Free live radio concerts to showcase HebCelt

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A series of free, live concerts featuring some of the leading performers at the Hebridean Celtic Festival will be broadcast on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.

Festival headliners Dougie MacLean and Lucy Spraggan will be among those to feature in the broadcasts, which will be aired during festival week.

The station’s Caithream Ciùil programme will be airing on tonight (Thursday) and Friday, presented by Mairead Maclennan.

On Thursday the programme comes from Martin’s Memorial Hall in Stornoway and between 2pm and 4pm will broadcast a number of live performances, including Dougie MacLean, one of Scotland’s leading singer songwriters.

Also playing live will be The Lumber Jills, female fiddlers and dancers from New Brunswick; singer, piper and Royal National Mod double gold medal winner Calum Alex Macmillan; and Tide Lines, a Scottish band with strong traditional influences who launched just last year.

In addition, members of the Peatbog Faeries and Lewis singer/songwriter Eleanor Nicolson will be playing live and will be recorded for future broadcasts.

The live shows continue between 3pm and 5pm on Friday with sets from Glasgow-based folk pop band The Hur; Ímar, who feature past and present members of some of Scotland’s best-known groups; Tamzene, a young multi-instrumentalist from Cromarty, who secured a place at HebCelt as one of the winners of the 2017 CalMac Culture Music contest; and former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan.

It’s back in the studio on Saturday morning when Katee Kross, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Bishopbriggs, and HebCelt debutants Days Are Done will be recorded for future shows.

As well as the live broadcasts, the exciting sounds of HebCelt will feature on the Rapal music show during a festival special on Tuesday evening, 25 July on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal .

BBC Radio nan Gàidheal music producer John Murray said: “HebCelt is always a special time for us. There is a great atmosphere around Stornoway and Lewis and it comes over in the live radio broadcasts.

“These shows are a real joy to put together and they give a taste of what festival-goers have in store during the week.

“I’d like to invite people to join us in Martin’s Memorial Hall on Thursday and Friday to enjoy the music. Entry is free, and they are all most welcome to spend the afternoon with us.”

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan added: “The live gigs in the town centre are a very popular part of the festival programme and add to the party mood that HebCelt brings to the area.

“Radio nan Gàidheal has been a wonderful supporter of the festival over many years and we are extremely grateful for its continuing support which helps showcase our wide-ranging programme.”