Acts announced for HebCelt 20th birthday celebrations


Globetrotting Celtic fusion band Shooglenifty will continue their 25th anniversary celebrations this summer by helping the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival mark its landmark year.

The Edinburgh-based seven-piece, known as ‘acid croft’ pioneers, were on the bill at the first HebCelt in 1996 and will be one of the main acts on the Island Stage as part of the 20th island festival from 15-18 July in Stornoway.

Also joining the line-up are Salsa Celtica, whose virtuosity, energy and potent blend of traditional Scottish/Irish music and Latin rhythms has made them one of the most popular bands on the world music circuit.

New additions to the HebCelt programme sees folk rock band Mànran make a welcome return, along with Skye techno fusion outfit Niteworks. Making debut solo band performances are renowned songwriter Findlay Napier, popular host of Celtic Connections Late Night Sessions and curator of the Hazy Recollections concerts, and gifted Mull singer-songwriter Sorren Maclean. Rising Scots roots group Have Mercy Las Vegas will also bring their eclectic mix of folk and blues to the festival stage.

Shooglenifty will be showcasing their new album ‘The Untied Knot’, to be released in May, at HebCelt. The band, formed in 1990, are known for their wide-ranging collaborations with musicians from around the world and will appear on four different continents this year alone.

They said of their HebCelt appearance: “We are looking forward to a bumper party at HebCelt. The festival’s 20th anniversary - and the band’s 25th - makes for a doubly special gig.”

Salsa Celtica, formed in 1995, began their remarkable musical journey in the village halls of the Highlands and Islands, but their unique sound is now heard at some of the most important music festivals around the globe.

Findlay Napier will feature at HebCelt after a support slot of Eddi Reader’s UK tour this month and the release of his single ‘The Man Who Sold New York’. His album, ‘VIP Very Interesting Persons’, which has garnered a string of 5-star reviews, appeared in The Telegraph’s list of 12 best folk albums of 2015.

This month also sees the launch of Sorren Maclean’s EP, ‘Way Back Home’. The Mull-born singer recorded his debut album, ‘Island’, with Colin MacIntyre of Mull Historical Society, which led to Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble inviting Sorren to co-write his second solo album, ‘The Impossible Song and Other Songs’, and they’ve been working together ever since, while Sorren has also featured in a duo with virtuoso guitarist Finlay Wells.

He produced the EP ‘Echoes’ by singer Laurie Cameron, which was used in Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’ and, with composer Donald Shaw of Capercaillie, has created music for the soundtracks to BBC 2’s acclaimed ‘Hebrides’ series and the children’s TV show ‘Katie Morag’, as well as many BBC documentaries. This year he is releasing a new album ‘Winter Stay Autumn’ and will support Idlewild on tour.

Last year was the most successful year to date for Have Mercy Las Vegas who released their debut album and enjoyed some acclaimed festival and TV appearances.

Following a successful first year in 2014, the festival’s acoustic stage is being further extended. So far booked to play are Dublin-born song poet Vincent Cross, who was raised in Australian and is now based in New York; and Glasgow based contemporary folk singer-songwriter Scott McWatt.

Acts previously announced include Afro Celt Sound System, Treacherous Orchestra, the Karen Matheson Band, Chastity Brown, Le Vent du Nord, Raghu Dixit and Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys.

Caroline Maclennan, the HebCelt director, said: “This year’s line-up is now really taking shape and we are delighted with the range of music and artists joining those already announced.

“These latest additions, which feature some firm festival favourites amongst the cream of Scottish talent, guarantee an outstanding programme for our 20th outing and sets the stage for the ‘party theme’ of this year’s HebCelt.”

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