The right place at the right time...

Mary McMaster and Donald Hay
Mary McMaster and Donald Hay
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SERENDIPITY – that all-too-rare happy accident made yet more delightful by its rarity, has brought two of folk music’s leading lights to perform live in Mellor Brook.

Mary McMaster is a singer and harpist in the Scottish female “folk supergroup” The Poozies, who performed to a sellout and memorably enthusiastic crowd at Mellor Brook back in February 2010.

Realising she would be in this area again, this time with acclaimed percussionist Donald Hay, she decided to get in touch with Seamus Heffernan, the man behind Mellor Brook’s magnificent folk music gigs. Their stopover would be brief, she explained, sandwiched between a radio interview and flying to the Isle of Man for a one-off concert. But there might be time for a Sunday night show, she told Seamus... who promptly bit her hand off!

The duo have recently collaborated on a second CD, “Hook”, which exhibits the soul of traditional music whilst inhabiting a distinctly modern environment. Percussionist and techno wizard Hay provides the cool grooves, atmospheric beats and sampled sounds behind MacMaster’s voice and harp playing. The material is sourced both from the tradition and from the pair’s own writing.

Strictly speaking, McMaster plays the metal-strung “clarsach” and the Camac electro-harp. She featured on Sting’s “If On A Winter’s Night” and sang with him on Later with Jools in November 2009. Donald Hay has appeared on BBC4’s Transatlantic Sessions and features in the Scottish folk orchestra, The Unusual Suspects.

There will also be a support act, yet to be arranged, and tickers, priced £12, are available from Britannia Gallery, Branch Road, Mellor Brook, or by mail order via the village website ( or by phoning Janet: 07791 558 554. The concert starts at 7-30 p.m. (doors (7 p.m.)