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Two generations to take on two festival audiences

Dad Mick is Still Spinning

By Anna Gault

A FATHER and son are combining forces to get

“bums on seats’ for their respective Edinburgh Fringe and Festival shows.

Mick and Michael Groves are each putting on a performance during the Fringe but have decidedly different target audiences.

Instead of battling for ticket sales the Groves’ are trying to get as many sold for each show as possible.

The senior Groves, Mick, is a member of Liverpool folk group The Spinners and is bringing his one man show,

“Still Spinning’, to the Acoustic Music Festival at this year’s Fringe.

Meanwhile Groves junior, Michael, is combining lively debate with film clips from the Scottish Screen Archive in his show

“Moving Conversations.”

He said:

“It’s a great thing for both of us to be at the Fringe and Festival.

“There isn’t any rivalry but there is a focus on getting bums on seats.

“He is on for three nights so has a few more tickets to sell than me so we are helping each other out. “

“Still Spinning’ has Mick, 75, weaving together songs and stories from thirty years at the peak of the folk music business.

The Spinners were a part of the folk revival of the sixties which then led to appearances on television specials in the seventies.

Michael, 47, has spent much of his life hearing about and being a part of his father’s experiences.

Son Michael is an Edinburgh-based entrepreneur

“I was dragged about the country going to shows and it was a lot of fun,’ he said.

“Part of it was very small and normal but there were times when they would be playing 2000 seat venues.

“I got the mick taken out of me from a few at school as they [The Spinners] were quite well known back then. “

Mick is based in Devon and will be dragging his guitars, along with his wife, north of the border for his three day stint at the Fringe.

He said:

“I need no excuses to visit Scotland, having had many, many happy experiences touring with The Spinners.

“I recall some wild nights in the Howf in Kirkcaldy and the many appearances at Aberdeen Music Hall, the Caird Hall in Dundee, Perth Town Hall, Glasgow Empire and Edinburgh’s Playhouse.

“It’s great to be back and a pleasure to be doing the Fringe when Michael is doing the International Festival.

“I may even persuade him to join me for a number or two. “

The group have over 30 albums and toured Canada, Australia and West Africa and USA, with Mick even meeting Bob Dylan in New York during the sixties.

While they may be father and son there is no real bond shared between their shows as Mike’s debate takes on the topic,

“Trading in the West’, and explores the history and future of business and trading links between Scotland and Asia.

Mike is an Edinburgh based entrepreneur, who along with his wife invented the successful Totseat, a portable highchair for children.

He has taken

“Moving Conversations’ to venues throughout the UK and Ireland over the last four years.

This year’s debate panel will include Bollywood film producer Michael E. Ward, technology entrepreneur Ian Ritchie, economic historian, Professor Catherine Schenk and the directors of HSBC and Jardine Matheson. Each one will show a clip and present an argument about the clip’s relation to Scottish-Asian business.

Michael said:

“As an Edinburgh resident I see the transformative power of the festivals.

Mick Groves (bottom centre) with the other members of The Spinners

“Having brought Moving Conversations to the Fringe some years ago, I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the iconic International Festival in 2011.

“Given the turmoil in the world economy, the Scottish focus on exporting, the rise of Chinese and Indian business power and underlying concerns over climate change, this is the perfect time to look at the future of Scottish-Asian business.

“Moving Conversations has been a family affair previously when Mick joined a debate on the future of television.

“As for the Fringe, I may join my father on stage. I can just about sing.

“At the very least, I will join my daughter and help to sell some of his CDs. “

“Still Spinning’ is at 7.30pm on 11th, 12th and 13th August at St Bride’s centre in Dalry. Tickets are available through the Fringe and Queens Hall box offices at 8 (6 concession). For more information go to

“Trading with the West’ is at 2.30pm on 19th August at Filmhouse. Tickets are available through the International Festival or Queens Hall box offices at 6. For more information go

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