FolkWorld Live Review

6th Isle of Bute International Folk Festival, Scotland

17th - 21st July 97

6th Isle of Bute International Folk Festival, Scotland

By Christian Moll

"The organisation of the weather costed us a whole lot", festival director Danny Kyle stated. Easy to believe - while that weekend big clouds and heavy rain made people feel like summer all around Europe from Germany down to Spain, the first thing you got on the Isle of Bute was a sunburn. No clouds were seen during those five days, and Scotland's Mediterranean festival island was full of smiling, dancing, music playing and listening, drinking people, all enjoying themselves.

Tom Paxton; Photo by The MollisThere was lots of great music on, including a concert with both Australian-Scottish singer/songwriter Eric Bogle and American legend Tom Paxton (photo); Wolfstone has had one of its last performances before its break-up at the end of the year; a magic concert of traditional Scottish band Smalltalk in the castle; and there were many more. Bute is such kind of festival where "it's very much the area and the events that attracts, and then the artists, you know they are the bonus", as Danny says. It's a bute-iful island, with friendly inhabitants who directly make you feel at home; a big part of Bute's population is, by the way, of Irish origin. The events were diverse and special, ideally suited for an enjoyable weekend out with your family. There were hot ceilidh dances, story telling in the dungeon of old Rothesay castle, pub sessions, concerts, the World Ceilidh Band Championships, the whisky show of Scottish singer/songwriter Robin Laing, the ceilidh trip with the last sea going paddle steamer Waverley. Then the beach party, lying there in the sun enjoying songs and tunes as well as jokes by the festival director. And finally Bute's traditional barn dance, ideal for a final dance-till-you-drop.

If you are just planning your next year's summer holidays, think once again if you really go to Majorca - the Mediterranean-Scottish Isle of Bute is much nearer, and there you have besides great weather, beaches and palms also some great music, dance and fun.

There is a detailed review of the Tom Paxton & Eric Bogle concert just in German language available

Infos on the next Bute folk festival from Peter Morrison.

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