WATCH VIDEO: Fans of Americana are in for a festive treat in Galashiels next week
After recording his first Christmas album in lockdown a Peebles cellist is preparing to bring some festive cheer at a homecoming gig in the Borders next week.
The Jellyman’s Daughter are to perform at Mac Arts in Galashiels on Thursday, December 9.
The duo – formed by Peebles-born Graham Coe and Emily Kelly – play a musically diverse package of everything from folk and bluegrass to rock and chamber music.
The pair were on tour in the Blue Mountains of Australia – ahead of a US tour – when the pandemic hit.
They beat a fast retreat back home and eventually holed up in the attic at the Peebles home of Graham’s parents – Sam and Dorothy – to record ‘Christmas’, an album featuring largely familiar festive favourites, including Blue Christmas, In the Bleak Midwinter and Merry Xmas Everybody.
However, the single from the album, simply entitled ‘Christmas’ is an original.
At next week’s Gala gig the duo will be augmented by Lyle Watt on guitar, as well as Jamie Francis on banjo and Phil McBride on double bass.Graham, who met Emily while studying on the popular music course at Napier University, recalled his musical origins.
He said: “I had cello lessons since I was about six and I had guitar lessons at Peebles High School, they have a really good music department there.
"When it got to the point when I was deciding what to do I couldn’t imagine anything else but music. It was a straightforward choice because it was what I enjoyed the most.
"I was actually in a metal band as a teenager. I think we played a couple of shows in Galashiels, a battle of the bands contest at a venue, I think it was called The Red Room.
"I was always a metal fan but it was hard to integrate it into cello and when I went to uni I met Emily and she introduced me to a band called Crooked Still, and the cello player in that band was able to do that and that got me into a sort of folkie-crossover.”
The duo did make the most of their musical output during lockdown.
Graham explained: “We did a few live streams but not a lot. The disconnection with the audience felt really weird. We really like being on stage, connecting with the audience.
"We’ve always thought about doing a Christmas album and we decided to do it and rented a few microphones and went into my parent’s attic. I’ve seen a few gigs at Mac Arts and it’s really good venue. We’re really looking forward to it.”
For ticket information on next week’s gig go to https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/galashiels/macarts