Six months after our inception, the Neons have wrapped up our first international tour! We spent two unforgettable weeks in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Shetland Islands: performing, teaching, making new friends and seeing breathtaking sights. Our trip was supported by the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club’s Sides Fiddlership, an exchange program with Shetland funded by the generous support of Bill and Dianne Sides.
We kicked off with gigs at the Glasgow Star Folk Club and Edinburgh Folk Club, and then ferried to Shetland, where we played at Mareel Arts Centre in Lerwick (read an article about it in the Shetland times here: http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2017/09/10/watch-australian-trio-neon-effect-light- mareel-musical-journey ) Margaret Robertson and the Hjaltibonhoga wonder-team put on an amazing weekend of workshops and performances in Lerwick/Voe, and we taught and performed alongside the great Gordon Gunn and Adam Sutherland, what a blast.
We ferried to the northern-most isle of Unst and gave a performance/workshop to the students at Baltasound Junior High School, and then explored the far reaches of that beautiful place. In Yell we visited Mid-Yell Junior High school for more performing and teaching, and swerved round sheep on the roads to play a gig at the Old Haa history museum. We also meet Shetland relatives of Bill Sides, and enjoyed the hospitality of the amazing Ann Robertson. After a workshop at the Anderson High School in Lerwick we caught some of the famous Shetland session action and sorted ourselves out for local knitwear.
Back in Edinburgh we played one more show, a super-fun night at the packed Wee Folk Club, before tearfully parting ways - Michelle and Catie to Starfish to have Michelle’s harp tended to, and Jess to Gothenburg to continue her Swedish fiddle adventures.