'Notable not least for their pioneering dedication to Scottish music at a time when Irish tunes largely reigned supreme, they founded their continuing reputation on unimpeachable traditional fidelity and taste, infused with a signature spark of mischief and imagination'
Sue Wilson, Songlines
Jock Tamson's Bairns is one of our country's most respected bands, having carried the torch for true Scottish music since their inception at the end of the 1970s. Their 'Lasses Fashion' album of the 80s is still regarded as one of the finest expressions of the great revival of traditional music that helped shape and create the contemporary Scottish identity.
The Bairns are or have been involved in other influential groups - as members of Ossian, Easy Club, Ceolbeg, Cauld Blast Orchestra, The Ghillies and others; in dance bands such as The Occasionals or Bella McNabs; in Scottish theatre, radio and TV (everything from Communicado to Rab C Nesbitt); in composition, arrangement and publication of new music; and as teachers at Glasgow's RSAMD, Edinburgh's ALP Scots Music Group, and Skye's Gaelic College. Members have featured as guests on recordings with many other bands and performers.
The Bairns officially 'retired' between 1983 and 1995, but now, with the original members - Rod Paterson, John Croall, Derek Hoy, and Norman Chalmers - trips to Ireland, Italy, Estonia and the US, Radio and TV appearances, and 2 new albums on Greentrax, the Bairns' energy, humour and taste is unflagging, as they continue their tradition of inventive acoustic music on authentic instruments - eschewing synthesizers, sequencers, didgeridoos or African drums - producing refined accompaniment to Scots songs and ballads, or exciting arrangements of intricate, fast dance tunes on fiddles, whistles, squeeze boxes, jews harp, moothie, guitar and bodhran - all played with obvious accomplishment, and heart.
Photo by Robin Gillanders