Late night high jinks

Celtic Connections’ favourite fringe event, Folkytown, is back tomorrow night at the Flying Duck, and if last night’s shenanigans there under the Sunday Funday banner are anything to go by, it certainly won’t be for the fainthearted. Nobody seems entirely sure how or why every male musician in the place ended up bare-chested, with a decidedly miraculous Calum MacCrimmon addressing the troops from atop a table, but it might have had something to do with the session starting at lunchtime in Waxy O’Connors, where singer and pianist Suzanne Houston is once again hosting weekend gatherings for tunes throughout the festival, on behalf of Friends of Plockton Music School. By the time midnight rolled around, proceedings were lubricated to the point of saturation – as the above-mentioned scenes make abundantly clear. Folkytown kicks off tomorrow at 10.30pm, with a session hosted by the mighty Breabach and friends, while Wednesday nights see the double whammy of the Blas Collective and Jack McRobbie, each holding court in one of the Duck’s two bars. The Waxy’s sessions, meanwhile, return this weekend, and the one after, running noon-5pm and 8pm-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from midday right through to midnight on Sunday.
Not that yesterday’s late-night high jinks were confined to the Flying Duck: very far from it. The usual (relative) Sunday mellowness at the Festival Club was conspicuous by its absence, although the raucous din of chatter and laughter has rarely if ever been silenced so swiftly as when local rising star Siobhan Wilson took the stage, having earlier stolen the show at the Roaming Roots Revue: when she began singing, you could have heard a pin drop within about five seconds.
Reports from Roaming Roots were unanimously rhapsodic, and Wilson wasn’t the only one of its performers enjoying a post-show celebration at the Club: also spotted were Lindi Ortega, Cory Chisel and both Webb Sisters, one of whom was getting down with some serious headbanging, with long blonde hair flying in all directions, to piper Scott Wood’s new five-piece band, making their debut as the night’s climactic act.
The fun then continued back at the Holiday Inn, with some very fine tunes going down along with many a nightcap in the jam-packed bar. Like all good things it had to end eventually, though, in order to get the place presentable in time for breakfast, with the hotel’s night-time team displaying their usual saintly forbearance, attempting to intercede with the musicians a couple of times before letting the final medley run its natural course, meanwhile contenting themselves with snapping some photos of their blissfully satisfied customers.
Talking of photos, some forward-thinking soul had the shrewd thought of providing the Holiday Inn with a shot of Donald Shaw to keep behind the front desk, photocopied with the instruction “This man can sign for drinks” – a privilege understandably extended to very few hotel non-residents, especially at this time of year. Someone else however, has seen fit to adorn our artistic director’s cherubic visage with a pirate-style eye patch in black felt-tip pen, somewhat undermining his semblance of credit-worthiness.