having a great pair of lugs. Today he was putting up with me not enjoying listening critically to the same songs for a hundredth time. I’m looking forward to getting out and playing them…

1st of September

by on September 1st, 2014

Yesterday Sandy was put through his paces on the judo mat by one of the stars of the recent Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. Louise Rennicks won a gold medal for Scotland right at the start of the games. She regularly comes to Perth to help coach youngsters. Scottish Judo won a total of six gold medals at the Games, right at the start – which was a huge boost for the Scottish team that went on to have it best ever Games. Sandy has grown about six inches in the last eighteen months, putting quite a strain on his wardrobe.

31st of August

by on August 31st, 2014

Last night I made a guest appearance in a Show Called ‘Far, Far from Ypres’ at Perth Concert Hall. Organised by old friend Ian MacCalman it is a wonderful collection of songs and narrative about the First World War. It featured songs from many stalwarts of the Scottish folk scene including Dick Gaughan, Ian Bruce, Brian and Siobhan Miller, Stephen Quigg, the Sangsters, Patsy Seddon, and piper Gary West. BBC’s Ian Anderson linked everything expertly.
I was singing my song ‘Jimmy’s Gone to Flanders’ which Ian Mac has kindly suggested was an inspiration for the character of Jimmy macDonald in the show. It was a powerful and moving event that I am greatly honoured to have been a part of. The show will continue be be presented in other venues in Scotland and beyond, having already been performed a Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and The Edinburgh Festival.
Photo from late afternoon soundcheck.

29th of August

by on August 29th, 2014

Well folks, it’s been a while since I updated my blog and for that I humbly apologise. I think i have been under a bit of a spell in the last few months, being preoccupied with certain events in Scotland… Buy today I snapped out of it when I got the chance to scratch a little cross on a long awaited piece of paper. This is my vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum… I will be touring in the US on the fateful day. Sticking it in the post box was an unexpectedly uplifting experience. Whatever happens Scotland will never be the same again. We have rediscovered an appetite for political involvement on a massive scale which can only bode well for keeping our politicians on a shorter leash..
I have just about finished another solo album of great old Scottish songs, a kind of second volume to my last release Still. It will be available come October.
I have been jotting around Scotland quite a lot over the last few months and will be posting loads of pictures shortly- I promise…

Pictures from the last six months – Currently being compiled

by on August 29th, 2014

I had a great concert on the Isle of Eigg in August. It is a magical place with an incredible history. The island now famously belongs to the community after being owned by absentee landlords for several centuries. This is the highest point and iconic landmark known as An Sgurr. Susie climbed it in the pouring rain, whilst I read a book about the island’s history in front of a roaring fire…teamwork!
Susie emerges from the Massacre Cave on Eigg. In 1518 the entire population of the island (around 400) was hiding from a hostile band of feuding clansmen during a terrible period of warfare between the MacDonalds and MacLeods. The MacDonalds were eventually discovered and as the entrance to the cave was so small that it could be defended by one man (you have to crawl in). The Macleods outside set a fire and smothered everyone inside. Their bodies remained there untouched for centuries until Victorian souvenir hunters lead by Sir Walter Scott began to remove the skulls.. A very eerie place…
Sandy Golems around the mouth of another Eigg cave.
Looking out from a third cave…
View of the Isle of Rhum from the north end of the Isle of Eigg. We had a really wonderful time and were greeted with very warm hospitality. Hope to get back to Eigg someday soon..
A soggy Hampden Park, Glasgow.  Our national football stadium had been transformed into an athletics arena for the Commonwealth Games. We were there to see the final session of athletics, and one man in particular…
‘What’re Usain tae it Big Man’ A blurry snap of the star of the show – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt Who ran the anchor leg in the 100m relay smashing the Games record. He is a wonderfully relaxed and flamboyant character as well as being a consistent champion. The games were a huge success for Scotland with our best medal total ever. My son Sandy was delighted when a young lady who has been one of his judo teachers won a gold medal…
The classic view of Loch Garry in the Western Highlands, it looks a bit like a map of somewhere…..
Summer hols saw the Malcolms heading north west to the magical Isle of Skye. Here is a view of Portree, Skye’s largest settlement with the Old man Of Storr in the background..
Watery saltire.. the Fairy Pools of Skye looking towards the Cuillin Mountains
Among the Fairy Hills near Uig on Skye.
Dunvegan Castle, Skye – ancient seat of the Clan MacLeod and home of their famous ‘Fairy Flag’ which brought them great success in battle. Everything on Skye seems to be fairy this or fairy that….
The Coral beach near Dunvegan. an natural peculiarity caused by a build up of the remains of a certain marine species…
floramc The grave of The Jacobite heroine who at great risk transferred the fugitive Prince Charlie between islands dressed as her maid. See Skye Boat Song for details…. She later emigrated to America before the Revolutionary War and ended up on the losing side again…
Skye’s only distillery – a wonderfully peaty elixir
Aka the Hogwarts express. The steam train service between Fort William and Mallaig passing through some of the most stunning countryside anywhere. Hang on to your chocolate frogs….