Singing butcher is a cut above the rest

Iain Hunter at his sold-out Queen's Hall gig
Iain Hunter at his sold-out Queen's Hall gig
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East Lothian’s singing butcher continued to move away from his jokey persona with a sold-out Jazz and Blues Festival performance at the Queen’s Hall.

Since being discovered singing backstage at T in the Park in 2011 while providing food for the performers, Iain Hunter, from Pathhead, has been known by that title due to the butcher’s shop he owns and runs in Kinross.

However, after his third sell-out performance at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival at another larger venue, this time the prestigious Queen’s Hall, the 48-year-old is set to be taken more seriously in the music world.

He said: “It was a superb night. It really, really was.

“People had travelled from all over. Word has got out and it was a huge response.

“I would say it was the best gig so far, definitely. I had worried for weeks and weeks about the show, but it was a great night.

“I hope this shows people that I am a serious musician, not just ‘the singing butcher’.

“I had a great band, a great response, with a great standing ovation at the end which I couldn’t have asked for. So I’m delighted.

“I’m on a bit of a downer now. One minute you are standing on stage at the Queen’s Hall and the next it’s back to reality outside the shop, cleaning the windows!

“They have already said I will definitely get a gig next year. So that will be my fourth year at the festival, which is good.

“I would just like to say to people that I appreciate the effort of coming and the least I can say is thank you to them.

“The place was sold out, you can’t do much more than that. They were hanging from the rafters, as they say.”

As well as performing to such a large crowd, Iain also got the opportunity to sing with some top musicians.

He was joined by BBC’s arranger Eliot Murray and his big band, plus special guest singer Georgina Jackson from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.

“She was great, we got on like a house on fire,” said Iain.

“We did a couple of duets, 
with only just meeting her that 
day for rehearsals. We all just 
went with the flow, it was a great evening.

“They are all top players. Some of the guys are BBC Big Band members so they know their stuff.

“It was great singing with them. They were a very, very tight band, 14-piece, all together.

“It took me to a whole new level. I really enjoyed it and I’m just sad it’s over.”