Lews Castle Green was alive with the sound of music last Saturday, 31st May, playing host to the third annual Stramash festival.
Stramash 2014 brought a collection of the Islands’ most exciting up-and-coming music talent together with stage veterans from Stornoway and beyond for a day and a night of performances, all in aid of The Leanne Fund.
The event kicked off at 2pm with acoustic sets that played through the afternoon, before the amps turned on in the evening for six Stornoway bands and Glasgow’s Purple Valentino.
Dougie MacSween, Purple Valentino’s frontman, whose parents are from Lewis, said: “The crowd were amazing. They were really reactive. I was a bit apprehensive, being the only band coming from the mainland, but they were monstrously welcoming. We definitely want to play Stramash again.
“It would be great to come back. It’s such an amazing place to be. The people are amazing, the town felt vibrant and in terms of the music scene it felt really alive.”
The family friendly festival was completely free - entry was by voluntary donations - and attracted a stream of attendees and onlookers, steadily growing as the day went on; by the end of the night the marquee pitched on the Castle Green was bursting at the seams.
The event was a collaboration of volunteers, organisers and local businesses who donated expertise, equipment and their free time to put the event together.
Paul Matheson, one of the event’s organisers and sound technicians who was at the centre of all things throughout the festival, said: “The night exceeded all expectations - from the outstanding performances by all the bands, to the dedication of the volunteers and stewards who put in a really long shift.
“If permission is given and the amazing support for this event continues with the kindness and generosity already displayed, there will most definitely be Stramash number four next year.”
The evening’s performances included classic rock covers by Mad Janglz, and original songs by Farview, Sean Harrison and Gutterfish, A Promise To No One and Ugly Violet.
Guest Band Purple Valentino came all the way from Glasgow for the event and headliners The Broken Ravens, playing at goNorth festival in Inverness this week, took the evening to its climactic finish.
Donations on the day were taken on entry, and inside the marquee was a selection of cakes, tea and coffee and a bar which all contributed to the money being raised for The Leanne Fund.
A final count is still to be made, but just over £2,000 has been raised so far.