Celebrating 25 years of the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club

We hope you will love our new "best of" CD to commemorate our 25th anniversary. 

Here are some reflections from  our current and some of our past presidents:  
Track Title       Album Full original description
1.     Reel of the 51st Division Reel Cool The Drunken Piper (Trad.)/The Islay Rant (Charlie McKerron)/MacArthur Road (Dave Richardson)

This set is one of the great modern Scottish dances, devised by soldiers in a PoW camp in WW2, and often danced by men only, to remember its origin.
2. Chris Duncan’s Mansfield set Gates of Gold The North Brig O’ Edinburgh (Trad)/ Brumley Brae (William MacPherson)

Chris taught these tunes to the fiddlers at our Mansfield weekend in 2007—Dave and Neil came up with the funky rhythm part. The reel is one of those centuries old tunes that could have been written yesterday, and the strathspey is one of Chris’ favourite hairy ones!
3.  The Homecoming Homecoming The Homecoming (Neil Adam)

The linnet is a beautiful, small, highly musical bird whose Scottish population declined with the use of agricultural pesticides. Now these poisons are banned, so the linnet population is on the increase again. At the same time, the human population of Scotland is increasing for the first time in centuries.
4.  Skylarks in Munlochy Sea to Sky Munlochy Bridge (Trad.)/ Skylark’s Ascension (Pipe Corporal Archibald Lindsay), Melbourne (Ross Couper)

Munlochy Bridge is a very popular old tune both in Scotland and maritime Canada. The second tune, the Skylark, is a very popular and catchy pipe jig. The last tune, Melbourne, was composed for the MSFC by the brilliant Shetland fiddler Ross Couper, with whom we have collaborated in Australia and over in Shetland.
5. Teenagers go Nuts Reel Cool Teenagers Go Nuts
Pierre’s Right Arm (Brian Pickell)/Landslide Village (Traditional French Canadian)/Reel du Forgeron (Traditional French Canadian)

A set of 3 fantastic reels from Quebec featuring some of our younger players. The percussion in the 3rd tune is French Canadian foot tapping, traditionally done whilst fiddling to give the tunes an extra kick.
6. St Kilda to Kings Cross A long way from home From St Kilda to Kings Cross (Paul Kelly)/Flying Home to Shelley (Paul Gitlitz)

Neil sings our tribute to Melbourne’s best loved song-writer, Paul Kelly, the master of economical lyrics, who makes a case here for Melbourne over Sydney. Paired here with a fantastic tune written by Paul Gitlitz, Flying Home to Shelley.
7. Glen Tilt/Franks Reel A long way from home Glen Tilt (Unknown Scottish)/Frank’s Reel (John McCusker)

The first tune was introduced to us by fine fiddler Colin McLeod, and originally appeared in a collection of reels from 1786. The second, by John McCusker (one of the great fiddlers of our time), feels like it’s always been here.  
8. Farewell to Fife/River Tay Homecoming Farewell to Fife (Sirocha Bruckard)/The River Tay (Sirocha Bruckard)

Sirocha wrote these two tunes in memory of her uncle Ron Wood, a proud Scotsman who sadly passed away in 2014. This set of tunes became even more significant during our tour of Scotland when she had the opportunity to play them for her grandfather who was very unwell at the time.
9. Cathcart Homecoming Cathcart (Phil Cunningham)/ Apo Fetlar Top (Vidar Skrede)

The set is high octane from start to finish, with Phil Cunningham’s Cathcart leading into Apo Fetlar Top, a tune composed by Norway’s Vidar Skrede after encountering come quite aggressive birds on a hilltop on Fetlar, Shetland.
10. Follow the Heron Sea to Sky Follow the Heron (Karine Polwart), Michael’s Mazurka (Michael Ferrie)

“Classic song of hope from Karine Polwart and Mazurka from Michael Ferrie, a fine young Shetland fiddler who left us far too early. In memory of “Beautiful Margaret” who, in six short months, taught me more about the works of Burns than I’d learned in the previous sixty-six years.” (Sung by the late Peter Dwyer, an incredibly valued and beloved member of the club).
11. MSFC Originals Gates of Gold New Tricks (Pria Schwall Kearney)/Odyssey (Matt Robertson)/The New Millennium (Judy Turner)

This is a set of original tunes composed by leaders of our club from over the years. Each tune marks passage to a new era of fiddling, and the sharing of a great and growing fiddle tradition.
12. Maggie West’s Waltz Homecoming Maggie West’s Waltz (Mairearad Green)

Maggie West’s Waltz came to us via our friends at Fèis Rois, a fantastic arts organisation based in Dingwall in the highlands of Scotland. A lovely tune Mairearad wrote for her grandmother, we unwittingly performed our rendition of the tune for her at the Ferry Terminal in Ullapool where she happened to be working that night, unbeknownst to us!
13. Wheels of Fortune Gates of Gold Wheels of Fortune (Trad.)

Louisa Wise “went through a Scottish ballad phase that lasted for years”, and the MSFC have reaped the rewards! This track is a collaboration between the Wise family (Louisa, Rowie, Ruth and Lucy) and the MSFC.
14. The Shetland Set A long way from home Da Road to Da Oube (David Hall)/Izzy’s Jig (Margaret Scollay)/Merryn’s Reel (Ronnie Cooper)

This set is played on fiddles built by fiddle maker and Shetland expat John Anderson, between 1927 and 1959, mostly in Melbourne. A railway worker most of his life, Anderson’s main love (outside his family of course) was the music and fiddling of his native islands.
15. Québécois Capers Sea to Sky Reel de Roberval (Edmond Pariso)/ Le Step à Kenneth Murphy (Eric Favreau)

The first of these Québécois tunes highlights the showy side of fiddle players, and was written by the flamboyant fiddler, Edmond Pariso, in the 1950s. The second was written for step dancing and dedicated to a popular dance caller in Quebec.
16. Mount and Go Sea to Sky Mount and Go (trad.), Skye Barbeque (Alasdair Fraser)

Mount and Go is a traditional Scottish song which tells the story of a young woman who leaves her elderly husband and runs away with her sweetheart (or, as the MSFC likes to think of it, the importance of affairs!). It is followed by the contemporary Scottish tune Skye Barbeque, written by the wonderful Alasdair Fraser.
17. Da Slockitt Light Red Hot Scots Da Slockitt light (Tom Anderson)

Written by Shetland fiddling master Tom Anderson for his wife’s funeral, this slow air is named after the “slockitt” (dying) light of the day.