Stramash promises musical delights for Stornoway

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A healthy blend of emerging local musicians, established bands and acts, and a generous sprinkling of established musical heavyweights have been confirmed for the fast approaching Stramash music festival.

And as always the festival remains completely free of charge for all with donations collected over the two night festival instead going directly into the coffers of The Leanne Fund.

Run by a dedicated group of volunteers Stramash is a non-profit organisation which aims to raise money and support worthy causes while also providing a musical platform for musicians and audience, encouraging creativity and self-promotion.

This year festival goers will be well sheltered by a brand new marquee tent purchased by the Stramash committee on the fifth anniversary of the festival.

Top of the bill for 2016 are West Lothian wonders The Amorettes: singer and guitarist Gill Montgomery, bass guitarist Heather Mckay and drummer Hannah Mckay - are a band the rock world have been taking a lot of notice of in recent years.

Support slots with bands like Black Star Riders and Europe, headline shows around the UK on their own merits, and now festival slots both on home shores and throughout Europe – including a show stopping set at the Download Festival - wowing both their own established core support and the chance to win new musical hearts means The Amorettes are coming to a stereo near you.

“This year, we are delighted to be featuring 12 acts across two days of the event and hopefully the diversity of talent will provide something for everyone,” said Sean Harrison of the Stramash committee.

The festival will be officially opened by this year’s Carnival Queen before the Friday night’s stellar line up of local bands: The Howling Lords; Black Cub; Spanish; Sean Harrison & Band and C. Macleod (Colin Macleod and Band).

On Saturday afternoon, starting at 2pm, STRAMASH MATINEE features performances from Rod Morrison, The Links, Rock Island Line and The Shed.

Saturday evening is dedicated to rock and metal when STRAMASH ROCKS presents Dedrok, The Broken Ravens and The Amorettes.

“The event has proved very popular, with steady increases in attendance and excellent feedback from attendees, some of whom travel from overseas just to attend,” continued Harrison.

“We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to utilise a community marquee in the past, but we really wanted something to call our own with the growth of the festival in mind. Our new marquee will help improve the performance area of the festival for musicians and also enhance the experience for the event attendees.

“From our first year on a lorry trailer, we’ve been very lucky to experience such a steady increase in attendance as our festival has continued to grow in reputation. We hope the purchase of the new tent is one step towards ensuring the festival remains an annual fixture and is sustainable for many years.”

He added: “We are very grateful to the Lottery – ‘Awards for All’ fund, who recently supported our project and helped us with the majority of our marquee purchase.

“The shortfall of funds for the final purchase of the marquee was very generously made up by The Muaitheabhal Community Wind Farm Trust for which we are very grateful. We have also had some very generous support this year from our local councilors, Lewis Wind Power and Cal Mac Ferries.

“Hebridean Plant Hire have supported us since we started and have provided a lot of essential specialist equipment every year with no costs – without their continuous support we could never have got to where we are today.”