A provisional list of 14 visiting bands has been announced for the 30th Shetland Folk Festival, held over the weekend from 29th April to 2nd May.
The event, organised entirely by volunteers, includes another eclectic and innovative line-up comprising both first timers and favourites from previous years.
On the bill are Swedish acoustic band Väsen; award-winning Scottish trio Lau; Foghorn Stringband from the USA; the four-piece ensemble Ahimsa, who are based in India and Germany; along with the long-awaited return of Simon Thoumire and Ian Carr.
Other visitors are Sweden’s Baskery, comprised of three sisters; Slovenian band Eva Hren & Sladcore; and Scottish firebrands Session A9.
Ireland is well represented again with Mórga, The Unwanted and the Paradiso Jazz Quartet, Orkney revellers The Chair are back again and among the local bands scheduled to appear are Fiddlers’ Bid, Hom Bru, Fullsceilidh Spelemannslag and Maggie Adamson & Brian Nicholson.
There will also be a return appearance by The New Rope String Band whose hilarious and talented members have been firm favourites at festivals throughout the last 15 years.
The members of Väsen are already legendary among string players all over the world, with their nyckelharpa supremo Olov Johansson having already worked closely with Fiddlers’ Bid.
Ahimsa will be making their debut appearance with a captivating fusion of Indian Carnatic music and jazz while the Foghorn Stringband are guaranteed to thrill audiences with their interpretation of old-time American stringband music.
Lau, currently one of the most sought-after acts on the folk music scene, will make their long awaited Shetland debut while The Chair will perform for one night only at a special “inter-county” gig on Friday 30th April.
Baskery describe their music as “high voltage” with expressions like “killbilly”, “banjo punk” and “mud-country” and their stunning harmonies, original compositions, distinctive character and unafraid punk attitude should be guaranteed crowd pleasers.
Slighly mellower performances can be expected by Eva Hren & Sladcore whose music represents a contemporary take on Slovenian folk heritage with jazzy undertones and influences of ethno-folk, pop and even heavy rock.
The Unwanted features three Sligo-based musicans including Cathy Jordan, lead singer for acclaimed group Dervish. Along with Californian native, Rick Epping and Seamus O’Dowd, they combine traditions from Ireland to Appalachia and beyond. Fans of gypsy jazz are in for a treat with the Paradiso Jazz Quartet, a special assembly of fantastic musicians from France and Ireland including guitarists Youenn Derrien and Frank Kilkelly. Up and coming band Mórga will also be a guaranteed hit with audiences as they take listeners back to the sounds of the great traditional Irish bands of the 1970s.
As usual, the festival will conclude with the foys on Sunday 2nd May, which give audiences an opportunity of seeing all visiting acts in one evening.
With the festival selling out completely in recent years, the organisers are seeking to expand ticket availability in 2010 with an extra large capacity concert at Clickimin on the opening night.
Also, to help ensure that younger audience members are entertained, the organisers are planning a one-off concert featuring a high-profile children’s entertainment act. More details will follow in the coming weeks.
To help ensure the success of all events that make up the 30th anniversary festival, the organising committee are now appealing for sponsorship.
A number of early business supporters have already been secured including Baker Tilly, Delta Marine, Greig Seafood Hjaltland UK Ltd, LHD and Shetland Catch. However, many more sponsorship opportunities are available including for specific bands, particular concerts, the Festival Club and educational events. For more information on sponsorship or to request a sponsorship pack, contact Mhari Pottinger at email@example.com
Festival memberships go on sale on 22nd January. For more information visit www.shetlandfolkfestival.com