John Gibson: Fingers are crossed for busy May

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We never close! You couldn’t blame May Paton for shouting the odds – in person she’s relatively low profile – because she runs Fingers, the Frederick Street piano bar, virtually 24/7. But as of now till January 2, the essentially intimate, atmospheric room will be busy. Jumping’s the word.

Back by public demand, she stresses, are the attractions that played the room (newly equipped with state-of-the-art keyboards) last year at this time. Throughout December John Hides is on keys from 10pm to 2am and from today until January 2 Bleeker will be the main event from 2am until 5am. That’s the guitar and vocals duo.

“Both acts are so popular in Frederick Street that we also booked them in during the Fringe,” says May. “Both acts have staying power, as do our customers. Fingers has made its reputation as a late-night, early-morning venue.”

Staying power is what May Paton has aplenty. “Fingers is the longest-established and, if I may brag so, the most popular piano bar in Edinburgh. We started our 18th year on December 1.”

What does she want me to do? Compose a piano concerto for the place?


Christmas cards. I could paper our editorial department with them. There are, of course, some that particularly catch the eye. Today one I’ve got from Lord Provost Donald Wilson and Lady Provost Elaine Brand. The illustration is by Hannah Sneddon, studying BA (Hons) at the College of Art, and Hannah’s done Sir Walter Scott proud.