In its ninth year and with regular venue The Met undergoing refurbishment, The Big Whistle Festival moves a hundred yards or so down the road to the Town Hall. A change of venue maybe but t's tag line remains the same.
With the humble tin whistle at its core, The Big Whistle Festival is a gathering of traditional and contemporary musicians for a weekend of groove laden gigs, intimate concerts and workshops.
This year there's the big attraction of Flook headlining Friday night in the main hall. The quartet, headed by the whistles and flutes of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen and featuring the crack duo of Ed Boyd on guitar and John Joe Kelly's incredible bodhran - are a truly inspirational act. They are preceded by Roisin Ban in the Peel Room; the Yorkshire four piece balancing instrumental and vocal material from Ireland and beyond.
Saturday sees a Scots takeover with the return of Treacherous Orchestra to headline after an appearance at last year's event. If Flook are inspirational, then the Treacherous guys are an eleven piece tornado of swirling whistles and pipes whipping up a frenzied storm of Scottish based tunes. Their two albums are just the starting point for an explosive live show.
Barluath are another set of Scots play before them in the main hall as a mouthwatering appetiser of contemporary Scottish, Irish and American music while the Peel Room menu hosts a trio of diversity from which to choose. The cancellation of the anticipated West My Friend has them replaced at short notice by multi-instrumentalist Tim Edey who bears the way for the unique blend of percussion and accordion duo of The Hut People. Highly entertaining , they pave the way for another duo warming up before joining the Treacherous party later on, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton.
A full weekend ticket for all seven gigs is £55.90
A Saturday ticket with five gigs is £37.
Book any four festival events (including workshops and talks) and get 35% off
Aside from what promises to be a couple of frenetic headline nights, there are a whole series of workshops and talks throughout Saturday led by performers at the festival. Full details are all on the festival website http://themet.biz/bigwhistle/