Originally called ‘Charabang’ or perhaps ‘Charabanc’, The Great Fife Roadshow was a touring collective of some of Fife’s finest folk musicians.
The brainchild of the widely respected John Watt, the members of the band would almost all go on to bigger things, including Jimmy Hutchison, Pete Sheppherd, Davey Stewart, Davie Craig, Noel Farrow, Des Haldane, Brian Millar, Johnny Moise, Tam Harvey, Rab Noakes, Jim Herd, and Artie Trezise and Cilla Fisher, who found fame in The Singing Kettle.
The band also counted the young, future chart-topper, Barbara Dickson as a member, whom Watt persuaded to dress up in a bus conductor’s uniform for a performance of his song, ‘The Kelty Clippie’.
This collection of musicians was described as “almost vaudevillian” in presentation and played folk clubs and village halls across the UK.
The group didn’t make any studio recordings, existing purely as a live act with an ever-changing line-up.
They performed around 55 gigs from 1969, including 29 nights out of 31 across Scotland in 1970, with a final performance in 1992. Watt passed away, aged 78, on October 31, 2011, just a day after his folk club, the Dunfermline Howff, celebrated its 50th anniversary.