Congratulations to Irvine Folk Club who have been nominated in Club of the Year sponsored by Trac Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2015. Vote now!
We asked Joyce Hodge of Irvine Folk Club the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
The Eglinton Folk Club in Irvine opened in The Eglinton Arms on the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year 1967 (we think!). The late Matt McGinn was the guest accompanied by new-kids-on-the-block The Humblebums – Billy Connolly & Tam Harvey. The Club was an instant success in response to the growing demand for folk music in those days. The Eg met weekly for may years. The venue has moved around since then and the name has evolved to become Irvine Folk Club. The Club has become settled for the past few years in Vineburgh Community Centre where it meets fortnightly. The Club has some 65 members. It’s a well-organised Club and is very much part of the community. The Club also runs the annual Marymass Folk Festival. It started in 1968 at the request of the then Irvine Town Council. The late Arthur Argo helped organise that first event and artists at the first Marymass FF included a teenage Aly Bain, the late Jean Redpath and the aforementioned Humblebums. An Income/Expenditure statement from the 1970 Marymass FF shows Income as £974. 17 shillings & sixpence and expenditure as the same! Club & Festival Balance Sheets then and now don’t show the amount of work put in over the years by a small group of enthusiasts who work away to maintain and develop the Club and Festival.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Irvine Folk Club and Clubs like it, are important in the life of a community. It brings people together of all ages; it’s somewhere you can go on your own to enjoy music whether as a player – accomplished or making your debut; or as an audience member. Irvine Folk Club is about the enjoyment of music and being with like-minded people. It’s also about having fun and being inclusive. Folk Clubs can help pass on traditions, songs and tunes which might otherwise be forgotten or lost. Irvine Folk Club has an eclectic line-up of special guests. Since September our special guests have included Tommy Sands and Bluesman Kent DuChaine – and Irvine welcomed both of them. Irvine Folk Club
Any particular career highlights?
When it’s approaching the 50th anniversary, highlights although many become a bit hazy. Last year, Cathal McConnell was a tremendous guest. Mad Pudding and Tanglefoot from Canada also were superb performers. Col Sands, Hans Theesink, Arthur Johnston & The Stars Band, Claire Hastings, Tom McConville, Archie Fisher, Rod Paterson, Artie & Cilla, Michael Marra, The Macs, Adam McNaughton, Johnny Silvo, Iain Mackintosh, Bruce Molsky, Sheena Wellington, Pete Coe…the list goes on. Too many highlights – maybe that’s why we’re still going!
What are your plans for the future?
To keep going!
To celebrate the 50th anniversaries of Irvine Folk Club & Marymass Folk Festival.
To continue bringing the highest standard of artist possible to Irvine.
If you would like to come along to the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in Dundee’s Caird Hall call the Caird Hall box office on (01382) 434940 or buy online.