A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Going on the few holidays from Applecross I have never been too concerned as the break come to an end as I am back home here. Have a couple of days at sea under the belt and todays weather being forecast to be inclement I kept a fleet of creels on board to wash today. I, although the Inn was reasonably busy, left early, but not before coming across a coffee barista who was serving at the Festival…..the world is getting smaller and he wished the Inn was his local, and managed to back to the Varuna and put the creels ashore ready for today, handy as the N/NW wind comes in on top of the pier. Going to have some fine music on the headphones as I head back to Cambridge while pressure washing.

So back to Friday afternoon and a trip back to base camp, where some were getting ready for the evening,


before heading back into the arena to hear some amazing Caribbean/traditional music from Edward 11.



Then onto Michael McGoldrick


coming in with the cider and ale bang on time I admit mild disappointment when I only saw four of them. Quickly forgot the numbers as they were simply brilliant and a great wee interlude when he brought on his talented family to play even more whistles. Only when listening to his set and John Joe Kelly


who was beyond description on the bodhran, did I realise I was missing the music of the Celts a little. Went to listen to some Deep South blues at Stage 2 from my favourite dozing spot


but KT Tunstall drowned him out from the Main Stage. So ending the day with Glen Hansard,


having asked Andy who he was and the fifth time I was told, it sunk in …The Commitments. Great sounds with some almost thrash guitar but very tuneful and a Van the Man song thrown in. The end of the second day was hard to describe and it was the first time I have come across Gipsy Punk.


Not to everyone’s taste but it was an enthralling show


and it was a show with huge energy




with Eugene Hutz and one of the girls ending up on top of two big base drums on top of the audience.



Best way to describe Saturday was in the terms of a musical journey. After breakfast, as usual Andy turns out the full English


for anyone in the camp who wants it, it was off to Quebec to hear Vent du Nord,


a fine quartet who are passionate about where they come from. Then it was off to Chicago to hear some blues from The Cash Box Kings guitar, mouthy and vocals superb,


and followed by John McCusker with a fine band. You keep seeing multi instrumentalists turning up with different bands. Heidi Talbot


and Chris Drever.


So from almost coming home it was now away to Haitian Creole with Leyla McCalla but just could not stay awake for the whole set but the CD makes up for missing some of it. Back to the Main Stage for a bit of Mid west cowboy songs with a Californian influence, Sam Outlaw, hats off before the camera came out.


The variety is immense. Then some blue grass with Darlingside,


just a half set here due to overlap, but knew I was going to see them later as there was a cancellation due to ill-health. From the NE of the US of A they were a fine quartet of harmonious musicians and as Andy said, ironic, which can be unusual for the neighbours across the waters. So then it was to the Den where Rachel Sermanni was playing a lovely set with stories to every song.


The Den is by the Duck pond and amongst all the people and sounds the swan is serene.


The Buddhist emptying the dirty water of the broken coffee machine by straw would not at first sight make a song but it did. Spoke to her after and said the next time I saw her overworked Dad I would mention I had heard her. To think one of the last times he spoke to me he was reading a summons out to me for speeding.  So back to the music and after another listen to an awestruck Darlingside it was over to Africa for some Afro Celt music. The sun was setting just before this gig



and the girls were happy.



Engrossing and I was captivated by both the Gaelic Rap


and the rhythms and colours from Asia and Africa.


It could not possibly get better but next on was Christy Moore.


He played just about every song I knew and then his encore. I do not do bucket lists but if I did towards the top would be singing Nancy Spain with Christy Moore and here I was at Cambridge doing just that with 10,000 others. What an end to a perfect, if tiring, day.

And back home now on a Thursday afternoon almost exactly a week after it all kicked off, in the general rush of things….phone call from Inn means I nip out to the Varuna for yet more langoustine despite the fact that I was out the last two days. Fleets washed and mended and ready to be picked up tomorrow morning. Cambridge is but distant memories.



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