THE COOSTIE FOLK

The Coostie Folk are a 5 piece folk band from the Scottish Borders.

With roots in the Small Hall Band, all of us have been taught by Harris Playfair and some by Ross Milligan, Carly Blain and Lucy Cowan.

 

We are strongly influenced by the likes of Blazin’ Fiddles, Skippinish, Trials of Cato and The East Pointers, as well as drawing on a wide variety of musical genres. This really helps give us a unique sound.

MEET THE BAND

Rory Hamilton

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Rory heads up the band at gigs and is frequently seen interacting with our audiences through his super enthusiastic ceilidh calling.

 

A piper at heart but confined to the guitar, Rory brings the sound of the band to life with his funky chords and energetic playing style. Rory’s chemistry with Will on percussion and the others on melody really brings our performances to life and ensures everyone has a great time.

A graduate of Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath and now a Masters Student at the University of Glasgow, Rory hopes to go on and work in the Scottish Parliament whilst maintaining his vibrant performing career with the band. 

Will Derries

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Drummer and Sound Engineer, Will, holds the band together not only with his exceptional percussive talents, and sleek audio engineering skills, but also by ensuring everyone makes rehearsals on time, and has all the details for gigs.

 

Will’s drumming neatly combines with Rory’s rhythm guitar and the collaborative effort of these two lays a great foundation for Maddy, Ewan and Charlie to bring the music to life. Will’s professionalism in working on major events such as Tom Jones and Olly Murs, Fatherson and at COP26 makes him a valuable asset to the team.

 

A fourth year student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Will studies Audio Engineering, through which he has already branched out into mainstream work, supporting major artists, events and venues throughout the UK

Madeline Cawthorn

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Fiddle player extraordinaire and exceptional vocalist, Maddy has trad in her veins, growing up listening to all the greats like Eddi Reader, Blazin’ Fiddles and Session A9. 

 

In 2017, Maddy was selected for the "RANT" 4/4 project, culminating in a performance at Celtic Connections. Maddy as also been taught by legendary Shetland Fiddler, Jenna Reid, and her knowledge and experience really enhances the band.

Currently in her final year studying Music at the University of York, Maddy has a passion for helping other people and wants to combine her love of music with a job working for non-governmental organisations around the world.

Charlie Birkett

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The youngest member of the band, Charlie brings a strong Borders fiddle-playing style to the band, clearly influenced by her former teacher Carly Blain, complementing the group dynamic very well.

The energy and precision in Charlie’s performances is exceptional and bolsters the already enthusiastic crop of performers we have in the band, synching nicely with Maddy’s own classically-infused style of play. Charlie’s strong character also helps keep the band on track, as well as injecting her musical philosophy into our arrangements.

Charlie is currently in her final year of a Folk Music degree at Leeds Conservatoire, and you can also check out her portfolio at @charliebirkettmusic on Instagram.

Ewan Steady

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Guitarist, banjo player, whistler, mandolinist, and singer, given any instrument Ewan is like a duck to water, and his exceptional musical talents add a slice of verve to the band.

 

Our unique arrangements can be attributed to Ewan, who finds new ways to make tunes sound great, adding a 9th chord here or a diminished 7th there. Ewan and Rory’s friendship has lasted since primary school, and their chemistry noticeably helps to synchronise the sound and energy of the band, whether on stage or in the recording studio. 

 

When he's not with Coostie, Ewan is the guitarist for Huddersfield-based indie outfit 'Alfie and the Avalon' and composes music for moving picture.

Background photo - Bleach Creative