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Who is Isla St Clair ?

Related threads:
Isla St Clair (39)
Lyr Req: The Lifeboat (from Isla St. Clair) (4)


GUEST,Arkie 18 May 13 - 05:11 PM
GUEST,DTM 17 May 13 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,Loughborough folk festival 1978ish 17 May 13 - 06:00 PM
Mick Tems 24 Oct 12 - 04:24 AM
GUEST 23 Oct 12 - 02:31 PM
Tattie Bogle 03 Apr 12 - 12:13 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Apr 12 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Bill /Aberdeen 31 Mar 12 - 12:33 PM
eddie1 21 Mar 12 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Ray 21 Mar 12 - 10:07 AM
Dave MacKenzie 21 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Mar 12 - 08:31 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Mar 12 - 08:28 AM
Dave MacKenzie 21 Mar 12 - 07:28 AM
Jim Martin 19 Mar 12 - 06:50 AM
stallion 18 Mar 12 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Ray 18 Mar 12 - 02:22 PM
Merek'n'Dary 18 Mar 12 - 02:06 PM
eddie1 18 Mar 12 - 10:26 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Mar 12 - 10:14 AM
Georgiansilver 18 Mar 12 - 09:02 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Mar 12 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Doc John 18 Mar 12 - 08:52 AM
Tattie Bogle 17 Mar 12 - 07:33 PM
stallion 17 Mar 12 - 05:56 PM
GUEST,Guest FC 17 Mar 12 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,shonagh 12 Oct 02 - 09:53 AM
Michael in Swansea 12 Oct 02 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,Boab 12 Oct 02 - 04:21 AM
Madam Gashee 11 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM
fiddler 11 Oct 02 - 05:35 PM
Michael in Swansea 11 Oct 02 - 10:47 AM
Bullfrog Jones 11 Oct 02 - 06:31 AM
Nerd 06 Aug 02 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,T-boy 05 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM
Harry Basnett 05 Aug 02 - 04:35 AM
Jim McLean 04 Aug 02 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Sloop 04 Aug 02 - 09:17 AM
GUEST,Julie B at home 04 Aug 02 - 08:47 AM
Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland 03 Aug 02 - 07:34 AM
Mac Tattie 03 Aug 02 - 06:29 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 05:02 PM
Wesley S 02 Aug 02 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 02:30 PM
Nerd 02 Aug 02 - 01:21 PM
Trevor 02 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM
DaveP 02 Aug 02 - 08:34 AM
Ned Ludd 02 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 02 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 07:54 AM
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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 18 May 13 - 05:11 PM

Nice to see this thread. I stumbled upon Isla St. Clair a couple of months ago and wondered why I had never heard of her before. Beautiful voice and sensitive feeling for lyrics. I would go to see her if I had the chance. Did not find Shian Road among the St. Clair recordings at emusic but it is on youtube. Glad to hear it.

Shian Road


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 17 May 13 - 07:28 PM

Isla is a true quality singer.
If you want to hear her at her best, listen to her version of Ian McCalman's beautiful & haunting song "The Shian Road"

Here-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3hqdm0C_d8


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Loughborough folk festival 1978ish
Date: 17 May 13 - 06:00 PM

Isla captivated a lecture theatre full of folk enthusiasts late into the night. Unaccompanied her version of "follow the herring" - memorable!
Mo


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Mick Tems
Date: 24 Oct 12 - 04:24 AM

Isla was just 17 when I heard her first LP; it may be the School of Scottish Studies recordings that other people have mentioned. I was greatly impressed by her clear, strong voice and the vast wealth of traditional material in her memory. As James and other people have said, Isla was steeped in Aberdeenshire tradition. I booked Isla for the Valley Folk Club in Pontardawe; it was the time of a national beer strike, and nobody knew whether the pubs would be open or not. Nevertheless, she came down and wowed everybody with her singing. Later on, I was playing concertina on a TV programme in The Song And The Story series (filmed at The Museum Of Welsh Life in St Fagans, Cardiff) and Isla showed her professionalism. Recently, I saw her at a folk club in Newport, Gwent, and the club gave her a rapturous encore. Isla is still a very fine singer whose breadth of knowledge commands a great deal of respect from me.

Mick Tems


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 12 - 02:31 PM

Hi Im James Stewart and I was in Buckie Children's Home at Buckie with Jennie Stewart, and Elizabeth my two sisters, we went to the Buckie school with Veronica Erika, my Sister Jeannie was frends with them at that time and so was Isla St Clair, it brings me back to my younger days, when I went to see a man on a farm he had milking cows and I first met him throw a tv show, he wore thick glasses on his nose , he sung on tv bothy nights, but at that time I did not know him as Iala St Clairs father,ask Iala can she remember ald Doddie Duff from Buckie.                                                 from Maggie Stewart,s grandson,James Stewart ,Maggie Stewart she was the auntie to the late folk singer Jeannie Robertson fron Aberdeen


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 03 Apr 12 - 12:13 PM

She plays guitar herself (maybe not like Martin Simpson)! And uses it for some songs.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Apr 12 - 05:12 AM

Her record of that TV series and the book of folksongs accompanying it were remarkable. Most of Steeleye were playing on the record.
It won some sort of international TV award.

Its my favourite album of her.

Seen her live. I always think she could do with an accompanist keyboard or guitar.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Bill /Aberdeen
Date: 31 Mar 12 - 12:33 PM

in the early to mid 1970s Isla did Islas Island for the then Grampian T.V. And also was on a lot of their locally produced entertainment shows...I remember being in the studio audience on some of those occasions and she was , and remains a good, value for money entertainer. it is rightly claimed earlier that she was the ideal foil for Larry Grayson and was a major reason why the Generation Game was still a success after Bruce left. I hope that her rejuvenated career of the last few years blossoms


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: eddie1
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:57 PM

Haven't talked with Hamish in a long time but he was certainly making concertinas in Leith back then.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:07 AM

I don't know if he makes them but he used to play one (+ mandolin) with the McCalmans.

The late Derek Moffat once told me that he'd set up a carpentry business.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:47 AM

I don't know if he makes them, but he was playing one with the McCalmans at the time.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:31 AM

Hamish Bayne the concertina maker??


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:28 AM

That business where you learn at your mother's knee - does the music come out of the knee, when you stand on the big toe?


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 07:28 AM

Isla was already a legend when she turned upin Sandy Bell's in a mini-skirt, aged 17, and made everybody very jealous when she married Hamish Bayne shortly afterwards. She had appeared at "Folksong '65" a few years previously singing 'The Dowie Howms o' Yarrow', when the sleevenotes of the double LP said: "The singer is Isla MacDonald,2 year-old daughter of Mrs. Zetta MacDonald of Aberdeen from whom she learned most of her songs. A big song for so young a performer but Isla is more than up to the task. Would that we could a lot more singing of this quality."


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Jim Martin
Date: 19 Mar 12 - 06:50 AM

Ah Byfield - I remember trains going through there in 1963 on the long since defunct Stratford & Midland Jcn Railway!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: stallion
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 07:50 PM

yup she lives in Byfield about 8 miles from Banbury


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 02:22 PM

I remember Isla from the latter half of the 1970s before she sought fame and fortune on the weekend TV saccharin circuit.

She was a competent, well regarded, Scottish traditional singer in those days, specialising in mouth music if I remember correctly, although, personally, I have little interest in such things. Assuming she still has a voice, I see no reason why she shouldn't still be worth seeing.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Merek'n'Dary
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 02:06 PM

Isla is anything but out of the picture! She has a huge following in Banbury, having lived in the area and is the Patron of Banbury Folk Festival. She regularly appears at the Festival and at Banbury Folk Club. She is still a great singer with a huge repertoire of Scottish traditional songs. She learnt these at her mother's knee and was singing around the clubs from the age of 14 - long before she ever became a TV star. She is a lovely, warm person with a great personality to boot!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: eddie1
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 10:26 AM

Isla keeps trying to persuade me to give up my long-running relationship with EmmyLou Harris in favour of her. She might just succeed!
Murray eat your heart out!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 10:14 AM

Steve, I'm gonna pinch that joke & try it out on the caulkheads here!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:02 AM

Found on Youtube recently... enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 09:01 AM

There's a rumour that she married Barry White, divorced him then married Bryan Ferry. So now she's Isla White-Ferry.

I'll get me coat then...


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 18 Mar 12 - 08:52 AM

I used the fancy her too like Dave above. She is - or was - an all round entertainer appearing with Larry Grayson on a game show and the like; not my style at all. But she's a beautiful singer and a beautiful lady. Those two CD's mentioned above show her at her best as - as mentioned above - much of her material is overproduced, a frequent problem, I find. She was superb on Folk on Two several years ago.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 17 Mar 12 - 07:33 PM

Seen her twice in concert in just the last couple of years, and was very impressed: good voice, presentation, and at her best when doing songs from the Banff/Buchan/Buckie (N-East Scotland) area, tho' I'd never describe the accent there as "soft'!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: stallion
Date: 17 Mar 12 - 05:56 PM

Byfield!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Guest FC
Date: 17 Mar 12 - 03:57 PM

This is a few years late but maybe someone still follows this thread. I met Isla at Marylebone Station, London, in the early 90's while on a year's return to the UK from Canada. I was delighted to find she lived in a village near where I was staying and saw a fair bit of her over the next months. Born in Edinburgh, I loved her music and thought her voice was amazing, particularly as in those days we were both smokers - and both tried to quit together! We lost contact but I still check out her website and listen to her CDs. I would attend a concert in a flash.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,shonagh
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 09:53 AM

Isla is from a fishing town called Buckie which is about half an hour from where i live. Personally, when i started out singing i had all her cd's but i didnt listen to her for her voice, i mean it is a good voice but not my kind of thing, but i listened to her cds for her songs. Wonderful ballads!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 07:17 AM

Why would I keep a pic of Isla under a pillar?
I do have an Isla screen saver.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 12 Oct 02 - 04:21 AM

Moira Anderson? A great voice, and not the worst singer of Scottish songs by a long way---but she'd benefit her folksong style by a spell with Bab Dixon, or Jean Redpath---as happened to her pal McKellar who "learned" a thing or two when he did a series with Jean and Alastair MacDonald some years back----


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Madam Gashee
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 06:38 PM

Revere is one description of michael's adoration!
I can tell you that he sleeps with a photo of her under his pillar and
when we stayed in the same hotel in Scarborough as her....


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: fiddler
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 05:35 PM

Load of old cynics -worse than me.

Lets think in 21st century when we use microphones and PAs and sing or play to audiences of thousands or more what is traditional.

Traditional now back before we were lads was pop!

Therefore shouldn't we all stand up and sing Spice gilrs, Oasis and who was Jimmi Hendrix anyway!

The Woman (who I don' personal get off on) has a good voice and a good patter and has been making a good living for years. Some folk as can be seen above adore revere and worship her.

Personally what about Moira Anderson?

A


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 10:47 AM

Say her name with reverence. Say it loud and there's music playing, say it soft and it's almost like praying.
I love Isla

Michael


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 06:31 AM

So Wesley.... how was she?

BJ


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Nerd
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:13 AM

Sloop--as to the CDs being inexpensive, I bought them in a shop and they were full priced CDs. So buyer, beware! But they are good, despite the brevity and some silly sleeve notes.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,T-boy
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM

Her mother was a genuine traditional singer who also wrote stuff. Isla sings a lot of material from her mother which otherwise would not be sung. So that makes her too important to miss, IMHO. Don't forget, you don't know what you've got till it's gone.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Harry Basnett
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:35 AM

Not sure but I think we've booked Isla for the Open Door next year...we do not make bookings lightly!!

I remember 'The Song and the Story'...come to think of it, I've even got the book!

All the best............Harry.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:05 PM

Wesley S, give her my warm regards, Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Sloop
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 09:17 AM

Isla is a beautiful lady (who - like a good bottle of wine gets better with age - she was 50 this year)with a beautiful personality, speaking and singing voice (the best I've ever heard). Definitely go and see her. She has appeared on radio 2 when it had folk music programmes (especially with Jim Lloyd) when she was outstanding. Yes buy those two "Tradition Collection" CD's mentioned earlier - they are very short but are also inexpensive. I've never seen them in the shops so seek out the website. Beware! Some of her other recordings are overproduced with innapropriate backings.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST,Julie B at home
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 08:47 AM

Went to see her earlier this year. I'm sure that she is good at what she does, but, not being Scottish myself, I found it hard work trying to understand the many traditional dialect songs (which formed the majority of the set). Most of the audience were also unable to join in with choruses, as encouraged, for the same reason. One of my friends found the songs in th first half just too 'same-y' and left in the interval. I have to admit, I wanted to enjoy it more than I did. But I'm certain that if you are Scottish, or like to hear mainly dialect singing then you would enjoy it. The second half was more accessible, with less dialect and some more familiar songs.
Julie


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Tam the bam fraeSaltcoatsScotland
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 07:34 AM

Isla St Clair, came form the North east of Scotland, she then lived in Troon in Ayrshire.

I think that she is a great singer, and I would go and see her.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 06:29 AM

I'ts not her commercial successes that are resented I'ts her thin, reedy, uninspireing voice and, too often, chringe makimg stage performances that get most folks dander up. I have suffered her in concert(but not concert pich)and won't be repeating the experience. The Gordon Gunn Band are worth a listen and are a big step up from the usual "tartan-for-the-tourist" band. cheers


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 05:02 PM

Her latest release, that I know about, consists of songs written by her late Mother, which Isla discovered post mortem, and put to music. What I've heard of it is good, she is a lovely lassie wi' a lang pedigree, and as has been said earlier some of the finger-in-the-ear traditionalists resent her small commercial successes outwith the folk scene. Go see her, you'll enjoy yourself.
Failte....Giok


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 04:51 PM

Thanks for the imput folks. I was a bit put off by the ad I was sent in the mail. I was especially nervious when they said she had worked with Charton Heston and Phil Collins. Not exactly pillars of the traditional music world. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 02:30 PM

The Kate Rusby of her day? I have some old issues of Folk Review magazine in which a very young Isla St Clair appears, complete with glowing write-ups. She was, indeed, one of the best of her generation before being seduced by television game shows. As the Steve Benbow thread suggests, once you down the road to commercial success, we folkies can be a nasty bunch with extremely long memories.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:21 PM

Isla, if I'm not mistaken, is from the Aberdeen area and before her TV career was in fact a purely traditional singer--I think as a youngster she recorded some songs for the School of Scottish Studies. She went into being a folk club performer in her teens, then the famous TV gigs followed, etc.

She suffers from her publicity a bit, I think. Because her publicists call her Scotland's leading traditional singer, we folkies rebel against what we rightly perceive to be unfair hype and decide that she's crap! But in fact, as several have said here, she's very good. I bought two recent CDs she put out of trad ballads. The only complaint I have is that they were only about 35 minutes long, so they both would have fit on one CD!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Trevor
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:45 AM

She's a fairly regular performer at one of our local haunts and she's good. Clear voice, good rep, worth listening to.


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: DaveP
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:34 AM

She appeared at a club I and my wife frequent a couple of years ago.

My opinion, for what it is worth.

An attractive, down to earth person. As in a lot of UK clubs some floor singers did their bit before her act. She did listen to the locals, unlike some 'super stars' who think they are 'super stars' She has a good voice and a good understanding of the origins of the songs she sings (at least those she performed when I saw her). Her accent is a 'soft' Scottish one which should be easier to understand than some of the more 'harsh'ones you may have come across.

She also appeared on a TV show with Morcombe and Wise, a very well loved UK comedy duo from the last century!

My advice - go and see her!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:15 AM

I'm in the 'bloody good singer' camp. And I still fancy her!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM

I should have realised that she might have improved with age. Like Marianne Faithfull. I can't ignore the opinions of people like Ron and Marray - I'll make sure to get to one of her shows, and update my own!


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Subject: RE: Who is Isla St Clair ?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 07:54 AM

For the record, Isla was married to Hamish BAYNE. She is a bloody good singer, and there are few if any Scottish female traditional singers I would rather spend an evening with.

Her success outside the realms of folk music is guaranteed to earn her the opprobrium of the Scottish folk community for ever. Just like Barbara Dickson.

Murray


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