News May 1st 2016

Hiya all

Welcome to May and a Rab Noakes news update.


The dates in March went well and included a successful, well-attended, return to London at The Kalamazoo Klub.

The first half of April was dogged by the presence of a nasty, stubborn, virus which floored me. I had to cancel one private concert which, I’m glad to say has been rescheduled for a date in May.

2016 has been good so far for private concerts or ‘house concerts’ as we refer to them. First one was in January, a 50th birthday celebration in Arbroath. I played a most enjoyable Sunday afternoon on the shores of the Forth in February followed by a wedding in Pollokshields. Later in April I was a surprise 60th birthday present on the Isle of Skye. A great, upbeat, celebratory night full of songs ensued. There are some more of those shows scheduled in the coming months. I enjoy playing them as I do like their up-close-and-personal nature. I like to tailor the repertoire to suit which makes them creatively interesting for me. We’re up for trying it in any location too, Scotland and beyond. If you’re interested in one, please contact Stephy at

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


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’. I’m now delighted to report the show will be replayed in 2016. The first outing 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 a list of all forthcoming dates


12th      Hythe                               The Tin Tabarnacle                                      Shane Record 01303 240452

                                                                                                            Art-Write 01303 261925

20th      Moffat*                            Town Hall                                           

21st       Selkirk                               String Jam Club                               County Hotel Selkirk 01750 721233



23rd      Dundee                          Clark’s on Lindsay Street

25th      Aberfeldy                        The Weem                                          

30th      nr Salisbury**                   WOMAD Festival     



15th      Thames Ditton              The Ram Club                                                    

22nd     St Andrews***               Botanic Gardens




5th        Beauly                         Belladrum Festival                     

6th        Ullapool                      Ceilidh Place                  

8th        Uig, Isle of Lewis          Community Hall                                                                              tickets tbc

14th      Edinburgh                    Fringe AMC                                                                                                                                           

23rd      Edinburgh**                 Playhouse EIF                  



15th      Cupar                          Watts                                                                                             tickets tbc


*with Fraser Speirs 


*** Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes


I’m looking forward to this month’s dates. Hythe’s first and it’s a first time there for me. Kent of course is the Noakes family seat so it’s always good to pay a visit to that part of the world.

Moffat on the 20th is part of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival. A request was made for me to do it with Fraser. We don’t do so many gigs with the two of us these days so we’re both excited about it. Last time I played The String Jam Club in Selkirk was a couple of years ago. It’s always a good night there, well-run with a room full of informed music lovers. It was really good last time so all the more reason for me to work it up and make even better this time.



My health issues continue with regular follow-up meetings, scans and weigh-ins. There’s really little of note to report as progress is as anticipated, if not better.

If you’ve been at a recent show you will have heard a couple of the songs I’ve written informed by it all. There are a half-dozen of them now and I’ve recorded them all at John Cavanagh’s place. I’ll be making them available soon as a download EP called ‘The Treatment Tapes’.  Don’t worry though, they’re not self-centredly miserable. There’s love, defiance and humour in them.


Here’s something from just before the treatments commenced. In 2014 I was invited to be a part of photographer Walter Neilson’s Creative Fifers project. It was launched in Kirkcaldy in March of 2015. This link’s to a video recording of the event.


Next year, 2017, is an anniversary year for me. In May of 1967 I played my first properly billed and paid gig, with Robin McKidd, at The Glasgow Folk Centre in Montrose Street. Also in May I’ll be turning 70. We’ll be making something of this in a few specifically celebratory shows with appropriate repertoires.


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

Also, visit my FaceBook page at /Rab Noakes Music