'Longer Listens' is one response from Living Tradition to the period of lock down which we are currently experiencing. We have categorised the content into Video and Audio recordings within this drop down section of the menu.

Longer Listens

As we headed towards lockdown I thought a lot about what the Living Tradition’s response could be. I eventually settled on the idea of Longer Listens. The Living Tradition magazine is enjoyed by people who appreciate a deeper read.

A music magazine without musical sounds is one of the physical limitations of print. With our Longer Listens approach, we are again challenging conventional wisdom - which tells us that shorter is better. What the plan is, with your appreciation and support, is to dig into our archive of live concert and folk club recordings and encourage you to set time aside and sit back and re-enjoy whole performances, warts and all. Many of us will be listing with our memories as well as our ears. A further challenge will be to try to contextualise these recordings for those who weren’t there in person. That’s not an easy task and although I think that technology can again be our friend, I know that it will take time and effort.

To start with we are making a few items, a mix of audio and video, live for direct play from our website.  We have a pipeline of material ready to go, so once we have tested the technology our plan is to schedule times when new features will go live and then leave them live for a short period of time, perhaps a week or a fortnight, before refreshing the content.

Feedback, especially hearing people’s thoughts or memories, would be great. We may allow comments on the posts, but we are aware that these are often abused by spammers, so we might have to restrict feedback through other avenues. What we specifically want to avoid is adding anything to the workload of the magazine production team.  Especially in this early phase, could I ask that feedback is filtered to me, Pete Heywood, either by email or through Facebook. Facebook will probably be the better option as it allows various people to contribute to a conversation. pete@peteheywood.co.uk 

Longer Listens - an overview of our plans

The Opening Schedule

We are going live with six items, four audio and two video. Over six hours of longer listening!

The Kings Shilling

A show, premiered at Celtic Connections in 2016, inspired in part by my participation in Far, Far from Ypres. Featuring - Singers: Colum Sands, Fiona Hunter, Steve Turner, Arthur Cormack, Fiona Byrne, Heather Heywood. Musicians: Allan Henderson, Iain MacFarlane, Jim Byrne, Inness Watson, Mike Vass. Narrator: Hugh Dan MacLennan. Written by Pete Heywood

This is a single static camera live recording of a performance of The King's Shilling @ Celtic Connections 2016.  The aim was simply to record the moment 'for posterity' and no post processing has been done on this video - so it was exactly 'as it happened'.  The Audio is also from the camera which was positioned close to the audience around one third of the way down the hall. This inevitably reduces the quality of the performance audio but has the advantage of capturing the feel and sound of the concert from an audience perspective.  www.livingtradition.co.uk/videos/kingsshilling

Packie Byrne Documentary

This documentary was made about Packie, some time after he had returned to live in retirement in Ardara, Donegal - close to the area where he was born. Packie had strong connections with London, Sidmouth and folk clubs in England. You will see many familiar faces in here and I guarantee you will learn something about Packie. 


Cathal McConnell and Heather Heywood @ Irvine Folk Club

This is an unedited live recording of a performance by Cathal McConnell and Heather Heywood at Irvine Folk Club. There was no preparation for this concert, no planning beforehand between Heather and Cathal, The idea was that Heather (and Pete) Heywood would act as hosts, and a foil for Cathal, interacting with him as the evening progressed. It was one of the evenings where things worked out, each singer responding to each other - helped by an enthusiastic audience. Time fairly flew by and these are two quite long sets by folk club standards. The audio is presented in two halves, as recorded at the folk club.


The Great North Road Show – Tom McConville, Pauline Cato, Maggie Boyle and Clive Carroll

This is a remarkable live recording of four musicians who for a short time toured as 'The Great North Road Show'. Tom McConville, Pauline Cato, Maggie Boyle and Clive Carroll. The recording was made by Kris Koren and John Weatherby - Sound Sense.


John Tams & Barry Coope - Live @ The Piping Centre Glasgow.

This recording was made by Kris Koren and John Weatherby - Sound Sense - at The Piping Centre, Glasgow.  Thanks to John and Barry for giving permission to make this available through our website.


Jolly Jack @ Girvan Folk Festival

The Lancashire group Jolly Jack performing at the Girvan Folk Festival. This is quite a short performance, part of a longer afternoon concert. This recording hasn't been edited but we are confident that you will enjoy the performance in its entirety. 



LATEST 'longer listen'

Sandra Kerr & Bob Blair – The Legacy of Ewan MacColl

Sandra Kerr & Bob Blair – present 'The Legacy of Ewan MacColl' in words and songs. Performed at Girvan Folk Festival, 2019.



Coming Soon

Nick and Mally Dow – Wagons

A documentary featuring Nick and Mally Dow, which focuses on Nick's work and techniques in restoring and painting traditional Gypsy wagons.

Copper and Brass – The Piping Traditions of Irish Travellers

Coppers and Brass. A documentary about the piping traditions of Irish Travellers. Presented with permission by the series Director and presenter Tommy Fegan.

The Kipper Family – Live in Scotland

Recorded at Girvan Folk Festival, far from their base in Trunch. Recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience, this recording captures them in top form with elements which couldn’t be captured in a studio recording.

Altan @ Girvan Folk Festival

Recorded at Girvan Folk Festival in the early 1990s. This is quite an early incarnation of the group which went on to dominate Irish music worldwide.

Jock’s Jocks

An audio version of the play Jock’s Jocks.

Tony Rose

Recorded at Kilmarnock Folk Club in the 1970s.

By Request

We are open to requests which we may be able to fulfill from our archive. As a result of these 'longer listens' we hope that our archive will be invigorated and further developed. Sponsorship of future recordings would be welcome from individuals or organisations.

Currently the principle sponsors are Traditional Arts Development, The Tradition Bearers and The Living Tradition.