Media Release: Crossing the North Sea with music, song and dance

Maggie Adamson

PREPARE to sail the seas next month with music, song and dance courtesy of Edinburgh’s Northern Streams 2014 Festival programme.

Guests include Norway’s dynamic ‘rock and roll’ Storm Weather Shanty Choir; award-winning Kevin Lees, Dave Wood and Noa Shamir (Denmark/Britain); Shetland’s premier duo, Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson; and innovative Swedish musicians, Kristin Borgehed and Nathan Bissette.

Fiona Campbell, festival co-organiser, said: “I’m especially delighted this year to be able to bring Storm Weather Shanty Choir over. I first saw them in Oslo in 2008 and have wanted to bring them to Scotland ever since. They’re just one example of the great performers and tutors that will be in Edinburgh for a packed two days!”

The Northern Streams programme includes workshops on sea shanties, Shetland music, Swedish songs and Scandinavian folk dancing; a sharing session and two evening concerts – all at its new festival venue, the Grassmarket Centre, a community social enterprise which helps build skills and confidence in people.

Much of the festival is suitable for both adults and children, including a children’s workshop on Scandinavian dance. Northern Streams is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch and supported by bodies including the Enterprise Music Scotland Traditional Arts Small Grants Programme (distributing funds from Creative Scotland) and the Nancie Massey Charitable Trust.

Details about the branch are at: and TMSA

For details and to book: visit; email:; tel: 0795 191 8366 / 0786 661 1954 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Notes to editors and listing details

  • Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or 0786 661 1954 (Clare) or email: for them or any other queries.
  • Further details on the events taking place and performers (including weblinks) are at or on Twitter: @northernstream1 and Facebook:
  • Throughout the years Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.
  • Our new festival venue, the Grassmarket Centre, is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence, with profits used to create new opportunities and activities. A café/bar is available at venue plus plenty of other options available locally.
  • The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 and a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH.

Listing information

All events take place at the Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA 

Friday 25 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm. Tickets: £10/8

Kevin (Kev) Lees and Dave Wood (Britain/Denmark)

Fiddler, Kev, was part of the ‘BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award’ winning band ‘Last Orders’. He is currently studying a Masters in Folk Music in Denmark, whilst continuing to teach, compose and play music with various bands and musicians around the world. Guitarist Dave teaches at the Sage Gateshead and co-directs the Folkworks adult Summer School, and has performed with many groups and artists including Malinky, Catriona MacDonald and Claire Mann.

Kristin Borgehed and Nathan Bissette (Sweden)

Kristin is a singer, bass player and dancer and teaches folk music at colleges, music schools and festivals throughout Scandinavia, Estonia and Poland. A member of the Nordic Network for Vocal Folk Music Research and International Council of Traditional Music, she has won many prizes for her studies and practice. Multi-instrumentalist Nathan Bissette accompanies Kristin in their performance, which includes explorations of Scotland and Scandinavia’s shared ballad tradition as well as Scandinavian mouth music.

Sat 26 April: Northern Streams Workshops Tickets: £7/5 per workshop


1. Accompaniment – with two great guitarists (Brian Nicholson and Nathan Bissette) OR

2. Sea Shanties (Haakon Vatle from Storm Weather Shanty Choir)


1. Shetland Music (Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson) OR

2. Scandinavian songs and vocal music – no Scandinavian language knowledge required! (Kristin Borgehed)


1. Scandinavian and Scottish dance (Noa Shamir and Kevin Lees)


NEW Sharing session with all invited guest performers for people to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances. (Free with any workshop or concert ticket)

Children’s Workshop 10.30-11.45am Tickets £5 per child attending – accompanying adult free.

Scandinavian Dancing with Noa Shamir – Noa is a traditional and contemporary folk dancer and musician from Denmark. She has been dancing since the age of ten and is an experienced teacher of young people and adults at workshops and festivals. As a performer she has been part of Danish folk dance group ‘Embla’ and most recently been a participant in a Nordic talent project ‘Nordic Dance’, involving young talents from the four Nordic countries. Suitable for five years+. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Sat 26 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm Tickets: £10/8

Maggie Adamson and Brian Nicholson (Shetland)

Maggie and Brian have been playing as a duo for around five years at festivals around the world. Their repertoire includes a variety of different styles of music from traditional Shetland tunes to American rags, Scottish hornpipes and strathspeys and classical pieces. Fiddler, Maggie, whose style has been described as ‘jaw-dropping’, is currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, while guitarist, Brian, is a founding member of the folk band Hom Bru, one of the original line up of Da Fustra Scottish dance band.

Storm Weather Shanty Choir (Norway)

Rounding off the Festival in rock ‘n’ roll style, this six-man strong Shanty Choir from the island of Stord off the west coast of Norway, led by former tallship sailor, Haakon Vatle, has been wowing audiences across the United States, Japan and Europe. They have released five albums to great critical acclaim and are widely known as a stunning live band.

For booking and more details:

or tel: 0795 191 8366 / 0786 661 1954.
Twitter: @northernstream1
Facebook: TMSAEdinburghandLothians

A Weekend ticket is available £27/£21 (two concerts and three workshops—save up to £14!)
Concessions are the usual plus TMSA members and Young Scot cardholders. Relevant proof maybe required to be produced when at the venue.

Tickets are not available at the venue except during the Festival itself (25 and 26 April).

PRESS RELEASE issued by TMSA. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on Email for more information.

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366