News June 4th 2017

Hiya all

Well, that’s May over and done. A couple of anniversaries in there for us as you know. The 50th anniversary of the Glasgow Folk Centre show, my 70th birthday and then, toward the month’s end, Stephy’s and my 19th wedding anniversary.

There was work as well as play with a couple of good 70/50 shows in Glasgow and Hawick, Emma Pollock’s Kate Bush night, a bonnie birthday party and a pleasant weekend in Liverpool.

I am often asked to play at gatherings for folks reaching their 40th, 50th, 60th and, increasingly, 70th even 80th birthdays. I usually try to find a song from the charts at the time of their birth to sing. As the record charts didn’t emerge until 1955 the 70th (and beyond) ones require reference to the earlier charts which were based on sheet-music sales. This method of compilation meant there were songs which made a number of appearances as performed by different artists. For my own 70th birthday I went on a search to find something to sing at my own party. I found this relatively familiar song written by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin. Jolson’s performance appeared on April 12th 1947 at Number 6.
Another version, by the Billy Cotton Band featuring Alan Breeze, came in at Number 6 on May 10th. That was enough for me to do it. Stephy made this wee rehearsal recording and we posted it on facebook. Here’s a link (scroll down, not far, to locate it)

On 23rd May I was delighted to be invited on to Ricky Ross’s Another Country show on BBC Radio Scotland. I took in a few records meaningful to me and we talked for nearly a couple of hours. I enjoyed it immensely. Here’s the link:-  It’ll be available here until Sunday 25th June.

Talking of Ricky (and Emma earlier) I’m delighted to be appearing at Solas Festival Tibbermore, nr Perth on Sunday 25th.

It’s a ‘Songwriters in the round’ event with Ricky Ross, Emma Pollock, Rory Butler and me.

Another date to single out is my show at Southern Fried Festival in Perth on Sunday 30th July. It’s an afternoon show with Jill Jackson as guest. Together and separately, we’ll be performing some familiar songs, some rarities and some country-tinged originals. It’s in the Salutation Hotel and it’ll be the first time I’ve played there since since 1971. That time it was with Gerry Rafferty as Stealers Wheel. The show was attended by a group of Dundonians, including Michael Marra.

There’s also Northern Roots in Inverness on Saturday 24th June. That’s a late afternoon show. It’s preceded in the North by a show at The Ceilidh Place in Ullapool on Thursday 22nd. I’ve now been going there regularly for over 30 years and it’s always an enjoyable show to do.

Here’s a bit about the most imminent show – I played the Arran Folk Festival at the end of May in 1970. It went well and parting shots went along the lines of “We must have you back again another year’.

So, it’s with delight I’m letting you know that, although it’s taken a year or two (47 to be precise) to come to pass, I’ll be at the Festival this coming weekend on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th. On Saturday I’m sharing a concert with The Tannahill Weavers. They have been on the road and making records for about the same length of time as me. I’ll be on first. On Sunday morning I’ll be doing a workshop on songwriting and performing.

I hope to see you at one or other of the next batch of dates.


Dates update


10 Arran*                                                    Folk Festival                    

11 Arran*                                                    Folk Festival                   

*(concert on Saturday / workshop on Sunday)

22 Ullapool                                                Ceilidh Place                                  

24 Inverness*                                             Highland Roots Festival              

*(afternoon concert)

25 Tibbermore*                                           Solas Festival                               

 *(In-the-round with Ricky Ross, Emma Pollock and Rory Butler)


21 Doncaster                                                The Roots Music Club (previously ‘The Rock’)    

30 Perth – Southern Fried Festival *    Salutation Hotel                     

*(afternoon concert – with Jill Jackson)


1   Leith                                                       Victoria Park House Hotel

12 Milngavie                                                   Fraser Centre          

13 Pitlochry*                                                   Festival Theatre                       

*(Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes)


21 Pitcaple nr Inverurie               Logie Durno Village Hall                                                                     



As I mentioned in the previous newsletter, there has been considerable progress with the proposed release of the three albums of mine which have yet to see the light of day on CD. A very helpful person, Olivia Brown, is now dealing with licencing at Universal and she’s made things happen. I’ve now had the tracks compiled and mastered, Richy is working on the artwork and manufacture is booked for early July.

It’ll contain the 1972 album ‘Rab Noakes’ on A&M, 1978’s ‘Restless’ on Ring O’Records and the 1980 album Rab Noakes’ on MCA. It’ll be sequenced chronologically and will include some bonus tracks. They include a b-side which didn’t feature on an album, a version specially recorded for a single, an out-take, a rehearsal recording and a version edited and mixed for a single. All three albums will be on a double-CD. The title is ‘Bridging the Gaps’.

We’ve set a release date of October 6th  2017. It will be available on the website before that. Watch this space.


As a parting shot, here’s a final reminder of this event on Thursday this week.

There’s to be a commemorative concert in celebration of Paddy Bort, long-time organiser and MC of Edinburgh Folk Club. Edinburgh’s Queens Hall on June 8th. I’m honoured to be invited to take part with an illustrious artist list.

Here’s a link:-