Seven-strong Skerryvore offer sounds of Scotland in Sheffield

Skerryvore play The Greystones, Sheffield, on November 22.
Skerryvore play The Greystones, Sheffield, on November 22.
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“The definition of Scottish music in the 21st Century” are preparing to bring their distinctive brand of Celtic-rock to Sheffield for the first time.

Glasgow-based Skerryvore – so described by Stuart Cassells, a founder of the famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers – are bringing their renowned live show’s “party atmosphere” to The Greystones.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the band of frontman Alec Dalglish, accordian player Daniel Gillespie, bagpipes player Martin Gillespie, fiddler Craig Espie, drummer Fraser West, bassist Jodie Bremaneson and keyboard player Alan Scobie.

And to mark the anniversary, Skerryvore – named after the country’s tallest lighthouse, on a remote reef 12 miles off the coast of the island of Tiree – have staged their own festival and released a Decade album, featuring a mix of live recordings and live studio sessions.

Alec says: “We’ve just celebrated our tenth anniversary as a band by putting on a one-day outdoor festival with several of our musical friends including Sharon Shannon and Dougie Maclean.

“The event was a huge highlight of our career so far and it was an incredible feeling to share our decade celebration with 6,000 friends and fans who’ve supported us all those years.”

So successful was the event, that the band have already turned attention to another one next year.

Alec says: “The success of the birthday bash has led to us planning an even bigger event for May next year.

“This will be a two-day festival in Oban, Scotland, and the event has been named Skerryvore’s Oban Live.”

However, while talking about the festival plans comes easy for Alec, he finds it more difficult to describe the band’s sound.

“We’re a seven-piece band based in Glasgow, Scotland and our style would probably be described as folk-rock or Celtic-rock,” he says, “although we do tend to mix in a fair number of different genres.

“We have many different musical influences within the band.

“Some of the band members were brought up learning traditional Scottish music on the bagpipes, accordion and fiddle and others were brought up in the world of pop/jazz/classical music.

“Describing our sound has always been quite difficult because it changes quite greatly from song to song.

“We have the traditional Scottish element in the form of pipe and fiddle melodies, but the songwriting style leans towards a more pop-orientated sound.

“Our instrumental sets, though, would most likely be described as Celtic-rock.”

However you describe Skerryvore’s sound, though, what is certain is the band want to have fun when they make their Steel City debut.

Alec says: “With it being our tenth anniversary, as well as our first time in Sheffield, we’ll be playing a broad mix of our old and new material.

“We pride ourselves on creating a party atmosphere at our gigs and want everyone to join in on the party.”

n Skerryvore play The Greystones on Sunday, November 22. For tickets, priced £12, call 0114 266 5599 or visit www.mygreystones.co.uk