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WATCH: Highland musician Brandon McPhee 'really proud' of grandad's New Year video

By Alan Hendry

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HIGHLAND entertainer Brandon McPhee says he is "really proud" of his grandad after a video of the duo playing accordion tunes became a New Year hit on social media.

The clip shows Brandon joining Donald McPhee Snr to perform Lunan Bay, Sir Jimmy Shand's first composition, and an Irish tune called Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms.

It was posted at midnight on Hogmanay and within three days it has been viewed 60,000 times.

The clip is therefore on course to be even more popular than an earlier one in which Donald played a medley of three tunes. It attracted 64,000 views over the course of a couple weeks.

Both videos were recorded in September and have been seen on TV in Caithness Music's Brandon McPhee Hour.

“I'm just delighted, and I'm delighted for my grandad as well," Brandon (25) said. "He enjoys it when people enjoy his music.

“It's a special video for me. I'm one of the lucky people that is able to know my grandad, play tunes with him, enjoy it and be the best of friends as well. He's a great guy and I'm really proud of him."

Donald, who will be 69 next week, started playing the accordion at 50 and is self-taught. In his younger days he played the bagpipes.

Both musicians play Hohner Shand Morino accordions.

Brandon McPhee playing accordion alongside his grandad Donald McPhee Snr.
Brandon McPhee playing accordion alongside his grandad Donald McPhee Snr.

Brandon and his band returned to the stage for a number of concert appearances in the run-up to Christmas, travelling as far afield as the Isle of Skye, Aboyne and Oldmeldrum as well as playing at venues in Caithness and Ross-shire.

“It was just so good to be back out," Brandon said. "People seemed to enjoy themselves – I know we certainly did on stage. We were delighted with the numbers.

“You're never sure how things are going to go, but we did everything we were supposed to do. We did the track and trace, and we were happy to report there were no Covid cases at any of them.”

Their next set of tour dates will start on February 16 at Musselburgh, continuing to Stirling (February 17), Langholm (February 18) and Brechin (February 19) before going to Eden Court Theatre (February 20) and Aberdeen's Tivoli Theatre on February 21.

“We're hoping for the best. We do realise as well that there are a lot of people who are very wary still, and rightly so,” Brandon said.

Brandon and his band played sell-out concerts at Eden Court five times in six years and he is looking forward to returning to the Highlands' biggest theatre for the first time since the pandemic began.

“We were in there a lot," Brandon said. "We were due to be back in but of course due to the coronavirus that didn't happen, so now is the first time since.

“I was always surprised when we did Eden Court because the amount of Caithness people that came down to support it was just amazing.

“It was really good to have such great local support. Again it puts me in the category of being very lucky to have that.”

Brandon presents his TV programme on Spotlight (Sky 365, Freesat 500). It goes out on Thursday at 4pm and Wednesday at 3pm.

His latest album, Heedrum Hodrum, was released in November on the Pan Records label.

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