Folk music on a Roll…

Rolling Hills Music Festival, Melrose.
Rolling Hills Music Festival, Melrose.

ORGANISERS described the weekend’s folk festival in Melrose as “a huge success”.

The three-day Rolling Hills Folk Festival in Melrose’s Corn Exchange started on Friday with a sell-out ceilidh. Sunday afternoon’s concert focusing on younger musicians was also full and although there were still seats available for Saturday’s event, those who went loved the music of established performers.

Festival co-organiser Ros Anderson said: “The festival was a huge success and the musicians got great feedback. People appreciated the mix of music and we got lots of compliments on the sound system, provided by the Music Gallery from Berwick. Charlie Coward was our compere and he was excellent.”

She continued: “We had a lot of visitors from overseas, quite a few Dutch and some Americans. They were just glowing about the festival music and the area. Quite a few of them were just starting on their holiday and it had put them in a great frame of mind, they said.”

The Rolling Hills Folk Club, which holds the festival, hopes to raise more money to stage next year’s musical extravaganza.

Mrs Anderson said: “We want to have more focused fundraising and we are exploring other financial support for next year.”

Friday night’s ceilidh doubled as a wedding party for Beth Scrimshaw, who was getting married on the Eildons the next day, and guests. Family and friends from Inverness, London and points between converged on the town, learning Scottish country dancing to music by the Clarty Cloot Band.

The Tannahill Weavers concluded their Scottish tour celebrating 40 years of music-making by headlining at the Melrose event on Saturday. Also playing that evening were traditional duo Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre as well as Cambridgeshire guitarist Phil Hare.

Mrs Anderson said people greatly enjoyed the Saturday concert. The music was excellent,” she said. “Phil Hare made a song up on the spot, an interesting spin on the Olympics which people loved.”

It was the turn of the younger ones on Sunday: the Feis Rios Trad Trails, Barluath (students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and traditional singer Scott Gardiner with guitarist Johnny Kemp.