Cowal Highland Gathering attracts top ceilidh acts - Cowal Highland Gathering
25th - 27th August 2022


News  »  Cowal Highland Gathering attracts top ceilidh acts

Cowal Highland Gathering attracts top ceilidh acts

The Cowal Highland Gathering has once again ensured that its famous Ceilidh Tent will feature some of Scotland’s most exciting and dynamic traditional music acts.

The line-up of bands for the 2014 event, announced today, promises not only to excite existing ceilidh music fans but also generate scores of new followers.

Leading from the front again will be Oban-based Skipinnish, who brought the house down when they headlined the show last year.

They will be joined by three of the hottest up and coming names on the traditional music scene – Hell for Leather, the Argyll Ceilidh Trail and the Reel Time Ceilidh Band.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said he was delighted to have secured such a high quality line-up.

“We received fantastic feedback on the Ceilidh Tent entertainment last year, and we’re determined to at least match that at this year’s event,” he added.

“I’ve no doubt that this year’s bands will be equally popular, as all four of them are dynamic trailblazers for contemporary Highland ceilidh music. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy their incredible talents in one place, on one day.

“Skipinnish will also be playing at our Family Ceilidh the night before, for which the tickets will shortly go on sale, so there’s the chance to see them twice in 24 hours!

“This is just the latest in a string of exciting announcements about the entertainment on offer this year. We’re very excited about how the 2014 Gathering is shaping up, and we’re continuing to explore all avenues in order to ensure we put on the best show we possibly can.”

Skipinnish needs little introduction to traditional Scottish and gaelic music fans, being one of the country’s most popular established ceilidh bands.

The band was formed in 1999 by piper Andrew Stevenson from Achnacarry near Fort William and Angus MacPhail from Tiree, when both were students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Since then their infectious brand of Highland music – featuring the combined power of accordion, bagpipes, bass, vocals, guitar, drums, and whistles - has been heard in locations across the world from the Marine Hotel in Mallaig to the Hyundi Hotel in South Korea.

Skipinnish was relaunched in 2013 with a new lineup and new CD and was in big demand for festivals, concerts, dances, weddings, radio broadcasts and television appearances. Their stunning new singer, Robert Robertson, was a 2013 Mod Gold medal winner.

Andrew and Angus are partners in the Skipinnish brand that also operates the popular ceilidh house in Oban and Fort William, which offers visitors to Scotland a taste of Scottish traditional music and dance. They also have their own recording company, which includes the popular Skerryvore band, previous performers at Cowal.

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

Hell for Leather, which has played together for 14 years, has strong family connections throughout Argyll and the Western Isles, and one of its band members was born in Dunoon.

The band performs on highland bagpipes, mandolin, electric and acoustic guitar, accordian, bodhran and vocals. Hell for Leather is also accompanied by highland dancer and tenor drummer Chloe Campbell Bowman.

The band has played at festivals and functions throughout Scotland and some members have also performed abroad, including at New York’s Tartan Day Parade in 2013.

The Argyll Ceilidh Trail comprises eight talented young traditional musicians who will perform throughout the area during August.

The first Ceilidh Trail was established in 1999 in the Highlands to help young musicians develop their performance skills and create a vibrant traditional music entertainment programme. Since then annual Ceilidh Trails have been established in different parts of Scotland, and 2014 is the fifth year in Argyll.

Participants are selected by interview before having an intensive week training at the Centre For Excellence In Traditional Music in Plockton, Wester Ross.

This year’s musicians will perform on accordion, fiddle, pipes, keyboards, flute, whistle, guitar and vocals. This is the group’s first visit to Cowal.

The fourth band to fire up the Ceilidh Tent will be the Edinburgh-based Reel Time Ceilidh Band, which offers traditional music with a contemporary twist.
The band usually performs as a three or four piece with bagpipes, guitar, keyboard and drums.
This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering – which takes place in association with charity partner Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) – runs from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 August.