Europe and America can wait... until after the summer


The summer may still be some time away but electric folk group Washington Irving have already got festival fever. The Glasgow-based band have previously played the likes of T in the Park and the Insider Festival in Aviemore, and this year are heading for the 17th Hebridean Celtic Festival which runs from 11-14 July and based in Stornoway in the Isle of Lewis.

“Festivals are the best bit of being in a band I think”, said drummer Chris McGarry. “It’s the most exciting time of year for us.

“We’re doing quite a few this year - one of the best of course being HebCelt. We did Celtic Connections in January which was a blast. We’ve got the Deer Shed Festival (in North Yorkshire), the Hop Farm Festival (in Kent) and a few others scattered about.

“It’ll be great to get back up to Stornoway. We’ve played at the Jager Rooms a few times and have truly had the Lewis experience.

“People come out late and never seem to go to bed, which fits perfectly with the musician’s ethic. Who knows what will happen at HebCelt.”

Washington Irving play the award-winning HebCelt on both 13 and 14 July: “It’s good for us to play festivals with more of a traditional set up”, said Chris. “HebCelt and Celtic Connections seem really encouraging of people that want to try something different with traditional music. It means a lot to us to have that support.”

Since the release of their debut EP Little Wanderer, Head Thee Home in 2010, the band – Chris, Joe Black, Martin Anfield, Rory MacDonald, and Kieran Heather who are originally from Oban and Aberdeen - have been attracting an ever-growing fan base across the UK.

“Playing a festival like HebCelt is a great sign of things to come; we’ve met a lot of great people so far and hope to meet many more,” said Chris.

“Our next big goal is to be touring Europe and the US. But, to be honest, as long as we can keep going and gaining more fans we’ll be really happy.”