Phil and Aly are back – and we have tickets to be won

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THE reputation of Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain remains as strong as ever in the eyes of musicians across Scotland and beyond, with Phil set to appear on new albums by Kate Rusby and Mark Knopfler in the coming months.

The duo return to the Borders on Sunday, September 23, for their now annual show in the Tait Hall, Kelso, and as ever TheSouthern has four pairs of tickets for the concert to give away.

Portobello lad Phil and Shetlander Aly joined forces back in 1986 for TV series Aly Bain and Friends.

It was the start not only of Phil’s television career, but also of their 25-year partnership. Phil and Aly went on to record an album, The Pearl, featuring some of Phil’s compositions, and have recorded and toured tirelessly since 

Phil’s appearance on Mark Knopfler’s new CD follows a day spent with the former Dire Straits frontman for a BBC show in 2010 where the pair discussed their careers and influences.

Aly has been seen on TV series The Transatlantic Sessions, and two years ago featured on the BBC’s Fishing for Poetry BBC programme, teaming up with Billy Connolly to pay tribute to poet Norman MacCaig.

Phil and Aly also appear at Langholm on Thursday, September 20. Tickets for their Kelso gig (7.30pm) are priced at £18.50 and are available by phoning 01750 725480 or visit

To win one of four pairs of tickets to Phil and Aly’s Tait Hall show, answer this question:

Which group of islands is Aly Bain from?

Send your answer, name, full address and phone number by email to or post to The Phil and Aly competition, The Southern Reporter, The Hermitage, High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DA, by Thursday, September 6.