WHEN three island lads joined together to form a group to enter the newly introduced Folk Competition at the 1968 National Mod in Dunoon, little did they know that over 40 years later Glasgow Gaelic social club Ceòl’s Craic would host a tribute night especially for the band – the one and only Lochies!
The Lochies – Harris Tweed weaver John Macmillan and brother Angus Macmillan, with Donnie ‘Gazette’ MacInnes – created contemporary music, which celebrated the Hebridean culture with a wit and humour which instantly inspired great affection and earned them a devoted following that has remained with the band over the decades.
Looking back at the old days the boys said: “We happened to form the group at the right time and people enjoyed listening to Gaelic songs with a guitar accompaniment.
“We were all members of the Lochs Gaelic Choir, and with our connections with the area, there was no dispute as to what we would call the group – The Lochies! It was something new, so we were invited to sing all over the country – from Lewis to London – and there was much media attention, appearing on TV shows and radio.”
Over the years The Lochies recorded a total of seven albums, alongside a plethora of singles and EPs – all of which have been readily welcomed by fans.
“What made the group popular we think was our choice in songs, ranging from amusing songs, to those about love, war, the sea and the croft,” expanded the band.
“We had been very fortunate also as songwriters from the island and elsewhere would contact us with material, and we would also approach them.”
And now The Lochies are set to return to the stage with a tribute night to the band in Glasgow at Ceòl’s Craic, on Saturday, November 24th.
News of their imminent appearance at the club has caused a stir among Lochies’ fans, young and old, from the Gaelic heartland to the furthest corners of the globe – and even the boys themselves are excited about the prospect of performing again after so many years.
They said: “It will be good to give some of the ‘old favourites’ another airing and hope that those present will enjoy them as much as we did singing them over the years.
“The night should be good fun, and we are honoured at having been asked to take part in a Lochies Tribute Night in Glasgow – surrounded by Gaels, many of whom ‘have grown up’ with us over the years!”
Support acts at the Ceòl’s Craic Lochies Tribute Night include world-famous piping champion and Principal of the National Piping Centre Roddy MacLeod MBE; Glasgow University’s stunning Gaelic vocal group led by Shona Masson; celebrated Gaelic and Scots folk duo Mairi Morrison and Alasdair Roberts, and, in a special tribute, the sons of two of the Lochies: Iain Macinnes and double Mod Gold medallist Calum Ailig Macmillan.
Tickets for The Lochies Ceòl’s Craic evening are available from the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) at www.cca-glasgow.com or telephone 0141 352 3900.