Dalkeith musician staggers into virtual pub
Self-employed professional accordionist Ewan Galloway created ‘The Stagger Inn’ to cater for his regular online show’s growing audience.
He said: “People had me on their TVs at home with families celebrating as much as they could.
"After this I decided that I really needed to name our virtual place that we meet. After a night’s discussion The Stagger Inn virtual pub was born.
“People from all around the world have been tuning in to hear myself play Scottish and Irish Music, even some hits from the 60s and wartime favourites. People from Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, America, Germany and the Netherlands.
“The Stagger Inn has really become a virtual community hub where people come each Friday at 9pm and meet up.
"Simple questions are asked like ‘hey it’s great to see you how was your week’, ‘would you like a drink from the bar?’ This may be the only time in the week that people get the chance to feel like they are going out and able to meet, albeit virtually.
"I have been very lucky to make so many new friends, and now that music is starting to return I am meeting more and more people personally as we get out and about.”
The Dalkeith musician’s virtual pub has also inspired the launch of a book and a CD.
He said: “The last seven months I have been working very hard with Amanda Peart from Peterborough and Sarah Horne from Blackburn to produce a Stagger Inn book of Scottish country dances, and a CD to go along with it.
“Over 250 of these have been sold which is amazing.
“Making this book has involved many people from the Stagger Inn, dance devisors, accordion, fiddle and piano players composing tunes to go along with the dances in the book.”
Meanwhile, Ewan’s recent Hogmanay performance has now had 21,000 views online.
“I had the help of a few friends to set-up the studio with mock fireworks, big banners and lights for the bells. I was joined by my good friend Shona MacFadyen, a fantastic fiddler, and we performed for five hours to bring in the bells.
"It was so nice to see so many happy comments from all over the world.”
Ewan added: "I have also recently created a Stagger Inn pin badge, which has on it the blue for the sky, yellow for the sun, the rainbow of hope, an accordion and a stag’s head.
"It is my hope that as people return to some sort of normality the badge will become a talking point with people who haven’t met personally before, encouraging them to take the first hurdle and go out to socialise.”
For more information about The Stagger Inn, go to www.facebook.com/ewangallowaymusic.