In Shetland I really wanted to go to a session at the Lounge Bar (famous music pub) and play the tune “Da Lounge Bar” by Annlaug Borsheim, but was just a little thwarted!
I had read in some tourist bumph that on Wednesday the sessions started in the afternoon and went on all evening. We had a family meal planned for the middle of the evening, so I went along late afternoon, but the customer standing outside with a fag told me the upstairs was shut, and that I should talk to the barmaid. I went into the downstairs bar and got chatting (barmaid plus one other customer!). The upstairs apparently opened at about 6, but the music wasn’t expected to start until 8pm.
They were interested in the box I was carrying, so I gave them a couple of tunes on the nyckelharpa (not Da Lounge Bar!) and the barmaid kindly gave me a Lounge Bar sticker in return.
We did go back after the meal, when the session was underway. I managed to start one tune (Da Silver Bow), but it was mainly accordion and fiddle, with two loud accordions. I could play along with some, and accompany the rest. Eventually I gave up and enjoyed the music – though if I had hung in there I could have joined in with the “Hoy Tune” set that the Edinburgh Shetland Fiddlers also play. It was good fun though, as these things usually are, and lots of people were interested in the nyckelharpa.
The following day we spoke to someone in the street who had also been staying in our hotel. He had also been at the session, and asked if I was the one playing “that zither thing” 🙂