About Me

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I enjoy my retirement very much. Thankfully, my health is quite good and I can still enjoy all my hobbies. I still play my guitar,a very nice Seagull acoustic, and attend a very good folk session in The Newport Hotel every Monday 8 pm onwards. Nice people.

The Inn Folk

The Inn Folk

Russ and Willie

Russ and Willie

Lowland Folk

Lowland Folk

Lowland Folk

Lowland Folk

Rab Noakes

Rab Noakes

Archie Fisher

Archie Fisher

Iain Mackintosh

Iain Mackintosh

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


The Dundee Folksong Club as it was then called, started with an ad in the local paper appealing for interested parties to contact a phone number. The next step was a meeting in Ann St school, which was to be the headquarters until the 20 or so people who turned up, saved up enough money to afford a guest singer! At 2/6 a week each it didn't take us too long to save up for the only folksinger we knew then, Archie Fisher! Our policy then and throughout the years of the club was to make sure we had money to pay for the guest and venue before he/she was booked. We decided to hire The Royal British Hotel at the top of Castle St. The name can still be seen in tiles on the pavement, although it's now a student residence.

Archie duly arrived that evening and brought along Bert Jansch, Jill Guest, Josh MacRae, Maurice Frankel and Pete Shepherd, along with our local singers. Willie Whyte was the compere that night and for the next 9 years he became adept at maintaining absolute silence when guests and local singers were performing.
The list of performers and dates will tell the story regarding various venues over the years until our final venue in Woodlands Hotel.
The people that I can remember who were at that first meeting in Ann St School included David Smith, Willie Whyte, yours truly Russ Paterson, Colin Speed, Robin McKidd and I think possibly Chris Rattray. If I have forgotten anyone please remind me.
Willie and I continued as resident group, eventually taking over the running of it. Eric Denovan did all the bookings initially. I took over when Eric gave up the committee and The Inn Folk were born when Ally Lowden joined us on bass, eventually being replaced by Allan Barty on fiddle and mandolin. Willie continued as compere and a friend of ours Bob Clarke acted as doorman.
We were not really a traditional music club and many people in the folk scene objected to this but we provided entertainment right up until the very last night.
The reason the club was closed was because of the increase in fees of many of the artistes.
We would have had to increase the door prices to 5/- 25p to keep it running. Also the truth was the interest in folk music nationally was waning.
I speak for Willie and myself in saying that these were nine years we will always remember with great affection (not these days always accurately)! Luckily Willie and I kept diaries from the beginning and most of the dates are fairly accurate.
We have been wanting to do this for a long time and we hope this will bring back memories, even the ones when singers didn't turn up, and Matt McGinn fell asleep on the train, woke up in Arbroath and got to the Woodlands in time to do his second set!


Guests and venues.

1963
9/1/63---Ann St School
6/2/63---Folk Meeting, Stag bar ?
13/2/63---Stewarts of Blair.
20/2/63---Ann St School.
27/2/63---Ann St School.
20/3/63---Ann St School.
27/3/63--- First big night. Royal British Hotel. Archie Fisher.
3/4/63---Owen Hand, Jill Guest. Where?
10/4/63---Stag Bar. Local singers.
17/4/63---Stag Bar. Eleanor Leith.
24/4/63---Stag Bar. Stewarts of Blair.
Bain Square.
16/10/63--- Cumberland Three. No show
30/10/63---Local Singers.
6/11/63---Arthur Argo.
13/11/63--Local singers.
20/11/63---Gordon McCullough.
27/11/63---Jeannie Robertson.
4/12/63---Maurice Frankel.
11/12/63---Hamish Imlach.
18/12/63---Owen Hand.
Craigtay Hotel.
1964
15/1/64---Cumberland Three.
22/1/64---St Andrews Singers, Bill and Chet.
29/1/64---Rick Ullman.
12/2/64---Kirkcaldy Club Singers.
19/2/64---Bill and Chet.
26/2/64---Hamish Imlach.
4/3/64----Eleanor Leith.
11/3/64---Archie Fisher.
25/3/64---Johnny Handle.
1/4/64---Jeannie Robertson.
8/4/64---Tom Paley. Kirkcaldy Singers.
15/4/64---Cyril Tawney.
22/4/64---Matt McGinn.
29/4/64---Josh MacRae.
6/5/64---Local night.
23/9/64---The Islanders.
30/9/64---Archie Fisher.
7/10/64---Josh MacRae.
14/10 64---Sandy and Jeannie.
21/10/64---Owen Hand.
Taypark Hotel
28/10/64---Tom Paley.
4/11/64---Cyril Tawney.
11/11/64---Islanders couldn't make it. Successful Local night.
18/11/64---Paddy Bell.
25/11/64---Hamish Imlach. Brought along star pupil John Martyn!
1/12/64---Ian Rankin.
9/12/64---Shirley Collins.
1965
13/1/65---Mike Seeger
20/1/65---Roy Harris and Dave Fortune.
27/1/65---The Spinners.
3/2/65---Bill Clifton.
17/2/65---John Pearse.
24/2/65---Craig Dhu Trio.
3/3/65---John Watt and Tregallion.
10/3/65---Alex Campbell.
17/3/65---Alex Campbell with Lou Killen, Archie Fisher, Roy Harris.
24/3/65---Hamish Imlach.
31/3/65---Kirkcaldy Folk Club Singers.
7/4/65---Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger.
14/4/65---Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart.
21/4/65---Country Strings.
28/4/65---Tom Paxton.
5/5/65---Cyril Tawney, Jackie and Bridie.
12/5/65---Edinburgh Singers.
19/5/65---Local Singers.
26/5/65---Malcolm Price, Archie Fisher.
Woodlands Hotel.
21/9/65---Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer.
29/9/65---Owen Hand.
6/10/65---Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart.
13/10/65---Local Singers.
20/10/65---Malcolm Price.
27/10/65---The Islanders.
3/11/65---Jackie and Bridie.
10/11/65---Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger.
17/11/65---Doris Henderson and John Renbourne.
24/11/65---The Watersons.
1/12/65---Barry Beattie, Kingdom Three.
8/12/65---Roy Harris.
15/12/65---The Corries.
1966.
12/1/66---Alan Robson and Kingdom Three.
19/1/66---Spinners.
26/1/66---Barry Skinner.
2/2/66---Jack Beck and Barbara Dickson.
9/2/66---Anne Gillies and Ron Kerr.
16/2/66---Bill Clifton.
23/2/66---Local Singers.
2/3/66---The Strollers. (Dave and Toni Arthur)
9/3/66---Pat Brennan.
16/3/66---Josh Macrae.
23/3/66---Owen Hand.
30/3/66---Incredible String Band.
6/4/66---Bob Davenport.
13/4/66---Tom Gilfillan.
20/4/66---Pete Stanley and Wizz Jones.
27/4/66---The Corries.
4/5/66---The Islanders and Mary McGannon.
11/5/66---Malcolm Price.
18/5/66---Ian McCann.
25/5/66---Archie Fisher and Matt McGinn.
28/9/66---Ian Russell.
5/10/66---Pete Stanley and Wizz Jones.
12/10/66---The Corries.
19/10/66---The Skerries.
26/10/66---The Spinners.
2/11/66---Bill Clifton.
9/11/66---The Travelling People.
16/11/66---Archie Fisher,booked but didn't appear. Apologised later in person.
23/11/66---Matt McGinn.
30/11/66---Mike Heron and Robin Williamson.
7/12/66---Alan Robson and Archie Gibson.
14/12/66---The Islanders.
1967.
11/1/67---Telford and Charmian.
18/1/67---The Lowland Folk Four.
25/1/67---Owen Hand and Vera Johnson.
31/1/& 1/2/67---The Corries.
8/2/67--John Pearse.
15/2/67---Barry Skinner.
22/2/67---Ian McCann.
1/3/67---The Livingstones.
8/3/67---Dave and Toni Arthur.
15/3/67---The Leesiders.
22/3/67---Archie Fisher.
29/3/67---Diz Disley.
5/4/67---The Journeymen.
12/4/67---Jackie and Bridie.
19/4/67---Matt McGinn.
26/4/67---Malcolm Price.
27/11/67---Matt McGinn.
4/10/67---The Leesiders.
10&11/10/67---The Corries.
18/10/67---Hamish Imlach.
25/10/67---The Livingstones, David Campbell.
1/11/67---The Roan County Boys.
8/11/67---Noel Murphy.
15/11/67---Marc Ellington.
29/11/67---Alan and Roy,The Reivers.
6/12/67---Archie Fisher.
13/12/67---The Islanders.
1968.
17/1/68---Watt Nicoll.
24/1/68---The Skerries.
31/1/68---David Campbell.
7/2/68---Malcolm Price.
14/2/68---Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey-The Humblebums.
21/2/68---Chapter Three.
28/2/68---Archie Fisher.
6/3/68---The Leesiders.
13/3/68---Matt McGinn.
20/3/68---Pete Stanley and Brian Golbey.
27/3/68---Barry Beattie.
3/4/68---Local Singers.
10/4/68---Alex Campbell.
17/4/68---Eleanor Leith.
24/4/68---Local Singers.
1/5/68---Local Singers?
8/5/68---Noel Murphy.
15/5/68---Not Known.
22/5/68---David Campbell.
Folk night was changed from Wednesday to Sunday .
22/9/68---The Grehan Sisters
29/9/68---Archie Fisher.
6/10/68---The Humblebums.
13/10/68---Watt Nicoll.
20/10/68---Pete Stanley and Brian Golbey.
27/10/68---Mike Whellans.
3/11/68---Malcolm Price.
10/11/68---David Campbell.
17/11/68---Hamish Imlach.
1/12/68---The Skerries.
8/12/68---Local Night.
29/12/68---The Leesiders.
1969
5/1/69---Alex Campbell.
12/1/69---Archie Fisher.
19/1/69---David Campbell.
26/1/69---Mike Whellans.
2/2/69---The Humblebums.
9/2/69---Alan Robson and Friends.
16/2/69---Hamish Imlach.
23/2/69---Malcolm Price.
2/3/69---George Craigie,The Skerries.
9/3/69---The McCalmans.
16/3/69---Jim Herd, The Other Half.
23/3/69---Local singers.
30/3/69---Danny Kyle.
6/4/69---The Humblebums, ( probably with Gerry Rafferty ).
28/9/69---Roy and Alan.
5/10/69---The Other Half.
12/10/69---David Campbell.
19/10/69---Hamish Imlach.
26/10/69---Archie Fisher.
2/11/69---Mike Whellans and Aly Bain.
9/11/69---Pete Stanley and Brian Golbey.
16/11/69---The Leesiders.
23/11/69---The McCalmans.
30/11/69---Malcolm Price.
7/12/69---Ian Campbell.
14/12/69---Jim Herd.
21/12/69---The Humblebums.
1970.
18/1/70---The Other Half.
25/1/70---Alan Robson.
1/2/70---Caber Feidh.
8/2/70---Jim Herd.
15/2/70---Rab Noakes.
22/2/70---Archie Fisher.
1/3/70---The New Travelling People.
8/4/70---Local Singers.
15/3/70---Pete Stanley and Brian Golbey.
22/3/70---David Campbell.
29/3/70---Hamish Imlach.
5/4/70---Local Singers.
12/4/70---Rab Noakes.
19/4/70---The Other Half.
27/9/70---Dave Shannon.
4/10/70---Malcolm Price.
11/10/70---The McCalmans.
18/10/70---David Campbell.
25/10/70---The Other Half.
1/11/70---Iain Mackintosh.
8/11/70---Rab Noakes.
15/11/70---The Humblebums.
22/11/70---Gothic Horizon.
29/11/70---The JSD Band.
6/12/70---Christy Moore.
13/12/70---The Leesiders.
1971.
17/1/71---Archie Fisher.
24/1/71---Hamish Imlach.
31/1/71---Jim Herd.
7/2/71---The JSD Band.
14/2/71---The McCalmans.
21/2/71---Alan Robson and Des.
28/2/71---Bill Barclay.
7/3/71---The McCalmans.
14/3/71---Vic Peterson and Diane.
21/3/71---Bill Clifton.
28/3/71---Billy Connolly.
4/4/71---Dave Shannon and Sam Bracken.

11/4/71---Archie Fisher was our guest on this the final night of the Folk Club. Everybody in the East of Scotland folk scene was there! Alan Robson and the Kirkcaldy Folk club singers were there. Local singers, Jim Lafferty,Bob Halley,Singers from Elie Club. Mike Petrie, Lowland Folk again local, and others whose names I've forgotten. If you were there at that great night please leave a comment. Willie and I would love to hear from you if you have memories to share.

Willie Whyte's Views On The 1960's Folk Scene.

Before the Dundee Folk Club became established and eventually successful it had tried to find a base in various settings, each one failing for different reasons, and I suppose that in today’s terms it would be considered a learning curve. In reality those who had never stopped doing some form of Folk Music, must have been amused and apprehensive by this sudden new wave of interest and of the people who began to participate in it. Therefore, those who had been quietly performing Folk Music for years without receiving too much attention were joined by the newly converted in what was referred to as a folk revival. However, the newly converted and the curious provided a larger demand than before, which was met when Folk Clubs began springing up in small venues, mostly pubs. Inevitably these new comers onto this scene would come to be regarded rather warily by the ones who had an established scene would come to be regarded rather warily by the ones who had an established interest in their Folk Music. I feel it is safe to say that early on there was a very serious approach to Folk Music in the clubs. Tradition was the strongest influence, and although served up well by some a whole night without a smile could be likened to having mild depression! However the greater the interest grew the more diverse influences began to appear on the local folk stage. Traditional singers with their songs were joined by singers with their own new songs. As the audiences grew bigger, aspects never considered before became important and expected, namely; amplification, and presentation. Humour in these newly formed Folk Clubs came along slowly, but it was helped consciously and often unwittingly by the singers who tried out their own take on Folk Music. The results were often rewarding and sometimes hilarious. Early on it soon became clear that in some of the venues that offered Folk Music saw it as their duty to promote what was known then as Pro-test Singers. It seems they had to be hairy, have an attitude, guitar optional, and sing songs about Brazilian Immigrant Workers in a Fife accent. Sea songs for some unknown reason were important, audiences would be asked to mime (In time to the song) the rigging being raised, and urged to roar "Heave" when instructed. This all seemed very reasonable and uplifting until you remembered you were miles from any sea water. On these occasions a passing Pro-test Singer would often feel the need to join in. Dressed like a returning fisherman he would proceed to sing about the "1894 Whelk Pickers Strike in Buckie". Probably influenced by the epic pictures being shown in cinemas in those days, on to the stage would come a young man with a wispy beard often with a guitar slung around on his back which he totally ignored during his song. Hand on ear he would give the audience forty-seven verses (I don't remember a chorus) of song about a man who got the old "Heave Ho" from his own true love If I remember correctly the audience seemed to applaud a very impressive memory. Others in Folk Venues, tried cover versions of folksy sounding recent recordings by groups such as the Beach Boys (Sloop John B). Using their own sound effects. You will just have to imagine this. Try thinking cistern! Then there were the guitarists, who never sang, and usually never spoke, and proceeded to play an intricate piece- you felt you should know but never did-only to shuffle off unexpectedly,to muffled comments of “Genius” from their followers. Another entrant on the scene at that time was the Folk Group. Thick matching sweaters they usually announced their arrival with their “Call to Arms” songs, the word rousing always sprang to mind! Usually followed by a heads bowed version of some maiden’s suicide. When they stood on stage between songs they reminded me of a bus queue, don’t ask me why! Then there was "The Inn Folk"!!!!!!!


"I WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING!"
40 years of lain MacKintosh
Typed original
by Susanne Kalweit
I can't believe it's thirty years since three of us teamed up
Won a folk group competition - I've still got that silver cup
In a basement club in Bath Street for me it did begin
Songs from Archie, Alex Campbell,Josh MacRae and Matt McGinn
I played a bingo hall in Wishaw, a church hall in Polmadie
The more I sang the more I thought, aye, that's the life for me
I don't remember where it was, but someone paid us once
Between you and me – l havnae done an honest day's work since
An audition at the Ashfield Club, with three songs up our sleeves
The boy said. Lads, don't waste my time, can ye no dae some Jim Reeves?
Then I got my first TV show from the Elbow Room in Fife
Sometimes I think that Gordon Smith (the producer!) was the man who changed my life
Time went on and line-ups changed, one group became another
Jackie, Gavin, Bobby, Tarn - I loved them like my brothers
Then one day I thought I'd like to try it on my own
And a whole new world just opened up when I stood up there alone
It didnae take me long to find the songs I liked to do
Mostly songs by other folk, though I did write one or two
I sang some Harry Chapin songs, somehow they seemed to suit
And the Glasgow songs by Adam to remind me of my roots
I learned a lot from Hamish too, not just how to drink
There's much more to the big man than a lot of people think
He can mickey mouse the public bar or captivate with blues
Takes three men to fill his trousers - but no one fills his shoes
Some other special friends, of course, they know how I feel
There's Allan Taylor, Alan Reid, 'Cecil B McNeill
Arthur Johnstone, Rod from Denmark, and the Sands from Ireland too
Jesus - this verse was a big mistake, I can't name all of you
Some virtuoso players - think of Aly, think of Phil
As we sometimes say in Glasgow - that music's pure dead brill
A couple of us made it big - Billy, Babs got rich
Some of us just made it small - Danny, me, and Tich
My family were wonderful, my daughters and my wife
They knew how much I loved this job and enjoyed the travelling life
We smiled through the good times, and they helped me through the rough
Though tempted, they never once said. Take your banjo and piss off
There's never a dull moment now, the tours come rolling in
Baltimore to Bielefeld, Bermuda tae Berlin
No, I can't believe it's thirty years since I began to sing
But if I had to do it all again, I wouldnae change a thing.

10 comments:

Nick Hunter said...

Great idea to do this Russ. Great days and what a wealth of talent we all got to hear. Get that guitar out !
Nick Hunter ( The Laggans !)

Anonymous said...

I love this blog, it is fantastic.

Re Mike Petrie: I'd love to know a bit more about Mike's time as a peformer during that period. I met him as a young lad (I was the young lad, I mean!) in the early '90s when he played tenor banjo a lot in the Foundry Bar. I seem to recall he became very disillusioned with the professional folk scene in spite of what seemed to be a bit of success. He could play loads of instruments, and I remember him being a really great traditional singer. Sadly he had a few health problems and passed away last year.

I'd be grateful for any info, I hadn't seen him for about 10 years when I heard he'd passed on.

Anonymous said...

Actually my memory's failing, Mike passed away a few years back now, 2002 I think? Really sad, I just found some more about him and The Petermen on Nigel Gatherer's great site.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree, Mike had a great talent. Not only for music,he was a great mimic. I remember giving him a lift to some gig and he entertained us all the way with impersonations of many of the guests who had appeared at the folk club! A great loss.

John Macdonald said...

This is a bit off subject I think, but I am trying to find out about a song which we believe was recorded by the Lowland Folk Four. It's called "The Pride of the Panmure Yaird". We believe it was written to commemorate the return of the "Discovery" to Dundee. Any information would be a great help.

John Mac.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I hope there's more to come. The only thing that puzzles me is the bottom of the column. "I wouldn't change a thing" is a song Iain MacKintosh wrote around his 60th birthday, detailing the ups and (few) downs of his career. The lyrics are as given, but I don't have anything to do with them other than using them as the basis for an article on Iain at the time of his retirement (subtitled "40 years of Iain MacKintosh"). It was printed by the Living Tradition some time later and is still available on the FolkWorld website.
Anyway, it's nice to see Iain remembered now that we can't listen to him any more. Thanks, Russ Paterson!
Susanne Kalweit

Anonymous said...

anyone have Ian Campbell - And Another Thing album from 1993(1995)?

would like to listen that.

my mail: ub40dub@hotmail.com

thanks for help!

ann.mckay5 said...

Hi Russ and Willie. have just found your site and wanted to say hello! It brought back a lot of great memories. I now live in Brook Street in "the ferry" and would love to have a get together some time. Cheers Joe McKay

Russ Paterson said...

Hi Ann and Joe,nice to get a wee blast from the past. I usually go to a wee acoustic session at Newport Hotel on a Monday evening. I try and do a lot of flatpicking these days. It'the kind of session where anything goes and everyone gets a song. Apart from that I don't really do any semi pro playing.

themusicgatherer said...

Shame this seems to have been a flash in the pan from six years ago - I'm delighted to have come across it. Thanks for what little there is - it's wonderful to see the photos and the guest lists.