Spence family cousins team up for television broadcast

TWO leading Shetland musicians will spearhead a music special to be broadcast Scotland-wide on Monday.

Steven Spence on fiddle and Gary Peterson on mandolin will join their direct relative Erik Spence from Inverness on accordion and keyboards in the programme featuring top talent from across the Highlands and Islands.

Erik’s daughter Iona, on guitar and flute, and family friend Jacqui MacDonald complete the line-up.

The idea of a so-called “Spence’s Session” was pitched by Erik, a freelance journalist, broadcaster and musician. The group have called themselves Colvadale, the name of Erik’s late great grand­parents’ home in Unst.

Erik said: “We had never all played together before the recording session at Tulloch Castle, Dingwall, in November. I only met Steven for the first time a few months ago but was well aware of his undoubted talent.

“Gary, too, is well known as an outstanding musician and it was great that we were able to put together a tune or two. Steven’s father, Arthur, and Gary’s mother, Thelma, are my full cousins so it’s very much a family affair.

“We’ve included two comp­ositions by Steven as well as three traditional Shetland reels, and one of my own songs.”

Programme producer and dir­ector Bob Kenyon, of Aberdeen-based Kenyon Communications, said: “This is the final programme on what has been a well-received music series over the years. The Highland-Shetland connection is an added bonus and means we really are going out on a high note.”

Ceol Special is on STV on Monday at 11.40pm.


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