Sangsters retiring: Fife folk group end on a high note

Sangsters, from left; Anne, John, and Fiona.
Sangsters, from left; Anne, John, and Fiona.

One of the longest serving folk groups in Fife is calling it a day, after 28 years of entertaining auciences across the globe.

Sangsters have announced that they will be retiring, with Fiona Forbes, John Blackwood, and Anne Murray bowing out from the hectic folk club schedule.

Fiona said the group had decided that it was time to call it a day. But despite that, the trio are upbeat.

“I’m too old to be carrying a PA system about,” Fiona laughed.

“If you’re driving 100 miles to a gig, you’re carting in a PA system, do the gig, then dismantle it all and drive home.

“You’ve got to find the right time to retire; as my husband said; ‘you don’t have to wait on someone dying!’

“There are also thousands of fantastic young musicians coming up, and the last thing they need to hear is a bunch of codgers. They need to get the experience at folk clubs. We’re making way for the youth.”

Sangsters formed in 1991, when they got together by accident. “It was a coincidence,” said Fiona. “The person that was meant to be playing at the folk club at the Elbow Room didn’t turn up, so we ended up having a sing-around.”

Anne and former member Scott performed a song which Fiona joined in to sing a harmony – which was well received by the rest of the audience.

After playing at the Attic Club in Paisley, run by folk legend Danny Kyle, Sangsters decided to seek out more gigs.

Since then the group have gone on to perform in some prestigious locations, across the country and far beyond.

“We’ve sung all over Scotland, and in places like Edinburgh Castle, and various other castles in private ownership.

“We were invited to play at Celtic Colours in Nova Scotia in Canada – it was a huge honour. We also played in Ingolstadt quite a few times, and other parts of Bavaria.

“One of the biggest things was our involvement in the Far Far From Ypres show, which ended with a standing ovation at a sold-out Usher Hall in Edinburgh. That was a fantastic experience.”

The group have already laughed off suggestions of any future ‘comeback gig’, as they’re happy in retirement.

“We’ve agreed, it’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”