Huskies, Sparrows, the Insider and Celtic Connections.

I have been away from the blog for a few weeks now, largely because there has been so much going on. Last weekend was the annual husky racing championship, being held on snow for the first time in 15 years. There were over a thousand dogs, 200 teams and I pinched this photo from Aaron Sneddon who (unlike me) was actually there.

I wasn’t there simply because Sparrow and the Workshop were playing at the Old Bridge Inn and a session ensued that went some way past licensed hours. We have finally got round to incorporating Backwoods Productions (for producing and publicising events) and have focused our musical attendance somewhat because the Insider 2010 is alive. Last week Sam Lee, the promoter behind the Magpies Nest folk nights in London came to stay and has made himself very much involved. His current specialist interest (among many others) is the hereditary traveller ballads of Aberdeenshire so we may introduce a ‘Balladlands’, and there is talk of combining with the Cairngorms National Park to introduce a much greater firewood and renewables element to the festival. We are also going to start recruiting volunteers, stewards, waitresses etc etc, ideally from Aviemore, so if anyone would like a job please get in touch

Sam and I, and two lovely lady Morris dancers then headed for Celtic Connections to further our causes and catch a few of the potential bands. It put a smile on my face that the 2 headlining bands of Celtic Connections were Session A9 and Lau, who headlined for us in one shape or form last year. The Insider seems to have generated a ripple of goodwill through artists and their management and though we are going to have to put our tickets on sale without a full line up, trust us, it will be a belter.

So, next weekend at the Old Bridge Inn is the official launch party for the Insider, with lots of bands I have mentioned here over the last year including the Horndog Brass band, Woodenbox and a Fistful of Fivers and King Arthurs Men playing. The festival itself will be Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June. Watch this space for updates.

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