Fiona was born and brought up in Partick in Glasgow, the youngest of a busy household of five children. It was from her dad that Fiona inherited a love of Scottish song, and singing these songs was part of her home life from an early age. It wasn’t until living in Edinburgh in the '90s though, that Fiona really became immersed in the folk scene – regularly attending folk clubs and taking part in the many vibrant sessions of the time. She was fortunate to be singing at sessions in the company of many great singers who remain at the heart of the tradition in Scotland and who are Fiona’s favourite singers to this day - Aileen Carr, Maureen Jelks, Cy Laurie and Danny Couper to name a few. Fiona was also greatly encouraged in her singing by folklorist Hamish Henderson, as well as renowned educator and singer Christine Kydd.
Having served her apprenticeship in Edinburgh’s sessions, Fiona joined the band Handsel, put together by Scottish folk scene stalwarts ~ guitarist and singer Brian Miller and multi-instrumentalist and singer Gavin Livingstone, and with Anna-Wendy Stevenson on fiddle. Focussing on Scots song, Handsel enjoyed playing at folk clubs and traditional music festivals across Scotland. The band also toured in Russia, together with revered traditional singer Gordeanna McCulloch. Fiona has performed in China and, with guitarist Murray Macleod, at festivals and folk clubs in the United States.
Fiona recently moved to Melbourne and since then has performed at a number of major festivals and events around the country. In addition to her own singing, Fiona is currently studying at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium where she is researching traditional singing and the folk revival in Scotland, working with esteemed tradition bearer, singer and songwriter Andrew Hunter.
Respected in Scotland as a fine interpreter of Scots song, Fiona’s singing style displays her commitment to the tradition and a passion for keeping the old songs and ballads alive.
Fiona’s love of traditional Scots song is inspired by the great traveller singers like Jeannie Roberston and Lizzie Higgins. She owes much to tradition bearer Andy Hunter for the insight and wisdom he has shared with her. Fiona has been influenced too by many of the tradition’s revered singers like Gordeanna McCulloch and Jimmy Hutchison, with whom she has been fortunate to share the stage.
Fiona’s Scots language repertoire ranges from songs of everyday life, love and work to the ‘muckle sangs’ - the big ballads. These traditional songs are blended into a diverse and engaging set that includes contemporary gems written by some of Scotland’s finest songwriters.
Fiona performs with a band of outstanding musicians, her strong, sensitive delivery of Scots song enhanced by fiddle, guitar and harp arrangements that bring new life to the old songs, whilst respecting the traditional style.
Independent Record Stores Day
Cygnet Folk Festival (TAS)
Maldon Folk Festival (VIC)