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The Old Observatory – Scottish Towns and Grand Houses Tour featuring Capercaillie (Scot) in partnership with National Trust WA

6 May


“The most vibrant and exciting band in the field of Celtic music” (Billboard)   

“Securely ranked among the Celtic world’s top live bands. . . Capercaillie walk the trad/contemporary line with admirable poise and scrupulous care” (Songlines) 

Scots folk band Capercaillie will perform as their original acoustic nucleus quartet of Karen Matheson (vocals), Charlie McKerrron (fiddle), Manus Lunny (Bouzouki) and Donald Shaw (Accordion) in a special stripped back quartet format for the inaugural Scottish Towns and Grand Houses Tour, a new national tour to celebrate the Year of Scotland in Australia, 2020.  The band have performed across Australia a number of times on headline theatre tours and festival appearances in the last 20 years, and are delighted to return with their unique take on traditional music and Gaelic songs. Presented in Australia’s splendid National Trust properties and town halls where the Scottish diaspora have made their homes, the 20 date Scottish Towns and Grand Houses Tour is a magnificent opportunity to celebrate the very best in Scottish Gaelic music in historic settings that are beautiful, quirky or opulent by turn. 

From their homeland roots of Argyll in the highlands of Scotland, Capercaillie have been credited with being the major force in bringing traditional Celtic music to the world stage and inspiring the great resurgence so evident today. And even three ground-breaking decades after Capercaillie first performed as teenagers in their native Scottish Highlands; even as they continue the worldwide musical journey that’s taken them from the Brazilian rainforest to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, not to mention into the pop charts – it is the ancient Gaelic culture that still inspires them most. 

The Old Observatory 

Situated on a hill that overlooks Perth CBD on the traditional lands of the Noongar people, the former Government Astronomer’s Residence today houses the central offices of the National Trust of Western Australia.  Astronomer William Earnest Cooke was appointed to the role, and his family moved into the house staff had to climb the hill above St George’s Terrace every day to get to work, but the Cooke family was quite isolated living on Mount Eliza. Part of their responsibilities involved looking out for bushfires coming from Kings Park. One additional function of the observatory was to help the residents accurately set their clocks a canon fired daily at 1:00pm so people could set their watches.