Doncaster guitarist following in the footsteps of music’s greats

Young folk musician James Haigh

Young folk musician James Haigh

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A young Doncaster guitarist has followed in the footsteps of the greats at a major concert venue.

James Haigh, 15, took to the same stage which was once trodden by the Beatles and Bob Dylan in front of a packed Sheffield City Hall.

He was given a few minutes to play in front of a packed house at Australian guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel’s show.

Tommy had seen a video of James’ skills, and invited him to soundcheck that afternoon. James was thrilled to play alongside one of the greats of the instrument.

Young James played a composition of his own, Dragonfly, and a celtic folk standard, called Si Bheag Si Mhor.

He received a rapturous applause for his performance on the famous stage.

Tommy said that James was “born to play guitar”.

The guitarist said nerves weren’t an issue before the show.

He added that he was pleased with his performance.

“I think it went really well,” he said.

“It was great fun.”

James has been a long-time fan of Tommy’s work.

“I came across his playing awhile ago, and it just blew me away,” he said.

He began playing the guitar at age six.

James was a fan of rock music from the likes of Queen and Led Zeppelin.

Now, his interests lie in traditional folk music.

James is a member of Doncaster’s Roots Music Club at the Ukranian Centre on Beckett Road.

The club’s compere, Jonti Willis, was responsible for the introduction to Tommy, sending him the footage of James in action.

Jonti said the young guitarist had a big future with the instrument.

“He’s a major talent,” he said.

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