A Great Night – supporting PS Waverley

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

A Great Night – supporting PS Waverley

A quick note to thank Scottish Branch Committee Member Charles McCrossan for his part in the organisation of a new venture to raise funds for the Waverley. (A number of Scottish Branch members also assisted but I’ll not try to mention them in case I leave someone out)

On 28th November a special concert was held at St Andrew’s in the Square, a beautifully restored former church, designed in 1739 by Alan Dreghorn and built by master mason Mungo Naismith. It is “A” listed and is regarded as one of the top six classical churches in UK. The design is similar to St Martin in the Fields in London. The restoration was completed 8 years ago today – St Andrews Day, 30 November 2000.

For pictures of the magnificent interiors of St Andrews please visit the following website:


The audience were treated to a fine evening of entertainment. First on stage was folk singer / songwirter Duncan McCrone, formerly of the folk group ‘The Clydesiders’. He was accompanied by his long term co-artist Cy Jack and the world class Shetland fiddler Chris Stout. Arguably Duncan McCrone’s best known creation is the song ‘Always Argyll’. We did not hear that song but Duncan delivered a fine rendition of another tale of emigrant Scots (albeit enforce leavers!), the traditional song ‘Jamie Raeburn’- the tale a Glasgow baker who was transported to Van Deiman’s Land for a relatively minor crime.

McCrone also sang his largely autobiographical song ‘Just a Glasgow Boy’ and Robert Burns’ biography ‘Rantin’, Rovin’ Robin’ which the Bard wrote to celebrate his 28th Birthday.

The second part of the concert featured The Cast, a duo of Edinburgh folksingers Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis. Mairi delivered a beautiful rendition of ‘Auld Land Syne’, sung to the original melody for which Burns’ wrote the lyrics, much different to the newer tune by which it has become a worldwide anthem. Mairi and Dave’s interpretation featured prominently in the recent blockbuster movie ‘Sex in the City’ . To hear a chorus of the song as sung by Mairi in their album ‘The Winnowing’ go to the following link and click on the ‘Play’ arrowhead:


Apart from having a fine singing voice (she won the Singer of the Year Award 2007 at the Scottish Trad Music Awards last December) Mairi Campbell is an accomplished player of the viola, the classical violin and Scottish Fiddle and, when she delivered a compilation of traditional jigs and reels, not one foot in the ‘body of the kirk’ could stay still!

The main performer for the evening was Glasgow-born rock singer / songwirter J J Gilmour, formerly of ‘The Silencers. He appeared on stage with his trademark stripped beenie. It is the first time that I had seen JJ for a good number of years and I admit that I didn’t recognise him at first – the longish fair hair have been replaced by grey – but who am I to talk at least he still has some! Good to see the following entry on JJ’s website. (JJ now lives in Belfast).

“I am coming home to Scotland to do a concert in St Andrews in the square in the fine city of Glasgow on November 28th. The concert is in aid of the fantastic Waverly steamboat (picture on the left) which sails up and down the Clyde. Ticket info can be found over on the Tour dates page. The concert should be great and as I have only played 4 concerts this year I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to it.”

Also in the audience was the renowned Glasgow-born jazz singer Carol Kidd.

The fine banner of ‘PS Waverley – a National Treasure’, which was premiered at Lochranza last year (see below), provided the backdrop throughout the concert.

A great performance by all the artists enjoyed, I am sure, , all that attended .

Stuart Cameron