The Flying Saucer Club
Claymore are playing at:
Friday 8 March 2013
From the presser:
“Claymore’s reputation as outstanding entertainers has led them to perform at many local and international festivals, they have performed in New York, Scotland, France at the “Festival Interceltique“, the largest Celtic festival in the world many times, New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston (Tasmania), National Celtic Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Big Blues Day Out, Perth International Arts Festival, Brunswick Music Festival and many more.
The band has played many live radio and television performances in Australia and overseas.
With a mixture of traditional Scottish and Irish music and modern self penned Celtic rock the band represents the best of new age Folk Music.
Through a diverse and unique mix of sound’s featuring guitar, mandolin, fiddle, military snare, the highland bagpipes and even a didgeridoo, it is little wonder Claymore are one of Australia’s most popular festival acts. A not to be missed extravaganza.
Claymore are one of the first bands to spark my interest in folk music. Unless you count that village fair in Surrey in 1979 where I first experienced Morris Dancing (and have been in therapy ever since).
But in the modern era, it was the Beechworth Celtic Festival in 2001 and I had been taken there by my squeeze of the time and we had a mighty fine weekend. It was where I first saw Jigzag, The Beenies and Bahn Tré.
Nothing was ever quite the same after that, even if it did take another three and a half years to distil the experience and step over the threshold of the National Folk Festival in Canberry for the very first time. My ninth is coming up this month.
It was wonderful to see Claymore perform in Queanberra last Saturday as I prepared to leave the city of my birth for good.
I’ve been lobbying William Hutton and co. to come here for about four and a half years since I had the great pleasure of being the band’s MC at the Guinness Tent at Maldon Folk Festival to a heaving, throbbing and bobbing crowd. That they were here near the nation’s capital just before I’m folking off for the rest of my naturals was a dream come true.
Prior to The Flying Saucer Club gig, we did a scratchy, dodgy interview in the studios of 2XX where I was very unused to the tech set-up, and the text makes a better read than the audio file makes for good listening:
Bill Quinn: Claymore from Victoria are coming to Canberra – actually, they’re coming to Queanbeyan and performing at The Artists Shed in Foster Street (the former location), and it’s my absolute pleasure to welcome to the program: William Hutton. Hello, William.
William Hutton: Hi Bill, how are you? It’s great to be talking to you on this [inaudible] Melbourne Day.
BQ: Ha! We’ve got a bit of Melbourne up here in Canberra at the moment. It’s very misty; it’s like the moors.
WH: Yes, it’s pretty miserable here. That’s what I was alluding to.
BQ: William, to go back about 12 years when I first discovered folk was down at the Beechworth Celtic Festival (Victoria), and there was this band called Claymore who were pretty out there, with bodhrans and pipes and snares, and seven years later I got to actually introduce you on stage.
Tell us a bit about Claymore.
WH: Well, Claymore’s been going for quite considerably longer than you’ve known us!
The band had its beginning in Glasgow in Scotland in the late 70s, and we’ve been going over since. Myself, I’ve emigrated to this wonderful country, and the band has evolved in to what you see now as Claymore.
BQ: How much of the band comes from Glasgow and how much did you acquire here in Australia?
WH: Ah, well that would be me! And the rest have been acquired along the way.
All the guys in the band come from either an Irish or Scottish background, probably apart from Mick our drummer who has a Filippino heritage. And a Canberra background – he’s actually a Canberra boy.
BQ: You do a mix of trad and now (to shamelessly drop in a magazine title), a bit of a traditional and contemporary. How do you work out the mix?
WH: It just sort of evolves. Everything we do we feel we have to have some sort of Celtic influence. With everything we write ourselves, that Celtic influence comes through, and the mix of instruments we use lends itself to that.
As you say, some of it’s very traditional and some of it’s very now. It’s just great the way it evolves on stage and in rehearsals.
BQ: For sure. Now, through the wonders of social media, we keep up to date with what Claymores doing with different festivals. Am I right in saying that it’s towards the southern half of the continent where you guys get around?
WH: Mostly. We do get up north, as far as Cairns, a few times a year. We don’t get over to the west as much as we want, as often as we should. We get over to Adelaide, but only to Perth a couple of times. I’m really looking forward to, in the next couple of years, doing more of that.
The last couple of years we’ve concentrated more on playing in Europe and even America. We tend to do that once or twice every other year. That tends to be where the focus goes because we play most of the festivals here in Australia, where they’ll let us, where they’ll give us a guernsey!
It’s a bit country, and it takes a long time to carry all this gear and all these guys from one place to the other. But we really want to do it more often.
BQ: Well, we’re looking forward to seeing you at The Artists Shed this Saturday night in Queanbeyan. And the beauty of its location is that it’s in the middle of an industrial zone, so we can go silly until all hours of the night.
WH: Well that’s fantastic; that’s what we like to hear. I might get a ticket to the show myself!
BQ: Two more questions and then you’re out of here. Now, I must have asked you this before but Glasgow: the blue or the green side?
WH: Well, I’m actually in the black and orange side which is Partick Thistle.
BQ: Ah! That’s right. You’re neutral (re: the Old Firm). So you get to play on for the bonus round which is: will you be doing The Firkin Point Set on Saturday night?
WH: We’ve actually got a really good friend who’s coming along and we’re going to dedicate it to him. So, Bill Quinn’s coming…
BQ: Correct answer! William, thanks for joining us this afternoon, and we’ll see you on Saturday night.
WH: Thanks, Bill. We’re looking forward to it.
Audio file – of horrendous technical quality – which will be deleted by end February 2020 if not before:
Audio version of the Firkin Point Set (referred to above):
and a more rowdy, rabbley, joyous version of same: