These first few months of planning for Tanninzie to get back together have been very exciting, of course – there’s been so much to do: digging out old material (pictures; concert adverts; newspaper articles, etc); taking new photos (showing only too clearly how we’ve all aged – gracefully of course!!); planning the content and layout of the website; unearthing pieces of music from various eras; starting rehearsals, etc..... All good fun but, of course, it turns your thoughts back to how things were at the outset compared to how they are now!!

And it brings flooding home to you just how different the two times were, and are.

It’s been an interesting journey for us these past few months. All the original band members are still around and in contact with each other (but we’ve sadly lost Tommy, who joined the rest of us when Geoff headed off to Canada. Tommy was only 37 and it just doesn’t seem right that he’s not here for this reunion: But if he’s watching it all from ‘wherever’, we hope he hears us in at least tolerable form!!)

We’re aiming for a gig (with others, of course) during 2009 and we hope it’ll be a chance to recreate something of the feel of the folk scene back in the 1970’s.

What’s done these days to keep alive what we loosely call ‘folk music’ is fantastic and club organisers, their stalwart supporters, and working acts all deserve huge praise. But it does seem to us that, compared to the 60’s and 70’s, the music has lost a fair bit of its ‘prominence’ – there seem to be fewer working acts (semi or fully professional); fewer local/club acts; far fewer venues, and much smaller audiences. (Tanninzie – and there was nothing unusual in this – played to audiences of 500 plus at Ayr Folk Club, in Scotland, when big acts were booked, and even a few years later, at a smaller venue, it would have been considered a poor turnout if there were less than 180 – 200 people in the audience!! (Of course, there is a fuller festival circuit now than there used to be so maybe that compensates to an extent.)

In the old days, the West of Scotland boasted a myriad of great folk music venues  –  folk clubs themselves of course, but also other clubs staging concerts; theatres, town halls, and even cinemas, were taken over for the night (and filled). These were the days when concert bills could include two or three top flight acts supported by another couple of of semi-pro singers or bands. Tanninzie  sometimes supported main acts; sometimes we were the main guests.

And everything flourished – traditional/contemporary material; solo acts; instrumentalists; predominantly vocal ensembles; raconteurs/comedians; acts in the British and American traditions; acoustic/electric bands..... Here was an absolute melting pot of great talent and varied  musical styles and tastes – and there was space for everyone and everything!!

And so many people seemed to be traversing the globe with a guitar, fiddle or suchlike strapped to their backs!! Many’s the time Irish, American, Australian (or other) folkies would simply descend on Ayrshire from, and en route to, goodness knows where, and spend a spell with us.... wonderful times.

Of course the world was a very different place then – The Vietnam War was at its height,; a phenomenal influence on the minds and culture (including the music) of a whole generation. Students were vocalising their disenchantment with older generations and how they were running society and the world; the Hippie ideals of love and peace were at their peak of expression and influence; there was impassioned political debate (nowadays that seems almost a contradiction in terms); our oral traditions and history were being rediscovered, and all these thing influenced, and were reflected through, the folk scene.

That was where Tanninzie’s early experiences lay and they were momentous times – when we all felt part of an important era; were engaged by and with what was going on, and were brimming with views and opinions on it all.

But we’re not back to preach or to try to prise open the doors of a dusty and almost-forgotten museum. Quite simply, we think we sense a growing desire for a return to a sense of real engagement with the world around us (in all its forms – past and present) on the part of our own and other generations – and that, once again, the folk idiom will be in the vanguard of that movement – and we reckon it would be great to be part of that again.

So.... any solo acts or bands reading this who agree with us and who have a genuine desire to get on board with the idea; please get in touch with us through our e-mail contact details. To anyone who might consider helping out in other ways, or who wants to express their support; again, please do so through our e-mail addresses. To anyone who might consider being in the audience, please do keep an eye on this website for more details as they unfold – and we look forward to seeing you!!



Then and Now © Tanninzie 1971 - 2014