2015 might not be over yet, but Shetland Arts are already looking ahead to 2016, and it’s shaping up to be another great year for gig goers.This Friday will see tickets go on sale for Mareel’s annual Hogmanay bash – featuring an open mic from 8-10pm, before our Mixology DJs take to the decks to bring in the New Year – and what a new year it will be!
As well as Brooklyn-indie group The Lone Bellow, being brought to Shetland by local promoters Ragged Wood Productions in January, dates have now been confirmed for two stellar line ups in February.
music fans will be treated to a triple whammy of Scottish singer songwriting talent when James Yorkston, Withered Hand and The Pictish Trail take to the stage in a collaborative show. All three will be on stage throughout the show, sharing songs, stories, laughs and ‘having a blether’ as they go.
An original member of The Fence Collective, which spawned KT Tunstall, King Creosote and The Beta Band, Yorkston, has been described as ‘a poetic genius at work’. His most recent album, The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society, produced by Alexis Taylor (of Hot Chip) and featuring some of his old pals; KT Tunstall and The Pictish Trail, has received rave reviews.
The Pictish Trail (aka Jonny Lynch) has been described as ‘a self-depreciating hairy hobo’ whose extraordinary vocals reveal hidden depths that can subdue the most rowdy of audiences into a blissfully hypnotised silence. Hi innovative, genre-defying approach has seen him mentioned in the same breath as his heroes Beck, The Beta Band and Hot Chip and in 2013 he joined the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand and Charlotte Gainsbourg as part of the line-up for Beck’s Song Reader live concert.
Withered Hand is the nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter Dan Willson, who started writing songs almost ten years ago during a period of reflection following the birth of his first child and the death of a close friend. His 2014 album New Gods was named Scottish Album of the Year, and features performances from members of Belle & Sebastian, Frightened Rabbit, King Creosote and other luminaries of the Scottish Music Scene.
Then on 20th February, Irish folk giants Beoga will perform alongside Chris Stout and Catriona McKay as part of the Valhalla project commissioned by Belfast’s The Mac Theatre. Stout and McKay will need no introduction for Shetland audiences, and are always a welcome sight on any stage. Beoga (gaelic for ‘lively’) are based in County Antrim, in the north of Ireland. The bedrock of their sound lies firmly within the Irish tradition. However, they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ nuances into their music. From bluesy riffs to Astor Piazzola-style jazz, to a raunchy New Orleans jamboree vibe, their music always returns to a wonderfully bouncy Irish sound. The result is traditional, with a huge sense of fun and adventure.
Valhalla is a series of new works composed by Beoga, Stout and McKay, following a five day residency at The Mac. The compositions will marry the links between the music of Shetland and the music of Ireland. As well as a 20 minute program of new compositions, the collaboration seeks to explore and develop the music from Seavaigers (featuring the music of Sally Beamish and Chris Stout & Catriona McKay & performed with the Scottish Ensemble at Mareel 2014) and Beoga's albums 'The Incident' (Grammy shortlisted album in 2009) and 'how to tune a fish' (2012).
Tickets for all three events are available through Shetland Box Office in person at Mareel and Isleburgh, over the phone on 01595 745555 or online at www.shetlandboxoffice.org