Highlights From TMSA Keith Festival

Last weekend saw the 42nd Keith Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Festival.  Kathleen Anderson, TMSA Keith Festival Chair, said “We were encouraged this year in that our competition numbers were up and all the concerts were sold out so it makes all the hard work worthwhile”.


Guests to Keith started to arrive on Friday.  To kick start the weekend local performers and guests performed two concerts at Keith Primary School along with some pupils.

On Friday evening there was plenty of musical entertainment to choose from:

Neil Hardie Scottish Dance Band were playing at a dance in the Legion.  They proved to be a hit with the folk of Keith and the dance was a sell-out.

The Ploo held a Bothie Ballad Concert in the lounge.   The guests appearing at this concert were Joe Aitken, Jim Taylor, Geordie Murison, Scott Gardiner, Iona Fyfe, and Carol & Alan Prior.   As usual this concert was a great success with the followers of Bothy Ballads.

The Bowling Club hosted the opening concert with some of the guests mentioned above plus the local band Ill’ Tricket, our guest fiddler Andy Kane with accompanist Martin Henderson from Shetland and the Adin Graham Scottish Dance Band.  Along with a number of young performers.

Kathleen said, “on Saturday we held around 40 competitions from singing, fiddles, diddling, recorders, and a lot more besides, we are very grateful to the organisations who let us use their premises, Stage Stars, The Legion, The Bowing Club and St Rufus Church.”

On Saturday afternoon patients of Turner Memorial Hospital and the local care homes residents were treated to a selection of live music.

The Prize Winners Concert in St Thomas Hall was held in the evening.   This concert comprises of all the competition winners after they have been presented with their trophies.

On Saturday evening a sell-out concert was held in the Bowling Club where all the guests previously mentioned performed along with The Quiggs and David Corner.

There was a concert in the lounge of the Ploo Pub where all the Bowling Club guests also performed in a smaller more intimate setting.

The Royal Hotel hosted the concert with the Headline act of Breabach Folk Band along with some of our other guests as support acts, this concert was also sold out.


On Sunday the outdoor concert had to go indoors to the Legion due to the rain.  Strathisla Pipe Band kicked off the concert and were followed with a selection of the guests.

Sunday night we had the farewell concert with the remaining guests making up the line up.  Finally finishing up with a ceilidh dance to round things off.


s to Keith were providing music in some local shops and pubs.   The sessions are designed for musicians to come along and join in, this is what the festivals all about – joining in.

Kathleen said:  “We are so very grateful to the folk of Keith for their support.   We would not be able to carry on with the Festival without our wonderfully generous sponsors who are Alex Grant & Co, Strathisla Distillery, Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers, Cramond Insurance Consultants, EW Simmers & Son, NFU Mutual, Barbara Anderson Fiddle School, Peterkins Solicitors, Keith Royal British Legion, Shears, Strathdee Properties, Tesco.   Also our programme sponsors – Charlie Henderson Painter & Decorators and Keith Rotary Club.

Our Friends of Keith Festival are as follows – Stagestars Scotland,

Spey Valley Brewery, Keith Bowling Club, Keith Brewery Ltd, Keith Football Club, and the Deli Club, Jim Slater, Gary Coull, Charlie & Fiona Simpson, Dennis Murdoch, Karen Dalgarno, and Councillor Theresa Coull.

We were encouraged this year in that our competition numbers were up and all the concerts were sold out so it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

The folk of Keith are very welcoming and that makes organising the festival very worthwhile.”