KT comes back to Western Isles for Hebridean Celtic Festival

SCOTS singing sensation KT Tunstall is one of the leading attractions for this year’s award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival, taking the headline slot for the Festival’s Saturday night.

“I’m so looking forward to playing the Hebrides, It’s going to be a proper adventure followed by a top knees up! Delighted to be a part of it,” Ms Tunstall said.

Taking place from Wednesday, July 13 until Saturday, July 16, this year’s musical feast boasts a sumptuous smorgasbord of talent – both local and from further afield – as other artistes appearing in the ‘Big Blue’ include Gaelic acts Daimh and Manran; the hugely popular Seth Lakeman; the Brian Finnegan and Aidan O’Rourke collaboration KAN and the can’t-stop-your-toes-from-tapping Peatbog Faeries.

Also making their début HebCelt appearance are Highland songstress Rachel Sermanni and the town’s musical namesake Stornoway, who celebrated their record label signing with a gig the islands’ capital a few years ago.

Brian Briggs from the indie folk band said: “We are incredibly excited about experiencing the bizarre ‘Stornoway comes to Stornoway’ effect for the second time.

“Last time we played at the Woodlands Centre, the ferry broke down and we ended up in a Tweed factory – perhaps this time the two Stornoways will combine and be sucked in to a black hole.”

He continued: “We’ve wanted to play at the HebCelt festival for years – ever since we settled on the band name, so to be playing is a real honour and we will be doing our very best to persuade the real Stornoway that we are worthy of their excellent name!”

And, for the Festival’s 16th birthday, the biggest present revellers could receive is the introduction of a second stage at the event’s main site – doubling the choice of music available for festival-goers from around the globe.

Festival Director, Caroline MacLennan said of the 2011 line-up: “We are excited about the range of music on offer this year.

“The second stage adds a new dimension and, as ever, we are providing excellent opportunities for local performers throughout our programming.

“We’re now looking forward to staging one of our best festival in this, our 16th year,” she added. Funded by the Scotland’s Islands project, the second stage will see Lewis acts The Boy Who Trapped The Sun, Colin Macleod from Point, and Tolsta talent Willie Campbell’s collective The Open Day Rotation both flying the flag for the Western Isles; while the electronica fusion of Skye’s Niteworks; Shetland’s Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag and Orkney’s brilliant Saltfishforty duo ensure the Inner Hebrides, as well as the Northern Isles, are covered.

Others featuring on the new stage include nu-folkies Ahab and RURA, as well as Kitty the Lion and Woodenbox With A Fistful of Fivers, both no strangers to Lewis having previously performed in The Jäger Room in Stornoway.

The Festival’s opening show on Festival Wednesday in An Lanntair will feature Darren Maclean, Jenna Cumming and Linda Macleod; and other musicians and singers to perform at the arts centre during the HebCelt includes The Cold Porters; Tim Edey and Brendan Power with Mairearad Green and Anna Massie, and PM Roddy Macleod amongst others.

For further information on the 2011 acts, and to ensure you grab a ticket for this year’s Hebridean Celtic Festival, log onto the website at www.hebceltfest.com