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Edinburgh Fringe 2019


Gary West, Greg Borland and Sandy Brechin

Genre: Live Music, Music

Venue: Acoustic Music Centre – Royal Terrace


Low Down

Foot tapping marches, Strathspeys and reels from this talented trio.


To the Acoustic Music Centre midst the architectural splendour that is Edinburgh’s Royal Terrace and a gig from one of Scotland’s finest traditional music trios, BrOg on what must have been one of the hottest days of the summer – a great time, as the band quipped, for us all to be squeezed into a windowless room on a fine sunny evening.

BrOg features legendary piper Gary West on pipes, whistles, vocals and guitar, virtuoso fiddler Greg Borland and the charismatic Sandy Brechin on accordion and their excellent hour long set contained a rich variety of traditional Scottish music including reels, Strathspeys, laments, marches and much more.

The knowledgeable audience appreciated the quality of music on offer too, with each of the trio taking the chance to shine during the evening, no more so than when Gary West gave a stirring solo set on the Scottish pipes.  This multi-instrumentalist then further demonstrated his musical virtuosity with two superbly delivered laments, allowing the packed venue to appreciate his fine, rich baritone voice.

With fiddler Greg Borland and accordionist Sandy Brechin in equally fine fettle, the evening rolled along at a merry pace, each number neatly punctuated by a burst of Brechin’s witty and clever craic.  This trio are each masters of their instruments and the set contained a nice balance of tempos from the melancholic to the positively manic as they played a range of traditional tunes together with pieces one of their number had composed.

That set me thinking as to how much of this music is actually scored – written down in that traditional series of black dots loved by composers – and how much is passed from generation to generation by ear, other musicians just listening and copying, with nothing being set down in hard copy.  Either way, this foot-tapping genre goes from strength to strength and not only in Scotland.

This concert was a one-off, but was recorded for live streaming on Facebook so I guess you can guddle around (or should that be Google around) and find out just what went on down on Royal Terrace.  Good craic and good music delivered a good evening.