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Bonnie Bands Again 1982

by McCalmans

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Hornpipes 02:35
Morag Fair 04:09
Drumdelgie 03:20


So, after 18 years, Hamish left the group. There was no bust-up or argument, he just wanted to spend more time at home and he let us know in 1980 that he intended to leave in 1982.
Derek and I had a long time to look for a replacement and my first and only choice was a comparatively young chap, Nick Keir, whom I'd seen performing "floor-spots" at the Edinburgh Folk Club. He sang his own song, "Bonnie Maid of Fife" and other self-penned songs on these occasions.
Nick had recently been in the group, Finn MacCuill, and in 1982 he had a job in the computer department of Napier College. I went to the club a few times and talked to him after his floor-spots. He could play mandolin and whistle as well as guitar but more than all that, he was a thoroughly decent and good-natured guy.
At this stage no-one knew that Hamish was leaving the group so it was news to Nick when we told him, in confidence, that we were looking for someone to replace Hamish and, would he come to my house to try a few songs with Derek and me..... no commitment from either party. I think Nick thought of it as an audition but Derek and I knew that, unless the session was a disaster, Nick was in. All went wonderfully well, the voices gelled, we had a laugh, and that was it.
We then worked secretly on the "Bonnie Bands Again" album and a few weeks after Hamish left the band, our new album was released. Incidentally, Hamish remained, and remains, one of my very best friends.
"Bonnie Bands Again" is a really good album, though the master copy went missing and I didn't have a great L.P. to get a flawless digital version. It's passable though. I'm still looking and will upgrade as soon as possible. Maybe a cassette is out there without the clicks of a played L.P. but it sounds OK after much manual noise reduction. What a lot of fun that was...... not.
It's remarkable that we managed to record the album before people knew Nick was in the band. We hadn't performed a live gig when we recorded it but the album sounds really tight and It remains one of my favourites. Tracks like "Bonnie Maid of Fife", "McFarlane", "Morag Fair", "Sorrowless Field", "The Song Song", "Drumdelgie" and "Bonnie Bands Again" make it a really good first effort, and the "new boy" was in for the next 28 years. I can't believe that time-scale. No wonder I'm knackered.
P.S. I use the expression "Hamish was replaced by Nick" a few times in the notes. Can I say that no-one could replace Hamish, he was amazing, and when Nick came into the band, it was a new group. He was his own man, and he created his own space with consummate ease.


released October 10, 1982

Recorded: September 1982 at Temple Studios, Midlothian.
Robin Morton engineered.
Ian Boughton played bass.
Produced by "The McCalmans" (Ian McCalman, Nick Keir and Derek Moffat)
Photos, Douglas McCalman
"Bonnie Bands Again" was released on the McCalmans' own label and also in Australia by Sandstock Music
All Bandcamp notes written by Ian McCalman


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McCalmans Edinburgh, UK

Formed 1964, Edinburgh, studying Architecture. Ian McCalman, Derek Moffat, Hamish Bayne, for 18years.Then McCalman, Moffat, Nick Keir for 27yrs. Then McCalman, Keir, Stephen Quigg for 9yrs. 27 albums, multiple TV series. World tours. "Best live act" award, "Hall of Fame", "Hamish Henderson award", recorded 400 songs, retired 2010. folk singers, writers, talkers, travellers, Love Scotland. Friends! ... more

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