Following a successful summer season at Mareel’s recording studio, Shetland musicians Freda Leask, Haltadans and Herkja tour to Skeld, Burravoe and Bigton from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th November 2019.
Playing across Skeld Public Hall (15th November, 7.30pm), Burravoe Public Hall (16th November, 7.30pm) and Bigton Public Hall (17th November, 2.30pm), the tour is set to delight audiences with new tunes and old favourites from some of Shetland’s brightest and best musical acts.
The tour forms part of Oot and Aboot, Shetland Arts’ newest project which takes a diverse creative programme right across Shetland from Unst to Dunrossness and Walls to Whalsay. This next step in the project follows a tour around Skeld, Dunrossness and Hillswick, which saw the films of Shetland and Orkney artists Ruth Maclennan and Margaret Tait screened alongside footage from the Shetland Film Archive and the recent ‘Oot and Aboot – Open Mic on tour’ which took local musicans Hersel, Jenny Sturgeon and Shetland Mandolin Band to Sandwick and Walls whilst also opening up the stage for audience members to participate.
This time around, the focus of Oot and Aboot turns to music, with each of the three Shetland acts set to release new work. Recently playing to revelers at Shetland Wool Week, singer/songwriter Freda Leask is influenced by folk, acoustic, blues, roots, country and gospel. Founder of the Shetland folk band Shoormal – who’s initial album won a nomination for Best Newcomer on Mike Harding’s Folk On 2 Awards - Freda has also been recording new material with producer, well known Orcadian folk artiste, Kris Drever.
Having played at Mareel for Hogmanay in 2018, Haltadans will join the tour line-up. Upon their formation at the Shetland Folk Festival, their aim is to revive and build on Shetland’s rich collection of fiddle tunes. Whilst mindful of their traditional roots, Maurice Henderson, Ewen Thomson, Lois Nicol, Grant Nicol and John Clark approach tunes in a fresh yet sensitive manner. Their first self-titled studio album was recorded at Mareel in 2014, and fans await their latest release.
Debuting with an outstanding gig at the Shetland Folk Festival in 2018, and latterly playing at Mareel for Hogmanay that year, Herkja round up the boutique line-up for the tour. Comprised of Lana Elaine Smith, Martha Thomson, Jenny Sturgeon and Lyn Anderson, they combine vocals and stunning harmonies with fiddle, accordion, piano and harmonium. With Scottish, Scandinavian and Irish influences, they group bring a tour-de-force of contemporary and traditional folk songs and tunes.
Tim Matthew, Programme Manager at Shetland Arts said, “It’s been a very rewarding period in the studio, working with 3 local groups who are all of extremely high quality and yet very individual in style. At this point in the projects where things are coming to completion I feel very lucky to have been part of the process and proud to be able to present this showcase to Shetland audiences.“
Oot and Aboot tours across Skeld Public Hall (Friday 15th November, 7.30pm), Burravoe Public Hall (Saturday 16th November, 7.30pm) and Bigton Public Hall (Sunday 17th November, 2.30pm). Tickets can be booked in person at Mareel or at the Shetland Arts outlet at Sumburgh Airport, by phone on 01595 745500, or online here.