Planning a trip to Scotland for a holiday and fancy going to see live Scottish Traditional Music? read on!
If you are planning a holiday in Scotland then most likely at one point you will want to see and hear some real Scottish music. Around Scotland there are many hotels who put on live music, the hard bit is finding them sometimes.
often you can staying in areas of Scotland that have live music but not on the night you are there.
The local tourist offices do have some information on what is on, unfortunately by the time you get to Scotland unless you are booking your accommodation as you find it, then your chance of success is limited.
In Scotland it is not normal to have to pay an entry fee for bar and hotel music so all you have to do is check the starting time and get their at least thirty minutes before staring time to be sure of a seat.
Most bars and hotels also do bar meals to three course spreads of Scottish, European and dishes from around the world. It is also often possible to book your meal time in advance at the venue, ensuring your seat at the same time for the nights entertainment.
Most acts are from solo to a trio although occassionaly you may find bigger bands performing in local theatres and halls.
Performance time is usually around 9pm start and this is worth noting because in Scotland evening meals are eaten between 5pm and 8pm,
Many visitors to Scotland come from cultures that do not eat evening meals until around 9pm and unfortunately most bars do not serve food after 8 to 9pm.
Restaurants will still be open but not in hotels so you will have to eat away from the entertainment. Scottish restaurants do not normally have live entertainment.
One word of note if you are sitting in a bar listening to the free music, it is not looked upon favourably if you do not purchase something to drink. The music is free in the hope that sales at the bar will cover the cost of the band. It does not have to be alcohol that is purchased, soft drinks, tea and coffee all make the bar profit even mineral water.
The music on the night can be suitable for sitting listening to as you relax after your day of travel. Take note however if you see the word ceilidh on the poster advertising the music night because this usually means energetic and happy dancing to Scottish Dance music, a great fun filled evening.
Most music nights you will find will be on Thursday to Sunday although with careful planning you may find some midweek concerts. It is also possible for the visitor with a car to move around Scotland and get free music every night.
It is also expected for the audience to participate in the evening by singing along, clapping hands and stamping feet in time with the music. Also welcome is requests for the band to sing Scottish songs you like, the bands will want to play your request if they can because they know they have a happy customer.
One type of request not to ask for is songs from the pop world etc, to ask this from Scottish traditional performers will possibly result in you becoming an unintentional tool for the nights entertainment.
In the last fifteen or twenty minutes before closing you will often hear the cry from the bar staff Last orders, this is your last time to order a drink before closing. If a shout is not heard you may hear a bell tolling or some other weird noise that culminates in everyone making a last mad rush for the bar, that will be your signal.
When you are planning your music stops it can be useful to check out the price of staying in the hotel the music is on. There are good reasons for this the first one being if you have too much to drink, you only have to make your way to your room. On the other hand if you are still feeling lively sometimes you may find your self in the middle of what is called a -lock in- and that is when the doors are locked after closing time, the curtains are closed and the night goes on in secret.
If you are in a bar in Scotland and get into the company of others and they offer to buy you a drink, if you accept it is custom to buy them one back next round. Be careful the locals are used to drinking the local beers and spirits faster than you will be, better not to get into rounds as you will most likely be feeling very bad the next morning.
Bearing all this in mind if you feel you are ready to start planning your Scottish Holiday go ahead and enjoy with the added benefit of knowing that in the morning you are going to wake up to see some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.