BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad Winner to perform at Solas festival

Solas Festival

We are really happy to announce that the winner of Sunday’s Young Trad final will get the chance to perform at Solas Festival (21-23rd June, 2013, The Bield in Perth)

Solas Festival is a quirky, independent music festival where experienced artists rub shoulders with those who are just starting to express themselves. Our vision is to bring out the artistic potential in everyone – be they on stage, or in the stalls, or hidden at the back of a community choir.

Since its first event, Solas Festival has aimed to encourage young musicians and traditional artists to take to the stage. So we are particularly thrilled that this year’s finalist of the Young Trad Musician of the Year will perform at Solas Festival 2013. Good luck to all those taking part!

The programme also makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. The Solas Festival offers a creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment.

The Solas Festival will be in a new venue this year – The Bield in Perth. You can keep up with all the latest info about the Solas Festival at their website

Generations abound

Ryan Murphy at the St Roch’s Christmas Party

I was sitting watching Angus Lyon and Duncan Lyle’s New Voices Revisited Concert last Sunday in Celtic Connections (Mitchell Theatre) and I was looking at the general age of the bands. They struck me as all being in their late twenties early thirties (apologies in advance if I’ve guessed wrong!). I never found this unusual in any way but I suppose I had been thinking of these guys as the young generation of Scottish music. They’ve all been pushing the barriers of the music for some time now with bands like Treacherous Orchestra, Angus Lyon and Ruaridh Campbell, Box Club, Croft Number 5 and many other outfits. However being that age means that they’re not the young generation anymore. I find this thought really exciting.

It’s exciting because I can now see so many generations of Scottish musicians. From the young people from the Feisan, Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin, Comhaltas in Glasgow, Gordon Duncan Experience, Splore, Tinto Summer Schools and more to the current crop of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musicians (including all the the folk that submitted an entry back in July 12). Then there is the afore mentioned ’30 year olds’, my generation of 40′s (early!) and I can keep on going to the many tradition bearers inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame and so many more inbetween. How lucky are we! So much experience to be shared and passed on.

Of course there is always work to be done and many ways we can make it better for our musicians but what an amazing place to be in. Here’s to the the next generation!

What’s it like to be a young musician nowadays?

Kathryn Tickell

As a 42 year old I often wonder what it would be like if I was to appear on the music scene nowadays. When I first started performing in the early 80s I was performing at the Edinburgh Accordion Club – a couple of sets at each meet up. I was surrounded by like minded people including a few young musicians including Marie Fielding and Craig McCallum. The scene was relatively small especially if you were a young musician. Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell had blazed the way as a young musician inspiring us all to go out and perform. My first encounter with a group of young folk musicians was part of Jim Lloyds Radio 2 Young Traditional Musician Award meeting a few folk like myself who were also striving to find a way forward. I suppose we were a bit of a novelty!

Moving forward to today young musicians are 10 a penny. It’s fantastic. Through the great work of organisations throughout the country we are very lucky to have lots of young folk playing our music. It must be great to be part of a large community of like minded individuals who are all out for a party and want to play tunes!

But what is it like for musicians trying to make their mark in a crowded market place? How do they get their music heard?

Well I think probably nothing has changed in that respect. They have to get out and work hard. They have to think creatively and work out how their idea contrasts with everyone else’s and how they’re going to build on it and let the public hear it. When bands like Battlefield Band, Tannahill Weavers, Silly Wizard became big they only did this through lots and lots of hard work with sometimes not the best conditions. They never gave up because they believed in what they were doing. They all got themselves in front of people who were willing to listen. As Zig Zigler says in his book – SEE YOU AT THE TOP‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ and the musician who wants it enough will work the hardest to get where they’re going.

The 2013 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Finalists are performing on the 3rd February at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire between 5-8pm. The concert is sold out but you can listen to it on BBC Radio Scotland live between 5-8pm on the 3rd or catch the highlights at 9pm on the 4th February on BBC ALBA.