Variety is the spice of Hogmanay

Mr Hogmanay, aka Paul Anderson, is championing the revival of the traditional Scottish variety show
Mr Hogmanay, aka Paul Anderson, is championing the revival of the traditional Scottish variety show

A world-renowned Scots musician is on a crusade – to reclaim traditions of Hogmanays past and share with a new generation through the revival of the Scottish variety show.

At one time a staple of music halls and later a highlight of Hogmanay television schedules, the variety show format has, in recent years, been eclipsed by other celebrations of the season.

But award-winning Scots fiddle exponent Paul Anderson has launched a new drive to regenerate the appeal of family-friendly live Scottish music, dance and comedy shows.

Paul – dubbed by many as Mr Hogmanay – is presenting a Hogmanay Show at Aberdeen’s Tivoli Theatre on December 31.

It features a stellar line up of world-class performers and Paul stresses that while the event is a nod to traditional performing styles, the programme will be anything but old fashioned but rather an evening of good quality entertainment.

Older people may have fond memories of the White Heather Club which gave concerts both at home and abroad and appeared on television screens in the 50s and 60s. In modern times, there has been a shift to mass-attendance events like outdoor gatherinigs to ring out the old and usher in the new.

But there is still a place, and a relevance, for events with music, dance and humour at their core, for revellers of all ages to enjoy in the comfort of halls, theatres and venues up and down the country. This type of entertainment features far less on the bills of December 31 than it did in years gone by, but with a resurgence in traditional Scots music, song and verse, with much of the talent coming from bright young performers in their teens and early 20s, this is something to celebrate, according to Paul.

Paul said: “Few nations celebrate the advent of the new year quite like Scotland and we have many customs associated with this time of the year. In the past, variety shows were widespread with mass followings and were enjoyed by people all ages.

"Times may have changed, but there’s still a genuine interest and affection for this kind of entertainment, performed live in front of an audience. Scotland has a raft of fantastic, innovative and creative performers so what better time to showcase their talents than at Hogmanay?

“Our Hogmanay Show is a glance to past times, but it has a thoroughly modern twist thanks to a great line up of talented composers, performers and artists bringing a blend of entertainment which is ideal for audiences of all ages.

“As a nation, people in Scotland know how to celelebrate and I can think of no better way to get the party started than with a fun variety show to kick start a night of revelry that may well continue to the sma oors.

“It’s about gathering with others, having an unbelievable evening in a fantastic atmosphere and making memories before the bells strike. In our digital age, it’s the perfect antedote to being glued to screens – large or small – by getting out there to enjoy live performance.”

Paul hails from Tarland, but his successful musical career sees him travel the world. He brings together a top-class line up of performers for The Hogmanay Show in Aberdeen and will be joined by his wife Shona Donaldson, the first woman to be crowned Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions and past winner of the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards Scots Singer of the Year; champion piper Callum Brown and Highland dancers Fraser and Andrew Raeburn and the renowned Jonny Hardie Ceilidh Band.

Paul’s past Hogmanay line ups have included the actor Kevin McKidd of Trainspotting and Grey’s Anatomy fame; the iconic Lonach pipers and Siobhan Miller, another past Scots singer of the year award winner.

The Hogmanay Show at Aberdeen’s Tivoli Theatre takes place on December 31 from 7.30-9.45pm.

For tickets call Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122 or visit