Playing in France, Leith Folk club and making a movie

Added on Thursday 8 Oct 2009

While in France last week (me and Pat on holiday in Nimes France, whay hay!) I played a couple of gigs; first in the 'Ever In' and then in the Irish themed pub, O'Flahertys.

The 'Ever In' - was a lovely place - it had an up-market wine-bar feel to it - but the gig was notable for the unusual sound system; those in the beer garden could hear my guitar but no vocals, while those inside the could hear my vocal but no guitar. Despite several attempts by the staff to fix the sound problems, unfortunately, they persisted to the end.

I played two full sets nonetheless, though failed to make much personal contact with my immediate audience, i.e., the people who could only hear my guitar. It didn't seem to effect their enjoyment though - so perhaps I should cut out the singing and just stick to the guitar playing?

The sound problems were a pain - as we had some guests who came along to the gig; Phillipe and Florence, whom we rented our accommodation from, Pat's friend Maureen, who lives in Nimes (and organised the gig) and of course Pat.

There was also a large group, members of L'Association anglophone de la region gardoise (or BritNimes), whose purpose in meeting is to learn the English language. I had a chat with their organiser, Robin, who was very enthusiastic about my music (always nice to get positive feedback) and had lots of ideas about future gigs in Nimes.

O'Flahertys gig

The following evening I played at O'Flahertys, one of the best known music pubs in Nimes. This was a more successful both sound wise and in terms of the show.

Naime, a friend of Maureen's who stayed with us a few years back, picked us up to take us to the gig along with Leila and Karine. Maureen's friend Hilary, who hails from Crieff also came along with her daughter Jessie and later Maureen arrived with an entourage of her colleagues from school so quite an international flavour to the audience French, Scottish, English (and one American).

Our Brazilian friend Angela - who we had met the previous day while waiting for the bus during one of of day trips out of Nimes - unfortunately didn't make the gig - as she was off on her travels again that day. She had previously informed me that she thought my music was 'delicious' - not a description I've heard before - but one I was happy to accept.

It was a great night with enthusiastic bar staff and some locals expressing their appreciation - and I even sold some of my (admittedly excellent) cd's.

Playing at the Leith Folk Club

While on holiday I checked my email (couldn't resist) to find an invitation to play at the Leith Folk Club - as the support for the American bluegrass band, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa. The gig was on Tuesday evening - and it turned out to be a great night. The club was completely full - so it was nice to have a big crowd to play to. I felt I played a good gig - I sold some CDs - and warmed the audience nicely for the main act. Thanks in particular to Dave for his generous words. Hope to see you at a future gig Dave.

And what a great Bluegrass band Wayne Taylor and his band are; the very best. Virtuoso playing, great songs and the chat between songs was highly entertaining. I recommend you catch one of their shows before they head back to the USA. The place was jumpin' by the end. Thanks to my sister Ann and her friend for coming along to add some friendly support.

New songs

I'm still writing new songs for my next album; I've posted a rough version of my latest on my myspace page at The song is called 'When you bit into that apple' - sounds a bit different from my previous style - maybe? Hope you like it.

* Making movies

If you want a laugh check out the movie I've made and posted to latest myspace blog:

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What the critics said about 'Every day is sunshine' by Jim Byrne.

  • "a heady and exotic mix. " Q Magazine.
  • "..full of cinematic turns of phrase, dressed up in alluring melodies delivered by some of the most respected players on the modern-day Celtic Folk scene." UNCUT
  • Album of the week on Celtic Music Radio
  • Added to 'God's Jukebox' on Radio Two Mark Lamarr show
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  • "ten beautiful, atmospheric songs..", Folk, Blues and beyond
  • "a fresh, original album", Eilidh Patterson (singer songwriter, vocalist with Beth Nielsen Chapman)
  • Sounding like Johnny Cash never left Folsom prison...meditations on life that'll soon sound like old friends. Spiral Earth

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