Hamish Imlach   •   Hamish Imlach, Live

image image image
  • Hamish Imlach, Live
    • 1967 - Transatlantic XTRA 1050 LP (UK)
  • Side One
    1. I Was A Gay Spark in My Time (Wattie Wright)
    2. Whisky You're the Devil (Trad. Arr. Hamish Imlach)
    3. Early Morning Blues (Blind Blake)
    4. The Ballad of Timothy Evans (Ewan McColl)
    5. It's Better in The Dark (Gordon McCulloch)
  • Side Two
    1. Campbell (Pink Anderson)
    2. Castlereagh (Banjo Patterson)
    3. The Wind Blew the Bonnie Lassie's Plaidie Awa' (Trad. Arr. Hamish Imlach)
    4. Paddy Lay Back (Trad. Arr. Hamish Imlach)

  • Musicians
    • Hamish Imlach: vocals and guitar
    • Jimmy 'Whiskers' Greenan: whistle and spoons
    • Rab Purves: fiddle
    • Oscar St. Cyr: concertina and mandola

Sleeve Notes

The Rockfield Hotel in Paisley near Glasgow is a sleek, streamlined modern building. Hamish Imlach is by no means a sleek, streamlined modern singer. But the singer and the setting on this occasion matched perfectly to produce the most enjoyable live recording session in which I have participated. Almost as soon as Hamish had completed his first LP for XTRA (XTRA1039) and it had immediately become a best seller, Hamish and I started thinking about doing a live LP. It was an obvious idea as there are few performers round the British folk clubs better than Hamish at handling a club audience. His rapport with them is immediate. They sing with him, laugh with him, cry with him and he keeps the mood changing not through any conscious professional slickness (though he is a professional to his finger tips), but because each mood is part of his whole warm personality, because , he responds on a very personal level to every nuance of audience reaction. Well, Hamish and I decided he must do a live LP and so Alasdair McSwann of the Paisley Folk Song Club was approached. He offered us his club night on Friday, February 24th 1967. When I arrived in Glasgow on the day of the recording I heard a series of amazing stories of how, when the tickets for the evening's performance had gone on sale weeks and weeks before, fans had queued from 2.30 till 8 pm to make sure of their seats and now as the performance drew near, one heard tell of offers of 3O/- per ticket being turned down by those who had queued to make sure they would hear 'the biggest thing in Scottish folk music'.

Alasdair McSwann limited his audience to make sure that everyone was comfortably seated. What's more, he issued invitations to many of Hamish's singing friends from all over Scotland. In fact, other Scottish folk song clubs were starved of artists that night, for many of Scotland's best known folk performers gave up their own gigs to come and be in the audience. Josh Macrae, Danny Kyle, David Campbell, The Livingstones, The Skerries and many, many others among them. What's more, Hamish brought with him three talented and popular accompanists, Jimmy 'Whiskers' Greenan on whistle and spoons, Rab Purves on fiddle and the mythical but remarkably well known figure of Oscar St. Cyr on concertina and mandola. The session got off to a start that would have left many performers completely thunderstruck. Hamish bust a guitar string with his first note. It didn't put him off one jot however and the evening turned into a splendid rumbustuous and tremendously enjoyable performance, with the audience singing along happily until finally the curtain came down somewhere around 3 in the morning. So just imagine yourself in one of Scotland's best folk song clubs with one of Britain's best folk club performers ready to go. And settle down for an evening with a man who has often been called (and not only on account of his size) Scotland's greatest all round entertainer.