Straw Puppet’s Berwick return

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Their head honcho may be based in Glasgow but that’s not stopping promoters Straw Puppet from lining up a great night of music at The Barrels on Sunday, May 18.

The evening will see world-renowned folksters Cahalen Morrison and Eli West join forces with local favourites Le Woodsmen, Iain Petrie and Sammy Reed.

Director Matthew Robson is co-ordinating things from Glasgow where he is studying for a degree in event management.

Coming to the end of the third of a four year course, Matthew started up Straw Puppet when he was coming to the end of his time at Berwick Academy, holding a number of events in and around the town.

His move to Glasgow and his degree commitments meant that Straw Puppet was put on hold, but now he’s heading into a summer break, Matthew is keen to get the ball rolling once again.

And with Glasgow already a hive of musical activity, with many promoters competing for acts and venues, Matthew thought it made sense to go back to his roots for Straw Puppet’s big comeback.

“There are a lot of people trying to break into the Glasgow scene; everyone and their gran is a promoter so it’s very hard to get a break.

“As a city it’s great as culturally there’s so much going on but then, although it’s not as big, you could say the same about Berwick.

“The whole reason for starting up Straw Puppet in the first place was to promote some of the great creative talent in the town; there’s so much of it that people don’t know about.

“The Berwick music scene will always be very close to my heart; there are a lot of good bands and even though I don’t live there any more I’d like to give them a platform.”

Fortunately for Matthew, the rest of the Straw Puppet team are all based in Berwick, meaning that he isn’t out of the loop when it comes to what is happening in the town.

And it was a suggestion from a friend that led to him securing his headline act for next Sunday.

“Sammy Reed has raved about Cahalen Morrison & Eli West over the last couple of years and half suggested that I try and book them for the show,” he explained.

“They are one of the best folk acts in the world at the moment with their new album getting four and five star reviews from everyone who’s heard it.

“Anyway, I did a bit of digging and found out they were on a UK tour so enquired about having them come to Berwick. They got back to and they are now playing the final night of their tour as part of our show.

“Le Woodsmen and Iain Petrie were no brainers; they’re local heroes and Sammy is on the bill of nearly ever gig in Berwick at the moment.”

Without wanting to tempt fate, Matthew said that preparations for next weekend’s show were running smoothly although he expected the nerves would kick in once he arrives back in town.

“This is Straw Puppet’s first show in over two years so it’s a big one for us.

“Everything has gone well so far in terms of organisation.

“I’m sure the nerves will kick in once I’m at the venue; they always do and if they didn’t I’d start to thing I was in the wrong industry!”

*Entry to the 7.30pm gig on Sunday, May 18 is £5.