Skerryvore promise lots of energy and a good old sing-song at Centennial Theatre

Scottish Celtic rock band play seamless mix of contemporary and traditional tunes

Skerryvore, Direct from Scotland 360 Tour, Centennial Theatre, North Vancouver, Saturday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $49/$44 (nvrc.ca/centennial-theatre).

 

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Two brothers, Daniel and Martin Gillespie, from the Scottish island of Tiree, began Skerryvore with Fraser West, and his friend Alec Dalglish (both from Livingston, West Lothian), back in 2004.

Now featuring eight members the band have built a global following for their mix of traditional and contemporary music and released their sixth studio album, EVO, in 2018.

Twice winners of the Scots Trad Music Awards Live Act Of The Year honours, Skerryvore will perform their first-ever show in Vancouver at North Vancouver’s Centennial Theatre this weekend.

 

North Shore News:

How did you get started as a band on the island of Tiree?

That part of Scotland looks very much like the coast of British Columbia - lots of inlets and islands. What was it like growing up there and playing music?

Daniel Gillespie:

Tiree was a beautiful place and community to be raised in. Martin and myself were very fortunate to live in a community where traditional music was so strong and have people willing to commit their time to teaching young people music. In terms of us starting the band, it was a chance meeting on the island as Fraser and Alec were visiting on holiday from Livingston. A few impromptu tunes were had on Tiree and this then lead to some organised engagements on the mainland. The rest they say is history...

 

North Shore News:

The band take their name from an even more remote island - Skerryvore. What’s the connection there?

Daniel Gillespie:

The name Skerryvore comes from the lighthouse that is located around eight miles off the coast of Tiree. It is an incredible piece of architecture designed by the famous Stevenson family. We choose this as the name for the band as we were really struggling to find a name at that time!

 

North Shore News:

What’s the music scene like in the west coast of Scotland? Does it revolve around Glasgow, in particular?

Alec Dalglish:

There’s a very vibrant music scene in the west coast of Scotland and it’s really booming at the moment with a wealth of young talent. It doesn’t necessarily revolve around Glasgow but it’s the main city in Scotland for a host of great venues and is a good central base for anyone who wants to be in the music business. You can see live music in all sorts of genres every night of the week in Glasgow.

 

North Shore News:

Skerryvore released a couple albums with traditional arrangements and then moved into writing original material. What was the transition like for the band?

Alec Dalglish:

It was a fairly natural transition for us really. Once we reached the stage where our career was at a more serious, professional level we decided we should really be writing original material. It’s always been a fun challenge to write things that fit my style, the sound of the band and suit the instrumentation. Once we had a few of our own original songs (and instrumental pieces by Martin, Daniel and Craig) it became obvious what this new ‘Skerryvore’ sound was. It’s really a mix of all of our personal musical tastes and musical upbringing.

 

North Shore News:

You’ve been touring the world for some time now - what are some of your favourite places to play?

Fraser West:

It’s great to see so many different places around the world. It can vary why we enjoy it. Sometimes it can be the crowd, sometimes it’s the hospitality at the venue or sometimes it’s just the place itself. We love going to Denmark, the hospitality and venues are amazing. We’ve done some amazing festivals and venues in the USA and Canada. We all loved Australia when we visited for the first time this year, too. We’re very lucky that we meet friends wherever we travel.

Skerryvore
Skerryvore, perform traditional and contemporary music from the west coast of Scotland. - Supplied

 

North Shore News:

What was the Oban Live festival like this year? You’ve established that as an annual event. It looks like a great way to showcase West Coast life.

Fraser West:

Oban Live this year was incredible. It was sold out both days which you can only dream about. The audiences are second to none and the weather was good to us again. It really is the perfect way to showcase west coast Scotland at its best. Great music, food and weather. Oban Live is taking a break in 2020 but we have something special planned for our 15th Anniversary Year . . .

 

North Shore News:

This is your first visit to Vancouver - what can fans expect?

Craig Espie:

Although this is our first trip to mainland west coast, we did visit Victoria last year and had an amazing time. We like to make every show a party and love it when the audience gets up on their feet and joins in, so expect lots of energy, plenty of bagpipes and a good old sing-song. Remember to bring your dancing shoes!

 

North Shore News:

What’s coming up for the band? Any plans to record?

Craig Espie:

Next year will mark the 15th anniversary of Skerryvore which will be celebrated with our biggest concert to date in Scotland on the sixth of June. Although we are yet to announce the exact location, we’re giving all of our North American audiences the chance to win a trip to Scotland to join us for the event, so make sure you come along to the show to find out how to enter.

 

 

 

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