Scottish-Canadian singer David Francey to help Iqaluit celebrate Burns Night
Legion to hold Burns Supper Jan. 25 at Pat’s Lounge
David Francey has a fond memory of an elder from Iqaluit who made a move on him.
“I’ll never forget her to tell the truth,” said the 59-year-old, a three-time Juno award winning singer-songwriter.
Francey said she had jet black hair, “And you can tell she was an absolute stunner in her youth.”
“She comes up to me and she says, ‘if I was a little bit younger, and you were a little bit older — the fun we could have,’” Francey said with a laugh.
It’s people like this that make Francey come back to Iqaluit year after year.
Francey reckons this is the fifth year in a row that he’s played a show in Nunavut’s capital — usually on Robbie Burns Day, each Jan. 25, at the Royal Canadian Legion.
And that’s where he’ll play again this Jan. 25, at Pat’s Lounge inside the Iqaluit Legion.
Robbie Burns Day, or “Burns Night” is a national celebration in Scotland, held annually ever Jan. 25 to honour the renowned Scottish poet, who is one of the most famous Scots in history.
Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland but moved to Ontario at the age of 12.
Although his Scottish accent is still evident, Francey’s now a Canadian and loves to roam around and find new, small towns to play in.
When Francey went on tour to promote his new album, So Say We All — for which he won a Canadian Folk Music Award for best English Songwriter of the Year — he was questioned about why he plays in small towns.
“Our first gig was Espanola, [Northern Ontario, pop. 5,300]. And in most of the interviews I did they said — ‘Espanola? You’ve got three Junos, why are you playing Espanola?”
“I’ve never been, I’m curious to see it. And people came out,” Francey said.
He likens this to Iqaluit.
“It’s important because [the Juno], that’s a national award I won. And [Iqaluit] is a part of the country, so why wouldn’t I come up here? It’s part of the country.”
Recently Francey also travelled to Lloydminster to take part in CBC’s Hockey Day In Canada, Jan. 18.
That song won CBC’s Song Quest — an online vote for “Canada’s next great hockey song” — and was featured on Hockey Day in Canada’s special broadcast.
Francey said a handful of singer-songwriters got together in Cape Breton for a co-writing session, where he met Gunning.
“He says, ‘I’ve got this chorus for this hockey song, and I’ve had it for three years. And I’ve tried umpteen times to put it together.’”
“And we just battered around and put some good lines together, and [Gunning] put the verses together and the bridge.”
“And low and behold — what a thrill.”
While in Iqaluit, Francey and his three band members made sure to sit down at the Elders’ Centre again to play a few songs Jan. 24.
“I did that before and it’s a very moving thing. And it’s a good thing to do again,” Francey said.
“They were just delighted I was there. It’s always nice to play somewhere where you’re appreciated, but it was just another world looking into those elders. They’re just a part of the land, they’re part of everything up here.”
For Francey’s show Jan. 25, doors at Pat’s Lounge open at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $55 and are available at the Legion’s office. The ticket also includes a traditional meal.
Francey said he will play Scottish songs by Robert Burns, as well as a few of his own numbers.