Gaitherin of the traditional music clans in Coldstream

Innes and Lori Watson who will be tutoring and performing at the Border Gaitherin
Innes and Lori Watson who will be tutoring and performing at the Border Gaitherin

TRADITIONAL music doesn’t come much better than the annual Border Gaitherin in Coldstream, and the festival is now attracting the best musicians Scotland has to offer - including BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist in 2011 and 2012 Alistair Ogilvy.

For international musicians Innes and Lori Watson, the Gaitherin is a welcome chance to return to their roots - the brother and sister hail from Birgham and both went to primary school in Coldstream. Lori enjoys an international reputation for her singing and fiddle playing and her younger brother Innes is a hugely talented multi-instrumentalist and winner of the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Instrumentalist of the Year 2011.

And together with Alistair and a host of other high calibre traditional music tutors they will be offering their expertise in workshops as well as performing.

This year’s festival - over the Diamond Jubilee weekend June 1-3 - also coincides with a Heritage Crafts event at the Hirsel organised by the Flodden 1513 initiative, giving visitors and locals plenty to keep them occupied while the country celebrates the 60 years that Queen Elizabeth II has been monarch.

‘Leaves Sae Green’, Alistair’s first CD (given a four start review in ‘Scotland on Sunday’) will be among the topics he will be focusing on for his first visit to the Gaitherin. Alistair loves everything about singing: telling stories, expressing himself, reflecting on history, and connecting with an audience. Even though some of his songs are very old, they still have a relevance today. He will be performing at Coldstream Community Centre on Saturday, June 2, at the Lunchtime Cabaret Concert, at 1pm, at the Jubilee Concert on Sunday, June 3, at 7.30pm, and will also deliver two Scots Song workshops on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

In addition to fiddle and guitar workshops Lori and Innes are also delivering a new workshop which focuses on ‘Performance skills’. And other new workshops this year include: Gaelic Song (Mary Low), Border Tunes (for any instrument, Matt Seattle) and Street Fusion Dance (Michelle Douglas, Craft Felting workshop (Mary Watt) for those a little less musical and there are two guided historical walks around Coldstream led by Trevor Swan and Gerald Tait.

Tickets are available at Clarks Newsagents in Coldstream or from border.gaitherin@zen.co.uk or call 01573 224920 (evenings and weekends) or go to www.bordergaitherin.com