Sophie is holding a Ceilidh to raise money for her trip Volunteering in Thailand!
Dancing to the popular Ceilidh band 'Iron Broo'
Tickets are only £10 or £5 child which includes the Ceilidh, Disco, Buffet, Stovies and raffles will be held during the night! There is also a limited amount of free Children's tickets!
Tickets are available from myself or at different shops which are still to be confirmed! (Will let you know in due course)
This event is proving very popular so please get your tickets soon as they are limited!
Sophie's Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/596851703735149/
This came in today's mail. A thank you from the Archie Foundation with the final figure for the fundraising ceilidh we organised in January. Thanks to everyone who helped make it a success. Plans are afoot for a repeat performance next year.... Maybe we can bump it up a bit too!
Ace Fun Had by all.
Our fundraising ceilidh for the Archie Foundation on 18th of January 2014 went very well. We over-sold out the Star Ballroom and had to refuse to sell any more tickets in the end. Which was a shame as we had contemplated booking the bigger ballroom but we didn't want to take the chance with the bigger expenses involved. Had folk booked their tickets further in advance we could have done it. Hopefully next year we will be a bit better organized and get a bigger venue. We had 150 plus people in the Star, we were a 6 piece band which felt fantastic to play in. Our special guests Paul Anderson ( international Fiddle superstar form Tarland ) and Bob Knight ( Aberdeen award winning folk-songwriter ) did a fantastic job and added a great flavor to the evening.
The final total we raised after costs for the hall hire etc. was over £2000.00. A great night was had by all and it was for a great cause helping create a better hospital in Aberdeen for sick children and their families.
Did you know that the receptionists at the Aberdeen Children's hospital are all volunteers? The NHS doesn't pay for receptionists.
I didn't know that. Archie have been doing a great job in making the Children's Hospital more child friendly, changing the environment with decorations that distract and grab a child's imagination. Replacing the cold clinical linoleum wipe clean image that hospitals conjure up, there are now paintings, colorful walls and ceilings. They have created a play area with games, toys and video games to appeal to all ages of children. There is a small wing where parents can sleep overnight , like a hotel so they can be near their children at a difficult time without having to pay the ridiculous prices charged by Hotels in Aberdeen as a result of the lucrative Oil Industry. (Few hotels in Aberdeen will charge anything less than a Hundred pounds a night) Some children may be in hospital for many months or even years which can result in massive financial problems for families. There is a non denominational chapel or prayer room where all faiths or no faiths can spend some quiet time or say their goodbyes. They have a Kitchen where relatives can cook simple meals. They would like to put in more cooking facilities like an oven and a hob but health and safety restrictions won't allow it. Let's hope that common sense will prevail in the end.
Archie Have a big revamp planned for the future. I know our £2000 is just a drop in the Ocean to what is required. Maybe our drop in the ocean will ripple, get a little larger and grow into something else. Maybe next year we can do something bigger....
Lots of people have asked already if we will do it again. Making it an annual event. I think we will. Watch this space....
18th January 2014 - Beach Ballroom. Star Ballroom.
Tickets will be available from Monday 9th of December.
All money raised will be going to help the archie foundation at Aberdeen Sick Childrens Hospital.
I had a fantastic time in Sicily back in July as the One Man Ceilidh Band for a Scottish/Sicilian wedding. Sicily really impressed me. The people are really nice and the food is fantastic. I never once had a bad wine! The white in particular is fantastic.
Landing in Palermo for a few nights then to Trapani for the wedding. The traffic in Palermo is amazing. If you can drive there (and survive), you can drive anywhere!
Trapani is much quieter than Palermo and has a busy fishing port. Beautiful yellow sandstone buildings surrounded by stunning landscapes and blue sea. If you've ever seen 'Inspector Monatalbano' on the TV, you'll know what I mean.
I can't wait to go back.
The wedding in Trapani was a sight to be seen. The hotel had a swimming pool that was also used as a harbour for small boats. The wedding reception and meal was held in the evening at the hotel, round this 'harbour'. The meal ran late which was expected. I lost count on how many courses there were. I think we ate for 5 hours. Pastas, fish, seafood, caponata, all delicious. I wasn't able to indulge in the wine because I had to play after. I was expected to start around 10.30pm but it was 2.45am before we got started. The calling was interesting with a few overly lubricated Scottish people assuring me they were experts in ceilidh dancing only happy to offer their assistance over the microphone while I was already speaking. It was very funny! I'm sure there were more than a few sore heids the next day.
Made good friends with the piper and the DJ. The piper was from Palermo and loved the sound of the Scottish bagpipes so much he decided to take them up after hearing them on Italian radio. He was very good. Gianluigi Fanzone is his name in case you need a piper in Sicily. firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Enzo Monreale kept everyone entertained till about 8am after the ceilidh. He is a natural DJ with a feel and passion for what he does. I'd highly recommend his services in Sicily. A true professional and a real gentleman.
After the wedding we traveled around a little in the area, Erice, Marsala Salt flats and went sea angling and had a trip to the Egadi Islands and Favignana. Stunning. We caught lots of small fish and went to head out for some Tuna or some big game fish. I did see a sword fish jump in the water not far from the boat but we had little luck. I did get something big at one point but it broke the line and got away. I'll have to get him next time.
It was difficult to find a charter for fishing in Sicily. I wanted to catch a big Swordfish or a Tuna or perhaps a Grouper. None of the tourist offices seemed to know that anyone did it, everything was geared up for dolphin spotting or island tours. This will save you the trouble of looking in case you pick this up on Google. This is Andrea's website....
This beach is down the end of a road to the North of Trapani. You need to walk a few K's to get there. It's well worth it though. It's part of a nature reserve next to an old Tonnara (Tuna) factory.
I am looking forward to going back.
We had a fantastic time in Germany. We went by airplane from Aberdeen via Amsterdam to Berlin and so managed a stay in Berlin on our way to Dresden. By the time we reached Berlin we were all pretty tired after having been up late the previous night (working) and being up early in the morning to get to the airport, packed, organised and ready for the journey we were pretty destroyed.
We were a three piece band for the gig, myself on the accordion, Tom on the banjo and as ever Fred on the bouzouki. We had a half hour to kill in Schiphol airport on the way there so managed a quick pint of Heineken and a sandwich while we watched anxiously from the terminal as they loaded the airplane with the Banjo and our cases. Luckily I had the accordion as hand baggage. It never travels well when it comes to baggage handlers. Luckily we all reached Berlin safely with our instruments intact.
After checking into the hotel in Berlin we followed the river Spree and took it's name to be a sign. After an hour of walking we stopped in the Hackescher Markt and had a fantastic well priced feed in the 'Restauration'. Naturally we took pictures of our food and shared it with the world on Facebook. As you do.
We then went on a walk to the the Brandenburg gate but we had headed off in the wrong direction. (faulty GPS Herr Wilkinson) and ended up in the wrong side of town. So we stopped in for a quick refreshment at a German Pub. We remained there for the rest of the evening and never made the Gate. We had a great time though and made some new friends.
We made the train on time next morning and got to Dresden in the afternoon. It is a very special place. We had no idea it was such a beautiful city. The centre is pedestrianised and so there is not much traffic to worry about. The architecture is stunning. Most of which was destroyed in world war 2 by the controversial bombing by the allies. Only in recent years did they have the money to rebuild many of the iconic Dresden buildings which have been restored almost exactly to the finest detail. There is a quiet pride in the people of Dresden who are very friendly, have amazing food and a smile for every foreigner. The city had recently been badly effected by the floods only the week before we arrived but already it had been quickly and efficiently cleaned up and there was little sign of any damage other than the debris on the river banks. Which we observed on an afternoon cruise down the Elbe whilst enjoying Weiss Beer, Pickled herrings in apple coleslaw and potato salad. Delicious.
Curiously the boat was named Dampfart. Or something like that but I honestly had no problems after eating.
We played at Janet and Lucas's wedding on the Saturday night in a University building. It was a very special occasion. We had a small problem with the language barrier as many Dresden people don't speak English as they do in the western part of Germany due to it's history. But we overcame this pretty quickly and had them jigging' away pretty soon despite being full of food and sweating with the heat. It was very warm. Luckily there was a free bar! We were very kindly treated and were fed and watered all through the night. We even joined them on the dance floor for the 80's disco on the dance floor later on. Thanks Janet, Lucas and all.
If you ever get a chance to go to Germany I would highly recommend Dresden. It's a really special place that I will never forget. One day I hope to go back there again and just do nothing except wander around aimlessly in and out of the various eateries and bars, soaking up the environment. Listening to the wonderful music played by the many talented buskers playing a very high standard of musicianship. From the virtuoso old lady on the Bayan and the Schone Grube aus St.Petersburg, a brass quartet that played beautifully and really moved me. Let us never forget the solo violin lady with the hat in the white see through dress. Aye Dresden has it all.
We had some great photos recently from gifted wedding photographer Janie Barclay. ( see her site www.janiebarclay.com ) They were just taken at weddings where we both working. I've put some up on our gallery page and will use them on the website and other projects.
Happy Easter folks.
I've painted and rolled my eggs, have you? We had fun this afternoon rolling Eggs in the garden with the kids. My Egg won.
For lunch we had home made Lasagna and chocolate eggs.
Tonight we are playing for a wedding. It's been a lovely day. I'm looking forward to a tune and a good ceilidh....
This cold weather has really been starting to bother me lately. It seems never ending. I can't wait until our trips abroad over the summer. If the Sun won't come to Iron Broo then Iron Broo willl come to the Sun! I'm looking forward to Germany, Sicily and Italy later in the year. I was hoping for a chance to go to Canada too but that might have to wait until next year...we'll see.
Here's hoping Scotland gets a summer this year.
Fred and I are doing a photo shoot tomorrow morning for a publicity spot for a gig Iron Broo are playing at in May. I'll tell you more about that one shortly. Just so I tell you the correct info.
SCAT in Aberdeen will be running an accordion class starting next month. Subject to a to class size of at least 7 pupils attending. I am happy to tell you that I will once again be taking the class after an absence of over 11 years from teaching for SCAT and I am very much looking forward to it. I think it will be held on a Wednesday night for 6 weeks starting 24th April. 7pm till 9pm with a break for refreshmentssshh...
The SCAT website, will have the info up there shortly or you can contact them for the details if you want to learn the piano accordion.
It's been a busy week. We've had a lot of enquiries and have taken 6 more confirmed wedding bookings with some more in the pipeline. Last weekend saw us at Balmoral Castle again. For Gillian and Gary's wedding. What an evening it was. Good crack and it was nice to see so many kent faces fae Ballater. (Fit like Lisa!) It was a bit difficult to drag some folk away from the bar to begin with but in the end we couldn't get them to stop dancing. We had to knock back the request for the third encore after 1am because we thought Lizzie might come knocking.
We made it home safely at around 3am and headed off for a well earned sleep. I managed till about 7am when the kids got up.
I am considering adding a Forum to the site. Any suggestions?