Mike Staples is a musician and writer based in Moniaive. He is singer, piano-player and songwriter for Lucien’s Ghost and his writing has been published by Red Rattle Books, Bareback Literary Magazine, An Lucht Lonrach and American Ghost Stories. In between, he works for the D&G Small Communities Housing Trust.
This is Mike’s blog post for the Live Music & BBQ Night at The Green Tearoom, Moniaive on Friday the 19th of July 2013.
The Green Tearoom Live Music and BBQ night featured this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award winner, RM Hubbert, supported by local acts The Oystercatchers, Lucien’s Ghost and Darcy Da Silva with Roy Marchbank.
On Friday 19th July, The Green Tearoom, kindly assisted by a healthy dose of sunshine and some magnificent Moniaive scenery, played host to a Live Music and BBQ night.
Being brave enough to hold the evening outside in Scottish summertime, conditions did not let us down. With the stage set beneath a gazebo looking onto the rolling hills, the garden filled with a magnificent turn-out, Catherine Braid’s appetising bbq on the breeze and Wendy (from the George) doing a stellar job with an outside bar, the atmosphere was perfect throughout. Many thanks to all who came along and supported the night.
First up were The Oystercatchers who set the evening off to a sizzling start. Gerry Kerr and Jade Goddard, reincarnating an old partnership for their debut performance, established the atmosphere for the whole evening. Powerful harmonies shone through a set of American-influenced songs and original material, ably accompanied by Roy Marchbank’s impressive Americana guitar playing. Look out for future performances by The Oystercatchers; they are well worth catching live.
Next up were my band, Lucien’s Ghost, performing a stripped down set of piano and vocal; I’ll not say too much about this part of the night! We played a number of our own compositions, including a couple of the supernaturally themed tracks that were written for Glasgow artist, Ms B (as ever, resulting in some strange feedback from the PA!). We finished up with a couple of Bowie numbers, and a great vocal by Olwen Hughes on 8 Line Poem! Hubby told me afterwards that our songs reminded him of The Television Personalities, but I’ll reserve judgement on that one!
The final dose of magnificent home-grown talent was provided by Darcy Da Silva and Roy Marchbank. With Darcy’s floating voice adding a touch of sweetness to the evening, the pair entertained with a set of traditional folk song and original composition reflecting the optimistic, summery mood of the evening. Roy provided a virtuoso performance of jazz guitar that, in parts, had his fingers moving so quickly that smoke was clearly visible on the fret-board!
With the Moniaive musical contingent’s admirable contribution compete, Mr RM Hubbert took to the stage just as the sun was setting over the hills.
Having recorded his last album – Thirteen Lost and Found – largely in Moniaive (under the production of Alex Kapranos), Hubby jumped at the chance to return and perform in the village. Hubby had used the record as an opportunity to reunite with old friends who provided a variety of musical contributions. These included Alasdair Roberts, Aidan Moffat and Emma Pollock. The resulting album brought Hubby critical plaudits and renewed success which peaked with him winning the highly-coveted Scottish Album of the Year award at the Glasgow Barrowlands on 20th June 2013. He has recently completed his follow-up album on which, this time round, he has taken up vocal duties. “Breaks and Bone” will be released by Chemikal Underground in September this year.
Taking the stage as darkness began to descend, Hubby performed songs from Thirteen Lost and Found, and treated us to a preview of a couple that will feature on his new record. His unique style – a mix of impressive Flamenco guitar and bittersweet Scottish indie – brought the evening to a fitting climax and sent everyone, including Hubby, home happy.
Many thanks to Catherine for asking Jane Chalmers and I to arrange the night, and for hosting so magnificently. On behalf of all the acts, we’d also like to thank Blackie for doing a stellar job at the sound-desk. We were really happy to see so many of the village there and lots of kids running about. Let’s just hope the weather is as kind next time around!
Mike Staples – July 2013