Capercaillie join Hebridean headliners during landmark year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gaelic pioneers and internationally renowned group Capercaillie are making the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival a major part of their 30th anniversary celebrations.

The band, formed in 1983, when the original members were still at Oban High School, are the final headline act to be announced for HebCelt which is marking its 18th anniversary this year.

They will join Van Morrison, Dougie MacLean, The Battlefield Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers as the leading acts at the event which will run from 17-20 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis.

Donald Shaw, one of the band’s founders, said: “We have a very strong Gaelic and Celtic heritage and so playing HebCelt in what is a landmark year for us will be very special.

“The festival is renowned for making a huge contribution to the culture and creative landscape of the Hebrides and for its promotion of the Gaelic language in Scotland and beyond. We are delighted to be playing a part in an event which is also celebrating a milestone year.”

Capercaillie are regarded as one of the bands that spearheaded today’s Gaelic music revival, fusing traditional folk songs with modern arrangements in a global context.

They have sold over one million albums worldwide and achieved one gold and three silver albums in the UK. Their 1992 EP, A Prince Among Islands, was also the first Gaelic record to reach the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.

In addition, the band have performed in over 30 countries and provided soundtrack music for Hollywood movies and TV series, including Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson, and The Blood is Strong, a Grampian TV/Channel Four series on the Gaelic Scots’ emigration to North America.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “Capercaillie are a significant addition to our line-up. They have helped bring Gaelic music to a global audience but do so in a way that is fresh and modern.

“We are delighted they are sharing their 30th anniversary with us; they will add another dimension to a much-anticipated festival.”

Also confirmed to play this year’s festival are leading country singer/songwriter Darrell Scott; BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of 2013, Paddy Callaghan, up and coming modern folk band Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher, from Dundee; and singer songwriter Pete Roe.

Scott was voted songwriter of the year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International in 2001 and by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2002. His songs have been recorded by over 70 artists including the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill and Garth Brooks, and he records with a host of leading singers, including Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes.

Accordion player Callaghan, from Glasgow, beat five other musicians to win his prestigious award which has proven to be a stepping stone to greater success for previous winners.

AMWWF, who comprise musicians Stevie Anderson, Gavin McGinty, David Webster, Robbie Ward and Billy Fisher, have built up a strong following since being formed in August, 2011 and have already released an eponymous album to critical acclaim.

Pete Roe, based in London, was formerly a member of Laura Marling’s band and has also toured with Mumford and Sons, as well as supporting Lucy Rose on her recent UK tour.

Day tickets for the 18th HebCelt go on sale tomorrow (Friday). Advance tickets have already been snapped up by fans across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and America.

As well as the headliners, audiences can look forward to seeing Lau, voted ‘Best Group’ at this year’s Radio Two Folk Awards; Orcadian eight-piece The Chair; The Hot Seats, from Virginia; Manchester outfit The Travelling Band; Iain Morrison, from Lewis; and Welsh band Rusty Shackle.

Others include Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart; Lewis singer The Boy Who Trapped the Sun; Glasgow band Fatherson; and Rose Parade, a four-piece from Ayr.

For further information about the Hebridean Celtic Festival - including acts and ticket info - please visit www.hebceltfest.com