Noakes and Gallagher headline Denholm Folk Festival

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FORMER Stealers Wheel man Rab Noakes and Benny Gallagher headline next month’s Denholm Folk Festival.

Fifer Noakes, pictured left, starred in the band alongside Gerry Rafferty, while he also performed with Lindsfarne, who released his most famous track Together Forever.

“Rab went on to become controller of music for BBC Radio Scotland, and continues to be a major figure in our national musical landscape,” said a festival spokesman. Noakes will perform in Denholm Village Hall as part of the special Scottish singer/songwriters concert which includes Hawick’s Dave Finnie, one of region’s best songwriters.

To round off the evening there will be a set from one of Scottish songwriting’s best exports, Gallagher. Apart from finding chart success with partner Graham Lyle with songs like Heart on my Sleeve and Breakaway, he was also a member of McGuiness Flint, contributing When I’m Dead and Gone and others to their collection of hits.

Later, the tempo will be raised with the Late Night Extra set, performed by the fantastic Harbour Band, paying a welcome return visit from Stavanger in Norway.

The day before, the festival starts off with a welcoming session in the Auld Cross Keys on Thursday, November 1.

Workshops in guitar, fiddle and accordion will be run by the tutors from Merlin Music, and the winner of the open mic competition will be given the honour of opening Saturday evening’s concert.

Second up will be the Matt Seattle Band, a four-piece featuring pipes and jazz-influenced arrangements, and then top of the bill will be the New Rope String Band.

A festival spokesman added: “This group has been described as sidesplittingly funny, perhaps the most entertaining folk act around today, with their combination of brilliant musicianship and hilarious stage antics earning them the tag ‘once seen, never forgotten’.”

The ever-popular free concert on Sunday afternoon will be held once more in Denholm Church, and sessions will continue throughout the weekend at both pubs, Denholm Meet and at the Festival Club in the lesser hall.

Full details can be found at – for more information and tickets, please call 01835 830488 or visit