News Jun 1st 2016

Hiya all

Welcome to June and a Rab Noakes news update.


I’ll start with a reminder of a couple of shows happening later in the month. The first is in Dundee at Clark’s on Lindsay Street. That’s on Thursday 23rd at 8pm.

The second is at The Weem Inn in Aberfeldy on Saturday 25th. Here I’ll be doing a workshop on songwriting and accompaniment at 5pm with concert at 8pm.

Each of those shows is organised by an enthusiastic music-lover, Kit Clark in Dundee and Peter Butterworth in Aberfeldy. They, and their enterprises, are well worth supporting so it’ll be great to see you at one or the other of them.


There’ve been a few more, most enjoyable, house-concerts since the last newsletter.

If you’re interested in one, please contact Stephy at

She’ll tell you how it all works and will book it.


As I mentioned last month, back in January 2105 I was honoured to be a part of the Celtic Connections opening concert. It featured Greg Lawson’s bold and successfully imaginative orchestral arrangement of Martyn Bennett’s ‘Grit’. This show, up against formidable competition, won the prestigious Event of the Year Award at the 2015 Hands up for Trad Awards.

I’m now delighted to report the show will be replayed in 2016. It’s a big event a big undertaking and it’s not at all certain how many opportunities, if any, there’ll be to see it in the future so, now’s your chance.

The first outing in 2016 is at WOMAD Festival on July 29th, the second at The Playhouse, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, on August 23rd.

Booking details are on the gig list.


Here’s an updated list of all forthcoming dates



23rd      Dundee                          Clark’s on Lindsay Street

25th      Aberfeldy                        The Weem Inn                                     



15th      Thames Ditton              The Ram Club                                        

22nd     St Andrews*                 Botanic Gardens


29th      nr Salisbury**                WOMAD Festival      



5th        Beauly                         Belladrum Festival                     

6th        Ullapool                      Ceilidh Place                  

8th        Uig, Isle of Lewis          Community Hall                                                                              tickets tbc

14th      Edinburgh                    Fringe at AMC                                                                                                                                       

23rd      Edinburgh**        EIF at The Playhouse                



15th      Cupar                          Watts                                                                           tickets tbc


* Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes  

** Grit



The Treatment Tapes project is ongoing and I’m now considering pressing CDs when the completion, mixing and mastering is done. I’ll have some firmer dates to report soon.


On the subject of back-catalogue releases there’s good news and not-so-good news. The good news is I’m informed that Universal has at last signed of the ‘Filling the Gaps’ project. I await an agreement and completion but hope to have that available early in 2017. To remind you, that’ll be a double CD containing three albums. They are the A&M album from 1972, the Restless album from 1978 and the MCA album from 1980. There’ll be a few additional tracks including an out-take, different versions released as singles and one b-side.

The not-so-good news concerns the soundtrack to John Byrne’s ‘Your cheatin’ heart’. The BBC is unable to provide any necessary items, most notably clearances. This simply makes the proposal inviable so I’m afraid these recordings will continue to be the rarity they’ve become. I am disappointed not to be able to make this re-issue happen. Separate contractual conditions for the TV series itself mean it’s now out on DVD though. The music, as used in situ, is all there. You’ll find this at good prices on internet retail sites. There appear to be some CDs available but at high prices I’m afraid.


I recorded a BBC Quay Sessions on Tuesday 31st May. It was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Thursday 2nd June. Mairearad Green occupies the first hour, then it’s me in the second hour.
I’m joined by Jill Jackson on three songs, as we did together on the album, ‘I’m walkin’ here’.

Host Roddy Hart, who also sang on the record, joins me on one. Listen to it on iPlayer.
They film the whole thing and clips are available at:-


I’m sad to report my dear friend, long-term musical compadre, and, in many ways, a mentor to me Robin McKidd has died having, for some time now, endured a debilitating respiratory condition. In May of 1967 I played my first properly billed and paid gig with Robin, at The Glasgow Folk Centre in Montrose Street.

Also in May, in 2017 I’ll be turning 70. This makes next year a significant anniversary year for me.

We’ll be making something of these events in a few specifically commemorative shows with appropriate repertoires. Robin will be remembered and celebrated.


During 2017 there may even be recordings of Scottish songs available. I have written something for the Scotland Sings project and am working on a combination of new songs alongside traditional material I used to perform. I may even let you hear some1967 home-recordings of such songs.


Also, if you’re interested, I contributed a guest blog to the Glasgow City Music Tours site.

Here’s the link to that.


Do visit the website for, amongst other things, the CD/Vinyl/Download shop.

Also, visit my FaceBook page at /Rab Noakes Music