A Kinross butcher’s dreams of stardom on the stage look set to come true after his sausages caused a stir at this year’s T in the Park music festival.
The amazing vocal talent of Iain Hunter, who runs Hunters of Kinross in the town’s Main Street, was uncovered by chance by a Real Radio DJ attending the event.
Presenter Cat Harvey was staying at Galloway Farm run by farmers May and Jim Paterson when she tasted the fabulous Specially Selected Pork sausages and was told they had been made by Iain, known locally as “The Singing Butcher.”
Intrigued, Cat managed to get hold of a recording of Iain, who croons classics by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond and others, and persuaded the modest butcher to sing live in their Glasgow studios just days later.
Ironically, given his skills as a butcher have now propelled him into the limelight, the 44-year-old previously thought his hopes of pursuing a singing career were shattered when his devotion to his business denied him an opportunity to get in front of “The X Factor” judges a few years ago.
On the day he was set to perform for the revered judging panel a member of staff due to cover his shift delivering orders took unwell and Iain opted to pull out of the audition, rather than let customers down.
And while his love of singing is more than evident, there is no doubt of his total devotion to his business. Iain first kindled his butcher’s skills at the age of 16 when he started work at Charlie Wilson’s shop based in Inverleith as an apprentice.
More recently he has run his own shop in Edinburgh’s Gorgie Road before taking over the Kinross premises 18 months ago and throwing heart and soul into turning it into the immaculate and thriving business it now is.
Iain and his team of four staff serve around 1000 customers a week, with his wife Pamela also involved in the business which is a member of the Scotch Butchers Club. While she maintains it was not his singing which won her over in their early courtship all those years ago, there’s little doubt it did play a part!
The new found fame of their local butcher is causing quite a buzz in the Kinross-shire area and, to celebrate and thank customers for their support, the Hunters today (July 28th) invited the community to hear Iain perform and enjoy a free BBQ, also supported by other local businesses.
Around 350 people attended the loch-side performance at The Boathouse where they enjoyed both Iain’s singing talent and his sensational sausages with more than 700 served!
Surprisingly, given his unquestionable talent, Iain is shy and reserved about his singing and admits to getting very nervous before each occasion he performs.
“I first remember singing when I was about five years old but my older brothers and sisters teased me about it at the time and it never went much further than singing in the shower,” he said.
However, wife Pamela has encouraged him to make the most of his talent and says he is like a different person when he gets a microphone in his hand. A trip to Las Vagas found Iain making an impromptu stage appearance in front of a pack out and very appreciative crowd in the famous Bellagio hotel.
“The minute I start singing the nerves disappear and I just go for it! There’s nothing like the feeling of entertaining people well and knowing they are having a brilliant time,” he said.
And Iain clearly takes the same approach with his day job as a butcher. “We aim to deliver a top quality product to our customers and that means we make products like our sausages fresh daily here in the shop. We also make our own pastry here on the premises and take a real pride in delivering a first class service to the local community,” he said.
Iain’s two children, seven year old Erin and 13 year old Ryan, are among his most fervent fans. They share their Dad’s love of music and are extremely excited about Iain’s new found fame.
“When Iain was forced to miss his X Factor Audition a few years back he thought fate had decided a singing career was not for him. So it is fantastic that his skills as a butcher have given him a fresh opportunity to share his singing talent with the world,” added Pamela.