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

Posts tagged ‘Jarlath Henderson’

Landward in Applecross and Duncan in Sleat.

Tale of two days show a variety of life in rural Scotland. Friday morning saw us up at the Inn to meet up with the team over from Landward who were doing an article on the impact of the NC500 on the infrastructure around Applecross, in particular the Bealach.

Once camera was all loaded up

we headed up in the car chatting about the strain on the road caused by the huge increase of traffic. Laura, the director was in the accustomed place out of camera view but directing operations all the same.

Interesting seeing Anne’s reaction when she started watching the road edges. Actually, sitting in the passenger seat and going up the road it was shocking to see the rapid deterioration that is taking place. Personally there are going to be serious decisions that will have to be made very soon by Highland Council. On one hand the trumpet cannot be continually blown about how wonderful tourism is to the Highlands without a penny being spent on the infrastructure as it collapses around our ears. Not only is the Bealach breaking up but issues locally keep cropping up such as camper van chemical toilet disposal. Our LDO is in touch with both SEPA and Scottish Water about setting up such a unit as our Community run toilets are creaking under the strain of constant use and disposal. We have just had a groups of local ladies carrying out a voluntary deep clean of the toilets last month and despite the regular breaking of our donation box the toilets remain well run. New donation box is in the process of being installed which hopefully will end this sad problem. Fortunately for the Highland Council these issues are being solved at a local level by the Community Trading Company but roads are a different issue. The theme about the NC500 is that it has been welcomed in a lot of areas, particularly further north but here we have a feeling of being a little swamped by the numbers coming through. It is a good problem to have to deal with, but Highland Council have to step up or the Bealach is going to become a dangerous embarrassment and people in the rural parts of the Highlands who are already questioning exactly what the Highland Council does for anyone outside Inverness will have another example to point to. Fascinating to see the interaction between camera, direction and presentation. All in all it was an easy-going but professional morning with me trying to ignore the calm weather and the creel boats fishing just off the shore in the Bay. We finished up with some filming and more chat/interviews outside the Inn

before I went south and they stopped of for some fine lunch at the Inn. The program for anyone interested is going out on the 22nd of September, the first of the new series. It was not a bash the NC500 morning but a look at how an advertising campaign with little local(Applecross) consultation can have such an impact on our infrastructure.

I knew I was not going to go out on the water later as Duncan Chisholm and Co were playing in Sleat in the evening. We headed over the Hill at the back of five as Alison was meeting another deadline for an application for the Community Company. Made it with plenty of time and the music was simply sublime. I have a really strong connection with this man’s music. His tunes are phenomenal and you wander through the glens with him as his fiddle playing makes you forget all the things you should have done. His tunes feel ancient, as if they have been around for centuries, and I reckon they will be played for years to come. Hard to believe this all in the same day. Prior to Duncan

coming on stage we were entertained by Mischa Macpherson, Innes White and Ingrid Henderson, gaelic song and fiddle at their best. Duncan was ably supported by the wonderful playing of Jarlath on whistles and uillean pipes

and Ali on guitar.

Saturday was earmarked for fishing as I was on film duty the day before. I was slightly nervous of the weather as the forecast was giving a strongish breeze from the north and I was not looking forward to a heavy day’s work especially as I was in the Inn for the evening. As it turned out the morning was stunning with the sun shining around a few fluffy clouds

and the water still and serene.

Although the first fleet was not too impressive the next five were very pleasant to haul. Lovely creels coming up with lots of big langoustines,

one so big it could have made it as a lobster.

As I was hauling the last fleet I noticed a wee change in the temperature and looked to the north where there was a solid rain cloud coming down the Sound with accompanying white caps. By the time I got to the end of the fleet I was hanging onto the gunnel, tripping across the deck and tying lose equipment down. The decision was made for me on how many creels to haul for the day. Nice to know that the steam home was with the motion on my stern quarter

and all that was to be done then was to weigh and land the langoustines for the Inn and then start work all over again. Before it got a bit lumpy a few stone crabs are appearing as you put some of the creels on some rougher ground as the open mud fats are getting a little tired from the summer’s fishing effort.

I have no idea what these are but still they reproduce, maybe a mistake in this case as the eggs have little chance of survival.

As this was written over a couple of days and it is now Sunday evening after a twelve-hour shift, interspaced with a twenty-minute snooze to revive myself for the evening shift. Twelves, sixteens, sixes and eights were all seated amongst the residents and random walk ins. Regulars are appearing in numbers. People you get to know a little each time they come up. A crabbies and bike ride home after a music night from the Vans, a fine Australian couple, who are playing cracking self penned and cover version songs for the last three hours.

And Part 2

Day 3 Laid back start to the day and went through to Edinburgh to put my very dirty camera in for a clean. All went smoothly apart from the fact that I had to leave the camera as it was a fairly big job. Going through Linlithgow I dozed off and woke up coming into Queen Street, how time flies. Going back though tomorrow. Great not having a vehicle down, with no parking fines, no stressful city driving, lots of walking and public transport. Then it was off to sort out my rover ticket and discounts. The Celtic Connections box office are very helpful and being pleasant and the good humour helps every one.

Evening saw us heading out to the City Halls to see The Wainwright Sisters. They were preceded by Ethan Johns who, although it seemed he had a newish band, played a fine set. I did not know much about him but was surprised that I knew one of his songs. Becoming a music nerd. The Wainwrights were simply brilliant, funny, homely and, of course, quirky and very musical. A full set of fine songs I have never heard before based largely based on lullabies and fairly dark as well. Apart from El Condor Pasa (If I could). Their dresses bought by brother Rufus were a theme throughout the evening, bit of a bad uniform theme. This has turned out to be the best Festival yet and that does not include all the music at the Festival Club, the many, many concerts we have not seen. The best way to deal with this Festival is to completely ignore what you can’t see and not wonder if you are missing out on anything. As the camera was in Edinburgh this is the only , but poor photo of the Wainwrights taken on iPad.


Day 4 just back from Hillhead and another fine,fine night of music. Tuesday was a quiet night for music and although Rachel Sermani was very tempting the price put me off. We applied for Mike Harding tickets for his Radio 2 but did not get any and I then went for BBC ALBA’s show at the Hillhead Book Club. Turns out it was the right choice. No real idea what to expect and it was with a fair amount of patience we settled down to lots of lights, cameras and sound guys organising a night of music. We thought we ended up with a duff seat but that mattered little and we saw as much as we wanted. Gentle start with a bit of Gaelic and what reminded me a little of Na h-Oganaich, a band from the 80s.


Ewen Macpherson, nice chat earlier as he had spotted us coming in, was playing with a mixture of musicians and as Gillie Brighe. Grand start with lots of interruptions and links and interviews. Then it was The Edith Piaf Show, stunning set and yes we got Regret Rein. She was brilliant show girl and a great back up band.


Then it was the Wainwrights again and they were as good as last night, (If I Could) heard again was stunning. They were on the other more distant stage, slightly unseen but sounding great. We then finished up with James Grant. He was just on the verge of losing his tolerance when he was asked to do the interview before his set just as he was ready to start. There were lots of links and interviews that tried the patience of the artists and some went with the flow slightly better than others He held it together with lots of humour in the end and his music was cracking.


Reminded me a little of Jackie Levin although a bit more upbeat. Finding out so much about these cracking musicians. James Grant passed me by but a wee search and he is one of those guys that you realise you do know, that is, as singer with Love and Money.

So another full on day completed which started in Edinburgh, picking up the camera, a splurge on CDs and lunch at the Royal Concert Hall. Recovery afternoon before the night out at Hillhead.

Day5 a film followed by a meeting of friends at the Cafe Gandolfi. Then round the corner to The Old Fruit Market to see and listen to Jarlath Henderson

9Q7Q2501 and Rhiannon Giddens.


Had a couple of ciders and a wonderful evening. The melancholy Jarlath accompanied by familiar faces such as Innes Watson,


played a fine set interspersed with pipes, guitars and fiddles. Pretty dam good for a support act but we are getting used to this. Not really sure I have the right words to describe Rhiannon’s show. Just immense apart from the dry ice. Anyone who sings Patsy Kline and  gaelic puirt a beuil in the same set along with a rocking banjo and rapid southern fiddle sits at the top table.


Huge amount of emotion in the music and one of those shows that are timeless and you do not want it to end. And then the last walk along Argyll street for the year after some goodbyes. The one down side to all the enjoyment and music was walking past the several homeless people sitting on the pavements, the knowledge of how fortunate you are to be going to these events, the warmth, camaraderie, food and drink at our fingertips and then you pass these poor unfortunates and you question the society you live in. Every one will have a story of some disruption in their lives as being there does not appear to be one of choice.

Not too early a start but after pre ordering and picking up tickets made it onto the Aberdeen train for Inverness. Lots of time for snoozing, only just waking up for the change over at Perth. Ending up in Dundee would not have helped the signing off of the Pier books. Duly done and then onto the Kyle line before an evening at the Inn. How easily you slip back into the way of ones world, paper work, work at the Inn and tomorrow fishing politics with a little bit of Hydro thrown in, up to 90kw now.

Going back to the Festival I think this picture sums up it all for me, the joy of the artists making superb music to appreciative audiences.


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