Thriving folk clubs
Fifers have always worked hard and played hard – and they welcome all those who would like to join them. From the stirrings of traditional dance music played by Jimmy Shand and his Band from Auchtermuchty to the heavy rock of Dunfermline’s Nazareth and the modern-day lyrical music of King Creosote, music has always been a huge part of Fife entertainment. Artists such as Barbara Dickson and Rab Noakes, who worked alongside Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly, began in the folk clubs of Fife and all genres of music are still celebrated.
There are still thriving folk clubs in Dunfermline, Crail, Glenfarg, Kirkcaldy, Dalgety Bay, and as far north as Newport-on-Tay, all welcoming talented players and singers, or those who just want to listen. In fact, between the Firths of Forth and Tay and all around the East Neuk, there are live music venues for listening, dancing or maybe a bit of both. Head to venues such as O’Connell’s in Kirkcaldy for some of the best bands playing cover versions from the 70s onwards – bands travel from outside Fife to play in this bar and diner where the clientele really appreciate live music.
In Dunfermline PJ Molloys has been working to launch new acts on the music scene and is being rewarded with a place on the touring circuit of hot new acts, heritage bands and some of the country’s best tribute acts. In the seaside town of Leven, a new bar called Truth has established itself as one of the area’s best live music venues, with club nights following gigs.
With such a large population of students, it’s perhaps no surprise that St Andrews has an impressive live music offering. Aikman’s brings in bands from around the area, who offer the regular crowd something to get up out of their seats for and The Vic likes to keep the decks moving as the DJ keeps the dance floor heaving. If you prefer a seat, there’s occasional live music at two of the town’s favourite eating places, Forgan’s and the Balgove Larder.
There are still thriving folk clubs in Dunfermline, Crail, Glenfarg, Kirkcaldy, Dalgety Bay, and as far north as Newport-on-Tay, all welcoming talented players and singers, or those who just want to listen
The East Neuk Festival prides itself on offering superb art, literature and music in some of the most intimate and beautiful venues in Fife, the idea being that the venue is a huge part of the enjoyment at any event. These are events that are created specifically for this festival – they won’t have been seen anywhere else. The venues across the area offer programmes of theatre, music, comedy and dance throughout the year, from the Byre Theatre in St Andrews to the Alhambra and the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline, Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy, the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes, the Lochgelly Centre and many hotels and pubs.
The Mirth of Forth is a superb name for Fife’s travelling comedy club. Operating just across the water from Edinburgh, the world’s indisputable comedy capital, the friends who are behind it started in Burntisland and spread out to many venues across the Kingdom, as well as taking it to Edinburgh itself.
If the latest blockbuster or an independent film is the best night out, then there are many multiscreen complexes such as the Odeon at the Fife Leisure Park in Dunfermline with 10 screens. Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith also operates as a cinema when there are no live performances scheduled. Check the listings for new, classic and arthouse films. There are great independent cinemas, too, such as The Kino in Glenrothes, another called The Kino in Leven, and the New Picture House in St Andrews, where The Byre Theatre also has cinema showings. These offer a more intimate experience with all the latest digital technology.
The festival prides itself on offering superb art, literature and music in some of the most intimate and beautiful venues in Fife, the idea being that the venue is a huge part of the enjoyment at any event
For those keen to go clubbing, Kitty’s in Kirkcaldy offers the lights, sounds and atmosphere for a great night out on the dancefloor, particularly for a younger crowd. There are five different rooms so there are quieter places to rest tired feet. In Dunfermline, The Collective on Bruce Street has a hotel, restaurant, bar and nightclub under one roof.
The nightclub is called Harlem and offers big tunes and a range of designer drinks. Also in Dunfermline, on Kirkgate, is the stylish Bar Clublife with four rooms, each with its own bar and two dancefloors. This town has no shortage of locations where you can get dressed up, find a colourful drink and dance until dawn. Lourenzo’s is another stylish nightclub with bars over three floors – so choose from old school classic dance numbers or current hits.
If you prefer to chill in a different way, the UK’s oldest professional ice hockey team, Fife Flyers, is based at Fife Ice Arena in Kirkcaldy. Matches are played in the evenings. Other sporting events include some evening games at football clubs including Dunfermline, Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy, and Cowdenbeath. For faster action, many racetracks including Knockhill at Dunfermline have occasional evening meetings. At Cowdenbeath Racewall, however, there are stock car races every Saturday evening while Lochgelly Raceway also offers weekend fixtures. Wherever you choose to spend evenings in Fife as a visitor the welcome will be warm from the friendly Fifers.
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