One of our wonderful local musicians, Susan first picked up an accordion at age 14 and, rumour has it, has never put it down since. Two years later she began competing in (and winning!) solo, trio and band competitions across Scotland. The band play for ceilidhs and Scottish Country Dancing; have appeared on BBC Scotland’s “Take the Floor” programme, and recorded book 48 for the RSCDS. On top of this, Susan will always find the time to play for young dancers in Glasgow,which makes her a perfect fit for Spring Fling. (It is possible that the reason she never puts her accordion down is that we don’t let her). The band is a family affair, and the band was formed by Susan and her sister Shona who brings her excellent fiddle playing to the group. They tell us they are big fans of mild sarcasm, good humour and keeping tradition alive (largely, we believe, in the tradition of buying the band a bottle of gin).
On the rare occasions we haven’t talked the band into playing for us they can be found on the dancefloor, and are always happy to be asked to dance.
Màrtainn is anaccordionist, pianist and cellist from Brae Lochaber, currently leading the Màrtainn Skene Highland Dance Band, touring and recording with the Donald Black Band, Irish fiddle player Pádraig Brodrick and with Deeside fiddle player Claire Gullan (Neil Gow finalist). His main goal at the moment is to get more lesser-known folk music played. He is thrilled to be involved in the West Coast music scene, particularly in Glasgow where we are reliably informed some of the fastest evolving folk and trad music is to be found. Màrtainn has also recently played for the young dancers sitting their teaching exams in Glasgow, where he learned a healthy fear of the phrase ‘ready, and!’ Despite his refusal of our frequent requests to play the tune to the macarena on the accordion, we are glad he remains undeterred and are very much looking forward to hearing him play for us at Spring Fling.
Matthias is an excellent fiddle player, and so he should be – he’s been playing since the age of six! He began dancing before he began playing for Scottish Country Dancing. This added yet another string to his bow (pun intended), as he has performed classical music in countries across Europe, as well as with the rock band Schandmaul. In Glasgowwe’re big fans of the unconventional so any Scottish Tune/German rock band mash-ups will be welcome! However, Matthias has been well schooled in playing for Scottish Country dancing, and has been tutored by Sue Bollans, Silke Grosholz, Keith Smith, Muriel Johnstone, and others. Matthias has been playing for balls and classes since 2011, but tells us that one of his best experiences was playing for Spring Fling 2017 in Bonn, and is very much looking forward to playing for a young and enthusiastic crowd for Glasgow 2018.
Adam Brady is no stranger to the SCD scene in Scotland, where it would appear we start them young! At five he was taking accordion lessons, quickly followed by piano – and by the age of 12 he was already playing for the Dundee Branch classes! Along with his brother Luke, Adam has formed a dance band that has given him the chance to travel throughout the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia providing music for dances, classes and musicians workshops. The band has also produced five recordings of Scottish Country Dance music, in addition to two recordings for the RSCDS. Adam is a well-known face in SCD. He has been invited to play for RSCDS Summer School since 2011, RSCDS Spring Fling and RSCDS Winter School. He tells us that playing for these events has allowed him the opportunity to branch outside of the country-dance repertoire to other specialties, such as Highland and Ladies’ Step.
On the rare occasions we ever let Adam put his instruments down (it isn’t often) he also loves to dance and can be found on floors around the world. Although it doesn’t sound like he has much free time, he is also managing to squeeze in a Masters degree, so we asked the University of Edinburgh library very nicely if they would loan him out to us for the Spring Fling weekend. We are delighted that they have agreed! Adam tells us that he’s thrilled to play for us all next year and that he’s looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. We’re excited to have him come and join the fun!