It’s fair to say a few eyebrows were raised when the ambitious notion of making an Aberdour hotel into one of Fife’s go-to venues for live music and entertainment was first considered.
But that vision to create a homely venue bringing some of the up and coming stars to the Kingdom for the first time, is looking more like a success with every passing week for the owners of the Woodside Hotel.
John and Lis McTaggart took over the hotel a little over 12 months ago and, as part of the modernisation of the business, John’s plan was to create a venue perfect for intimate gigs and unique one-off events.
A year on and with a string of successful and much talked about live gigs already under his belt, John’s dream is becoming a reality.
“Music has always been a big part of my life, I’m a huge fan of Americana, accoustic and folk and have long harboured a desire to host intimate shows that are more than just another live gig,” John told the Press. “We’ve already had some truly wonderful nights that will live long in the memory from the gigs we’ve put on at the Woodside.
“What’s most pleasing is that the positive feedback and reaction we’ve had from audiences is being mirrored by the artists we’ve had on which is hugely reassuring to us.”
With an ear for up and coming music talent, many of which are destined for big things, John’s vision is to have a respected music venue which people will want to come to regardless of whether they know the artist or not.
Quality is certainly a factor.
Ben Glover who visited the Woodside in 2018 has recently scooped album of the year prize in the UK Americana Awards, for his release entitled ‘Shorebound’ and is already booked to come back,
“We’re absolutely delighted for Ben.
“It’s a great accolade for a really nice guy and we hope to have Ben back in October, if we can afford him,” John laughed.
Meanwhile Hayley McKay’s career is continuing to blossom having played Glastonbury and supported Tom Jones in recent times.
And 2019’s roster of acts is filling up nicely.
Fife singer songwriter legend Rab Noakes is already booked in for April, while James Grant returns triumphantly to Aberdour in November, this time for two nights.
John also wants to bringmore spoken word nights following visits of author, journalist and TV presenter Stuart Cosgrove, legendary Scottish sports commentator Archie McPherson and former Celtic and West Ham footballer John Hartson.
“I want people to come and have a great time in relaxed surroundings and go home at the end of the night having experienced something unique .
“The feedback we’ve been getting has been hugely positive which is really encouraging.
“We now want to build on that base to bring even more worthwhile acts to Fife,” said John.
“Nothing beats seeing a singer or a musician performing live. To see them up close and personal is what excites me and that’s what I want others to feel too.
“The fact that we’re already seeing artists wanting to come suggests we’re on the right path, and I’m loving it.”
To find out more about the forthcoming events at the Woodside visit the Woodside Hotel, Aberdour Facebook page or contact the venue on 01383 860328.