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Fans shocked by city folk gig walkout

By Jamie Hall

Hamish MacDonald
Hamish MacDonald

Music lovers at an Inverness folk night were left stunned when two people walked out in the middle of a performance.

Hamish MacDonald, the first person to be appointed as Scotland’s national scriever, or writer in the Scots language, was performing a song he had penned about US President Donald Trump at Inverness Acoustic and Folk Club’s second meeting.

The less-than-complimentary lyrics prompted two American tourists to leave MacGregor’s bar in Academy Street, where the performance was taking place.

The folk night’s organiser, Jo de Sylva, said: "As is the way in folk music, Hamish’s performance did court controversy. He had written a song about Donald Trump, which was very, very funny.

"It was his third song out of six, and the main act hadn’t even come on at that point.

"Most of the crowd were really enjoying themselves and getting behind Hamish, but this couple just grabbed their jackets and stormed out.

"It turned out they were American and they had been offended by the song.

"It’s a shame because folk music is historically about getting people to talk about these things."

Miss de Sylva said other members of the audience were left perplexed by the incident, and insisted that type of song is not unusual in folk clubs.

"It’s exactly the kind of thing you would expect to hear in a folk club. The music is traditionally left-leaning," she said.

"You need to understand that when you go to a folk club, not everyone there is going to agree with your views.

"People were a bit taken aback.

"I waited until the end of the song and tried to go after them but they had already gone.

"It was very unexpected."

Despite the interruption, the rest of the event ran smoothly, and tickets are already selling fast for the club’s next meeting.

"Apart from that, the night was amazing," Miss de Sylva added.

"It was exactly what you want a folk night to be like.

"It was only the second event we had held but it is going so well.

"There are only six tickets left for the next event, and they have only just gone on sale.

"It’s gone way beyond what we expected it would be."

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