Music Review: Scots Fiddle Festival

The Scotsman / Jim Gilchrist

As part of a festival celebrating the glories of Scots fiddle music, Saturday’s recitals at Summerhall couldn’t have kicked off in more apposite and bar-raising form than the performance by the renowned Campbeltown fiddler Archie McAllister. Accompanied expertly by guitarist Ron Pirrie, McAllister was an imposing presence, hunched over his fiddle with serious intent as strathspeys, reels, jigs and pipe marches emerged with dart and fire, but also with affection and respect, as he scrupulously credited not only their composers but often their dedicatees, invoking generations. There was a wonderful moment when Pirrie dramatically broke off, allowing the solo fiddler to release G S MacLennan’s classic Little Cascade like a greyhound out of a trap. Scots Fiddle Festival, Summerhall & Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh