On the last Monday of every month, the cosy and quaint Nicky Tams pub becomes even more atmospheric with welcome performances from the talented Stirling Youth Folk Club.
In the evening, from 9pm until around 11pm, the Stirling pub is alive with traditional songs, ample anecdotes, and loudly enthusiastic spectators.
Across their set, the club play a range of traditional folk songs in Scots, English and even Gaelic. From jaunty group singalongs to sombre violin trios, the Stirling Youth Folk Club covers all moods.
As young people, we have a duty to preserve our culturesGinebra, co-captain of Stirling Youth Folk Club
The Wild Rover, Will Ye Go Lassie, and traditional waulking songs were particularly brilliant additions to the setlist. The crowd was fairly captivated and did not shy away from participating. They added to the chorus of voices whenever they knew the words, stomping loudly when the song encouraged it.
As Brig witnessed earlier this week, the folk night clearly attracts a growing crowd, supplying entertainment the likes of which is hard to find in Stirling.
The club’s expansion has been swift, despite only recently reaching its one-year anniversary. A regular gig at Nicky Tams is no small feat; the clubs passion and skill is clearly attributing to their success.
Brig spoke to Stirling Youth Folk Club after their most recent gig. We discussed their growth and their passion for folk.
Co-captain Ginebra first told us how the Stirling Youth Folk Club was founded over a love of folk and fears for the future of the genre: “My friend and co-captain Ype and I started this group after a found common interest in folk music.
“As foreigners in Scotland, we were mesmerized by the strong musical culture of the country… Soon we realized that the majority of people involved in the folk scene were old folk… [we] feared that the younger generations were about to lose something very precious.”
This prompted the duo to found the Stirling Youth Folk Club. What was just a conversation to find friendship over folk has now turned into a bubbling live music community. Members are increasing and crowds are flocking to enjoy the music.
Ginebra teased that their popularity is even creating minor issues: “More and more people joined in… Now, we are even struggling to find stools for all the folk to sit down and play!”
Turning attention to the importance of the club, Ginebra addressed the significance of stoking interest in folk and keeping the fire going: “We believe folk music is the music of the people and [it] shall not be charged for or restricted in any way.
“As young people, we have a duty to preserve our cultures and learn of others.
“As the club grows, so do our plans, and soon we hope to have some people starting a ceilidh band and begin learning Gaelic songs with the Gaelic club at Stirling University. We think that this is only the beginning of something special.”
The club meets on Sunday evenings for a potluck and chilled rehearsal.
To find out more, you can contact them on their Instagram.
Feature image credit: Jonathan Boomer