Mac Ìle – Glasgow Launch at Piping Live!

On Monday 7th August, the Fraser Shaw Trust was delighted to celebrate the Glasgow Album Launch of Mac Ile. The event took place in the beautiful venue of St Luke’s, in Glasgow’s East End, as part of the internationally acclaimed music festival; Piping Live!

The launch took the form of a gig, with an enormous amount of talented musicianship on show. The first half included a combination of solo, duo and group performances from musicians who recorded the album, as well as a couple of Fraser’s close pals. Musicians took the opportunity to talk about some of their times with Fraser – unsurprisingly often including a few drinks, a good laugh and a touch of calamity!

The second half was a full live performance of the album. It was an outstanding, uplifting and moving display and, for those who had heard the recorded version, a chance to enjoy the power of the live performance. Perhaps the most emotive of the tracks was Air Chall, a stunning piece including an old recording Fraser had sent to his pal a few years back.

Whilst of course a special night for all Fraser’s family and friends, it was a delight to see people who didn’t know him or his story come along and enjoy the evening so much. A truly gorgeous evening of music and friendship: a fine tribute to a very fine man.

The Trust would like to thank our sponsors; Ardbeg and McCallum Bagpipes. Also thanks to Frankie Burr for her wonderful backdrop!

Pre-Launch of Mac Ìle – The Tunes of Fraser Shaw

Pre-Launch Success of Mac Ìle – The Tunes of Fraser Shaw

We have had a very exciting month with the arrival of Mac Ìle – The Music of Fraser Shaw – the album.

May 16th, saw Fraser’s friends and family meet together in Glasgow to raise a dram to the man himself and celebrate the completion of the CD. Produced by Duncan Lyall, the album showcases a flavoursome variety of Fraser’s tunes, alongside compositions by Lori Watson, Adam Sutherland, Laura-Beth Salter and Calum MacCrimmon. Packed with glorious performances from a selection of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians, a particularly special feature of the album is Fraser himself playing whistle for his slow air ‘Air Chall’.

This informal gathering embodied everything that was special about Fraser; with music, stories and the imbibing of large Islay whiskies continuing into the small hours of the morning. The high regard in which he was held was obvious to all, through the warmth with which friends old and new regaled tales of their own personal memories of Fraser. As music from Mac Ìle floated above over the bustle of the pub, we celebrated the life of Fraser Shaw and the wonderful gift of that he gave us through his music.

Slàinte mhòr, mhic Ìle!


Pre-order CD

Tickets for Launch Events

The CD will be officially launched on Tuesday June 27th in Bruichladdich, Islay (buy tickets for Islay Launch). A second launch in Glasgow will take place August 7th in St Luke’s as part of Piping Live! (buy tickets for Glasgow launch)

The Tunes of Fraser Shaw – CD Launch

Fraser Shaw was a wonderful piper, whistle player and composer from Glasgow who resided on the Isle of Islay. After his passing in May 2015, a group of friends and family started a Trust in his honour. The foremost aim of the Fraser Shaw Trust is to raise money for the relief of multiple sclerosis, particularly in Argyll, Scotland, through a series of projects and events celebrating Fraser and his music.

A few years before Fraser’s passing, he had it in mind to release a book of his own compositions, the proceeds of which would go towards the MS Care Centre in Lochilphead, Scotland. Unfortunately, due to his illness, this never came to fruition. Over the last year and a half, the Trust have been working hard to bring this idea to life and release Fraser’s much anticipated tunebook, along with an album comprised of Fraser’s music. In November 2015 a group of musicians gathered on Islay, to play a special memorial concert at Fraser’s festival, The Islay Sessions, thus laying the groundwork for the album. In January 2016 at Celtic Connections this same group of musicians, “The Islay Sessioners” as they called themselves, performed this music as part of Islay Night, a concert that both celebrated the music and culture of Islay, and the tunes of Fraser Shaw.

In September 2016, recording began for the CD in Castlesound and Carrier Waves Studios. Many of the arrangements heard at Islay Night have been recorded, along with a few additional tracks. Playing on the album are; Adam Sutherland, Eilidh Shaw, Gráinne Brady, Lori Watson, Innes Watson, Angus MacKenzie, Calum MacCrimmon, Kevin O’Neill, John Somerville, Laura-Beth Salter, Jenn Butterworth, Ross Martin, Tina Jordan Rees, Duncan Lyall, with very special guests; Kathleen Graham, Mhairi Hall and Ross Couper.

Produced by Duncan Lyall, the album showcases a flavoursome variety of Fraser’s tunes, alongside compositions by Lori Watson, Adam Sutherland, Laura-Beth Salter and Calum MacCrimmon. Also included is a beautiful rendition of the traditional Scots song “Frienship”, and Calum MacDonald’s “Clachan Uaine”, played by former fellow Cluanas members, Kathleen and Mhairi. A particularly special feature of the album, is Fraser himself playing whistle for his slow air “Air Chall”.

The Fraser Shaw Trust are delighted to announce the release of Mac Ìle – The Music of Fraser Shaw, on Tuesday June 27th 2017, with a big launch of the new CD on the Isle of Islay to mark the occasion. The event will take place in Bruichladdich Hall, with a concert featuring the musicians on the album. A second launch in Glasgow is set for Monday August 7th in St Luke’s Church as part of Piping Live! (

Hard copies of Fraser’s CD will be available exclusively at the pre-launch party which will take place in The Sparkle Horse, Glasgow on Tuesday May 16th. Tickets for launch concerts and pre-orders will be for sale online from May 16th through the Trust website –

The tunebook will be released this autumn, further updates to be found on Proceeds of the tunebook will go directly towards the MS Care Centre in Lochilphead. Proceeds of the album and further donations will be used for the advancement of education, arts and culture and for the relief of those living with multiple sclerosis in Scotland, particularly on the Isle of Islay.

String Parts

We had a really nice day recently of recording string parts for a couple of the tracks on Fraser’s CD; Strings & Blowy Things/Fraser’s Trip to Glasgow, and Air Chall. Both were played at Islay Night at Celtic Connections and can be heard here.
The main melody and accompaniment of the Strings & Blowy Things track had been recorded in Castlesound in September. Along with this, Adam, Innes, Lori and myself overdubbed some lovely string parts. Duncan was engineering on the day with the help of Andrea Gobbi.
​The second track to be recorded was Air Chall, meaning “Lost”, which featured Duncan on double bass along with the fiddles. This track is a particularly special one as we are playing along with the man himself, Fraser on whistle. He wrote this slow air over a period of time a few years ago, about the loss of his dad, and a friend.

More Recording in Carrierwaves

We got another spot of recording done this week in Carrierwaves Studio with Duncan. This was the day for our “Cairn’s Set” which features Adam, Laura-Beth, Jenn, Calum, and guest musicians Ross Couper and Steve Forman. Cairn’s is a bar on Miller Street in Glasgow in which Fraser ran a weekly Sunday Session for a number of years. On the day, Calum also put some (more!) highland bagpipes on the Pipe Set with Eilidh, Ross and Angus.

The Cairn’s set begins with a tune written by Adam, which was commissioned by the trust for the auction at Shawfest 2015. The winner, Grahame Allison, named the tune “Memories of Fraser Shaw”. It’s a lovely G minor strathspey which Adam, Laura-Beth, Calum, Innes and Duncan played at last years Islay Sessions and it went down a real treat! The Cairn’s group followed this tune with a Fraser composition “Get her Goin’ ” and a Fraser session favourite “The Coast of Austria”.

​The album is really starting to shape up, with most of the sets recorded and a few more overdubs to do. There are dates in place to record some strings in November, and we are planning a very special “Day at the C-Side”, the details of which will be announced soon! Keep up to date on the latest news via Facebook or Twitter.

Shawfest 2016

We had an absolutely wonderful time at our September fundraiser, Shawfest. The festivities began on Saturday 24th in St Peter’s hall, Partick. From 2pm there was a craft and activities fair, with pottery and knitting demonstrations, face painting, and a kids corner which included lots of fun games for our young attendees.

After the success of last years auction, we decided to hold another one, which had a range of fantastic items up for bids such as artwork, jewellery and the chance to name a tune written by musician and composer Hamish Napier. Our raffle table was also jam packed full of amazing prizes!

​The craft stall holders this year were, Stef Baxter Pottery, Something Corny, The Braw Wee Emporium, Peter Gillies Art and Scottish Prints. A rep from the MS Society, Niall also was present with lots of information on the disease, and on the fantastic work that the society do.

Unfortunately, the weather was very poor that day, but we still had a brilliant turnout and there was a great atmosphere in the hall. Erin and her mum Alison were hard at work in the kitchen making stovies for the evening concert, and there was soup and sandwiches served during the day. We also had a wee cake stall, with Scottish tablet, brownies, biscuits and cupcakes.

In one corner of the room was our “sitting room” which Frankie has decorated beautifully and at 5pm, Dr Libby McGugan gave a workshop on Midlessness & Stress Management. This went down a real treat, and if you want to catch one of these talks follow Libby’s page on Facebook.

After our Gaelic MC Fi Dunn introduced the evening, the concert began. First up was Carla Feuerstein & Seán Gray. Carla is a German folk singer and guitarist and regularly tours with her family band, Die Feuerstein’s. Seán, a flute and guitar player, is a member of The Paul McKenna Band. The pair played a beautiful selection of German folk songs and Scottish tunes and songs and their mellow sound was a perfect start to the evening.

Next up was the Blas Collective. This group play a weekly jam session in Bar Bloc and is made up of a plethora of musicians based in Glasgow. On this occasion the band consisted of Jenn Butterworth, Hamish Napier, Adam Sutherland and Steve Forman. They played an eclectic selection of tunes and songs, including an amazing rendition of Fraser’s classic, The C-Side.

The concert took a break with a game of “toss the coin” wherein a bottle of Caorunn gin could be won by sliding a pound coin across the floor towards it. The winner hits the bottle! There was a good queue of people wanting a turn but few were coming close, until Hilda (my mum) hit the bottle head on! She was delighted with her prize.

After the break, there was an hour of ceilidh which was absolutely brilliant craic and had everyone up dancing the night away!

The second half of the festival carried on the following evening in The Sparkle Horse. It was lovely to meet up with everyone; to eat, drink and chat. There was also an informal trad session with Jenn, Laura-Beth and co. Here, the auction and raffle winners were to be announced. The auction had been open for bids from the previous Thursday and were still taking bids up to 10pm that night. Our auctioneer Tait, done a great job in the final throws of it, encouraging people to up the bids at the last minute!

Hamish’s tune, an uplifting 9/8 march, was purchased by Ross Ainslie and was aptly named “Frien’ship Brings Us Here the Night”. The title comes from a classic Scots song “Happy We Are A’ Thegither” which very much echoes the great priority Fraser put on friendships and social gatherings during his life. Have a listen to the tune here. ​​After all the prizes were announced the tunes started up again and carried on into the night. It was a really brilliant evening and night, a fantastic finish to a lovely weekend, and the team raised a grand total of £2000 for the Fraser Shaw Trust.

Shawfest and the Fraser Shaw Trust would like to say a huge thank you to Shawfest organisers Frankie, Jasmin, Erin and all that helped out on Saturday, to all the stall holders, Stef and Carla for their “come and try” demonstrations, our face painter Ruth, Libby for her insightful workshop, Hannah, Margaret and Alison for the soup, sandwiches and stovies, the bakers for all the delicious cakes, the artists that donated paintings, prints and jewellery to the auction, everyone who donated vouchers and other items towards the raffle and auction, St. Peter’s for the use of their hall, the musicians for their fantastic performances, our sound engineer Jenn, Katie our photographer, The Sparkle Horse and an overall thank you to everyone who came to the festival!


Happy We Are Thegither

Here around the ingle bleezin’,
Wha see happy and see free?
Tho’ the northern wind blaws freezin’,
Frien’ship warms baith you and me.Happy we are a’ thegither,
Happy we’ll be, ane an’ a’;
Time shall see us a’ the blyther
Ere we rise to gang awa’.

See the miser o’er his treasure
Gloatin’ wi’ a greedy ee!
Can he feel the glow o pleasure
That around us here we see?

Thus then let us a’ be tassin’
Aff our stoups o gen’rous flame;
And while roun’ the board ’tis passin’,
Raise a sang in frien’ship’s name.

Frien’ship maks us a’ mair happy’
Frien’ship gies us a’ delight;
Frien’ship consecrates the drappie,
Frien’ship brings us here the night.

Happy we are a’ thegither,
Happy we’ve been, ane an’ a’;
Time shall find us a’ the blyther
Ere we rise to gang awe.