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Scottish master of traditional song, Dick Gaughan will be performing in Newbury for the first time in some 20 years when he appears at Arlington Arts on Friday 7 June.
His last performance, at the Arts Workshop in Northcroft Lane was attended by a near capacity crowd, who gave his particular brand of traditional storytelling songs a most enthusiastic reception. This is hardly surprising as Dick’s voice is well known for its arresting qualities.
Originally a member of Boys of the Lough, Five Hand Reel and Clan Alba, Gaughan’s debut solo album Handful of Earth came out in 1981 and was later named album of the decade by Folk Roots.
Having very eclectic tastes, he plays everything from free jazz and rock to country music. He plays most fretted stringed instruments but his natural instrument, and perhaps what he is happiest doing, is acoustic guitar.
His greatest musical love is for the ancient traditional Scots ballads. Also known as

(the big songs), these are the big story songs which form a substantial part of Scotland's living wealth of traditional song.
Over the years, Gaughan has recorded and performed many of these

, The great Scots Ballads are mostly of very great antiquity with some of the themes and motifs being traceable back thousands of years. Full of mystical and supernatural references. they are very dramatic and powerful.
However, his own songs are very much of their time, often dealing with political sentiment in relation to the lives of everyday, working Scottish people.
Tickets, priced £13 are available from the Box Office on 01635 244246, online via

and from Mary Hare Hearing Centre, Weaver’s Walk, Newbury.

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