Based on the Isle of Skye, the Peatbog Faeries are one of Scotland’s best known names in contemporary folk music. Pipes, whistles and fiddle swirl in a blizzard of electronic beats and hypnotic instrumental workouts. 2016 sees their 25th anniversary, following last year’s successful release of their eighth album, Blackhouse, to critical acclaim. The band draws from the deep well of the Scottish tradition, but has also created a distinctive fusion sound.
“Peatbog Faeries are one of the great Scottish festival bands.”
Blazin’ Fiddles are undoubtedly one of the world’s most prolific fiddle groups. Over the last 17 years, no other band has quite managed to capture the excitement, passion and sensitivity of Scottish music all at once.
With a Blazers performance comes the rare opportunity to hear the regional expressions, from Scotland’s Highlands and islands, and the individual style from each fiddler – Inverness’ Bruce MacGregor, Shetlander Jenna Reid, Nairn’s Rua Macmillan, and Orcadian Kristan Harvey – in a blend of ensemble and solo sets. Fiddles and bows come alight atop guitar and piano from Anna Massie and Angus Lyon, delivering a musically intoxicating evening for all.
Whatever the hall – be it in a Highland village or London’s Royal Albert – this legendary, multi award-winning act never fails to set the hearts of their audiences alight.
“…bursting with joie de vivre and personality…”
Blue Rose Code
Acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter Blue Rose Code (Ross Wilson) has been championed by the likes of Edith Bowman, Bob Harris, Mary Ann Kennedy and Ewan McGregor. The Ballads Of Peckham Rye, Blue Rose Code’s second record, was nominated for the prestigious Scottish Album Of The Year Award in 2014 and featured a roll-call of remarkable talent. Here, he performs music from his latest album …And Lo! The Bird is on the Wing, originally previewed at Celtic Connections.
“Imagine John Martyn meeting a young Van Morrison and being shipwrecked with a crate of Chet Baker records.”
Time Out London
Labelling themselves as teuchters at heart, Tannara share a collective love of playing trad music. They perform a collection of tunes and songs mostly from Scotland, some self-penned, and occasionally drawing on traditions from across the globe. 2016 is an important year for the band as they release their debut album, Trig (produced by Rachel Newton and recorded by Mattie Foulds).
“Their own compositions are superb, their playing together is tight and focused, and they are all hugely talented musicians.”
Joan Michael, Events Organiser at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Mairearad Green Ceilidh Band
The Ceilidh Dance is always a highlight at the festival. This year talented local musician Mairearad Green has put together another brilliant ceilidh band set to get your toes tapping.
DJ Angus Binnie
Under the dj partnership of “Binnie and Hogg”, Angus has been organizing and playing at club nights up and down the country for years, including a dj slot at Glasgow’s infamous night club The Arches.
Angus began piping through the Feis movement, and was later taught by legendary piper Rona Lightfoot. He plays in the band Sketch and brings a great passion for electronic music to the band. Following on from his successful slot last year, he’ll keep the festival atmosphere going throughout the evening.
Margaret Stewart is a renowned Gaelic singer from the Isle-of-Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, with a career spanning approximately 20 years and three studio albums to her name. She has a great passion for the songs of her homeland and quite apart from her musical performances in collaboration with the some of the cream of Highland and Irish musicians, she is also in demand as a mentor, teacher and lecturer on various themes of Gaelic song and related history. For this year’s Summer Isles Festival Margaret has agreed to give a combined talk and recital on ‘A Seascape of Gaelic Song’, using some archive recordings and live performance to bring us examples of sea themed songs. This will take place in the Piping School Cafe.
Achiltibuie Highlanders are an eclectic mix of pipers and drummers who come from all over Scotland to Coigach to play at our local Games every July. No two line ups are ever the same, but they have had representation from top bands such as Boghall & Bathgate, ScottishPower, Cullybacky, Denny & Dunnipace, Oban and Lomond & Clyde. These pipers and drummers join in with local players to form the Achiltibuie Highlanders whose aim it is to entertain and to have good fun doing it!
Friday Night Local Showcase
After the success of last year’s local showcase concert, we’ve decided to make this a regular feature. Achiltibuie has a wealth of talented musicians and this concert will provide a platform for up-and-coming locals and alongside more established artists. This year, the evening will feature a performance from Mairearad Green’s latest solo album Summer Isles, with her band Mike Vass and Hector MacInnes.
Other acts include Murdo ‘Wasp’ MacDonald who is a renowned sean-nòs singer from Siadar a’ Chladaich, a village on the west coast of the Isle-of-Lewis, where he was brought up steeped in Gaelic tradition. He was given his first melodeon when he was 14, and though a fine box player, in the west coast style, Murdo is best known for his singing, which in 1989 won him the National Mod’s Gold medal for sean-nòs singing. Murdo has family connections to Achiltibuie and has composed a fantastic 6/8 March for the festival, ‘Summer Isles Festival’.
Also performing are Gyte (meaning delirious/mad in Scots), a young, lively 5 piece trad band based in the Highlands of Scotland. Members Anna Buxton from Achiltibuie on fiddle, Kim MacLennan from Achiltibuie on accordion, Rory Matheson from Drumbeg on piano, Alasdair Mackenzie from Dingwall on guitar and John Munro from Tain on cajon.