Celebrate with great folk music at Ugie’s big event

The Ugie Wall of Sound, pictured at a previous festival, will be performing at the Grand Concert on Saturday, September 22. (Photo: Bill Buchan)
The Ugie Wall of Sound, pictured at a previous festival, will be performing at the Grand Concert on Saturday, September 22. (Photo: Bill Buchan)

Back in 1993 Mrs Doubtfire and Jurrasic Park were drawing the crowds to the cinemas. The X Files were telling us that the “truth was out there”.

Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras took the honours at Wimbledon as QVC launched the first TV shopping channel.

Meatloaf had the biggest selling album of the year, although Mr Blobby knocked him off the top of the singles chart, and Rangers completed the treble in Scottish football.

In the wider world Bill Clinton became President of the USA and Princess Diana announced her withdrawal from public life.

The average salary was £12,447, fuel was at 54p a litre and an average grocery shop was £8.47.

However one other significant event happened in 1993 with slightly less fanfare.

Born a few months earlier in the public bar of the now disappeared Bruce Arms Hotel in Longside, the Longside Folk Club decided to hold it’s first Folk Festival.

Founding members of the folk club Scott Thomson, Peter Hawkey and Jim Green had got together to enjoy and play folk music in their local pub.

And such was the success and enthusiasm that met their music sessions, they decided to put on a weekend event of folk music.

This would go on to become an annual event in the local calendar.

A short time later the folk club changed its name to the Ugie Folk Club when it moved to Mintlaw for its club nights.

At the time the oil and gas industry was vibrant and links were formed with the musical fraternity in Shetland.

Indeed, for several years, the Ugie Folk Festival played host to many excellent musicians from the Northern Isles, while club members also took part in the Shetland Folk Festivals.

In 1999 the Ugie Folk Club put on their most ambitious project to date when they hosted ‘The Muckle Mingle’.

This brought together the music of Shetland, the North east of Scotland and the North East of England, and the good folks of Buchan were treated to a diverse range of music, songs and dance from the visiting artists.

The following year members of the Ugie Folk Club were invited to take part in the Millennium Morpeth Gathering.

From those humble beginnings, the club has retained its warm and welcoming approach to music players and audiences alike, and in the process has encouraged many beginners to take part and become accomplished performers. Over the years, the club has welcomed well known folk acts and others that would go on to become headliners in their own right.

Dick Gaughan, fiddler Paul Anderson, Jim Malcolm, Jim Reid, The McCalmans, Steven Quigg, Steve Kritzer, Gaberlunzie, Jezz Lowe and the Bad Pennies, Robin Laing, Ian Bruce and Ian Walker, Robyn Stapleton, Gary Anderson, John Bone and Frank Robb to name but a few.

This year’s 25th Anniversary Folk Festival runs from Friday, September 21, to Sunday, September 23, and will see three days of events with something for everyone.

On Friday, at 8pm, in the Longside FC Social Club, compere John Dickson will be presenting a Bothy and Traditional music concert.

From the world of Bothy Ballads, luminaries Joe Aitken, Scott Gardiner, Geordie Murison and Jim Taylor, supported by local favourites Liz and John Slaven, will be treating the audience to their wonderfully rich brand of music.

Saturday afternoon sees the ‘Folk In The Park’ afternoon concert in the Aden Park Theatre, Mintlaw, at 1.30pm.

This has been a staple of the festival weekend for many years now and continues to draw good audiences, with Bill Buchan hosting the afternoon of fun and music.

On Saturday evening, at 7.30pm, in Stuartfield Village Hall, the showcase Grand Concert takes place.

MC for the evening will be Peter Hawkey.

Award-winning Scottish traditional band Malinky will be special guests for the evening, with Bob Sharp and local group Ugie Wall of Sound providing the support.

The Ugie Folk Festival concludes on the Sunday afternoon with an Open Mic session at 2pm in the Longside FC Social Club.

In past years musicians have flocked to play and sing to the appreciative audience.

All festival events are free but numbers are limited for the Grand Concert, so book your tickets early. For tickets call 01771 613352 or 07968 080 726.

For more details, see the club website www.ugiefolk.co.uk

Ugie Folk Club meets on the first Friday of every month at the Longside FC Social Club at 8pm.