Friday, July 24, 2009

A warm welcome from Scad the Beggars

Scad the Beggars

6 piece group based in North Antrim

Scad the Beggars playing at the annual Broadisland Gathering

Watch the video: 

Broadisland Gathering - Scad the Beggars

We play the music and song of 
Ulster, Scotland, Ireland and Northumberland.

We play a wide variety of instruments, including:

Northumbrian Smallpipes, Fifes, Whistles, Fiddles, Mandolins,
English Concertina, Piano Accordion, Oboe, Harp, Nyckelharpa, Guitar 
plus Hammered Dulcimer.

Scad the Beggars playing at the annual Broadisland Gathering

We play & sing every Thursday night in
The Diamond Bar, Ballymoney.
This is an Open Session so everyone is welcome 
to come along &/or bring an instrument & join in.
You'll get a flavour of this session by watching this video:

Weekly Session in the Diamond Bar, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim

Scad the Beggars playing in concert in Bushmills

We also play every Saturday night in the Bushmills Inn.

Scad the Beggars playing at the Ballymoney Farmers Market

As well as our weekly informal session, we have 
performed at a variety of functions & events over 
the years, including Concerts, Burns Nights, 
Weddings, Costume Period Events & in local 
Nursing Homes.

Scad the Beggars playing at a Wedding Reception

To keep up to date with our activities,
you can follow us on Facebook.

Scad the Beggars playing at a recording for Radio Ulster

Playing at a Burns Night in Ballymoney

Anyone wishing us to play at their event or 
function, can contact us on:

Tel: 07706825666


eMail us at:

Scad the Beggars performing at a function in Carrickfergus

To watch more videos of Scad the Beggars visit our YouTube Playlist

Here's a lovely thank you letter I just received, following a recent gig.

"It was a great night, many thanks to yourself, Alan, Sam, Reilly, Sabine, Deborah & Steven. The performance lived up to my expectations. A member from Wales has even gone home planning to buy low & high whistIes to accompany his wife on the accordion. There were many compliments on the band and some people said they would have been happy to sit on a lot later!

Thanks again for giving us such great entertainment last Friday night.
I hope to see you at Ma Kelly's sometime in the not too distant future. Very best regards, Mark"

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Sam & Riley
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Deborah & Steven
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Scad the Beggars at an open air event in Bushmills

Ulster-Scots Music Tuition 

Fiddle & Tin Whistle Classes!

Every Thursday evening in the Ullans Centre, Ballymoney
All welcome, including complete beginners.
Fiddle: 7 to 8pm ... Tin Whistle: 8 to 9pm
Tel: 028 2766 8897

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History of ~ Scad the Beggars

Scad the Beggars
We have actually been on the go, in various guises, since 2002. 
This was when we first got together to promote the
Here's a photo of the original line up.
This Blog then, is a little potted history of our musical journey, so far, we hope you find it interesting. 

Before I start though, perhaps I should just explain that the expression 'Scad the Beggar', which we adapted for our name, is a local term for Mealie-Crushie, which is oatmeal fried in bacon fat, known in some parts of Scotland as Creesh-Mealie - so now you know!

For those not familiar with the music & song of this area, let me explain that, due to the close proximity of Scotland, the music and song popular in North Antrim has always been heavily influenced by Scottish material, so during any typical musical soirée in North Antrim, you would always expect to hear a healthy mixture of both Irish and Scottish material.

If you live in North Antrim, we sincerely hope that you will manage to come along a enjoy our weekly informal Sessions each Thursday night in the Diamond Bar, Ballymoney and each Saturday night in the Bushmills Inn. If you are yourself a musician and or singer we would especially encourage you to come along and join us, to share your musical talent.

On the other hand, if you are planning to visit this area and would like to come along to one of our Sessions, whether to join in yourself or just to listen, then please do get in touch, either through this Blog or by sending me an  E-mail we look forward to meeting you.

Scad the Beggars ..... NEWS!
Recent Session in Diamond Bar
Scad the Beggars playing three popular Scottish Country Dance tunes,at their weekly session in the Diamond Bar, Ballymoney.

Girl in the Blue Dress / The Kettle Drum / The Piper's Cave

 'Scad the Beggars' on TV

Watch out for us on your TV, cause we actually feature in a new TV Advert for Northern Ireland, which is doing the rounds just now, in early 2010, & is being seen throughout Scotland, England & Wales.


Dick Glasgow on BBC 1's 'Country Tracks' 

Dick Glasgow was featured in an edition of BBC 1's 'Country Tracks'
The show ended up at the Springhill Bar, Portrush, where, as well as featuring clips of the musicians & their music, Dick was interviewed at length by the lovely Ellie Harrison and even gave her a brief lesson in the art of playing the Bodhran.

BBC 1's 'Country Tracks' 

Here's a recent video of us playing in Ma-Kelly's Pub, Ballymoney.

Now, let me introduce you to the members of Scad the Beggars .........


Scad the Beggars ~ Friends

As we play regularly in local Pub Sessions, we often come in contact with Musicians and Singers who are just passing through or are actually on holiday in the area. We always encourage such musicians to join us, so that we might share each other's music and song. This open policy to our sessions has led to many wonderful musical evenings and new friendships being formed with musicians from all over the place.

Saturday 3rd October

Clive, who is a Portstewart man born & bred, is now living in England, but on this recent trip back home, he called in to see us & to share some of his music with us & we all had a great night. 
I must just say, these Salterelle Piano Accordions are the Bees Knees of PAs as far as I'm concerned. 
For my money, when it comes to PAs, that lovely dry sound is hard to beat.

Saturday 26th September
Last Thursday night we had Uilleann, Border & Scottish Smallpipes at our session in Portrush, then last night in Bushmills, we had a different Uilleann Piper {Trevor Stewart}, plus the Scottish Smallpiper {Alan Wade} & a Northumbrian Piper {Sam Fleming}.

As a Fiddler, I just love playing along with Pipes and it was brilliant having those three very different pipes & their own music, all at the same session. 

However, I must confess, I was constantly tuning the Fiddle up & down, for nearly four hours, between the Uilleann & the Scottish Smallpipes, as they were never exactly in with each other, but it was worth every minute of it.

Luckily I had my spare Fiddle with me too, so I was able to tune that to F for the Northumbrian Pipes.

Saturday 22nd August

We had a great night, with old friends & new joining us, including: 

Emmett & Emmett junior, over on holiday from Nottingham.

Excellent musicians and Emmett senior is a member of  the group Acushla
Saturday 15th August

We had a great night, with a few musician friends joining us and a number of singers too. 

The night included one song in Irish and another in Welsh
......... oh yes and a Willie Nelson song too!
Well, you can't beat variety!

1st August 2009
Last Saturday, we were joined by Co Antrim Fiddler Kathleen Smyth (see below) and also by Stiofán ó hEochaidh and his wife. 
Stiofán, who is a regular musician at the sessions in the Springhill Bar, Portrush, not only plays Flute, Whistle & Bodhran but he also sings and here he is, last Saturday night, singing an unaccompanied song with us, in Irish.

25th July 2009
We had a great night recently, when well known Co Antrim Fiddler Alec Kerr of the 'Antrim and Derry Country Fiddlers Association' joined us. 
As luck would have it he arrived in on a night when four Scottish musicians also called in to join us for a few tunes.

Here's a shot of Alec playing a couple of tunes with Norman Mackay

Here are three members of the Argyll group 'Canterach' galloping along through a set of Reels, with Rebecca Brown on Fiddle, Norman Mackay on Accordion & Angus McLaughlin on Low Whistle.

These four excellent Singers from Scotland joined our Session one evening and treated us to some delightful Scottish Songs.

Another very special night was when the last two resident Co. Antrim Hammered Dulcimer players, the late Nat Magee and William Rea, joined our session for a few tunes.

Renowned Co Antrim Uilleann Piper and Flute Player John Hughes, joined us one night, along with our friend Kathleen Smyth on Fiddle, for a few tunes.

This lovely local singer has joined us on many occasions and is always only too pleased to give us a song or two.

Rick Davis from Chattanooga comes over every year to study the history of the Hammered Dulcimer in Co. Antrim. He always makes a point of joining us at our Sessions to share his latest tunes with us & borrow some of ours. Here he is galloping through a few fast ones, with our Desie in hot pursuit!

This charming and very musical English couple, have joined us on a number of occasions and we always enjoy their visits.

Co. Antrim Fiddler Kathleen Smyth is a very good friend of the Beggars and always joins us when she is in the neighbourhood. She is known and loved the length and breadth of Ireland for her excellent musicianship and warm friendly personality. 
We always look forward to her visits.

Two more regular visitors are this couple of fine English musicians. They have a holiday home nearby which is very fortunate for us, for it means we get to share some music with them each year. They both play F & D sets of Northumbrian Pipes and when they are around, you can also expect to hear some dazzling finger work on Accordion and see some very fancy footwork on English Step Dances.

We were in for a special treat when this lovely lady borrowed Riley's Guitar.

Mr & Mrs T'J' Hull, all the way from Milwaukee, joined us on their Honeymoon and we enjoyed a memorable night with them, as T.J. in particular, produced some amazing Fiddle playing on the night.
We have, of course, enjoyed many more nights than I've listed here, when visiting musicians joined us for a nights crack, too numerous in fact to mention. However, the finest night in the history of our sessions so far, without a doubt, was the night previous guests of the Black Nun Fest, Malinky, joined us for a session.
These guys are without doubt, some of the very finest musicians and singers in Scotland today and it was a real honour and privilege for us, when they joined our wee session for a night.
We heard in one night alone, the most delicate, controlled and unpretentious singing our session has ever experienced, coupled with some amazing musicianship including award winning Fiddle playing. 
I've never seen our audience so affected by the music and song, the whole night was a pure delight.
Unfortunately, it was one of those nights when I didn't bring my camera, still, here's a photo of Malinky off on tour, somewhere in the World.
Judging by those sunglasses, I think it's safe to say they weren't in Scotland or Ireland, when this photograph was taken!