‘Simply the best we’ve ever had’

The Mighty Doonans are the big band version of the Doonan Family Band, and bring the main concert to a great end.

The Mighty Doonans are the big band version of the Doonan Family Band, and bring the main concert to a great end.

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DENHOLM Folk Festival is being hailed as one of the best in the eight years of its existence.

Enthusiasts enjoyed a weekend of concerts and friendly pub sessions, and despite the frosty weather some hardy souls used camper vans as their weekend base.

Cody Watkinson from Eyemouth with the Laidlaw trophy for the under 16 section of the competition

Cody Watkinson from Eyemouth with the Laidlaw trophy for the under 16 section of the competition

Workshops featured guitar, with Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig; singing, led by the same duo; songwriting, with David Swann; while Louise Douglas and Donald Knox took the fiddle and guitar accompaniment class.

The festival competition was won by Roy Henderson from Dunkeld, a singer and guitarist in his 60s.

The junior competition was won by Cody Watkinson from Eyemouth, a nine-year-old who sang unaccompanied.

Kenny Speirs, one of the festival organisers told TheSouthern: “The festival was the best ever, by all accounts.

Overall competition winner Roy Henderson from Dunkeld with the Culburnie Trophy. Presented by Chairman of the festival Ronnie Templeman.

Overall competition winner Roy Henderson from Dunkeld with the Culburnie Trophy. Presented by Chairman of the festival Ronnie Templeman.

“Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig were a great success on Friday evening, not only for their amazing performance at the concert, but also for the way they joined in enthusiastically with the session later. Their workshops were extremely popular too, with several accomplished local guitarists vowing to burn their instruments afterwards.

“On Saturday, the Cross Keys was packed to the rafters for the Doonan Family Band, who provided a first-class evening’s entertainment with their brilliant musicianship. Their humour and wide diversity of material from the Irish tradition to the Kinks – not to mention their fantastic Irish dancer who had only given birth seven weeks earlier – were out of this world.

“When the Doonans played their first number and their dancer finished her performance the whole room erupted in rapturous applause and cheering, and I thought the roof was going to come off.

“The informal sessions in the pubs and village hall were very well supported and attracted a wide variety of performers from all corners of the country.”