Folk duo’s love and life song feast

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By Mark Davey

In a change of venue Ardshiel Hotel’s  packed Arran lounge created an intimate evening for a pair of folk singers.

The duo, Gill Halliday and Chris Sesar, backed clever lyrics with wind instruments and the guitar.

Neither had played Campbeltown in the past, despite extensivly touring Scotland since it became Chris’ adoptive home more than two decades ago.

They soon warmed to the receptive audience who equally appreciated the chance to hear singer-songwriters performing largely their own material.

Chris spoke about the act of falling in and out of love and said: ‘Mathematically I think there should be as many falling love songs as there are falling out but sometimes the maths does not work.

‘A disproportionate number of sad songs get written so to start we will have get one of them out of the way.’

Gill said that the audience should be aware it was not her with whom Chris was falling in and out of love.

Introducing another song, Gill revealed how both of them had wanted to join a circus when they grew up, she said: ‘Chris wanted to be a juggler but I just wanted to be a lion.’

Gill’s teenage son who was never named was the subject of a number of songs about bringing up teenagers.

Introducing the first song about him, Gill said: ‘When you first realise that you are going to have a “bundle of joy” in your arms, you think this is going to be the most amazing thing.’

Gill added when they are aged two, and lying on the supermarket floor bawling their head off, the reality is somewhat different.

‘In their teenage years they grow horns,’ Gill added.

Chris said: ‘He’s a good boy and a real inspiration.’

Gill said: ‘I have a young daughter too and recently after she attended a concert she wanted to know why there was not a song about her.’

Following a short interval the duo sung a song about Raasay.

They introduced it by talking of a family holiday when a child kept asking: ‘What are we going to do now?’ The parents asked themselves the same question when, exhausted, they finally got the children to bed at 11pm.

The second half also saw the pair move briefly into political territory with a protest song about the man in the White House.

Overall the songs, despite the sometimes sad themes, were inspiring and uplifting.

Their musicianship was well rehearsed and virtually flawless except when Chris’ guitar occasionally went off tune.

Gill and Chris left the lounge to rapturous applause.

Although many would have liked to buy a disc, at the close it was quite refreshing when Gill said: ‘If you want to hear more you have to look us up online as we don’t have any CDs for sale.’

That spared some a ‘guilty’ walk past a table stacked with CDs.

Gill Halliday and Chris Sesar share a mic. 25_c11ceolcampbeltown25

Chris Sesar picks out a song. 25_c11ceolcampbeltown24

Folk flautist Gill Halliday. 25_c11ceolcampbeltown23