Top Acts announced for Cowal Gathering Ceilidh Tent - Cowal Highland Gathering
27th - 29th August 2020

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News  »  Top Acts announced for Cowal Gathering Ceilidh Tent

Top Acts announced for Cowal Gathering Ceilidh Tent

The line up for the famous Ceilidh Tent at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering was revealed yesterday.

The quartet of acts includes some of the hottest up and coming names on the traditional music scene.

Leading the pack is one of Scotland’s most popular established ceilidh bands, Oban based Skipinnish.

Partners Andrew Stevenston and Angus McPhail have delighted audiences around the world since forming the band in 1999 whilst students at the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Drama and Music. The Skipinnish brand has since expanded to include not just the band but also ceilidh houses in Oban and Fort William, a record company and even its own whisky.

The band’s Cowal line up will be five strong, featuring accordion (Angus McPhail), bagpipes (Andrew Stevenston), bass, vocals, guitar, drums and whistles.

Supporting Skipinnish will be three acts with very different - but equally exciting -approaches to Highland music.

Multi-award winning band Outside Track brings an international flavour to this year’s event, with its members hailing from Canada, Scotland and Ireland.

Formed five years ago, the five strong band has already amassed an enviable haul of awards and has toured extensively in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA.

The most recent award was Group of the Year at Live Ireland 2012 and at the TIR Irish Music Awards. The bands Scottish accordionist Fiona Black is a BBC Fame Academy Winner and Scottish harpist Allie Robertson is a five times Mod gold medallist and BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist.

The Outside Track combines flute, harp, fiddle, guitar, accordian and vocals in energetic arrangements delivering traditional music with a modern twist. It also incorporates Irish and Canadian Cape Breton Step Dancing.

Also playing in the ceilidh tent will be Reely Jiggered, comprising sisters Alison and Fiona McNeill from Gourock and their cousin Scott Mclean from Glasgow.

Their contemporary take on Highland music features Alison (a BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year semi finalst) on fiddle and vocals, Fiona on guitar and vocals and Scott on drums.

For the Cowal Highland Gathering, the trio - who formed their band in 2008- will be augmented by Emma Murray on pipes and whistle and Hugh Cox on bass.

The fourth band to fire up the ceilidh tent will be Strachur based Heron Valley Ceilidh Band - no strangers to the Cowal Gathering having wowed the crowd with their debut performance last year.

The multi-talented teenagers -siblings Alex and Arlene McKechnie, Iain Wilson and Euan McNab- are now firmly established on the region’s ceilidh circuit.

Between them they perform on piano, accordion, fiddle, pipes (both Scottish small and Highland Bagpipes), box drum, guitar and banjo. Both Iain and Euan are accomplished solo pipers, as well as playing in Grade 1 Inveraray pipe band.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said: ’We are delighted to have secured such a fantastic line up of entertainment for this year’s ceilidh tent.’

’All four of these bands are dynamic trailblazers for contemporary Highland ceilidh music, and we’re thrilled that gathering spectators will have the chance to enjoy them all in one place, on one day.’

’Skipinnish will also be playing at our family ceilidh the night before, so there’s the chance to see them twice in 24 hours.’

’The announcement of the ceilidh tent acts is just the latest step in the build up to what is promising to be a great event’