Folkal Point

with Colin MacDonald


Colin Macdonald

FOLKAL POINT has settled into its hour-long format without obviously outraging either listeners or those loyal radio stations at home and abroad which currently support the long-running programme as it heads, unfussily, towards its 50th anniversary.

Regular listeners were reassured to find that in its now-regular  60-minute slot, weekly focus remains on diverse alternatives from folk to rock by way of all good things between.

Whether often exclusively previewing forthcoming material, highlighting current releases, or recalling often-forgotten gems from decades, genres and performers past, Folkal Point always treats music, musicians and listeners seriously.

And the programme remains equally fiercely resistant to barriers, contrived labels and snake-oil peddlers. Curator Colin MacDonald revels in his creation’s quixotic role as a one-off, joyously-maverick champion for all on this fragile blue planet who seek meaningful words and music to orchestrate human existence.

New readers (and listeners) might be surprised to learn that Folkal Point  has been around in one form or another for almost half a century since first stumbling half-formed on to the midnight airwaves of nascent Radio Clyde in the first week of January 1974.

What a leap of faith that was for all concerned…

Back to top

Latest News

Programme Set Updated 21/10/2021
Latest News Image
PADDY MOLONEY (Copyright Gerry Mooney (Belfast Telegraph))
Latest Show Image

FOR a Dubliner who made wonderful music throughout six decades the onset of Covid -19 prompting cancellation of concerts after March 2020 marked the beginning of the end for uilleann piper Paddy Moloney

“Life faded” for the founding member of The Chieftains when he could no longer play to audiences, his son, Aonghus, told mourners at the 83-year-old’s funeral last week in Glendalough, Co Wicklow.

The band Paddy created in 1962 went on to conquer the world, including China, championing Irish traditional music at every turn, garnering Grammys along the way and memorably collaborating with musicians (too numerous to mention here) from other genres.

The first Chieftains album was released in the early 60s on the Claddagh label set up by the late Garech Browne and Dr Ivor Browne to preserve and record Irish traditional music and the spoken word.

The legendary Sean O’Riada commented on Paddy’s pipering in a review in Hibernia: “The Boy in the Gap demonstrated his virtuoso command of the instrument and even the most extreme traditionalist could have found no fault with this splendid display, with notes being snapped out with a crackling brilliance”.

The great film maker Stanley Kubrick was also captivated, and

the soundtrack of his Academy Award-winning masterpiece Barry Lyndon is graced by the Chieftains’ emotive Women Of Ireland.

Though Paddy did once let slip that the band was less enthused – but went along with it anyway – by Stanley’s suggestion that they take their instruments to the skies above Central Park in a hot air balloon to promote the  film to New Yorkers.

On one of so many concert tours to Glasgow in the mid-70s he dropped in to Radio Clyde to share the craic, and having chatted

fulsomely about his life and times left me with a unique souvenir – a new jingle – a motif of the station’s 261 frequency, using the notes D, A & C, played on the ubiquitous tin whistle his mother had bought him and which he always carried in his top jacket pocket.

In London later, for another sell-out show, I saw at first hand how staff of the Irish hotel where they stayed treated The Chieftains like visiting royalty.

As recently as last month, Paddy together with Claddagh and Universal Music were working on a release to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the band.


MEANWHILE a footnote from Scotland, where rain held off for most of Saturday’s seven-hour fundraiser in the Argyll township of Inveraray.

Although Long Covid did K.O. planned involvement of Scott Mirrless of The Camans Trio, Craig McIntyre sang on supporting the event.

The valiant efforts of the pipers and folk performers, who did brave the elements on the day, clearly stirred the hearts…and loosened the purse strings.

So, the pier restoration project’s fighting fund to refurbish and return the structure to public ownership is now better off by £1614.20p.

And for one young participant, a gold medallist at the Mod in Glasgow in 2019 in the 9-10 learners’ category, a Facebook post (by her mum!) catches something of the sense of occasion.

“Feorlin really enjoyed being part of yesterday’s fundraising and performing again. She went to bed with a big smile on her face last night!”


Latest Show

FOLKAL POINT – 509 – OCTOBER 21 2021 – is curated at Raidió Coharra by producer-presenter Colin MacDonald in rural Co Armagh (*American artistes) and the web page www.folkalpoint.scot gifted by an old friend Robin Campbell – Music

YOU’LL BE LONESOME TOO – Jeremy Stephens* with (harmony vocal) Corrina Rose Logston and Mike Bub (bass)
BLUE HEARTACHE – Connie Smith*
DON’T OUTSTAY YOUR WELCOME – Crayon Angels (Albion), featuring (lead vocal), Natalina Castiglioni, Del Halpin (guitar, mandolin & pedal steel) and Ian Montague (guitar & vocals)
FUNFAIR ON SHEPHERD’S BUSH GREEN – Police Dog Hogan (Albion) featuring (lead vocal) James Studholme
BLUES HURT MY TONGUE TO TALK – Speckled Red* (1956) a k a Rufus George Perryman
LET ME BE YOUR HOME – Daisy Chute (Scotia/*)
THE HOLY GHOST – Jim Byrne (Scotia)
LATE TO BLOOM – Rachel Garlin*
FOR YOUR LOVE – Richard Jellinek (Rzeczpospolita Polska)
MADE YOU MAD – Clever Hopes (Canada), featuring Andrew Shaver and Eva Foote
SOMEONE ELSE NOT ME – Showbox Letters*
INSIDE OUT – Nikolaus Neumann (Deutschland) of the Gregor Kaufman Project with Emma Withers (Albion) of Emma and The Idles
I’LL BE BACK ONE DAY – Markham Monk (Deutschland/Albion)
TEXOMA BOUND – instrumental – Vince Gill & The Timejumpers*


FOLKAL POINT, now in its 48th year, is broadcast simultaneously (Thursdays, 10pm)  across the Cowal Peninsula via Dunoon Community Radio – 97.4 FM and online*, by MKB Independent Radio online from Scotland to the world, from Dunfermline to West Fife online by Radio West Fife, across Renfrewshire by Paisley FM107.5, (with DAB+ to greater Glasgow),  242 Radio online “from Edinburgh to the world” and Two Lochs Radio (Wester Ross) on 106 FM, 106.6 FM and online.

Folkal Point timeshifts on Crystal FM 107.4 from Penicuik, serving south-west Midlothian (Thursdays,11pm) with a 10.00am – midday Friday repeat, then Saturdays (10pm) on HBS in Glasgow and Paisley.

The programme is also re-transmitted (globally!) online three times a week on its Essential Channel by Blues and Roots Radio from Canada.

242 Radio from ‘Edinburgh to the world’ airs a Friday repeat from midday, there’s also a Friday airing online from 2pm on MKB Independent Radio, while Fifers have a second chance on Sunday to catch the programme on Radio West Fife (9pm) and on DCR across the Cowal Peninsula between 10.00pm.

Back to top


Back to top