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!
The village hall of Bruichladdich opened its doors to friends and soon-to-be friends of Fraser Shaw’s music, for it was the night of the Mac Ìle album launch. The first launch that is, which took place on June 27th on the Isle of Islay. A second launch is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in August. The fact that it was a Tuesday night did not hinder the audience attendance, with a buzz of excited chitter chatter encompassing the hall awaiting an evening on enthralling music. It was an evening of two halves; of drams and gin provided kindly by Bruichladdich Distillery, of incredible music and musicianship and of a term you are likely to hear frequently regarding Fraser, that term being friendship.
The evening was kicked off to an enrapturing start by pipers Calum MacCrimmon and Angus MacKenzie, a traditional start to any concert or ceilidh. This was followed by a different blend of musicians for each set, all delivering snippets of their tales and time with the man in title and offering heartfelt performances. Local singer Alasdair Currie also delighted the crowd with a beautiful collection of gaelic songs, setting the equilibrium number of songs to tunes. After a short interlude allowing both listeners and musicians to refresh their glasses it was on to the second half, during which sentiment grew with every set.
The emotion emanating from the stage, I’m sure could be felt by each person in the crowd familiar with Fraser’s story or not. Music has an inconceivable way to convey emotions, perhaps emotions that wouldn’t be visible to a passing stranger but in this context they can be felt very nearly first hand. The busy audience was filled with friends of Fraser’s and also many people that wouldn’t have had the pleasure of knowing him. It is most likely the latter were visitors to the island discovering this little pocket of first class traditional music unexpectedly. As the musicians closed the concert it was the end of an incredible nights music, but to these perfect strangers who happened upon ‘A night for Fraser’, it is just the start of a new journey discovering his music, introducing it to friends alike and being almost ‘passengers’ of his legacy.
The Islay Sessioners hosted an evening Fraser would have reveled in – an evening of music, friends (old and new), drams and these fine things in life continuing into the night at the much cherished Port Charlotte Hotel. I think it is safe to say the Fraser Shaw Trust is doing exactly what it set out to do, if not more.
– Ciara MacTaggart
Sunset on the eve of Fraser’s album launch matched the artwork perfectly.
The Fraser Shaw Trust have been overwhelmed with support the past two years, and would like to extend a grateful thank you to all our donators. The work put in to making our work possible still continues, and we are extremely proud of Natalie Somerville, one of our Trustees, who recently ran the London Marathon in aid of the Trust. Speaking to us about her experience Natalie says, “It was my first time at the race and it has to be said that everything they say is true! It really is a phenomenal affair. The scale of the event is mind-blowing with thousands upon thousands of volunteers and almost 40,000 runners. The support from the Londoners was also superb – really showcasing the best of what the city has to offer in terms of hospitality, music and humour. For me, the hardest thing about the marathon was the training. Lots of long, cold, dark runs on my own around the streets of Glasgow – often a mental struggle just to get out the door! However, the race itself was amazing and the miles seemed to pass relatively quickly (until mile 23…!). If you ever find yourself questioning humanity – go and watch the London Marathon. The strength of some people, particularly those participating with disabilities, is just incredible. I laughed and I cried – and, of course, I thought about my mate, Fraser. A fabulous £1870 has been raised so far, and those funds will go towards supporting people living with MS as well as musical projects for young Ileachs. Thank you to everyone who sent support and I look forward to seeing who will run the London Marathon next for the Fraser Shaw Trust!”
Natalie is greeted at the finish line by her husband John and son Findlay.
Natalie is not the only one accomplishing a great feat to raise money for good causes – Lesley Shaw, another good friend of Fraser’s has decided to take on the challenge of the Ben Nevis Night Hike this August, to raise money for MS Society Scotland in memory of Fraser. Lesley says, “Training for the challenge has been good fun. I’ve started going back to the gym, running, trying some circuits and yoga and of course lots more hill-walking. The better weather definitely helps and over the past wee while I’ve climbed Schiehallion, Ben Narnain, Ben Chonzie, Ben Luibhean and the local smaller Donald, Tinto a few times. Nothing beats a flask of tea and sweet treats with an amazing view when you get to the top. The support so far has been amazing and I can’t wait to join the rest of the team at the MS Society Scotland for the challenge. I’m almost at 75% of the target donations so massive thanks to everyone who’s sponsored so far.” You can sponsor Lesley’s hike at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/LesleyShaw2017