A raft of top rock bands from the Scottish mainland are heading north to play the inaugural ShetFest this weekend.
The one-day event will take place on Saturday in Lerwick’s Da Wheel Bar during the afternoon and evening before heading along the road to Baroc for a late-night rock club night and afterparty.
Acts due to play the all-dayer include hotly-tipped Glasgow pop-punkers PAWS, ska act The Hostiles and eccentric rock trio Cuddly Shark. They will be joined by Cleavers and The Fire and I, who both will be returning to the isles, as well as fellow visiting acts The Murderburgers and Halfrican.
The line-up will be complemented by local bands The Last, The Dirty Lemons, Brundlehorse, Casino Feet, Kansas City Shuffle, Toni Sidgwick and Andy Chainsaw.
ShetFest is being organised by local music enthusiasts 45/33 Promotions, who comprise of Marshall Brill, Robert ‘Birdy’ Burgess, John Gair, Sandy Middleton and Jono Sandilands.
Brill said that the event will mark the culmination of months of preparation and hard work. “I’m very excited for ShetFest – it’s going to be a great day and night. There’s some brilliant bands who are up to very exciting things themselves, so it will be great to see them in such an intimate environment. There were a few unexpected things that happened along the way, but we managed to pull through.”
Headliners PAWS will visit the isles ahead of a US tour in June, with the trio also set to support indie icons We Are Scientists and The Cribs in the UK later in the year. NME has previously called their work a “brutal burst of pure emotion that takes no prisoners” while MTV reckon they purvey “stories of self-alienation, paranoia and insecurities slipped in between the rhythmic, fast-paced energy of the Misfits”.
Glasgow based Cuddly Shark, meanwhile, revealed that they have wanted to play in Shetland for some time due to pre-existing links with the isles.
Vocalist and guitarist Colin Reid said: “I’ve always wanted to visit Shetland – our drummer’s family are from there and he has been promising to take me for ages. Plus, we get to see some amazing bands like Halfrican, The Murderburgers, PAWS and our hometown comrades, the wonderful Cleavers.”
The trio’s sound is a jamboree of styles that pivot on a solid base of three-piece rock.
“I guess we’re a punk band with a country tinge, with some pop in there too,” Reid added. “There’s usually a bit of something for everyone. We try and make the live shows as fun as possible.
“The new album’s much more pop than the last one, so it gives us a chance to show off our new skills – being able to play more than just three chords.”
* ShetFest is due to kick off at midday in Da Wheel before finishing between 9-10pm and heading to Baroc until 2am. Limited tickets will be available from Baroc, subject to availability.