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An audience of nearly 250 came together to raise funds for The Kids Of Kolkata Trust at Strathpeffer Pavilion on the 12th of August 2012. It was great to see businesses, bands and of course people come together to help fund raise.   Around 250 people attended, with the current total raised well over £1000.

It’s hard to review an event at the best of times especially one that invernessGiGs were so involved in arranging, so we were very pleased when one of our writers, Lori Williams, volunteered:

The Kids of Kolkata ceilidh dance was organised by Chris Lemon to raise funds to assist children living in extreme poverty in Kolkata, India.   The event, held at Strathpeffer Pavilion, has the solemn purpose of raising money for destitute children, but that does not mean it has to be a dour affair!  The event offered local music fans a short set by an up and coming young band, The Frues,  followed by a double-set marathon featuring the inexhaustible Rythymnreel .

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Fresh off the back of  an appearence at Belladrum and making their first appearance in Strathpeffer ,The Frues, opened the evening with rock, blues and folk blended together in an effective mix.  Beginning with the high energy “That’s What I Say”, the four young men then moved into “Pack Your Bags And Leave” featuring a driving bass line.  This more bluesy number suited the band’s sound as the vocals became cleaner and the skill of the guitarists could be heard clearly. Craig Robertson has a great voice but it sometimes gets lost in the more high voltage songs.  Following on with a cover of Stevie Wonders  “Superstition”, featuring a fab guitar riff,  the band played more rock based numbers until this reviewer’s personal favourite, the blues inspired “I Don’t Need You”.  “Ticket to Spain”, the penultimate number, had a more pop feel and could make a very successful single if released.

A quick scan showed that the more mature audience members seemed unsure what to make of The Frues, but the younger ceilidh goers knew that this  band have a bright future. Keep your ears open, you will hear from The Frues again. You can catch them at Newmarket Bar in Thurso 26th August, Wizard Festival 27th,  Aberdeens Cafe Drummond on 28th and Wee Red Bar at The Edinburgh School of Art on Sept 3rd.  Well worth a look !!

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After a quick instrument changeover, the venerable Rhythmnreel were ready to lead the crowd into the wee hours.  Beginning with a floor filling Gay Gordon, the band usually alternates songs with dance tunes. This arrangement ensures dancers have a chance to catch their breath, or more importantly, visit the bar, between dances. Tonight was no exception and the Strip the Willow, Dashing White Sergeant, Canadian Barn Dance, Eightsome Reel, and Orcadian Strip the Willow were all played to the delight of the crowd.  Jim Kennedy kept to the traditional ceilidh feel, singing folk tunes such as “Whisky in the Jar”, “Galway Girl” and “Bonnie Lass of Fyvie” but the band is also known for mixing up classics with chart hits, and Paolo Nutini was followed by “Folsom Prison Blues”. Encouraging crowd participation even more with a sing along,  Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” was very popular. Mumford and Son’s “Little Lion Man” proved a great choice towards the end of the first set and being a family ceilidh, a compromise of ‘mucked it up’ was reached for the more risqué lyrics.

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Other bands simply would not be able to keep such a large crowd of mixed ages happily entertained for 5 hours, but Rythymnreel are not just any band. Jim Kennedy and Co. seem limitless when it comes to energy, and it is infectious. The crowd loved them and video recorders and cameras were well used as attendees captured their own memories to take home.

This was a great evening  for a great cause and more than some of the younger audience members could last out. Trailing home about 11 pm with little ones in tow, the lively sounds of Rythymnreel filled the streets of Strathpeffer. For those remaining, there would be dancing well into the wee small hours and it is heartening to know that such joy will translate into hard cash for the young people of Kolkata.

Thanks very much to Lori for reviewing the event, however, as with all charity events there are always a few more thanks….

Thanks to Rhythmnreel and The Frues for providing the music for the evening and as Lori elegantly reported, they did an absolutely amazing job.

Thanks to Moray Security for providing two of the nicest security guys we have ever ever met.  Cheers guys.

Thanks to Houdi for all the graphic design work on the posters and tickets.

Thanks to the staff at Strathpeffer Pavilion, whose venue deserves to be used and attended to so much more.

Thanks to everybody who sold tickets and of course everybody that bought them and attended.

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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs