Season Launch Full of Tempting Trad Tunes

Fittingly, the trad feast kicks off with the granddaddies of them all, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, who return to the Eastgate (22 Sept) for a night of jig ‘n’ reel fireworks and scurrilous banter. Sublime musicians and consummate entertainers, their on-stage humour is as razor sharp as the music itself.

Following hot on the heels of Aly and Phil are four bands, all from different backgrounds and all with strong followings. It all begins on 1 October with an appearance by Fara, one of Scotland’s most exciting young folk acts whose fiery sound is rooted in the band’s Orkney upbringings.

On 8 Oct it is the turn of RANT, a band that sees four of Scotland’s finest fiddle players come together to create a sound that is both rich and lush, yet retains a real bite and spark, weaving a tapestry of melodies, textures, layers and sounds.

The pulse-quickening series of live acts continues in November with chart-toppers Talisk, who have toured the world racking up major awards for their explosively energetic sound. Band members Mohsen Amini, Hayley Keenan and Graeme Armstrong fuse concertina, fiddle and guitar to produce a ground-breaking, multi-layered and enthralling signature sound.

Described by Songlines as “a folky force to be reckoned with”, Atlantic Canada’s powerhouse Còig round off proceedings when they swap Nova Scotia for the Scottish Borders in November. This award-winning quartet has cemented its status as one of the most exciting North American Celtic groups, offering a fresh and exhilarating mix of traditional tunes, lively instrumentals and contemporary songs performed on more than a dozen instruments.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham appear at the Eastgate on 22 Sept, Fara on 1 Oct, RANT on 8 Oct, Talisk on 4 November and Còig on 24 November. Further info and tickets available from the Eastgate Box Office on 01721 725777, or online.