Archive for the ‘Session News’ Category

Cross Keys traditional

Here’s a video from October 2017 catching the informal traditional session in the Cross Keys main bar on a Thursday evening, with Andrew Smith – who organises the new annual Kelso Folk & Live Music Festival – playing the hammered dulcimer

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

As we were then – 2008

Session in the bar

Before the Cobbles was remodelled in February 2008, James Shepherd shot some pictures of the typical weekly Friday night sessions. Most of these showed slack-jawed yokels drooling over their guitars with eyes closed, because that’s what happens when you shoot singers and musicians after a couple of pints and mid-song. However, a few of us managed to stay reasonably sober-looking and composed.

The old Cobbles Bar

The Cobbles has always been a warm and friendly pub and we hope the new bar looks as well stocked as this, and and as easy to get to.

Banjo graveyard

Heather plays moothie while Helen listens intently. Darren’s banjo resonates all on its own.


It isn’t all guitars and David is concentrating on trying to turn a bouzouki into a mandolin, which probably means Dave Mullen was singing a Waterboys song or Ron Hastings was doing a bit of R.E.M. David’s wearing an Acoustic Chumbawamba tour T-shirt celebrating English rebel songs of the last 400 years. Roger blasts away on the banjo ukelele.

Pied piper

Ian Croall used to be in insurance, which you probably need when your hands and mouth complete the circuit for a set of Deger electronic midi smallpipes. The controllable volume makes the electronic animal far more session-friendly than the cauld wind blown original.

Fry and friend

If anyone can compete with the sheer volume of a squeezebox at close range, it must be Mr Peter Fry on electric guitar and unamplified (rarely needed!) vocals. Pet Shop Pete reinforces the strings in the face of rampant free reed virtuosity.

Mullen and Glasheen

Dave Mullen and Kelly Glasheen in perfect harmony, or they would be, if Dave wasn’t playing a chord of G while Kelly rocks on in D… and we’ll never know who was right! Session tunes are wonderful for their lack of harmonic ambiguity, aren’t they? The combination just sounds like one very big guitar playing in DADGAD anyway…

Hastings in flight

Ron Hastings knows that any real performer will stand up to be seen and heard. He doesn’t realise that the rest us can’t find the frets with one hand and the strings with the other unless we are sitting down hunched up over a guitar.

DK shows off bald heid

Which is not the best way to get the music out there!

Helen and Darron

Helen and Darren prove that a gently handled banjo can be the perfect accompaniment to flute.

Mr Wong rides again!

And Roger proves that the songs of George Formby are timeless in their appeal, and always able to raise the roof.

Rabble for Rabbie

Scattered round the room, it’s not that easy to get a photo of more than two or three Kelso Friday night session regulars at a time, so for this shot everyone posed – and for once, there was a moment of peace and quiet in the Cobbles!

Photographs by James Shepherd.

Friday, February 22nd, 2008


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