Leading live act bring all-action stage show to South Lakes

15 September 2017 10:58AM

SCOTLAND'S top traditional folk band Skerryvore have been playing to ever-increasing crowds over the past few years, and are currently in the midst of one of their biggest run of European shows to date.

On Thursday September 21, the eight-piece outfit bring their acclaimed show to Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre, as they road test new material ahead of an album launch early next year.

The current tour, which will have taken them to the United States twice, across Europe and all over the UK before 2017 is over, is in support of their latest single, Live Forever, which provided the soundtrack for the Scottish tourism promotional campaign Wild About Argyll and saw the track hit number one in the iTunes World Music chart.

Founding bagpiper Martin Gillespie says: "Live Forever was released in January - we had hoped to have the album out by now, but we've had to put it back because we've just been so busy.

"There are two tracks that we will be playing on this tour from the album that we're just trying out live, and we like to incorporate new stuff into the set so we can gauge people's reactions to it.

"The single was a good boost for us, and has been well received. It was actually recorded when we were in America, in this old studio in Connecticut, and because of that it has a bit of a different feel to it, which I think people have noticed.

"We'll be on tour until the end of the year, but we're working on the album when we can. It's probably the hardest thing about being in the band, trying to get everyone together to record."

Up to eight members feature in Skerryvore's live line-up, which started out as a four-piece on the tiny Hebridean island of Tiree, where Martin and his accordionist brother Daniel met Fraser and Alec Dalglish, who were holidaying there.

Since 2005, their signature sound has evolved to incorporate rock, pop, jazz, Cajun and country influences, with their all-action stage show earning them last year's Scottish Traditional Music Live Act of the Year title.

Martin continues: "People always comment that there's a lot of energy on stage, and that we always look like we're enjoying ourselves and having a lovely time.

"With having so many people in the band, we have a lot of different influences between us, so there are a lot of different styles.

"Celtic music is global, and it's popular in a huge amount of places. Of course, in France and Spain for example, they've got their own type of bagpipes, but our brand of music seems to travel really well wherever we play."

Skerryvore play the Brewery Arts Centre, in Kendal, on Thursday September 21. Tickets are available from the venue's box office.

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