Siobhan makes her connection

Siobhan Miller.
Siobhan Miller.

Penicuik musician Siobhan Miller has been enjoying her annual stint at the Celtic Connections music festival, including a unique show supporting a celebrated ship.

The talented singer songwriter joined forces with renowned accordionist Phil Cunningham to organise a special concert to raise the profile of the project to restore the Maid of The Loch to its former glory. She said: “Celtic Connections had been approached about doing something to raise awareness of the Maid of the Loch, and that’s what we did through music and poetry.

“It was a really nice night. We had some old footage of the Maid of the Loch playing behind us on stage.

“She was sadly decommissioned and has sat with nobody looking after her for a long time. A funding committee set-up needs £1 million to restore her.

“I knew of the Maid of the Loch but not a lot about it. So it has been very interesting for me . It turned out my dad played on the Maid of the Loch when they used to host folk nights.”

Among the acts who played the special concert at The Mitchell Theatre were Arthur Johnston, Jimmie Macgregor, Findlay Napier and Eddie Reader The Maid of the Loch has not sailed since 1981 and has been moored at Balloch Pier on Loch Lomond for more than two decades.

Siobahn was also involved in Celtic Connections’ opening night concert at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to mark the festival’s 25th anniversary, and last Saturday night she joined Pathhead band Lau in their festival show.

She said: “The opening night was lovely, it felt special to be a part of it. There were lots of different acts on the bill.

“The festival has changed a lot from the early days. It was very small to begin with.

“A lot of people said nobody would go to a festival in January but the complete opposite happened. Now hundreds of acts from around the world come to the festival. But it also supports traditional musicians in Scotland.”