Congratulations to MacGregor’s Live at Five & Scotlands Big Session who have been nominated in Community Project of the Year sponsored by Greentrax Recordings in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Bruce MacGregor of MacGregor’s Live at Five & Scotlands Big Session the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
“The Highlands answer to Wayne’s World”
“Informative, entertaining and downright silly”
Live at Five was the online show broadcast from the virtual “MacGregor’s Bar” during lockdown and continuing to this day.
MacGregor’s was awarded music pub of the year by the Scottish licensed trade in 2019 and was all set for another great year and then Covid hit! No music in a music bar made life tough but gathering resources, bar owner and Blazin Fiddles founder Bruce MacGregor joined with fellow Blazer Anna Massie to present a magazine style show, all under the watchful eye of Mrs MacGregor – Jo De Sylva.
The shwo started with small gigs from the bar but as restrictions became tighter it became apparent that things had to change. Anna was dispatched home to Fortrose to become “The Black Isle Correspondent” and many of Scotland’s leading musicians sent in home recorded videos of their favourite songs and tunes (Julie Fowlis, Barbara Dickson, Iain MacFarlane, Angus MacPhail amongst many, many more) to create an online music library “Scotland’s Big Session” all stored on YouTube.
As the weeks passed viewers from across the world began to become part of the show, sending in pictures from their home (from Japan to new Zealand to USA) as well as photos of their kitchen creations from the sublime to the ridiculous! An online community developed that helped people get through this incredibly tough time and are now still firmly established as a worldwide band of friends bonded by Scottish music.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Everything we do is connected to Scottish music. The bar was opened in 2017 and has housed some incredible sessions and performances. Scottish music and culture has been at the very heart of MacGregor’s Bar.
Any particular career highlights?
Surviving this far……
Best Music Bar in Scotland – Scottish License Trade Awards 2019
Best Bar in Scotland – Thistle Awards – Visit Scotland 2019
Best Bar in Highlands – Highland Tourism Awards 2018
Best Concept Bar in Scotland – Scottish licensed Trade Awards 2018
Blazin’ Fiddles – Best Folk Band at Trads 2019
What are your plans for the future?
We hope to take ‘Scotland’s Big Session” on tour with Bruce and Anna hosting sessions and a show in some of the country’s favourite musical bars and pubs.
Read more about MacGregor’s Live at Five & Scotlands Big Session
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad