Caledonia – the homecoming
CD release event
Despite the Memorial Weekend holiday, Birdland rolled out the red carpet and you came! Thanks for sharing this wonderful evening with me in this terrific venue. There were kilts in the house (not mine) and Scottish people everywhere. What joy. We had a sing-a-long of Mull of Kintyre, we played some rousing rounds of "find the hidden CDs” (they weren’t up any kilts) and I shall never forget "Thank you for that compliment!!" being yelled across the room by a traditionally dressed child! The party at Don't Tell Mama's afterward was fun too even though I was dragged up to sing Hallelujah after one whiskey too many! It was enough to make me want to release another record tomorrow if only for the party!!
Birdland (315 West 44th Street) | 29 May 2011
maine state music theatre 16 august 2010
This was my second time in Maine and again it was too fast a trip. We were in a much larger venue this time. I had a set list all planned out but this audience inspired me to deviate from my planned journey. They were up for anything and so was I. A great evening.
Burns' Night: Live from the Kennedy Center 25 january 2010
More than just an excuse to clamber into a Kilt and set the meat and veg free, this was probably my most favourite concert I've ever done! Nothing makes a man more proud of his home than the chance to get up in front of a room of people and share the joy of the Motherland. And I could think of no better place than in Washington DC's beautiful and enormous Kennedy Center, with its Halls of Flags and gorgeous, ornate Grand Foyer (where the Millennium Stage is housed). An extra special addition was that the show was streamed live online and archived for posterity. (You can see it for yourself here at OEM on the Gigs and Events page). The staff and stage management crew were lovely and the whole evening was way more than I could ever have hoped for. Rabbie Burns, wherever you are, I hope we made you proud!!
centerstage theatre | 12 - 15 november 2009
What a fantastic time was had in Baltimore. The excellent staff and lovely warm audiences at Centerstage made the concerts completely magical. I can see why it's named Charm City! I'm so happy to have met so many new faces and I apologise (even though I'm secretly thrilled) that we ran out of copies of NewClear! The sales team did an awesome job and I'm already planning a return... I stayed in the beautiful Hotel Monaco, where you are given a pet goldfish to save you from getting lonely. The fish kept dying though so I wasn't sad to leave all those corpses behind!
signature theatre | Sizzlin' Summer Cabaret | 18 & 19 july 2009
It's always fun to play at Signature-- even when you are really sick and think you may have the Swine Flu! This was a lovely few days with old friends in Virginia. The theatre took great care of me, and I got to see many people I haven't seen in ages, and met some new friends, too. One day I will actually do a full run of a show at Signature, but until then, I will do a concert any time they ask!
metropolitan room | caledonia 11 - 27 june 2009
I brought as much of Scotland as I could to NYC with this concert. This was my way of coping with home sickness and celebrating the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth. I sang lots of old Scottish folk songs and also some more modern Scottish work. I also recited some Robert Burns poetry and shared a list of Scottish inventions with the audience. My only regret was the kilt catastrophe that prevented me from wearing what I wanted to wear for the run of the show.
metropolitan room | 5, 12 & 19 October 2008
This marked my return to the stage after my appendix ruptured this summer. It was very good for me personally as there were dark moments when I thought I would never be able to perform on stage again. The whole awful experience helped make Stranger in a Strange Land quite a personal show for me. Bryan and I performed some of our new songs and the audiences were very kind with their response-- so there will be more to come! I shocked and awed people with my grotesque scar (still red and sore looking). It was great to return to this intimate venue, where I really enjoy playing... Thanks for your support!
the oak room at the algonquin hotel | 4-29 march 2008
This was a departure for me! A month at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, 7 shows a week. I must admit, I was a little intimidated by the reputation of the room itself, but very quickly I got into the routine of things and really enjoyed these concerts. I haven't done this much singing since Tommy up at the Bay Street! The set list was a combination of American songbook standards that fit really well in that room, and songs that I just love and enjoy singing. I lived in this historic hotel for the month, which was interesting-though was sometimes made difficult by the constant construction that my room overlooked on 45th Street! It was wonderful to see so many of you there, and to meet many new friends as well.
Virginia Samford Theatre | 31 december 2007
I worried about this gig as it was a little difficult to get the details arranged with the venue. However, I need not have been concerned. The concert went well – the audience was great and this was a nice way to end 2007.
R Family Cruise | 11 july 2007
Such a good time! I spontaneously decided to auction myself off-- For a donation to Rosie's Broadway Kids, I agreed to go sing some of the children to sleep at night in their cabins.
We raised a lot of money for a charity that I care about, and I was happy to get an opportunity to get to know some of the families on board. (although I must tell you of the young girl who, in the middle of a song, said, “Dad, when this is done, can we watch TV?”) !!
The band and I were treated so well, and enjoyed ourselves all week.
the zipper factory | 11 june 2007
I always have a good time at the Zipper, and this time I had my new band to help me out.
We played two shows, and I got to try out my German on the song '99 Luftballoons'. This audience seemed to think my grasp of the language was pretty good, so the band and I headed off to Austria to try it for real!
metropolitan room | 15 & 22 april, 6 & 13 may 2007
Four shows at this new venue were nice, even if I did get in a bit of trouble for being political. My parents were over again, so I was happy for the chance to get to sing 'River' to my mother. Highlights for me included having some friends join in to share their talents with us and getting another opportunity to work with the talented child prodigy, Bryan Reeder on piano. On the final night I asked all of you to join me for a closing party at The Tavern – and many of you came!
signature theatre | 13 january 2007
Eric Schaeffer has been directing some incredible theatre over the past few years-- but he has also been doing some impressive fundraising. This was the open house for his new Signature Theatre -- just a few steps away from the old one, but what a difference! I loved the intimacy of the old Signature, and this new space retains that, but it is a state-of-the-art 16 million dollar complex right in the food-and-culture area of Shirlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. It was an honour to be the first to play before an audience in the Max Theatre on the set of Signature's soon-to-open Into the Woods. 10,000 people attended the 2-day festivities and it was wonderful to see all the supportive people waiting in line outside to get in to have a look at the new space. I played 2 hour long sets, accompanied only by my DC guitarist, Rick Peralta. It was nice to meet everyone while signing CDs afterwards. Thanks to all who turned up!
Birdland (315 West 44th Street) | 27 november 2006
This was as much fun as the last Birdland gig. Actually twice as much fun since there were two shows!
This was the first time I sang some of my own songs in public, and although I was a little nervous to put this out there, it went well and the response was great, so that’s good, eh?!
I was grateful to Robert Roth for flying down from Canada to lead the band, and loved playing with all these new guys. We did a lot of new material as well as some of our old favourites. Nice evening!!
I have been told by many people that Birdland is a great place to see a show. All the seats are great, as is the sound system and the staff—but its also a nice place to perform a show. I loved every moment!
bay street, sag harbor | 8 july 2006
This concert was the first of its kind at the Bay Street Theatre. I am happy to report that it was so successful that the theatre are planning to have more of these sorts of events in the future. I enjoyed having Nikka sing a few songs and hope you did too. It was also nice to try some new stuff. I threw in some Billy Joel and some more Beatles. This was a fantastic way to end a nice run in Sag Harbor.
tower records, 66th & broadway, new york city | 24 may 2006
This was a sort of a homecoming for me. I used to work at Tower Records in London, so it was nice to be able to perform in the world's largest Tower Records in New York. We had some technological difficulties, which gave me the opportunity to sing some Carpenters a cappella.
Birdland (315 West 44th Street) | 15 may 2006
A new venue for me, but I loved it. We did a bit of everything here. We threw in some jazz and standards as well as songs from NewClear. At the last minute I decided I needed to wear a new shirt, so I ran out after the sound check to get one just before the gig was set to begin. When I arrived back at Birdland, I was horrified to discover that the store had left the security tag on my brand new blue shirt. The boys in the band tried to convince me that it looked like I was making a fashion statement, but I worried that the statement it made was "I AM A SHOPLIFTER!" I swear I bought that shirt!
Thanks to Jim Caruso, I now have a new favourite venue to play in the city.
I was sorry to have to rush away so quickly right after the concert. I was heading to the Obie Awards downtown where I was thrilled to receive an Obie for Measure for Pleasure.
artspeak, annandale, va | 5 april 2006
I was honoured to be part of the ArtSpeak! series which was hosted by Mark Shugoll. The students were excellent and they treated me so well. I really enjoy meeting with students and going into schools and giving master classes. I am hoping to do more of it in the future. So far I have been in colleges, high schools and middle schools, and I have made wonderful friends at each stop.
Shugoll's program is unique because it isn't just about inspiring students who want to work in the arts. The aim here is to create new audiences for the arts. This is such a great goal because where would we be without our audiences?
joe's pub series | 20 march and 6 april 2006
This 3-concert series was memorable for me for a few reasons.
First, NewClear was available for the audience to buy and the band and I performed every song on the CD. In addition, my family came over from Scotland and I got to spend a nice week with them after many months apart. My gorgeous niece seemed to love her first concert - and she was perfectly behaved!
The NewClear t-shirts made their debut. At the first concert of the series, my Label Maeble got up and performed her version of 'American Tune' which has become one of my favourite songs.
signature theatre | 20 february 2006
Eric Schaeffer invited me down to his theatre outside of DC in Arlington, VA, which turned out to be right down the street from where I recently received my American driver's license.
This was the first time I got to play a full gig outside of NYC. I was surprised and happy to discover that we sold out both shows! There were a lot of familiar faces from New York but also loads of new people at both shows. We performed 2 great sets on a stage that looked like something Tim Burton might have designed, and this was the first time I got to try out a few of the songs from the CD for a crowd. 'Chelsea Hotel' went down especially well and I'm already looking forward to singing that song live again.
town hall | 22 october 2005
Thanks to Scott and Barbara for producing this gig. What a night! I had a great band, including an excellent violinist, and some wonderful backing singers who came up from DC for the night to help out. A highlight for me was an a cappella version of 'American Tune' that we did. I also got the chance to sing one of my favourite songs from Taboo, 'Talk Amongst Yourselves'.
zipper theatre| 9-14 november 2004
The Zipper is a great, intimate venue for a concert. I enjoyed every minute of this week.