Every Regiment has legends and songs. These go beyond the tunes of the marching band and the laments of a church service but tell the real human story of the time and place. They come from the soldiers and form part of the DNA of a unit, connecting past to present in vivid, emotionally-charged, unifying ways. Stories make a Regiment become more than just a badge to the people in it.
That said, The London Scottish Regiment have one hell of a story to tell. The Hodden Grey ‘tartan’ was introduced in 1859 and became the iconic colour of The London Scottish Regiment worn by this Young Territorial.
Ian Bruce is one of the best known faces on the Scottish folk scene and a wonderful ambassador for the Scottish singer/songwriter genre, all over the UK, Europe and beyond. His voice has strength and accuracy, his guitar playing is excellent and his songs are beautifully crafted. In these days of amazing instrumentalists and controlled, tuneful singers, Ian is very much a performer to be reckoned with, a gem of the scene who presents his songs with raw emotion, backed up by a joyful and interactive relationship with his audience.
Ian has toured solo, in duos with Ian Walker and also brother Fraser Bruce, and in other line-ups. He was also a featured singer in the hugely successful stage presentation Far, Far From Ypres.
Ian was commissioned by The London Scottish Volunteer Enterprises to produce this album in honour of the long and quite remarkable history of The London Scottish Regiment and their famous hodden grey kilts. He was also set the task of putting music to many stories and poems from the archives of the Regiment.
Ian assembled a large cast of guests, which he humorously named The Tartan Spiders, in his own Row Studios in Cupar, Fife - when he not only took most of the lead vocals, played various instruments, including guitar, but also recorded and produced the album!
The Tartan Spiders comprise thirteen singers/musicians: Carol Jamieson (piano and more), Fiona Forbes (of Sangsters on backing vocals), Denise Crighton-Ward (bass), Janet Weatherston (backing vocals), Katharina Bramkamp (recorders, backing vocals), Alasdair Gibbs (bagpipes), Charlie Milne (of Ragged Glory on lead and harmony vocals), Kev Green (lead and harmony vocals), Shaun Blandford (bass, electric guitar), John Blackwood (of Sangsters on backing vocals), Gregor Lowrey (accordion, melodeon), Pete Clark (fiddles), Alastair Morrow (drums) and Major Rob Pitt, VR Rifles (recitations). There is also an introduction by Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionach, OBE, VR and DL.
Together, Ian and The Tartan Spiders not only share a glimpse of the rich history and tales of The London Scottish Regiment but combine to produce a most entertaining and enjoyable album.