Kintyre Songwriters’ stellar Sunday scales the heights

Words and photographs by Mark Davey

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The Gilchristian’s Kenny Gilchrist guitar tribute resounded round Campbeltown town hall as the Courier enjoyed the Kintyre Songwriters Festival (KSF) final night.

The floor exploded with dancing, chanting and clapping in the final act of the 10th Kintyre Songwriters Festival, which started last Friday in Whisky Macs and came to a rocking climax in the early hours of Monday morning.

In total, a dozen acts, starting at about 7.30pm and ranging from solo singers to full bands, had entertained a revolving audience who seemed to swirl round the various stars.

Chris Annetts opened the show, telling the audience that he would not have made it to the town hall stage had it not been for the encouragement of David Fee and the experience of playing his Homesong events.

Swanfactory’s Lewis Semple dripped battery acid, ate the primary numbers and incorporated reality TV in his dystopian verses.

Newcomer, northerner Judith Jones, now based in Torrisdale, lit up the night with her Gram Parson’s tribute: Butterfly Kisses, composed during an American roadtrip search for his grave.

Colonsay’s Donald MacNeill said that last year’s KSF had introduced him to Dyson Airblade hand dryers and he had begun a mission to photograph them on his travels.

He said his obession had nearly led to his arrest at Heathrow when he took his camera out in the conveniences.

His daughter Jane joined him on stage to sing choruses and was amazed to hear she might feature in the pages of the Courier.

The Dubious Blues Band lifted the tempo a notch before David Bisset, inspired by Bill Bryson, went in search of America’s ideal 1950s’ small town.

Gareth Croll’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ was a great reimagining of the rock classic and began the climb via three, short, sharp numbers from The Twisted Melons, to the night’s headliner, the sublime indie rocker Roddy Woomble.

Campbeltown rockers a new hope? prepared the ground for keyboardist songwriter Josephine Sillars and the Manic Pixie Dreams, who played a yet to be released song, Is it Love?.

And this left the Gilchristians to tie the night together, ending the show with all the guys who played with the legendary Kenny Gilchrist.