A weekend of songs, storytelling, music and dance will fill the harbour of Portsoy as an eclectic line-up of performers have been confirmed to entertain throughout the festival. Here’s a selection of bands and renowned artists who will take to the stage.

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Annie’s Ceilidh Collective

Opening the Saturday night Ceilidh is the immensely talented Lennox Family, performing as Annie’s Ceilidh Collective.

Alyson and Neil McConnachie

Alyson from the North East of Scotland, loves to write and sing folk songs, accompanied by her husband Neil on guitar. Brought up in Scotland with Irish parents, Alyson’s love of folk music came from listening to her parents endless tape playing of Irish Folk! Alyson spent several years in a local band with friends, called Northern Shore.

Anne McArthur Dancers

A firm festival favourite, the Anne McArthur Dancers will be back to entertain. See them on the Habour Stage from 11.45 and on the Back Green at 13.30 on Saturday. They will return to at 15.30 on Sunday to the Back Green for another performance.

Anne Rogers

Will take to the stage on the Drying Green from 14.30-14.50.

Arthur Watson and Pete Shepheard

The duo will share songs of the sea and shore, bringing a wealth of song repertoire gleaned directly from the many traditional singers they have known. Both were members of the folk band Shepheard, Spiers and Watson, and Arthur was also a member of the Aberdeen based group The Gaugers. Originally from Stroud in Gloucestershire, Pete lives in Fife, plays melodeon and sings many songs collected in rural Fife, among English and Scottish Traveller communities and was, in 2018, awarded the Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award. Arthur, originally from Aberdeen, is an artist and a senior lecturer at the University of Dundee, plays whistles both big and small and now lives in Perth.

Artie Tresize –
The Singing Kettle

The Singing Kettle’s founder, Artie, performs a generation’s favourite kids’ songs. Yes, the original Singing Kettles are back, stuffed with clues to songs. ‘Boa Constrictor’, ‘The Music Man’ and ‘The Eelly Alley O’ are bound to feature. Could ‘Little Bunny Fou Fou’ make a surprise appearance in the Drying Green Marquee? Probably!

Bring the whole family and we’ll promise not the “Shove Granny off the Bus”.Spout, handle, lid of metal, What’s inside the Singing Kettle? – A great show for kids and childhood Nostalgia for adults. 20 minute shows will run throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Aurora

Formed in Huntly, Scotland by Hannah McGinlay and Hugh Johnstone in response to a community choir project run by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Aurora has gone from strength to strength since it was formed in 2011, now with around 80 members and spanning a wide geographical area in the North East.

Bill Gray

Born in Portsoy, but now living in Peterhead, though he still calls Portsoy his hom Bill enjoys coming up to the Salmon Bothy. He has been a guest at a number of the TMSA festivals over the years and won the Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions at Elgin in 2007.

Bob Sharp

Glasgow born Bob Sharp, played, sang and listened to many of the stalwarts of the Glasgow folk scene during the 60‘s. He learned the craft of stage presentation and audience communication while absorbing the songs of the time. Matt McGinn was, and still, is his hero. He has a show McGinn of the Calton with songs, stories, poems and multi-media projections.

After leaving Glasgow, Bob eventually embarked on a career in the Royal Air Force which took him to many corners of the world. It was during this time that he met and joined the folk group Steamfolk. The group went on to run the Lossiemouth Folk Club for many years before finally breaking up after a very successful tour of Western Australia. On leaving the RAF he went onto form the ceilidh band Makarakit which for 15 years, played at many a wedding and ceilidh throughout Scotland and beyond.

Cody Feechan

Fife singer-songwriter Cody Feechan will open the Big Gig on the Back Green, as the support act for Skerryvore. Following her recent success breaking into the UK Official Charts for Scottish Singles, Cody released her last single ‘Breathe’ in March 2021, reaching number 2 in the charts. Taking influences from all different genres, her music is best described as alternative rock with a touch of pop. Renowned for her unique voice and subtle Scottish lilt that shines through in her songs, Cody has gained regular airplay from Kingdom FM, RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio Scotland.

Dean Spruce Magician

Dean & Victoria, Scotland’s award-winning magic duo will bring their own style of magic and mirth to this year’s festival. The show will include strolling performances, balloon models and visitors may also get to meet the legendary Dum Dum the shark that can read minds and steal your fish. For further info deanandvictoria.online

Debbie Taylor

Getting the musical entertainment started on Saturday morning on the Drying Green, will be Debbie Taylor from 11.00am.

Doug Hay

(AKA The Orra Loon) Doug originally from Turriff, now residing in Whitehills, retired 4 years ago from a 20 year career as a training leader in the kitchen/restaurant at the Boyndie Visitor Centre near Whitehills.

He has a strong interest in Scottish traditional/ bothy ballad singing, performing and promotion and also a regular at the Folk at the Salmon Bothy monthly music sessions.

FATSB Stramash

Will close the show on the Drying Green stage on both days, don’t miss them!

Rockset Fochabers Choir

The Rockset Choir has been running since 2012 and meets on Mondays at 7.15pm at the Speymouth Hall Mosstodloch. All styles of music and song are performed from musicals, rock classics, pop songs and gospel through to the more traditional folk songs. Their weekly meeting welcomes all agres and it has developed into a fine singing experience with a smattering of fun, to make what has now become just the tonic to lift the spirits on a Monday night.

A warm welcome will awaits if you decide to come along and join in with their songs. No experience is neccessary!

Fochabers Youth Fiddlers – Comhlan

A newly formed band of keen musicians who love to play traditional music, they aim to encourage young people to take an interest in, and play traditional music.

Fair Trickit

Local Cullen duo, Charlotte and Chloe Hay make up Fair Trickit, who will sing quirky renditions of their own penned songs

Fyvie Folk Club

Fyvie Folk Club will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in September this year. The club meets in Royal British Legion in Fyvie on the second and third Fridays of each month, welcoming players, singers and audience members. Fyvie Folk Club is a voluntary group and admission is free to all.

Junior Fiddlers

Formed in 1980 to encourage young musicians to play and take an interest in Scottish music, the Junior Fiddlers from Fochabers, which includes pupils aged 12-18 years old from Milne’s High School, will put on an energetic fiddle set in the afternoon

Mike Blackburn

‘Mike Blackburn has been a singer and songwriter for more years than he cares to remember. He has been entertaining audiences with his own songs and with renditions of songs that he loves, that have been written by others. Mike’s own songs usually revolve around stories – real or imagined – that have moved him to paint verbal pictures of them; almost always from the perspective of the people in them. An evening with Mike is always a walk among the emotions set to the sound of guitar strings.

Moonshine Madness

Neil Hankin, Andy Service and Ronan Fitzsimons make up Moonshine Madness and play a mix of Bluegrass, Country, Irish and Scottish traditional folk songs and dance tunes using a variety of instruments. It’s not unknown for some old time 60’s material to pop up amongst this eclectic mix of playing styles and material! The members, originally from Ireland and England respectively, formed as a group after meeting and jamming together several years ago in pubs and are seasoned – it could be said – musicians!

Paul Kersley

A regular at the Friday night live with Folk at the Salmon Bothy, Paul Kersley will entertain the crowds on the Drying Green at 12.20 on Saturday and 1.15 on Sunday.

Peplo

Forming in 2018, Peplo is a Glasgow based four-piece that cuts classic pop songcraft with an alternative edge. They’ve shared stages with the likes of Meursault; Jonnie Common; Zoë Bestel; and En Attendant Ana.

Robin Laing

Robin Laing is a professional musician and writer based in rural South Lanarkshire. He has been known to dip into the rich heritage of traditional Scottish songs but he is much better known as a songwriter and his songs, many of which have been taken up by other artists are on a wide variety of subjects.

He has toured extensively both in the UK, Europe and North America, Japan and New Zealand. He also performs a one-man show on the subject of Scotch whisky, bringing together two of Robin’s passions – folk song and whisky – a powerful combination!

When not exploring the purely cultural aspects of whisky, Robin chairs the Tasting Panel of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and writes the tasting notes. He has also now published four books about whisky, firmly establishing him as Scotland’s Whisky Bard and an authority on the culture of whisky.

Ron Gardner

Will perform on the Drying Green stage on Saturday at 11.20-11.30 and again on Sunday from 11.00am – 11.30am.

SCAT Youth

Young trad musicians from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will perform a selection of vocal and instrumental folk music.

Skerryvore

Celtic rock group Skerryvore were formed in Tiree, Argyll and Bute in 2005 and since then, they have brought their high energy contemporary Scottish traditional music to audiences across the globe. From the early days in the Scottish West Coast halls and bars, they have performed to festival crowds in the USA, Canada Australia and across the UK and Europe. With six studio albums under their belt, the band celebrated their 10th birthday in 2015 by launching their own 6,000 capacity Decade festival, along with the successful ‘Oban Live; events. They will headline the Big Gig on the Back Green on Friday evening.

Skip 2 The Beat

Formed in 2004, Skip 2 the Beat is Scotland’s first competitive skipping club and they have won many gold medals in the UK and Europe, as well as winning at the World Championships.

Sir Reel Clarks

Family band, Sir Reel Clarks from Huntly will perform their range of musical genres, using a variety of instruments including the melodeon, mouthie, guitar, trombone, harmonium, percussion and the mandolin.

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