On song for a session

Selkirk Sessions 2012
Selkirk Sessions 2012

Changes have been made to the Selkirk Sessions traditional music festival, which takes place in the town over the weekend of October 4-6.

This is the eighth year of the popular festival, which was born out of the Both Sides of the Tweed event which held its last two festivals in Selkirk in 2004 and 2005.

Once again Selkirk Sessions will centre on the town’s hostelries, with camping at The Haugh coupled with free transport provided to and from the town.

Chairman David Scott, banjo player with Selkirk skiffle outfit the Bogie’s Close Stompers and occasional drummer with Riddell Fiddles, said the sessions had a warm appeal to music lovers.

He commented: “We welcome all musicians who enjoy playing traditional or modern folk, contemporary and bluegrass music – and anyone who just likes listening to good stuff.

“Selkirk Sessions is going from strength to strength and continues to evolve as it develops. Once again anchor players will be in venues to start things off with a bang.”

The usual competitions will be held in the upstair lounge of O’Malleys at 2pm on the Saturday. Classes are Under-16 song or instrument; 16 and over song/poem; 16 and over instrument, and the popular Chorus Cup. But David confirmed changes have been made. He told us: “We have decided to drop the workshops on Saturday mornings due to lack of take up. However, if people want a particular workshop, please get back to us either before or during the weekend and I am sure something can be arranged.

“The idea of a stand-alone winners concert or mammoth session is being altered this year due to many of the competition winners not being available on the Sunday.

“This year we are trying a family / all players, singers ceilidh and music session from 2pm in the Conservative Club.

“This will be for anyone who wishes to play along with the core ceilidh band or who just want to come along and listen.

“Competition winners who are still around, will of course, also have an opportunity the strut their stuff.

“Selkirk Sessions is for everyone who wants to come along and play, sing or dance – or simply listen and enjoy.”

Venues are the Town Arms – which also doubles as the festival office – Selkirk Bowling Club (opposite the Victoria Halls), the Conservative Club, The Fleece front lounge (off Ettrick Terrace), the Masonic Lodge on Saturday and O’Malley’s upstairs lounge.

David commented: “The festival isn’t just for visitors. We want as many locals and people from across the Borders to come and enjoy.”