A star-studded line-up featuring Fiddlers’ Bid, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham and acclaimed Scottish folk pioneers Lau has been unveiled for this summer’s Fiddle Frenzy.
The bill for the tenth festival, being staged in Mareel for the first time, has been curated by top fiddle-playing sisters Jenna and Bethany Reid.
Local favourites Fiddlers’ Bid will open the week-long festival with a concert on Sunday 4th August. The band are renowned across the globe as leading exponents of the islands’ rich fiddle tradition.
Their harmonious sound has developed through playing together since first forming in 1991. The group’s four-fiddle front line showcases some of Shetland’s finest fiddlers – Chris Stout, Kevin Henderson, Andrew Gifford and Maurice Henderson.
They are joined by a backing band featuring harpist Catriona McKay, guitarist Fionan de Barra and bassist Jonathan Ritch, creating “a display of stunning virtuosity at every concert”.
One of Shetland’s most famous sons, Bain – who won a lifetime achievement award at BBC Radio 2’s folk awards last year – will be joined by trusted sidekick Cunningham has they headline Mareel on Monday 5th August. The pair have been playing, touring and recording together since 1988.
Shetland Arts, which organises the festival, said it was delighted to welcome Aly and Phil to play in the isles to help celebrate Fiddle Frenzy’s first decade in existence. The duo will also play a concert in Cullivoe Hall on the prior Saturday.
Wednesday 7th August will see folk award-winning group Lau, described as “modern folk music’s most innovative band” and “brilliant musicians, thrilling performers and free-thinking visionaries”, take to the Mareel stage.
The group appeared at the 2010 Shetland Folk Festival, while skilled guitarist and singer Kris Drever is a regular visitor to the isles in his own right. He is joined by pioneering accordionist and electronics player Martin Green and melodically creative Scottish fiddler Aidan O’Rourke.
Shetland Arts said Lau had “long established themselves as one of the most sought-after and creative live acts performing today”.
On Saturday 10th August there will be a party atmosphere at the week’s finale, entitled “10th Birthday Bash”. It promises to be an event “jam-packed with local fiddle talent, performances from the Fiddle Frenzy students and a party atmosphere”.
“The line-up for Fiddle Frenzy 2013 really is something special,” Shetland Arts marketing officer Lisa Ward said. “We are delighted that Jenna and Bethany have helped to organise such a fantastic week, to be hosting Fiddle Frenzy events in Mareel for the first time, and to welcome the hugely talented headliners to Fiddle Frenzy for its tenth anniversary.”
The week will also incorporate two classes a day in Shetland fiddle and guitar accompaniment, alongside drawing, painting and photography classes to help visitors discover the islands’ beautiful landscape.
Mareel’s cafe-bar will serve as the festival club until 1am throughout the week, while classes will also be held at the neighbouring museum and archives.