Sell out folk music show returns to Edinburgh for one night only

John McCuskerJohn McCusker
John McCusker
HAVING sold out last year’s Queen’s Hall 40th anniversary show, John McCusker, Scotland’s foremost fiddle player, returns to the Clerk Street venue this weekend, where he will once again gather a who’s who of singer/songwriters and traditional musicians for one night only.

Southside of the Tracks, is back. The carefully selected ‘house band’ of Celtic musicians will be joined by an exciting line-up of guests, each of who will perform their best known songs, some classics and a few traditional gems in what will be a unique live collaboration.

When originally asked by the venue to curate this show in 2019 McCusker recalled: “It was more than 27 years ago that I played my first gig with The Battlefield Band at The Queen’s Hall as part of the Fringe Festival. It holds such a special place in my heart. So special that when I was asked to curate Southside Of The Tracks - a show to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the hall - I jumped at the chance.”

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Joining him in that ‘house band’ will be James Mackintosh, Ian Carr, Ewen Vernal, Michael McGoldrick, Louis Abbott of Admiral Fallow fame and the legendary Phil Cunningham.

Guests lined-up to make an appearance so far include folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Julie Fowlis, folk musician Kris Drever, Irish folk band Ye Vagabonds aka brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn, singer, songwriter and lead vocalist of indie rock band Idlewild Roddy Woomble, Somerset songwriter and guitarist Kitty Macfarlane, and from Sweden, Sofia Karlsson. Further guests have yet to be announced.

The success of last year’s gig led The Scotsman to observe: “It became apparent as the show progressed that McCusker had specifically chosen each guest with a view to representing the breadth of folk and folk-influenced styles which have prevailed in the mainstream Scottish roots scene during The Queen’s Hall’s life.”

Southside of the Tracks, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, Saturday, 7.30pm, £22-£28, or 0131-668 2019