Thieves target Peat n Diesel van during their UK-wide tour

Whenever the boys from Peat n Diesel are involved you can be sure it’s going to be eventful. And so it proved during their current tour when their van was broken into and “thousands of pounds” worth of gear stolen.

By Murray MacLeod
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 9:02 am
The boys were relatively unperturbed as the Peatlemania phenomenon continues to grow
The boys were relatively unperturbed as the Peatlemania phenomenon continues to grow

The band – Calum “Boydie” MacLeod, Innes Scott and Uilleam MacLeod – are in the last throes of a 15-night UK-wide tour, but last weekend came as close as they’ve ever been to the wheels coming off the bus.

As they were heading down to London to play at the 02 arena to support folk-rock legends The Levellers, the boys stopped at a motorway service station for a toilet break.

"We were only in there for about 10 minutes and when we came out the van had been broken into, the window smashed,” said drummer Uilleam MacLeod.

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"Everything was out of sight; they couldn’t have seen what was there and just took the opportunity. They had even turned up the van seats and checked the compartments underneath – we didn’t even know the seats could come up.

"It was very worrying, but the instruments were still there, fortunately. They went away with phones, ipads and other kit – thousands of pounds worth. Innes had to spend hours changing all the passwords.”

Uilleam added sardonically: “We still had Boydie, though, so we were OK.”

On the bandwagon ploughed to the 02 arena where the Peatlemania phenomenon was again evident – a London crowd embracing the ceilidh-infused madness and idiosyncratic lyrics on Lewis life.

"When the Levellers manager heard what happened to us he was brilliant,” said Uilleam. “He organised everything for us and by the time we had finished our sound check at the venue the window of the van had been fixed.”

Their current tour was initially arranged for last year, to mark the release of the “Light My Byre” album, but was postponed through Covid. It has seen them visiting outposts such as Cambridge and Croydon – a million miles away from their Lewis roots and culture.

"It’s really weird,” said Uilleam. “Most places are sell outs. We played in Cambridge on Monday and 2,000 came out – on a Monday night… in Cambridge! It’s really lovely actually and we're getting a lot of new followers.”

Next year the band are due to tour Ireland. Eventful doesn’t even come into it.