The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Up In The Air at The Mill Sessions

Back in November, rounding off the year for The Mill Sessions, we were fortunate to get the superb, Up In The Air – a trio of outstanding musicians. Jonny Hardie and Davy Cattanach are probably best known for their roles in the band Old Blind Dogs, while Gavin Marwick also plays in the sublime Bellevue Rendezvous, who I photographed before they played at the Mill back in the summer (see

Because Jonny and Davy live several hundred miles north of here, the only option for the photo shoot was the afternoon before their performance. And as the sun disappears quite early in November, in Scotland, we didn’t have a great deal of time to make the most of the light. Not that there was a great deal of light anyway, because it was a dreich, overcast day. Fortunately the rain held off just long enough, and I took some shots up behind Ruth and Gavin’s place where the skeleton of a barn has been built. With the hills in the background, it seemed as good a place as any to fire off a few photos.

In the end I was really quite pleased with this one

My wife, Maggie, has been a fan of Old Blind Dogs for a long time, and introduced me to their music back in the early 90s – so the prospect of a band mixing musicians from them and Bellevue Rendezvous had us both really excited at seeing them play live in that wonderful, intimate venue at The Mill on the Fleet.

And we weren’t disappointed.

Once again, I sat my camera on my knee and filmed a few songs. I know I usually only post one or two from a session, but when looking back through the selection I had, I couldn’t pare it down any further than these four.

Track 3 is the only one of these with singing – it’s called Twa Corbies, which is an old Scots ballard about 2 crows picking the bones of a dead knight (lyrics here if you’re interested, and is an Old Blind Dogs favourite.

If you like what you hear, then you can download their new album, Moonshine, from all the usual places on the web, or buy the CD from a number of sites like this one:


temporal rooms said...

being from Cape Breton Island in
Nova Scotia Canada Scottish music is
a mainstay. i love the Old Blind Dogs, have seen them.
your photograph is a great capture!


Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Robert - and welcome to my Ramblings! I spent a year in Nova Scotia on a student exchange programme back in 92/93 - it's a lovely part of the world you live in :)

pilgrimchick said...

Wow--great stuff!

Pat said...

What a talented bunch. There is an Eastern flavour at times.
That back drop (photo) is amazing.

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

Superb photo of the band, Kim. Love it. And thanks for the 4 clips. It was indeed a great concert and I had the honour to be selling CDs for the band at the ticket desk. Yes.

Conny said...

I absolutely LOVE the above shot of the band!!! Great composition, the background is perfect ... you nailed it!!!!!

Roschelle said...

love the photo. I'm a black and white pic fanatic O.o

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes, I like black and white pics too. This one captures the 'dreich' day. I looked up 'dreich', it's a great word, isn't it?

I hear something gypsy-ish in their music. Spanish-Moorish.

Kim Ayres said...

Pilgrim Chick - they're really great musicians :)

Pat - Although primarily coming out of Scottish Celtic roots, they have influences from across Europe :)

Mark - I know your help was really appreciated :)

Conny - thank you for your kind words, they're really appreciated :)

Roschelle - Black & White often makes photos more moody :)

Guyana-Gyal - dreich is a wonderful word - very descriptive of a lot of the weather here :)

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