I hadn’t really heard of Emily Smith before September. The brochure from The Stables arrived and I was looking through it to see who was on and the write up caught my eye. I typed in the link to her website and then listened to the tracks on the jukebox, I was hooked. We ordered her latest album ‘Too Long Away‘ and then became annoyed as it looked like the date she was playing was the same as the Classical Spectacular, typical! It was a couple of weeks before I realised my mistake, they were Saturday and Sunday, and ordered tickets for The Stables. She was playing Stage 2 at The Stables, which was going to be a new experience for us.
Since ordering the tickets, we had listened to this album a lot, it had become a firm favourite, both with us and the kids. At the beginning of October, we ordered the new album by Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan, ‘Adoon Winding Nith‘. This is released to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, and consists of songs written by or collected by Robert Burns. I had an email from Jamie letting me know that it had been posted mid October and soon that was also in regular circulation.
We headed up to Milton Keynes fairly late the evening of the concert, as it was a later start (at 8:45). I guess this offset the crowds; the main stage had Talon The Best of the Eagles, which was sold out. It was only going to be a small audience, Stage 2 holds 80 seated or 120 standing. When we went in, Stage 2 is a small venue, there were four seats either side of an aisle and I guess if my maths is right, 10 rows of seats. At the back of the room is a bar. We were in about the 4th row on the left, so a good view.
Jamie and Emily came in about quarter to nine and started their set. To be honest, I cannot remember all the songs or the order they were in; I was too busy enjoying it. They played some of our favourites such as Caledonia, Audience of Souls and Winter Song from Too Long Away, from Adoon Winding Nith, the title track, Silver Tassie, The Plooman and my favourite, Whistle Ower The Lave O It. They also played tunes from Jamie’s album ‘In Transit‘. At the interval I took the opportunity to buy Jamie’s album and some greeting cards. I was hoping that they would have Emily’s older albums, ‘A Day Like Today‘ and ‘A Different Life‘; I would have probably got Emily to sign them, oh well, I bought them from the website when we got home. I think the only song I wished they had sung and didn’t was ‘Old Mortality’; I think this is a lovely song. The second half added audience participation to the songs, which was great; the songs just cry out to be joined in with.
Emily and Jamie have a few more dates in Scotland this year and mid January before they head off on tour to New Zealand (Jamie’s birthplace) and Australia. They are back in the UK in April, so we might be able to catch them in Hitchin on 25th April.
Check out their music, you could be surprised.