Plans to turn Fife venue into Grand Ole Opry of Scotland

The Danny McMahon Band. Pic by Colin Jones.
The Danny McMahon Band. Pic by Colin Jones.

Plans have been revealed to turn a Methil venue into the Grand Ole Opry of Scotland.

Methil Ex-Servicemen’s Club will be hosting County Music Nights once per month, with some of the biggest names in the British country music scene performing live.

Organisers John Brown and Eddie and Lorna Cairns have already booked acts up until November 2020, with a mix of established and up-and-coming country stars set to perform.

UK Country Music Act of the Year 2019, Danny McMahon, will bring his band to Methil in August, veteran John Miller and his Country Casuals will hit the stage in January, and Full Tonne Kidd performs in June.

The aim of the project, as well as bringing some of the big names in UK country to Fife, is to make the live music experience affordable to those living in the area.

Tickets to the shows are £8 – and even cheaper if punters buy tickets for several gigs in one go.

“We want it to be the kind of place where you don’t care what’s on,” said Lorna. “You think, I’ll go along because I love the atmosphere, there is always good music, cheap drink, nice people.

“We’re trying to make it more affordable for this area.”

John added: “It’s not about profit. If we break even over the year, brilliant. If we do make a profit, it’ll go to charity or into bringing in bigger acts. It’s about providing entertainment and trying to bring people from other parts of Scotland into Fife.”

While some of the acts do perform in Scotland, Eddie said the gigs are often in Glasgow or Edinburgh, and not in Fife.

He added: “If it turns out to be success, we would then be able to get bigger acts in. We want to be able to supply an area of the country that is starved of country acts. Some of these people come up for a festival. We thought, why not get these people to perform in a more intimate atmosphere.”

“The hope is, in the future, to establish Fife as the Grand Ole Opry of Scotland,” said John.

One major difference between the Methil club and other country clubs will be the layout.

John was inspired to set up the new club because he was tired of seeing country acts performing songs with the aim of getting people on the dance floor, rather than the traditional songs they would have played in the past.

The Methil club will have a dance floor, however, this will be at the back of the hall rather than at the front, meaning people can still dance, but those who want to sit down and enjoy the music with a drink can do so next to the stage.

“You go to the club and you get the stage and then the dance floor,” said John.

“The acts judge themselves on whether or not they can fill the dance floor. I thought about what I wanted the new club to be. I said to Eddie about starting up a club, but a club with a difference. It will be seated, right up to the stage. The dance floor will be at the back of the hall.”

The Country Music Nights start on Friday, January 31, and will be held on the last Friday of every month. More information can be found on the Johnny B Events Facebook page. Tickets can be bought on the door or in advance.