Jun 6 2021

Olcay Bayir

Friday 4th June 2021

Set list and photos by Keith Belcher

Well, we made that by the skin of our teeth! A dreadful 3-lorry pile up and fuel spill on the M1 brought the band to a complete halt north of Nottingham and frantic phone calls between them and the club gave us the spectre of a first ever last minute cancellation. However, the emergency services did their job and managed to get the blockage cleared and the band took the stage one hour late to a relieved and ecstatic response from the audience. After 15 months of not seeing one another to play, they delivered a stunning two-set evening of music and, as you’ll see from the comments at the bottom of this post, the audience loved every minute!

Olcay Bayir

The Live Room, Caroline Street Social Club, Saltaire, 4th June 2021, Late Show

Uzun İnce Bir Yoldayım (Âşık Veysel )

Rüya (Dream)

Yar Dedi

Dolama Dolamayı (Traditional)

Kayıp Çocuk (Lost Child)

Seva Sor (Traditional)

Ferzê (Şivan Perwer)

Yağmur Yağ (Traditional)

Çay Elinden Öteye (Traditional)


Dolama Dolamayı (Traditional)


It was a pure delight to see Olcay Bayir and her band performing at Saltaire’s Live Room last night.  It is not often that we get to listen to songs and music from Anatolia and it was wonderful to get an insight into the treasures offered by this culture.  Hopefully Olcay will soon return to Saltaire.

– Eric Fairchild

I enjoyed the gig last night so much! It felt as though we were at a Turkish party, celebrating, remembering, joining together not just in Caroline Social Club but across the world. I’d like to send a huge thank you to Olcay and her band, you, Ron and the Live Room team and also to the Caroline Club team. You all worked so hard and pulled it off despite the M1 incident. Congratulations and we look forward to more TLR gigs in the coming weeks and months. Best wishes to you all

– Jenny Painter

I would just like to say that it was great to see a writer and performer from the Turkish culture. Olcay Bayir and her wonderful group of musicians exposed a rapt audience to the folk tunes and songs of her native Anatolia. It didn’t matter that we couldn’t understand the language, the explanations before each performance and the spirit in which they were performed made us understand the passion of the writers and transported our imagination to feel the same human wishes and desires in Turkey that we feel from our own culture.

It is great that the arts, of whatever nationality, continue to be supported so that our lives can be enhanced, particularly in these exceptional times, by being exposed to the calibre of writers and performers like Olcay Bayir and her group.

– Michael Latham

Excellent performance. Olcay has a beautiful powerful voice and great stage presence. It was a hopeful and moving show. Her musicians are also good, nice balance between traditional music and her own writing

– Mel Jones

It was a huge pleasure to be there last night. It felt very special to see Olcay and her band- her words and music really highlighted how live music transcends all experiences at this time. She, and band members have huge talent- we wish them every success and hope things eventually get easier for musicians and artists. 

– Sue and Oliver

Having never seen Olcay and her band before I was astonished at the quality of her singing and the wide range of cultural genres that she draws on. She is a superb performer supported by a really skilful band. We brought some friends to her recent show at the Live Room and all of us left enchanted by the quality of the performance.

– Alun & Val Pelleschi

Not only did Arts Council funding bring Olcay Bayir to unfamiliar us, but it brought the band to a venue they so clearly wanted to play. Olcay was explicitly grateful to the Arts Council for facilitating this & quite emotional with gratitude when she talked of how at her lowest point in  lockdown she, like a lot of musicians, wondered whether she would be able to continue with her music. I think the Live Room represented a real milestone on the road to musical normality, as well as new listeners for a group of hugely talented individuals. Olcay herself was positively luminous.

– Jane Ramsden

Anatolian culture in the throstle nest of Yorkshire! It was a delight to be entertained at The Live Room, Saltaire, by the wonderful Olcay Bayir and her band of talented musicians. The interweaving of the sounds and stories of her family’s home country with musical influences she has encountered in this country resulted in a unique and hugely enjoyable performance.

– John & Vicky Finnerty

We thought it was an amazing gig, great music and their performance was full of emotion and energy – we both came away very happy.

– Ron Pengelly

Thank you so much, Hilary and Ron, for introducing us all to Olcay Bayir and her band.  
The opportunity to hear the songs and stories from Anatolia set into modern style was just an amazing fusion, it fit together so perfectly.  
Traditional rhythm patterns kept the audience guessing, and provided a welcome break to different versions of the same old same old.  Nothing in the set sounded anything like what had gone before — each song had a fresh feel and an individuality all of its own yet accessible even on a first listening.  Brilliant, just brilliant.  Great singing, innovative percussion, violin, keys and bass combined perfectly.  
They always say leave when the audience want more, and I definitely want more.  Inspiring stuff.  Thank you 

– Demetri Dourambeis

I loved the opportunity to see & hear music from far more diverse origins than even you dig up or drag over the oceans. Olcay has an incredible voice. I bought a CD too. I’m sure that we’ll all be spreading the word further about her.

– David Noland

This was a much anticipated and greatly appreciated performance from Olcay Bayir and her band
I saw the second of the two performances, and was hugely impressed by the quality of the music and sound delivered, especially after the tortuous journey they had experienced in order to get here.
The vocals and performance of Olcay were at once sensuous and sensual, as she moved gracefully through a stunning repertoire of rhythm and style, melding the many influences from her native Anatolia and the surrounding region and also including her own writing.
Every element of the supporting band was carefully woven into the overall structure to provide and extremely rich variety of tempo and rhythm, with great use of syncopation. Even the audience managed to reproduce syncopated clapping!
Keyboard, violin (pizzicato and all’arco), percussion played with the hands, and superb, uncomplicated bass playing all made this a feast for all the senses !
What I most appreciate is the story telling of songs in original language – I assume a mixture of Kurdish, Turkish and other dialects and no desire or pressure to translate everything … though an explanation of  the context of the songs was helpful 
A thoroughly fabulous set 
Best wishes to Olcay and the band and hoping to see them again soon 

– Pete Lambert

Olcay’s show at the TLR last Friday was a delight and left me feeling refreshed and in good heart. I don;t speak Turkish but I know the country and its literature – and her songs are clear in any language.  A lovely voice. And the band’s musicians were also superb.

– Simon Watt

May I just thank you for putting on the gig. Was a perfect evening and despite the problems for Olcay and the band the performance was stunning. I’m visiting a friend and will look out for any more of your gigs and cannot wait to return.

– Malcolm Parry

Olcay and her band performed brilliantly. The ambience was excellent and their desire to be sharing music was evident. Through the introduction of the various songs and pieces performed, it was also educational!

– Liz Watford

This was a wonderful show, with her beautiful voice,the muscianship of the band,it was uplifting & poignant, mystical &  joyous. Loved it!

– Ana Hayrabadian

Olcay Bayir’s show was vibrant with magnificent musicality that brought joy to the audience in Covid-starved times. Can’t wait until she comes back!

– Nick Lacey

Morning Hilary – great show last night. Just writing to say thank you for all your work in organising and putting on the live music; I can see it is a labour of love but still it’s a labour in these times of COVID not helped by the M1 being problematic!! Really appreciate all you do – thank you.

– Ian Partridge