I was lucky to be invited down to Muirkirk last Friday night to take part in the Lapraik Poetry Festival. The festival is an annual celebration of poetry, song and Scots language and features various events including the John Lapraik World Speaking Championships. This is a competition where a long Robert Burns or another Scots language poem is chosen and people compete reciting the poem. I heard Sanquhar shepherd Willie Waugh recite two amazing (long) poems on the Friday night and if the quality was anywhere near his recitations it will be an amazing competition.
Performing on Friday night were singer John Morran (Deaf Shepherd), poet Willie Hershaw from Fife, poet Rab Wilson from New Cumnock and the afore mentioned Willie Waugh. Myself, Mark Maguire (bodhran) and Rua MacMillan performed a few sets featuring lots of J. Scott Skinner tunes and it was great fun! If you get a chance you you should take a visit to the festival in 2017. You will find the latest dates on their website.
Muirkirk (Eaglais an t-Sléibh in Gaelic) is a small village in East Ayrshire, southwest Scotland. It is located on the north bank of the River Ayr, between Cumnock and Glenbuck on the A70. The village developed around its church, which was built in 1631, and was a fertile recruiting ground for the Covenanter movement.
Here a piece of music recorded on the night