At the start of lockdown way back there in March we tried to stream some sessions from our favourite performers in the bar. Davy Holt, Schiehallion and Gerry Coogan all popped in for a streamed gig and got some great viewing figures and feedback.
We soon realised that being Scotland's Best Music Pub (Scottish Licensed Trade awarded us this in November 2019) meant we couldn't just stop! Having backgrounds in broadcast media Jo and Bruce decided to try and create a programme that evoked the spirit of MacGregor's. Perhaps at this time more than any other music, chat and laughs were needed and so the first Live at Five was born.
With Mrs MacGregor (Jo) directing and controlling the show, Bruce was joined by fellow Blazin Fiddler Anna Massie who also created her own mini show within - the Black isle Correspondent.
Programme features included The View from my Window (where we discovered we had veiwers from as far afield as Japan, New Zealand and America) Murdo's Dinners (a development of viewers regular food creation updates) and Scotland's Big Session where some of Scotand's very finest singers and instrumentalists sent in videos.
In a typical show you could have cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, gin making in Fife, catastrophic bolognaise in Florida, bin washing in the Black Isle topped and tailed with a song from Julie Fowlis and a tune from Skipinnish's Angus MacPhail!
There was also the now famous "non wedding" of Blazin Fiddles own Rua MacMillan and his fiance Laura, a show that had over 12000 viewers tune in!
For the first few months the show ran 7 days a week later reduced to Sunday, Tuesday and Fridays and then in an instant lockdown was over and business had to start again....well sort off!
An amazing community had sprung up, many joining a MacGregor's Lockdown 2020 Facebook page and keeping in touch. Many bought the "Scotland's Big Session" T-shirts and arrived in the pub to say hello. It almost felt like we were through the worst of it.....but like any true disaster film that was the flase dawn.
So the show started up again and now runs once a fortnight on a Friday. Officially renamed Scotland's Big Session but by the regulars as "Live at Five at Seven" its still got most of the elements of the original with the addition of some live guests such as Davy Holt and Sean and Callum from the band Horo.
The plan for the show long term is to take it on the road out to the pubs that people love and where music is at the centre of what they do. Who knows when that will be feasible but its great to have a dream!
A huge thank you to all those who took the time to write in, send photos and videos in and supported one another through this year.
Below we have a selection of photos showing just how diverse the show was....folks showing off their "Scotland's Big Session" Tshirts in Holland, Murdo's dinner in the bin, classic Scottish landscapes, folks with their Black Isle Corresponsdent mugs and the crew from the Stable Bar who were drawn to the virtual MacGregor's