One of Shetland’s favourite party bands, The Revellers, are limbering up for their first-ever mini tour of the Scottish mainland this autumn.
The group will be taking their fast-and-furious blend of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and heavier rock sounds to audiences in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Banff in early October.
It comes as CD sales of the band’s debut album Renegades near the 1,000 mark. That is around half of the entire number printed, with the volume of sales since the record was launched at the folk festival in early May far outpacing the band’s expectations. Renegades has also been given a worldwide digital release on iTunes, Amazon and through the group’s own website.
The Revellers originally formed as a tribute act to veteran folk-rockers The Levellers, also performing a mixture of traditional favourites, but recent concerts have seen their original material increasingly taking precedence.
Banjo player Lewie Peterson said that, during last Saturday’s “pretty crazy gig” at the Skeld Regatta, he noticed people in the front row singing the words to their own songs.
“It used to be that people requested Galway Girl and Fishermen’s Blues,” he said. “Now a lot of the requests we get are for our own songs, which is pretty cool. I don’t actually know if they [the Skeld audience] knew the words, but it certainly looked as if they knew them better than [singer] Magnus [Bradley]!”
The second half of 2013 is shaping up to be a busy time, with a date at the County Show in Orkney next Sunday followed by a headline slot at the Heavy Metal Buffet festival later this month, a September gig in Scalloway at which “we’re hoping to have a few surprise guests”, and a slot opening for Big Country at Mareel in October.
Some personnel changes have taken place. Guitarist Andrew Clubb has moved south and has been replaced by Michael “Beagle” Anderson, who has played with bands including Suppository Business, Stallions of the Highway and Tin Lizzy. Craig Birnie and Adam Priest will continue to share duties on bass.
The remainder of the line-up – completed by Lewie’s brother Erik on mandolin, fiddler Daniel Gear and drummer John-William Halcrow – remains unchanged.
• The Revellers will play Maggie May’s in Glasgow on October 2nd, Cabaret Voltaire in Edinburgh (3rd), Cafe Drummond’s in Aberdeen (4th) and a venue in Banff (5th).