Thursday, 24 October 2013

Walk in Playlist - Elliott Morris (3/10/2013)

Better late than never, here's the Walk in Playlist for the Elliott Morris gig - a fine chance for you to jog your memory or find out what that song was that has been nagging away at you for the last three weeks!

Rab Noakes Playlist in The Ardshiel Hotel

We currently have a Rab Noakes playlist on rotation in the bar/restaurant of the Ardshiel. If you are curious to hear the man's music, we suggest you head down there, grab a comfy seat and a drink then give your ears a treat. If Rab isn't on the speakers, just ask our friendly bar staff and they will sort that out for you. In the meantime, here's the playlist for your private perusal:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Aye, The Nights Are Fair Drawin' In.......

So that's October nearly done in.

No idea where it went to but this blog certainly got neglected....

Swiftly recapping, we had our first Thursday gig with Elliott Morris on 3rd October and it was a cracker!

Can't praise this guy highly enough - his guitar technique is jaw dropping, his own songs are excellent and his choice of covers is eclectic to say the least.  There aren't many people who would dare to mix up traditional ballads with material from Michael Hedges, John Martyn, Michael Jackson and perhaps most surprising of all, Basshunter!  All in all, Elliott made a lot of new friends in Campbeltown and we look forward to welcoming him back next year some time. In the meantime, his new E.P. Shadows and Whispers is officially released on 1st November via iTunes or on hard copy at gigs. We've all had a sneaky listen and it's well worth checking out!

Elliott meets Donkey and some of the chums

Next up we are looking forward to the visit of Rab Noakes on Saturday 26th October. Details of the gig can be found here but suffice to say, as well as being the sharpest dresser we've had at Ceol so far, Rab also comes with an exemplary catalogue of old and new songs of his own plus a very clever line in covers which work totally outside the constraints of the original arrangements. In musical terms, he's got preciously close to reinventing the wheel on more than one occasion!  Also, we like our guests to be able to tell a good story at Ceol and Rab Noakes certainly does that! From tales of the road to the history of western popular music, he's the man!

Rab Noakes- Ceol bound and rarin' to go......

Our November guest is Jane Blue who is the singer/songwriter/face of Jane Blue and the Hunters, a Dutch collective of musicians, film-makers and artists who have made a number of award-winning, atmospheric videos including White Swan.  Some of their more recent films, such as The Pagan and Evening Disease, were shot on location in North Kintyre and indeed the opening shots of the former may well be familiar to some of our readers.  Earlier in the year, Jane Blue and the Hunters released their first album, The North, to great acclaim. You can have a listen here

This will be a solo, acoustic show and will be a great opportunity to see how Jane's songs work in a stripped back format. Jane Blue plays Ceol on Saturday 16th November at 8pm. Tickets are £6 and will be available at the Rab Noakes gig for purchase and thereafter from the Ardshiel Hotel or on-line at (10% handling charge payable for on-line purchases).

Jane Blue in repose

Starting to lag behind with playlists but will get to it and catch up soon!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

John Goldie Gig - Walk- in Playlist

Here's the walk-in playlist from Saturday's John Goldie gig and before anyone asks, the reason it is so long is because it also covered the interval and the aftermath. Anyway, as usual, most of this stuff can be found on iTunes/Amazon etc. but if you need any help or advice please drop us a line

Elliott Morris Playlist now in the Ardshiel

Outrageously talented guitarist singer/songwriter Elliott Morris plays Ceol on Thursday 3rd October.  As part of the general build-up we now have a playlist in The Ardshiel Hotel where it is on rotation in the famous Whisky Bar and restaurant. So....... if you want to hear what Elliott sounds like in advance of the gig,  a good idea might be to head for the Ardshiel, ask them to put on the playlist and then relax your mind with a large one in the company of Elliott and of course any pals that are with you.....

In the meantime, here's a copy of the Elliott Morris playlist for your own personal perusal.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Some thoughts on the John Goldie gig

So, John Goldie then? He came, he saw and conquered.  He gave us a fabulous concert of music and anecdotes from his life on the road and left the Ceol audience desperate for more. The good news is he has promised to return. The bad news is that it won't be until next year...

John Goldie tells us why old Nashville side-men have long beards

It is very difficult to explain what exactly happened at the gig. John was so laid-back that he underwent the shortest soundcheck I have ever witnessed and then proceeded to provide us with an unparalleled musical education stretching from jazz standards via, Dolly Parton (9 to 5), The Stones (Honky Tonk Women), Tom Jones (It's Not Unusual) to Nashville, Motown (Heard it Through the Grapevine) and unusual hybrids (Summertime versus Green Onions!). We also had a close encounter with Smoke on the Water and an impromptu rendering of Postman Pat alongside some Blues, old and new. Most people take the chance to clear their throats between songs but John carelessly blurts out the introduction to Sweet Home Alabama as if it were a passing thought.

So, yes, it was that kind of night, a mixture of virtuosity and fun supported by some brilliant stories from the road delivered in a very humorous and self-effacing manner. Yet, the real musical highlights of the evening came from John's own pen - they were in turn, amusing, thrilling and poignant and straight out of the top drawer. Indeed, for many, his beautiful slow air, Here and Now, was the emotional highpoint of the night. Straight from the heart, simple and direct, it really struck home.

John Goldie  gives Honky Tonk Women some welly!

At the interval, a few members of the audience expressed doubts about the number of fingers John possessed on each hand, the highest estimate being 12! It was also instructive to see them file past him at the end just so as they could check. There was something right Campbeltown about that!

Sadly, all good things come to an end and the grumpy old Janny brought the curtain down on the night by showing everybody the door!

 A stunned John Goldie is usurped by Mr Jobsworth the Janitor

All in all, then another great night at Ceol, a winning combination of music and yarns delivered by one of Scotland's finest living musicians.  It is such a shame that the is better known in Europe, Asia and America than he is in his own native land. If you ever have the chance to see him live, grab it with both hands and don't let go!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Word About Playlists

Now that we're on a semi-roll, as they say in Carradale, I'd better say a few words about playlists.

Firstly, I've had a few enquiries about the "walk-in" music played before, during and after the gigs, so I've decided to post the tracks and artistes names on the Blog for reference. Most of the music can be found on-line by sticking the names in the search engine of your favourite on-line music store but if something is proving elusive, give us a shout and hopefully we can help you find it.

So, here's the first playlist from the Alan Murphy/Chris Adams & George Tucker gigs.....

......and here's the one from the Steve Daggett night:

Also, just to finish this off for now we have another playlist in The Ardshiel which features music by artistes who are due to play at Ceol. The idea behind this playlist is to provide a gentle reminder of or even an introduction to the artistes' work. A copy of this playlist is kept behind the bar so if anything happens to catch your ear while you are indulging in quiet drink or even when you are at your dinner, please don't be shy about asking to see it. I shall post the Ardshiel playlists on the Blog as time allows........

Monday, 9 September 2013

Catching Up!

My apologies. It's been a while since the last post, however we've not been idle. Honestly!

Since the last bulletin,  had a great concert from Steve Daggett of Lindisfarne back in August and we're now preparing for this weekend's gig by ace guitarist John Goldie. Coming up in the lift, we have outrageously talented guitarist/singer/songwriter Elliott Morris who appears on THURSDAY 3rd October whilst the legendary  Rab Noakes  graces the stage at Ceol on Saturday 26th October. 

More information on these gigs and some early warnings on next year's concerts coming shortly.

Guitarist John Goldie plays at Ceol on Saturday 14th September

Looking back to the Steve Daggett gig for a second, it was a master-class on how to engage an audience with a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar material. Steve augmented his voice and guitar with occasional harmonica and stomp-box which brought real moments of light and shade to the music. By the end of the night, not only was everyone singing along with the obvious favourites from Lindisfarne/Alan Hull's back catalogue (Lady Eleanor, Fog on the Tyne, City Song, Meet Me on the Corner, Run from Home and One More Bottle of Wine to mention but a few) and also a couple from a certain Mr Zimmerman (Maggie's Farm and Don't Think Twice It's Alright), they were also making a dive for Steve's stack of his own CDs. Next time round, the Ceol crowd will be singing along to Daggett-penned classics such as Mandolin Moon, Devil's Causeway and the peerless Ballad of Jimmy Forsyth. Here's a couple of clips from the gig on our YouTube Channel.  As you will see, Willie Durnan's lights also played a major part in the success of the show - classy and sympathetic as ever. Many thanks, Willie!

Steve Dagget at Ceol

Moving back to John Goldie, it's pretty hard to categorise this guy and I'm not sure he would want to be pigeon-holed. Although acknowledged as one of the finest jazz guitarists in the world, whether solo or playing in a combo, John also brings his own finely-honed rock, soul and folk influences to his performances, reinventing classics such as this or even more surprising, this!  He is also a fine composer in his own right as evidenced here performing with his excellent Acoustic Unit.

It's shaping up to be another great night at Ceol so we hope to see you there! There are a few tickets still available at the reception at The Ardshiel Hotel, priced £8.  However, best not leave it too late in case you get  caught out by the infamous Campbeltown rush and miss out as you'll probably end up regretting it for the rest of your life! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Our First Two Gigs and Beyond!

Ceol's doors finally opened on Friday 12th July 2013 with a wonderful performance from Glasgow bluesman Alan Murphy and his new musical foil, bassist Martin Byrne from The Wirral.  This was Alan and Martin's first "proper" gig after meeting at a recent John Martyn tribute event and it augers well for the future. Playing a mixture of Alan's own material and some favourites from the repertoire of the afore-mentioned John Martyn, the pair looked and sounded as if they had been playing together for years, which given the complexity of the music, was no mean feat!

Aside from the quality of the music, we were pleased at how well the venue worked - the sound was excellent, the audience, by and large, bought into the idea that they were there to listen and closing the bar during the performance was perhaps brutal but effective!We also introduced the concept of the Telt-a-Gram which ironically was dealt to Alan's buddy Michael!

See Michael's Telt-a-Gram for more information....

We will take confidence from the  things we got right and will give some thought to the areas where we can do better. Here is Alan on his trusty Gibson SG and Martin on his amazing electric double bass.

Here's Alan's take on  Ceol: 

A great venue in a beautiful part of Scotland. The gig is very individual with it's telt-a-grams and a new, musical, don't -miss destination for west coast music. - Alan Murphy
........... and here's the view from a member of the audience:

Excellent music last night at Ceol- Alan Murphy- so much so I'm off to get tickets for tonight's guests! Well done the organisers!  - Jacqui Millar

On to Saturday 13th July and we welcomed Chris Adams and George Tucker from String Driven Thing, who played a selection of songs that literally spanned Chris's career from Mark 1 String Driven Thing through to the present day via all the essential incarnations of the band as well as Chris's solo stuff. In addition to playing some beautifully fluid lead guitar lines in a variety of styles and throwing in the occasional backing vocal, George also gave us one of his own songs, Strange, which really deserves to get out to a wider audience.  Naturally, the set contained a number of SDT anthems which worked very well in a stripped-down acoustic format and there was something right Campbeltown about the way Jack Diamond, a song about a man facing the gallows and maybe not in the best of spirits, was transformed by a section of the crowd into an anthem to the restorative properties of Jack Daniels!

On both nights, we played The Lucky Chair, which gave every person in the audience the opportunity to win a signed CD by the evening's artiste(s). Here's Chris and George with Maureen who won a copy of String Driven's "Songs from Another Country" signed by the pair of them.

Chris's verdict on Ceol?

 A gem in the making in deepest Kintyre. Great room, intimate setting, and an excellent audience - Chris Adams (String Driven Thing)
.... and here's what Jacqui thought:

 Just back from another evenings entertainment at Ceol. You can't beat a man with a guitar, or, better still, 2 men and guitars!  - Jacqui Millar

Now we look forward to our next gig on Friday 16th August featuring Steve Daggett of Lindisfarne and no doubt there will another blog about that in the not too distant.........

Thursday, 27 June 2013

New Live Music Venue Ceol launches in Campbeltown

Ceol is a new live music venture situated in the famous seaport of Campbeltown on Scotland’s historic Kintyre peninsula.   Events are shared across two locations at the neighbouring Seafield and Ardshiel Hotels and fantastic accommodation packages and meal deals are on offer at the hotels for every gig.  As if that wasn’t enough, we should also mention that the Ardshiel has over 450 malt whiskies on display and the expertise of the proprietors, Flora and Marion, on hand to answer any of your questions about the collection.  For information on accommodation packages please email or call 01586 552133 (+44 1586 552133). Visit

Ceol is a “must- visit” experience for genuine music lovers and a “must-play” stage for the finest musicians across the genres.  Whether they are troubadours, exponents of blues, jazz, rock, folk or Americana music, Ceol is the place for them to be seen and heard in Kintyre.Many of our headliners will be well known and of international standing, others less so. However, the one thing we can guarantee is that the quality of the music will always shine through. With new sea and air links to Campbeltown offering an alternative to driving here, there has never been a better time to book that special mid-week/weekend musical break. Oh, and if the gigs aren’t enough we can organise additional activities to fill the rest of your time with us. From whisky heritage tours to golf, windsurfing, ecotourism (by land and sea) walking and cycling etc., Campbeltown and the surrounding area has it all.  If you want to find out more, visit Campbeltown or send us an email at Ceol. 

Alan Murphy Who Will Be Appearing At Ceol on Friday 12th July BUY TICKETS