Old News March 2005 to August 2006

Some of the links on this page no longer work because the pages to which they refer have been deleted or moved.

In most cases the material will be out of date in any case.

MARCH 2005.

On Friday 11 March the fiddle group was really put under the spot lights. Playing at the grandest venue of our history perhaps, 16 members of BFG played at the Carnegie Hall Dunfermline.  Following on from the Rosyth Concert Band we played 5 sets beginning with Aran Boat and ending amid considerable audience participation with High Road to Linton. The packed hall seemed to enjoy the gig, as we did too.  Let's hope that it raised lots of money for the Parkinson's Disease Society, Fife Branch.  (Raised £1500.  See here for thank you letter.)

About 20 members of the group appeared at the Neil Gow festival on Sunday 20th March.  All seemed to go well and with any luck at least one of the sets played will be chosen for inclusion on a "Best of the Festival" CD. All proceeds will go towards a permanent memorial to the great fiddler and tune-smith, Neil Gow.  We hope to put some of the highlights of the Sunday concert on this site shortly. 

The social gathering at the Allanbank on Friday 25th March was a great success. Some of the dance calling was experimental - but no injuries were sustained. Thanks to all who came. As it was so much fun we're planning .... CEILIDHS!!! 


Those of you who came to the hall on Friday 1st April might have spotted Glen and Andrew using some new sound recording equipment.  This is stage one in planning for a new CD, which we intend to record ourselves this time.  Of course it will take some time to learn how to use the recording gear so watch out  while we experiment - on you!!

APRIL
Another busy month. Five gigs including a massive turnout for Bridge of Earn coffee evening. Thanks to all who came. We nearly out numbered the audience - well not quite.  The New Ceilidh Band did 2 ceilidhs. The first was in the rather pleasant surroundings of the Stirling Highland Hotel.  One dancer remarked - "I don't normally stay to the end but they (BFG) are the best ceilidh band I have heard."  What can we say?  The next week the NCB were in Perth for a 40th birthday party - which also went well.  In some ways it was a bit of an experiment because we had no caller. Pete, Jan and Andrew shared the calling and while they were not as polished as the professionals no one got hurt and there was lots of dancing.

May is going to be a lot quieter with the only "everyone" gig being on Wednesday 18th in Crieff. Be there if you can.
There will be a social evening celidh and short AGM on Friday 3rd June.

Some of you may have noticed that The High Council disappeared from 29 April to 2nd May. It was all in a good cause - off to the Girvan Folk festival to do some research.  Very productive it was too.  Its a great way to learn and hear the music for real, joining in or just listening to sessions. You should try it. We'll look for some local festivals or events to go to and keep you posted.  There is a list of sessions on the menu at the top of the page. If you want to know if anyone from BFG is going, or you are looking for company the High Council are easily persuaded.

Would anyone like us to put up a list of tunes on the website? These could include the tunes we play at the hall or in the ceilidh bands and could be as sound clips or music.  If you would use a list let us know (email would be good).

MAY & JUNE

So that's May over and gone.  Not BFGs busiest month on record, with only one gig. Was it something we said? Probably not. In contrast the Friday evening sessions at the hall have been very busy and that's what really matters.  There are 4 gigs in June though and at least one in July which everyone is welcome to. 

By the time this goes on the web we will have had the Annual General Meeting and social (3rd June).  Notes on that will appear here soon. 

Have you looked at the Hints n Help page recently? There is some new stuff about learning tunes. We hope to add more soon, including some sound samples from a new learning CD we are putting together. Last month we asked if anyone would like a list of tunes on the web, including the music or sound.  One person said "yes please". Are there anymore takers for that? Just email to let to us know.

June 2005

June has been a good month for BFG. It began with the Annual General Meeting on 3rd June. The proceedings were short (we all breathed a sigh of relief) and they were followed by a ceilidh and blether.  The AGM revealed that BFG funds were in good order despite several new purchases of fiddles and PA equipment for gigs.  We agreed to do a 9th Anniversary concert / ceilidh along the lines of of the 2004 event, and to record a new CD. More of this when the minutes are ready.

Following this we has a week or two with busy Friday evenings at the hall and then a series of gigs from 18th onwards. Three ceilidhs - including the Langtoon in June open air ceilidh and the Africa Comes to Dunning "D8" ceilidh on 28th. The Dunning summit was featured at length on BBC Newsnight and BFG got a few seconds of TV fame.  Blink and you miss it - but we were there!!   The highlight of the open air ceilidh was the presentation of a fine cake - go to the cake page for photos and the thank you letter Pete sent in reply.

Looking forward we have a few gigs in the summer and will be playing locally during the G8, helping (we hope) to create a festival atmosphere. We bet they don't experience much of that in Gleneagles.


July 2005

News
Summer is often a quiet time for us, with many people away on holiday and fewer gigs. This year was a bit of an exception in some ways, starting in late June with the D8 Dunning-Africa summit ceilidh and then in early July with three evenings at the Global Cafe in Auchterarder during the G8 summit.  (See photos of D8 and visit the G8 Diary).  We were on TV news for about 3 seconds one evening on the BBC and some members were spotted on TV and in the papers on the G8Alternatives march.  Other members had fled the country, presumably expecting the world to end, at least near to Gleneagles.  Anyway, the G8 came and went and BFG was there.  The next event was the annual summer open day at Camphill, Blairdrummond. The open day is always a laugh and we usually have plenty of competition for attention. Usually it's the cake stall, but this year they were herding ducks with sheep dogs and we were out gunned for noise by a drumming workshop, so we went and joined them.  We had a short session of reels and jigs to African drumbeats - which, come to think about it, was quite appropriate after the D8 and G8 events.

The last event was a ceilidh for Jan and Glen's 25th wedding anniversary - congratulations to them both. 

Some of us had musical encounters on holiday - including some sessions in Ireland, so beware a few new tunes will creep in to the repertoire. 

New Projects.
Looking ahead we have two big projects - the 2005 annual concert/ceilidh and recording for a new CD.  It would be good to have everyone join in for both.

New CD for learning by ear.
There is a new CD of tunes available for those of you wanting to learn by ear at home.  Recorded by Pete and put on to CD by Andrew, it gives a couple of sets of tunes in bite sized chunks and played slowly enough for you to follow without music. (Remember music is for wimps!)  If you want a copy of the CD speak to Pete.  If you already have one we would really like some feedback about how useful (or not) you found it.


August 2005

News
August was a quiet sort of month with only a few gigs and most of those for small numbers.  So there was plenty of time for practice!  And now we are into September it  will be non stop with gigs. (See Gigs Page.)  Plenty of opportunities to get out and to perform. The rewards may be magnificent - fame and cakes as usual.

New Projects.
New CD for learning by ear. (As for July)


September 2005

Do you ever get the feeling that time is flying past.  Somehow we seemed to have slipped from the peace and quiet of summer to autumn half term. And now the annual concert is nearly here. We did several gigs in September beginning with a masquerade ball in Perth, which was great. The band did join in, wearing masks at the start (we have photos to prove this somewhere) but the heat of playing meant that we soon ditched them in favour of comfort. There were three "everyone" gigs - well done to those few who made it to Alloa on September 19th where you would have witnessed our great leader and mentor (Pete you deserve this recognition) failing to navigate to the venue. When he was stopped almost outside the door of the hall for the second time and about to drive away again (this time to Stirling, Carlisle  - we will never know) the rest of the band took charge and got us there. The thrills you can have in Alloa on a Monday evening! Then there was the Muthill Primary school and Glencairn nursing home - opposite ends of the spectrum I suppose. 

The hall has been busy some Fridays and quieter on others. Welcome to the new members.


New Projects.

October -November 2005


The warmest October anyone can remember. I believe that October 27th was the warmest ever 27th October.  Only history will say if this unseasonal heat was generated by BFG playing for a ceilidh the previous evening in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall of Stirling Castle.  Are high-octane playing and energetic dancing the real cause of global warming? 

This month's quiz question.  October is the traditional holiday month here in Perthshire and kids are given two weeks off to ensure that
a)  there are plenty of hands to help with the tattie harvest.
b)  the Florida tourist industry doesn't suffer a sudden lull in business
c)  there are very few players at BFG gigs.

Yes it was one of those months when we had to send out for reinforcements for gigs. Never mind we know that everyone was working hard for the annual concert / ceilidh.  There are several really important gigs in November though and it would be good if we could field more players..

14th.  A good Everyone gig in Perth.
25th.  All NCB are needed for this ceilidh.
26th. Very big meeting of SWRIs from across Scotland - lets have a big turnout in Stirling.

In October one of the main events was the away weekend for adults at the Westercaputh Hostel.  This is what a few of the "residents" said afterwards.

"Fantastic. I'll be happy to part with all my wealth to do it again."
"Should be in the top 5 things to do before you die."
"I was glad to get home where I could get a drink. Who thought of a dry weekend? " (Shum mishtake I think!)
"Who brought that banjo?"
"Haven't been away from home and family for ages - should have chosen something that lasted longer than one weekend."
"Don't tell anyone we enjoyed it - they'll stop us coming back."

Well we thought it all went pretty well and we will be booking again for the spring. If you read this and are interested email info@.... (usual address).  Want to see some of the photos then follow the link on the right.

And finally.  The annual ceilidh / concert was held on 4th November. It was a sell out. We are really sorry that some people couldn't get tickets but we had to limit numbers because of the space. In fact we had about 170 people which was great.  New photos  - click the link on the right.

The concert/ceilidh – by BFG’s music critic (Peter Cope)

I am probably slightly biased but I have to say that the 9th anniversary concert/ceilidh was superb. Feedback from other people suggests that it isn’t just my rose-tinted spectacles which are at work here. The audience appears to have enjoyed the evening, the musicians had a good time and we raised £500 for the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal. That’s my definition of a good night.

There were some brilliant performances from individuals and small groups and, even though playing in public is normally nerve-racking, no-one fell apart. The Welsh waltz, accompanied by most of BFG playing Aran Boat and Erinshore, was a possible entry for the largest ceilidh band in the world. We also had, at one point, a contender for the longest Strip the Willow.

Interestingly, the feedback sheets I left on the tables didn’t get a good response rate. I guess that people don’t go to ceilidhs to get involved in quality assurance but those that were filled in were gushing with praise. One response said that it was all excellent apart from the old guy who talked too much – but, although the sheets were anonymous, my extensive knowledge of handwriting enabled me to trace this impertinence to a certain red-haired medical student with whom I share genes. Steps will be taken.

Thanks to everyone for making it such a good evening - musicians, audience, reckless throwers of pounds at the bottle of whisky, food preparers, suppliers of prizes, my fellow members of the High Council of Elders, and our unsung sound man, Glen, without whom the world would be spared the sound of our fiddles. He’s got a lot to answer for.

NOVEMBER 2005

The trend of busy Fridays at the hall continued through November. It has never been busier and we have had to try and be a bit more organised in terms of splitting into groups to play. It is good to see that self-help thrives in BFG.  We also had a couple of good gigs.  There was a good evening do in Letham on 14th and a fantastic turnout (24 players) on Saturday afternoon on 26th in Stirling. That was for the SWRI and even by their usual very high standards the cakes were magnficent in diversity, number and quality. Well done players and ladies.

The annual ceilidh / concert was held on 4th November. It was a sell out and a great night was had by all. We are really sorry that some people couldn't get tickets but we had to limit numbers because of the space. In fact we had about 170 people which was great.  New photos  - click the link on the right and for a critical report see below.

It is the time of year when BFG bestows upon a few favoured people New Year Honours. For categories, nominations and so on go to the New Year Honours page. Have your say and do unto them what they may be planning to do to you.


January 2006

Several gigs already in January and it looks like being another busy year.  There are also 3 away weekends planned; 10-12 March, 2-4 June and 8-10 September. (See gigs page). Not only that but we also have the 10th Anniversary Ceilidh in  November to think about. 


Anyone for a dance and calling workshop? We have an offer to do a Saturday afternoon workshop and evening ceilidh with a professional caller. Learn new dances, how to play for dances and call dances.  Are you up for it? 

There is a caption competition. You may have spotted the untitled photo in the 2005 Web gallery (you have looked at the gallery haven't you?).  Anyway make life easier you can now here for the caption competition.

CB3 - Ceilidh Band Three.  Yes, we are starting another new ceilidh band. Details can be found using the CB3 link.  As well as needing members we also need a better name. Suggestions please.

The long awaited  news update is here.  By special request Pete Cope has provided his own special round up of 2005 and a guest article on Ceilidh Band 3.  While it was tempting to edit his text I have resisted. Those of you who feel that his references to wimps and so are too close to the bone or mis-directed will be offered a right of reply on these very pages.  It is time for open and challenging discourse on the BFG web pages. So whether you are offended, amused or merely ignored rise up and reply. Email info@ etc.  We will respect any requests for anonymity.


Click here for the full New Year Honours list.

Highlights of 2005 -  A personal view from Pete.

This is a personal view – you may have your own favourite fiddle group moments, but you’d be wrong because you’re not a member of the High Council of Elders (unless you’re Jan or Andrew in which case you agree with me).  (Editorial doubt at this point - but we'll let it go for now. Ed.)

2005 was a good year for people joining. The hall has rarely been busier on Fridays and, in spite of the chaos, there is lots of mutual support and help. Often the music is really good and mostly it’s OK. I’m not going to single out any of the 2005 new members for particular mention but welcome to you all and keep coming.

We’ve had some cracking gigs in 2005 and have done more than in any previous year. If I were to be a tad critical, I would castigate and berate those who rarely come to gigs. Since playing at BFG is about learning through participation, the participation is kind of crucial. If it’s shyness or modesty which holds you back, then our message would be to stop being a wimp. (Be calm folks - opinion is what makes civilisation interesting. Ed.) Whoever turns up to a gig, we will always make sure that we play at least some tunes that everyone can manage and for those of you who have not yet been, we usually do that by discussion during the performance. Audiences seems to like that kind of informality and they way we hurl insults at each other. Mind you, there are occasions when this approach has to be modified slightly. The gig at the Carnegie Hall was one of those – when we were shown to a dressing room I realised that this was a bit posher than usual. On that occasion, we decided what to play before we went on stage with at least 3 minutes to spare and it was fine. But we did an hour for the SWRI in Stirling with our usual spontaneity and that was fine as well. It’s worth considering that other music groups (especially ones with youngsters in them) often spend months rehearsing for performances of around 5 minutes. We did 45 gigs last year and that’s nearly one a week with nary a plan nor rehearsal.

I should also mention that we had two very successful away weekends at Westercaputh, one with mainly young people (the horrid people and the ne’erdowells) and one with the remedial group (adults). These seemed to be effective in the sense that people both enjoyed themselves and said that they had learned a lot. So we have booked the hostel for three weekends for 2006 – keep your eyes and ears open for details or make suggestions about how we could use them.

I have eulogised about the concert/ceilidh fairly recently but it’s worth restating its success both as a social event and a fundraiser. A cheque for £500 was sent to the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal.

It would be remiss of me not to comment on the way the website has developed over the past year. Not only does it act as a communicator for routine information but it is now the repository of BFG history, tradition and knowledge. The music page  seems to have been a particular hit – people have been seen playing tunes that they learned from it and it appears that Cindy’s sister uses it from afar. We should have given her an award for being BFG’s first distance learner. So if you read this, Cindy’s sister, get in touch.

Finally, the fiddle group is made up of its members and although the members of the High Council of Elders are clearly incredibly important, clever, good-looking and talented, we do have to grudgingly accept that you lot do have some significance. Please keep the fiddle group as vibrant as it has been this year by carrying on coming, learning tunes, coming to gigs and please, please, tell us if there’s anything we could do better.  You might even want to take over!

2006 sees the launch of CB3 (ceilidh band three). See here for details.

Peter

PS – the banjos are multiplying.  (This must be a call to get more fiddlers - surely it isn't a good thing. Ed.)

Photos of 2005 events are here.

Feb 2006

Forthcoming events.
Caption competition.   Look here for the caption competition.
New Year Honours.     Click here for the full New Year Honours list.

CB3 - Ceilidh Band Three.  Yes, we are starting another new ceilidh band. Details can be found using the CB3 link.  As well as needing members we also need a better name. Suggestions please.

Highlights of 2005 -  A personal view from Pete. (Same as the above)


Feb / March 2006

Forthcoming events.
  • AGM and social (including results of the caption competition) Friday 28th April.
  • Anyone for a dance and calling workshop? We have an offer to do a Saturday afternoon workshop and evening ceilidh with a professional caller. Learn new dances, how to play for dances and call dances.  Are you up for it?
  • Dunkeld - Neil Gow Festival. BFG starts the finale concert on the Sunday.  We need players of all ages and at all stages.  We don't know what we will be playing  (except we will be Mrs Violet  thingy) and the programme will be arranged to suit those who can some and play.
  • Tenth Anniversary Ceilidh in the Autumn.  Brush up your party pieces.
Caption competition.   Look here for the caption competition.
  • CB3 - Ceilidh Band Three.  Yes, we are starting another new ceilidh band. Details can be found using the CB3 link.  As well as needing members we also need a better name. Suggestions please.

Highlights of 2005 These can still be found - go to the Old News page (link at the bottom of this page.)

January / February  2006.
If anyone ever doubted that BFG would survive into its 10th year then they should come down to the hall on a Friday evening.  We continue to be busy, perhaps busier than ever with several new players and lots of people continuing to come for the weekly musical experiment that is BFG.  The ceilidh bands are gaining quite a reputation (a good one we hope) and we have even had to turn gigs down due to overload.  All the more reason for Ceilidh Band Three to get out there as soon as possible. What we really need are more gigs that everyone can play, the SWRI and other less formal events that have for years been the starting place for BFG members' performances.  If you know of anyone or any organistion who would like BFG to play, please let us know.

The Music Page seems to be helpful although we have not added many new tunes of late. By popular request a few more will be going up soon. The first will be the Bus Stop Reel and The Tinkerman's Wife.  We hope to reorganise the Music Page so that tunes appear in a logical order - that will be a another first for BFG.  If you use the music page or other parts of this site please email and let us know which bits are useful and what bits needs more work.


March  2006.

Forthcoming events.
March may just have been the busiest month on record.  Every weekend had at least one gig except for the weekend when NCB was away at Westercaputh and almost got snowed in.  We have played as far afield as Anstruther, Kinneff near Inverbervie and Dunkeld. Local gigs in Blackford and Auchterarder have completed the work. The weekend of 17-19th had no less than 4 gigs including 2 ceilidhs. Thanks to everyone who has come to play. Its really what makes the whole process worthwhile in the end.

Perhaps the highlight of the month was the Neil Gow Festival farewell concert where we shared the bill with the Dougie MacLean Band and three other frightening good fiddlers, Gordon Gunn, Simon Bradley and Anna Wendy Stevenson. We received many compliments for our set and we are already booked for next year.

The scary moment for some of us was being asked with about 4 hours notice to do a ceilidh in Crieff. Without the usual array of young people Andrew, David, Jan, Pete and Tom became BFG's newest ceilidh band. We don't like to think of ourselves as CB4 though, it doesn't fit with our senior status (I didn't say citizens!)  We might just consider being called BFG Premier Ceilidh Band. Of course you may have a better name and the most amusing and most appropriate suggestion will be rewarded with a valuable and exclusive prize. email your suggestions and we will share them.

Please check the Music Page. Lots more tunes are there and there are more to come. Tell us which ones you want next.
 

APRIL / MAY 2006

News from the PRI. Pete is in pretty spirits - being amusing and rude in about equal measures. He is missing the fiddle and BFG and was keen to know how the Wester Caputh Weekend went. His progress is slow but that is to be expected. He is getting real food - well he gets mashed up stuff which was food just before he gets given it. Everything has to be thickened so he can take it - even the tea! He really enjoys getting the cards and notes from people. If anyone wants to write that would be good, or you can email messages via BFG.


CB3 / adults weekend at Westercaputh 3-4 June.

Seventeen of us went to Westercaputh and learned loads of tunes. We also rediscovered lots of other tunes, but if you weren't there you'll never know what they were, so you'd better sign up for the next away weekend. That will be in September.

May 2006
May was a quiet month for gigs. Just one ceilidh, which seemed to go well and where we managed to find time to get the sound system properly balanced. Amazing what a bit of preparation does.  Only one other gig, at which it should be observed a certain group of ne'er-do-wells forgot how to play Erin Shore.  Tut tut.  Of course we will remember May as the month of Pete's stroke.  Its no good calling him names here he can't log in to the web from the hospital.  But when he catches up via the "old news" link below he will be able to see that we all send our best wishes. So get back soon you lazy so and so.

In Pete's absence a number of people have offered to help. We will be taking up some of those offers, so thanks very much. We will be running Friday's as normal.  If you have problems with your fiddle (strings broken, bridge fallen off and that sort of thing) we will be able to help.  Call Andrew or Jan.

Gigs in June.  Several so watch the gigs page.

New competition.  We need your thoughts on the best collective name for fiddlers and other musicians. Go to the competition page for details.

April  2006.

Bonjour mes ami. BFG fait le tour du monde!  Nous have allezed to la belle France for une wedding et some outre gigs.
Fortunately, our playing is better than our French, because April saw 7 members of BFG plus sound support/official photographer and others playing 4 gigs in the south of France.  Hard work but someone has to do it.  Without wanting to dwell on the events too much, we think it all went down really well, and without doubt we were the best ceilidh band in Provence at the time. They loved us so much we are invited back - so think how great the rewards are for sticking in with the ceilidh stuff.  Who's coming next time then?  Pete has written a more complete report on the French thing which you can find here and on the links page.  Some photos will also appear here soon-ish.

We did a total of 10 gigs plus the AGM/social in April.   Several were ceilidhs but there were opportunities for everyone to play.  The AGM was not as busy as we hoped, although there were well over 30 folk there.  Perhaps choosing the holiday weekend wasn't one of our best attempts at organisation.  If last year is anything to go by you'll get the minutes in 11 months and 3 weeks time!!  Below is a summary of decisions. A summary of our finances and other stuff will be added. 


May 2006
Hi.  More news from PRI.  Pete is looking a good deal better, eating better food and having more physio which is really helping him.   Julie, Sarah, Jan and Andrew took fiddles etc down and played a short session with him at the end of last week. He enjoyed it but found the inability to join in a bit frustrating. Anyway, it is all progress and as he is a determined so-and-so we can expect more to come. We'll keep you posted.

Good gig last Sunday at the Kincarrathie House old folks home. Big turn out - thanks.  Don't forget the Langtoon in June gig on Thursday 22nd. We'll plan the tune list at the hall on Friday 16th.




June 2006
STOP PRESS 
BLAZIN' FIDDLES AND THE OLD BLIND DOGS PLAY A DOUBLE BILL AT PERTH CONCERT HALL ON TUESDAY 29TH AUGUST.  LOTS OF US BFG FOLK ARE GOING. WE'RE NOT ORGANISING THE TRIP SO IF YOU WANT TO GO BOOK TICKETS SOON. ITS THE LAST CONCERT WITH JIM MALCOLM SINGING FOR OBDs - HE IS GOING SOLO.  WE CAN BE SURE IT'LL BE A GREAT SHOW.
Gigs.
Just 3 gigs this month.  The first was a Sunday afternoon gig at Kincarrathie House in Perth.  There were about a dozen from BFG and we played for an hour. It was good practice for some folk who haven't been to that many gigs and good routine stuff for others. Anyway, so delighted were the residents that we are to feature in their in-house magazine and we already have two more dates to go back.  The next audience was a bit bigger a couple of hundred people at the Langtoon in June Community Concert.  I didn't count but there were about 25 from BFG - great turnout on our home territory. Now we don't like to brag but we were asked to open the show and then to come on at the end too. Some of this was only decided at the last minute, which required us to adjust our carefully pre-planned tune list. So what did we do? We made it harder for ourselves by playing a new set - agreed just before we went on.  It all worked out fine.  The feedback  - BFG, as good as ever, very relaxed and entertaining.  Thanks to everyone for coming to play at these gigs.

The last gig was a Ceilidh at Aberuthven.  Originally conceived for the Old F**ts only we resorted to having two of the Ne're-do-wells as substitutes for Pete.  Being the same night as the Langtoon Ceilidh (which we turned down as we were already booked for Aberuthven) there was a smallish crowd. There were fears of "no atmosphere and an early finish".  Ye of little faith - once we got the party going it was dance, dance , dance until past 11.30.  We really want to get more of BFG playing at ceilidhs - its great fun, not half as nerve-wracking as you think and beats watching TV any night.

Music Page.
There are loads of new tunes on the music page.  Most of the new ones have been put up by request. Just ask (then remind me) and I'll put others up as required.

Fridays.
We have been very busy at the hall over the last few weeks and we know that some of you have not received the attention you deserve.  Please bear with us - no one will be left out.  We're going to try and bring a little more structure to whole thing so that we have fewer splinter groups playing in every available corner of the hall.  It is quite difficult though with everyone from complete beginners upwards.  We are also thinking about putting some new tune books together too.  Nothing wrong with our repertoire but no harm in adding some new things.

Pete.
Pete is making slow but significant progress.  It will still be many weeks before we see him back at the hall and much longer until he can join in.  He keeps asking how things are going and is delighted that we're all keeping the show on the road and that the gigs are going well.  We've been in again to play him some music.

Summer holidays.
BFG doesn't hold with this namby-pamby concept of going on holiday - not unless you take your fiddle of course. At the moment we expect all Friday sessions to run as normal at the hall, even if we can't all get there.  If that changes we'll put details on the Fridays and Sessions page.

That's about all for now. Sorry that I haven't managed to add any photos recently. I'll get there eventually.

AGM Minutes.
Draft minutes can be obtained from Jan at the hall.  The gist of the meeting can be found on the Old News link below (somewhere at the bottom of the page.)
Competition.
With only one entry for the competition we have decided to extend the deadline.  For details visit the competitions page.


July 2006

GIGS
July is always a quiet month for gigs and this year was no exception.  Apart from the Blair Drummond Camphill summer fair - at which we are a bit of a fixture - and one wedding ceilidh, there was only the Blackford Music day - part of the Music Across Perthshire initiative.  We had a good turnout for Camphill but not for the Blackford event, which was a shame as we were on the event publicity and in was in Blackford.  It wasn't the best weekend to pick, being near the start of school holidays.

Fridays.
Fridays at the hall have also been quiet (never fewer than 5 and up to 14 folk) but packed with quality. We've played all the best tunes and really got feet tapping.  If you weren't there you'll just never know how good it has been. 

New Look Fridays
Once we get back to normal after the holidays we are going to run Fridays a little bit differently if you don't mind.  With fewer "teachers" and plenty of learners we are going to try and keep in three groups and concentrate on fewer tunes at any one time. We need to do this so that we have more tunes everyone can play at gigs and also so that we have material for the 10th anniversary concert. We also hope to have a new tune book with CD. It is nearly done and Pete is going to edit it as soon as he can.  Pete sends his best wishes and warns you all "I'll be back." 

10th Anniversary.
As you know we are doing ceilidhs in Blackford and Auchterarder to mark our 10th Anniversary.  Early ideas on format are to make more time for dances by having fewer concert pieces. However, as we want as many people as possible to have their moment of glory we are going to try and organise smaller groups to play standard sets, with the occasional chance for individuals to play parts of the set solo or in pairs.  What we don't think will be possible is to have lots of people or small groups getting a slot to themselves - if we do that we'll be there long after the audience have left, such is the size of BFG.  Anyway in true democratic style we will have a meeting soon and discuss this.

Music Page.
Keep an eye on the
music page as we are going to put up a list of current tunes that we'll be doing at the hall. 

August 2006

August, the time of ripening grain and for coming back from holidays.  The long summer days are drawing slightly shorter and by the middle of the month school and work demand our full attention once more. Before you know it you can't remember a thing about the holidays.
Those happy, happy days are passed so quickly and September is here. Only 104.5 shopping days to Christmas.  Well despair not - for this is the time when the music season really begins.  We always lose and gain players about this time of year but by the annual concert/ceilidh comes round we'll all have loads of new tunes, and looking at the gig list we'll have set feet tapping across the county.

August had 4 gigs.  It was great to get plenty of people out for the old folks events.  Not so many came to the session in Kirriemuir, which was your loss as it was a great afternoon.  Avid readers of the Kirriemuir Herald were treated to pictures of us two weeks running.  The other gig was a wedding ceilidh in Dundee. Our best wishes to Roos and Peter.  What a good crowd there was - the only complaint we got was that the band had to stop to eat.  Well you try playing for 4 hours without food and drink!  Not strictly August news but on 2 September at the Lade Inn (see bottom of gigs page) we were told a party had come many miles, not to hear David but to hear the fiddlers. Ah! sweet fame. Not only that but they had turned down a chance to see Robbie Williams. Well who wouldn't?

There was a good concert at Horsecross in Perth on 27th.  I counted 20 BFG members there. The Old Blind Dogs played a great set, their last with Jim Malcolm.  That was followed by Blazin' Fiddles.  Now you can call me old fashioned, but those guys sometimes just play too fast and the tunes get a bit lost along the way. (Now we would never do that of course.) But you have to hand it to them,  they have done for the fiddle what Ferrari did to the humble motor car.

Fridays
We are running a bit short of "tutors" on Fridays but by the middle of September we should have some new tune books (Music Book One) and we'll divide people up to tackle different parts of the book. It might mean being a bit systematic, but once you have the books you can say what you want to do.   The really good news of course is that Pete made it to the hall on 1st September, not to play but to listen.  What he said was that we sounded really good, much better than he remembers. Not sure how to take that, but let's just assume we've all got better. Thanks Pete.

10th Anniversary.
There are so many players and so many sets that we can use for dances that this year we are going to run the whole thing as a ceilidh and everyone who is beyond the Twinkle Twinkle stage can play for at least one dance.

Music Page.
Keep an eye on the
music page as we are going to put up a list of current tunes that we'll be doing at the hall.  (Yes I said that last month - I mean it though! Just need to finish Music Book One first.)