I was very recently introduced (the dust hasn’t settled yet) to Top Floor Taivers by Claire Hastings, a Scots singer originally from Dumfries. After visiting her website I discoverer that she’s not only a fine solo performer but also performs as a duo with Robyn Stapleton who won the 2014 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician (Robyn & Claire) and is in a wonderful four-piece band that I’ve really enjoyed listening to called Top Floor Taivers who between them hail from Scotland, England and Ireland.
They met whilst all living in Glasgow and they are all graduates from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The tracks below are testament to their fine musicianship and singing as well that fine musical institution.
This is Captain Ward / The Portherhead Reel, whilst a traditionally based set it has a driving contemporary feel thanks to Grainne Brady on fiddle (who composed the final reel) and the underpinning piano of Tina Jordan Rees which builds that expectation, and they certainly deliver!
The Rocks o’ Gibraltar is another firm favourite from their EP which showcases Claire’s uke and her wonderful vocals as well as the lovely Clarsach playing of Heather Downie. Not forgetting great harmonies and a lovely fiddle / piano interplay.
These four are incredibly talented. Certainly worthy of a lot more exposure. Four to watch our for!
The good news is that Heather & Claire have reached the finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year the Grand Final for which will be held at the Celtic Connections Festival, Glasgow on Sunday 1st February 2015.
Top Floor Taivers are:
Claire Hastings: Vocals & ukulele
Tina Jordan Rees: Piano & flute
Grainne Brady: Fiddle
Heather Downie: Clarsach
Listen to more here: https://soundcloud.com/topfloortaivers