James Yorkston finally takes centre stage at Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer

James Yorkston
James Yorkston

Fife musician James Yorkston has announced the latest set of his now legendary Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer evenings.

Three events have been lined up over the next few months, with three acts playing an intimate, stripped down set on each night, staying true to the format which was established by the first show back in 2015.

The evenings, at Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre, are hosted by James, who normally plays one or two songs on each night but for the first ‘Tae Sup...’ night of this run on May 18, he will play a full set after coming to the show from a tour in support of his new album ‘The Road To The Harmonium’ which was released in February.

When asked about the impending tour he says he is “nervous!”.

“Usually I just perform in my living room!” he says.

“But I’m looking forward to it and seeing how it goes and then I’ll be playing at ‘Tae Sup...’ and we always get really good audiences coming along.”

Joining James for the first night is piper Brighde Chaimbeul and Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, playing a solo gig.

“I’m actually more excited about seeing Brighde than I am about playing myself,” James says, “I’ll be waiting to get off and see her!

“And seeing someone like Gruff playing in an intimate setting is what I love so much about ‘Tae Sup...’.

“Usually you’d see someone like him or Steve Mason or Scott Hutchison, who we also had, playing the circuit with a full band, but then when you see them playing on their own it really gets to the heart of their songwriting I think and I find that very interesting.”

Other dates see Josephine Foster, Jenny Lindsay and Adrian Crowley playing on June 15, whilst the line-up for August 24 is Daoirí Farrell, Kaviraj Singh and, favourite with many Fifers, Horse McDonald.

James says: “Horse has such an incredible voice, she’s an amazingly passionate singer so to see her in a small theatre like the Adam Smith will be amazing.

“I’m a huge fan of hers and Josephine Foster is incredible too.

“Kaviraj plays Indian classical music on the Santoor. I’ve absolutely no idea what he’s doing, I know nothing about it!

“He’s an absolutely incredible player so I just let it go by me and try to react to it with my ears.

“Jenny is a stand up poet and goes down really well.

“Adrian is a friend of mine and he’s won Ireland’s Choice Music Prize.

“I’m so lucky to be able to bring such incredible artists to Kirkcaldy, and, of course, a lot of the credit for that has to go to Creative Scotland.

“It’s such a luxury for me to have musicians of this calibre.

“I honestly sit at the side of the stage and watch these acts and have to pinch myself that it’s happening!

“It’s a real privilege and it’s very exciting.”

The events come at a busy time for James after the release of his new album, which he recorded at his studio in Cellardyke.

“It’s my first solo album in five years but I have been incredibly busy,” he says.

“There’s been the ‘Tae Sup...’ shows, I released my first novel and there was the Yorkston/Thorne/Khan album, the latest of which is ready to go too.

“So there was no real rush for this.

“I just wandered down to my studio which is about 100 yards from my house and just worked on it slowly and tinkered away.”

James gives credit to his record company for allowing him the time and space to work on the album, which features eye-catching artwork from Dunfermline artist Jonny Hannah.

“Domino Records have been great with me,” he said, “I just called them up and told them it was ready. They said okay and put a budget on it, and didn’t even ask to hear a note!

“I’m very lucky to be working with them and to be given the artistic freedom to do pretty much what I want, but that’s a freedom that I take seriously.

“I approached it like a work of art, it’s been done purely for artistic reasons, not to have a hit single or make the charts.

“I’ll have played 12 UK shows ahead of the Kirkcaldy evening so hopefully I’ll be match fit!”

• Tickets for ‘Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer’ can be bought from the Adam Smith box office, by calling 01592 583302 or via the website www.onfife.com.