‘Auld Lang Syne’ couple snubbed by Hogmanay organisers 265


By Douglas Walker
THE couple whose rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ had Sex and the City movie audiences in tears has been snubbed by Scots Hogmanay organisers.

The New Year’s Eve song takes centre stage in the hit movie and has become a worldwide internet hit after being played 400,000 times.

But organisers north of the border have failed to cash in on the success and the Scottish band will instead be performing in ENGLAND on December 31.

Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis, who form The Cast, have enjoyed global recognition after their traditional rendition of Robert Burns’ verse was used in the hit film.

The song also appears on the soundtrack of the Sex and the City movie which starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall.

During the film it is played over an emotional New Year montage showing the four main characters in New York.

Now audiences at the Philharmonic Hall Liverpool will bring in their New Year to the classic recital.

The married duo live in Edinburgh with their two young children. Mairi, 43, provides the song’s vocals while Dave, 54, plays the guitar.

Despite their self-proclamation as being the ‘world’s best’, Edinburgh Hogmanay organisers didn’t even approach the pair who live just three miles from Princes Street.

And Mairi, who won the 2007 Scots Singer of the Year title, admits she would have loved to have sung the song in Scotland.

She said: “I’ve been invited to perform in Liverpool at Hogmanay which will be really special as it will mark the end of their year as City of Culture.

“I’m singing with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Carl Davies is conducting so it should be a great night.

“It would have been nice to perform in Scotland but no one approached us so it wasn’t to be.”

The Cast’s Auld Lang Syne rendition has been played 400,000 times on YouTube and is comfortably the most popular of the 150 available versions on Apple iTunes.

Although the words to the song are the same as those sang worldwide on Hogmanay, the melody is not the well-known version but instead the traditional Burns one.

Despite the rendition ensuring world wide recognition, the modest couple are keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

Dave, 54, said: “The feedback we have had from people has been fantastic and has made it all very rewarding.

“We have had many lovely comments left on our MySpace site from people across the world including Taiwan, Singapore and South America.

“We knew the song was going to be used but we didn’t realise it would take centre stage of the film for three minutes.

“Its success has helped take some of the financial pressure off us and will pay off a chunk of the mortgage.

“And we have had more approaches to perform since the song featured in the film.

“However our lives haven’t changed and we are still really performing in the same way as before.

“In a couple of weeks we are doing a free gig in our local coffee house for 50 people.”

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Hogmanay organisers said they were unable to comment on the matter except to say their full programme would be announced on November 3.  Glasgow Hogmanay organisers were unavailable for comment.

The couple don’t know how their song came to the attention of the Sex and the City producers.

Mairi said: “Sarah Jessica Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, was in the audience when we played the song for Sean Connery in 1999.

“Perhaps she was with him or he told her about it – we aren’t really sure to be honest.”

The couple have been playing and writing songs together for 17 years and have released three albums.  They were married in 1994 and have two daughters.

They are next playing at St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow on 28 November.