Ceilidh Culture

Various venues, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Mar–Sun 12 Apr


This article is from 2008.

Ceilidh Culture

Kim Edgar


Ceilidh Culture, Edinburgh’s spring fling of acoustic music and the traditional arts has this year moved from its council house, and is now being run by a team from the Usher Hall. Rather than staging a festival, Ceilidh Culture acts as the collating effort, gathering the various events being presented by independent organisations and attempting to raise the public profile of that wide spectrum of creative energy.

From absolute beginner’s workshops (you do secretly want to learn the bodhran) to Queen’s Hall concerts of pyrotechnic instrumental skill (such as Lau or the Ainslie/Henderson trio) to the Harp Festival-within-a-festival, you can dance till you’re legless, fall under the spell, or asleep, to storytellers, and hear music and song that’s Scots, Scandinavian, Jewish, North or South American, Breton, Balkan, Irish, Gaelic, and even English.

That song is regaining its popularity after years of instrumental dominance can be nothing but a good thing, and Sylvia Barnes, Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Christine Kydd, Mike Heron, Stanley Robertson and Billy Joe Shaver are some of the great stylists appearing over the three weeks.

Another singer you’re destined to hear a lot more of is Kim Edgar. Edgar grew up outside Edinburgh where she started piano lessons when she was four years old. ‘From about 12 I was writing songs,’ she says, ‘but I was performing way before that. The Burns Federation concerts and so on,’ – she laughs – ‘I had Burns forever.’ Later, while she was polishing off ‘Claire de Lune’ and Ravel on the piano she was also listening to the great songwriters she admires. ‘Joni Mitchell above all, but I love others, like Boomtown Rats, The Killers, Depeche Mode, and, yes, Stephen Sondheim.’

Although she’s been teaching and gigging from her post-grad years it’s only recently that everything has come together, in her powerful first album.

‘It was the Burnsong organisation, who took 17 unsigned writers and put us in a house together, and the support, co-operation, sharing and appreciation that everyone showed, that was the big push.’ She adds: ‘The music community, the songwriting community, is very supportive. We’re not competitive. It’s not like athletics.’

Kim Edgar Group, The Lot, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Mar.

This article is from 2008.

Kim Edgar

Acoustic pop, jazz and original compositions on piano, guitar and voice.

Kinlochard Village Hall, Aberfoyle

Wed 2 Nov

£7 in advance; £8 on the door (£5 in advance; £6 on the door) / 01877 387264


  • 19:30 – 22:00 Kim Edgar Kinlochard Village Hall, Aberfoyle

Middleton Village Hall

Sat 5 Nov

£7 in advance; £8 on the door (£5 in advance; £6 on the door)

  • 19:30 – 22:00 Kim Edgar Middleton Village Hall

Reston Village Hall

Sun 6 Nov

£7 in advance; £8 on the door (£5 in advance; £6 on the door)


  • 19:00 – 21:00 Kim Edgar Reston Village Hall

Also on at:

No Spring Chickens

A preview of the Edinburgh Fringe show from Marie-Louise Napier and Kirsty Shilson. The performance, comprising storytelling, poetry, music and song, is a celebration of Scottish female talent throughout the ages, from seventeenth century poet Mairi Nigh'n Alasdair Ruaidh to modern day gems such as Liz Lochhead and Karine…

Claire Hewitt and Margaret Collings

Traditional folk tales and stories in song. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Ceilidh Culture

A month-long celebration of Scottish traditional arts, including music, dance and storytelling, building on the legacy of the Edinburgh Folk Festival.

Jackie Leven and Northern Alliance

The respected Fifer has collaborated with novelist Ian Rankin on his last album. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Shore Poets Open Night

This month the Shore Poets invite you to join in and share your own work with them, with Stewart Conn and music from John Sampson.

Ceilidh Club

Ceilidh dancing, furious fiddlers and callers from the Edinburgh Ceilidh Club lead you through the steps.

Equinox Ceilidh

Live music for dancing from Cosmic Ceilidh Band and friends at this family friendly ceilidh raising funds for Wiston Lodge and SAMH's Redhall Walled Garden.

Sangstream: Both Sides the Tweed

Scots folk choir joined by the SMG Mandolin Group and Exeter's Voices in Common. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Family Ceilidh

Scottish dancing for all the family with live music from Billy Anderson. BYOB. Part of the Crail Festival.

Columcille Music Workshop

The Columcille Ceilidh Band lead these workshops open to everyone but especially focused to welcome people with learning disabilities. Part of Ceilidh Culture.

Edinburgh International Harp Festival

Six day music festival devoted to harps of all shape and size. Concerts, workshops and classes for all levels including complete beginners. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Reinventing the Reel

Double bill of Scottish traditional music with a twist from Lau and The Ross Ainslie/Jarlath Henderson Trio. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Family Story Circle

This monthly event turns its mind to birds with Ruth Kirkpatrick and some tales and songs. Ages 4+.

Portobello Fun Fiddle

Traditional music from beginner to advanced fiddlers (feel free to bring your own instrument) for a mini-ceilidh and a 'Fun Fiddle' led by Jenny Gardner, Gica Loening, Gordon Turnbull and Conrad Molleson, with workshops and a 'Grand Carnival Stramash' at 3.30pm. Part of Ceilidh Culture.

Central Scotland Circle Dance Ceilidh

A ceilidh with a difference as you all dance together in a circle to music from the Balkans, Middle East, South America and Scotland. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Learn to Play the Bagpipes

Workshop for all age sin how to play the bagpipes/chanter, with Louise Marshall Millington. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Luath Ceilidh

Programme of poetry, music, story and images from the Scottish isles hosted by Christine de Luca and Robert Alan Jamieson. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Storytelling Café: North

Scottish and Norwegian storytelling collide in a special Storytelling Café with Janis Mackay and Nina Naesheim. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Ray Pool and Ensamble Criollo

Swing hits from Ray Pool the resident harpist at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Isabelle Moretti

Harpist Moretti is joined by the Edinburgh Quartet playing works by Ravel, Eddie McGuire and Andre Caplet's 'Conte Fantastique' based on Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Masque of the Red Death'. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Javier Sainz and Linnaea

Lowland and Highland music performed ion the clarsach from Sainz, plus traditional Nordic music on the harp from Linnaea. 'Part of Ceilidh Culture'.

Tristan le Govbic & Lise Enochsson and Diego Laverde

A mix of Brittany and Celtic harping mixed with a dash of jazz. Part of Edinburgh International Harp Festival and Ceilidh Culture.


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