Söndag 24 maj 2009
Arts Guild Theatre
Campbell Street, Greenock, PA16 8AP, United Kingdom
Tel.: 01475 723038
Tickets: £10.00 (Accompanied Under 16's Free)
Doors: 7pm Showtime 8pm
It was back in January, 2007 that The Stairwell Sisters made their first big impression here. Booked for Glasgow's prestigious Celtic Connections event, the gals flew in and stole the show. The Scotsman described them as "one of the finds of the festival".
It's a long-awaited happening but at last they are set to return to the UK in 2009 for a Scottish Arts Council Tune Up-supported tour following the release of their latest album, 'Get Off Your Money', produced by Lloyd Maines, and hotter than a two-dollar pistol.
Maverick magazine gave the CD a 5-star review saying it was "string band fare at it's best - wonderful". Legendary BBC Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris, told listeners it was "fantastic", while Americana UK said the album provided "a thrilling burst of joyful hallelujah" and added: "it would take a hard heart not to be caught up in their infectious din".
Meanwhile, respected roots music aficionado Mike Harding continued to spread the good news, telling those tuned in to his BBC Radio 2 programme that both the band and album were "just brilliant".
Of course, America had discovered this rowdy old-time quintet many moons ago. There, they'd been called "wild and funky" and "gleefully good with distinctly dirty knees".
The 2009 tour, entitled Stepping Out with The Stairwell Sisters, while showcasing the best of the band's music, will also feature the traditional step-dancing of John Sikorski. A strong feature of the band's 'live' performance is the clogging and step-dancing of banjo player Evie Ladin. The Appalachian old-time dance styles which originated in Scotland, have developed down the generations to become much more flamboyant than they were when Scots first crossed the Atlantic to settle in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sikorski (originally from the Isle of Skye), has mastered the original Scots step-dance style and joins Evie to illustrate the subtle differences that now exist.