Radio Free Hebrides to launch a ground-breaking podcast

New podcasts launch in November
New podcasts launch in November

Radio Free Hebrides began last winter as an on-line radio project created by Skye-based musician Hector MacInnes.

But from November 3rd, Radio Free Hebrides takes on a new form as a downloadable fortnightly podcast; bringing a series of programmes including music chosen by local musicians and live event coverage.

And a Gaelic language version of the programme will also be available, starting early in the new year.

Now, as well as listening on-line, you can also subscribe and download the Radio Free Hebrides programmes for free through any podcast provider such as iTunes, or even get a Radio Free Hebrides app on your phone or tablet which will update and store new programmes.

Speaking about the new project, Hector MacInnes said: “Live music seemed to be the obvious place to start – there’s such an incredible range of live music on the west coast.

“Yes, there’s a traditional scene of global importance, but there’s also jazz, songwriters, free noise, weird techno – and it’s all happening in village halls in difficult to get to places because of the enthusiasm and open minds of the people that live here.

“So it seems to make sense that Radio Free Hebrides should begin life by celebrating that.”

The first season of Radio Free Hebrides will be an incredible range of live music performances from across the west coast, featuring favourites such as Shooglenifty and The Banana Sessions, along with new bands like Donald MacDonald and the Islands, international touring artists and even coverage of the Skye Swing Jazz Festival.

Hector also recently recorded a podcast at the EP launch show of Point based singer/songwriter Colin Macleod, which took place last weekend (Friday, October 18th) to release his ‘The Anchor’ EP.

Last year the project attracted listeners from as far afield as Germany and America as well as a strong local following.

And the relaunch as a podcast should make it even easier for people to hear live music from the Hebrides no matter where they are.

Hector’s own foray into music began in 2005 with the notoriously eclectic and excitable band ‘Injuns’, while he also performed live with his brother Mylo.

Over the past few years, he has worked on a broad range of projects, including writing original songs for the play ‘We Have Won The Land’; collabortaed with Hason Dingh and David Littler through their Sampler/Cultureclash project; and worked with Leighton Jones and Bromwich and Walker on Bata Breagha – a flagship project for the Year of Scotland’s Islands.

He now writes and performs with folk-noir fronteirsmen The Dead Man’s Waltz who have just finished an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Made In Scotland showcase, and who release their second album in spring next year.

And just last month Hector was ‘delighted and honoured; to be awarded the inaugural Martyn Bennett Prize for traditional music composition with track entitled ‘6.42am, Two Dances for Children and Household Appliances’.

His latest project, Radio Free Hebrides, is funded by a Make:IT:Happen fund Award from AmbITion Scotland disbursing devolved National Lottery funds from Creative Scotland; and is run by Hector at the Hands On Studios, a creative audio studio based on the Isle of Skye.

He added: “We are very lucky this year to be partly funded by AmbITion Scotland’s ‘Make It Happen’ programme, which has allowed us to record a very exciting range of concerts and ceilidhs, and has also meant we can make the programme available to almost anyone, through the iTunes store, the app and the website.”

To subscribe to the podcast and listen to all the Radio Free Hebrides programmes, just visit