The music scene in Edinburgh is singing again - Louder!

The Sandy Bell's session project was born on February 2015 in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh. It is a video channel, which show live recordings of bands in the famous Sandy Bell's pub on Forest Road.

Every week, two videos are uploaded on the Sandy Bell’s session youtube platform.

The Sandy Bell's, once known as the Forrest Hill pub, is the perfect location to promote Scottish music, and Scottish bands playing all sorts of musical genres. The pub itself has a history of music, great acoustics and long lasting reputation.

These session videos are a way for bands, solo artists and orchestras to promo themselves and get noticed.
The project is a combination of music and film.

Within the music, I'd like to make the distinction between the tunes and the sound. Music covers the live performance of the different varieties of bands. Then, the sound, is the engineer's work. Having to adapt for every session to each artist playing and the large selection of instruments they may have.

Finally the video, the main means of diffusion, and its ability to capture the charisma and vibrations of a tune and its band. It is the way to communicate new, or hidden, talent.

Many times have I been to jam sessions in pubs, often have I noticed the strong emotional impact on the audience (and myself). Live music is a part of the Scottish landmark, it tells stories, makes people smile and dance, bringing the artists and the crowd together.

James, the big eared sound engineer and myself, the shaky camera operator have decided to capture the beauty of the scene, which is the live.

We are a team, with great passion. A sound man and a visual woman is the perfect combination, fueled by the thrill to dig up musical gems in Edinburgh, record them properly in Sandy Bell’s on a Monday morning, with a traditional pint and pie at the end of (almost) every session.

Louise Dautheribes McKerl
07 922 333 615


  • When did they start having "Bands" in Sandy Bells?  It's usually sessions albeit with some fairly regular members.
  • Is this supposed to be progress ? The Bells' sessions aren't about "promotion" of anything. They are - or were at least when I could manage to get to them - an informal gathering of musicians and friends for a night out of "craic" and music. I'll be in Edinburgh this weekend, probably in Bells at some point. I don't want to be filmed there. Will the people doing this recording have the decency to ask the musicians if they mind being filmed, and what will they do if one person says "no" ?
  • OK - sort of apology offered. I've seen some of your clips posted on "Youtube", and that's great what you're doing. my opinion, it's very misleading to use the word "session" in your project title. You make reference in your press release to "jam sessions" [ not a phrase used by traditional musicians ] , but what you are recording are performances, not the "sessions" which people like myself, and "jaj" above would associate with "Sandy Bells".
    Best of luck with your project, I look forward to maybe seeing and hearing some Scottish traditional music on it some time.
  • Thanks Kenny for taking the time to come back.
  • My initial reaction was much the same as Kenny's too hence my response above.

    However, after checking the You Tubes and reading the press release a little more thoroughly I now realise that this project is quite distinct from the regular sessions, which, I believe, still continue as normal.

    The project does seem worthwhile and I wish Louise well with this although I agree with Kenny that the "session" description is misleading and especially confusing when advertised as a "Sandy Bell's Session".

    The word isn't wrong as such but makes more sense in a different context e.g. a recording session etc which it is, of course, or for a later broadcast as is also intended. The term has been used in the past, of course, for broadcasts such as The John Peel/Old Great Whistle Test/Jools Holland/Transatlantic etc sessions but, as Kenny has said, these are actual performances opposed to the more informal sessions which we usually associate with pubs such as Sandy Bells.

    Like Kenny, I don't enjoy being filmed either when I'm relaxing in an informal music session but that's a discussion for another day. :)

    Anyway, all the best with this project and I hope many emerging musicians will take full advantage of this opportunity.
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