INNERLEITHEN Music Festival is just a month away (August 17-19), and TheSouthern has teamed up with the organisers to offer a pair of tickets to see its opening concert of Battlefield Band and The Wrigley Sisters.
For Battlefield Band, the concert has a special significance, as they appeared in the very first performance at the festival in 2003.
Voted folk band of the year at the Scots Trad Music Awards last year, the group have been one of the great institutions of the Scottish music scene for more than 40 years. They have been touring in Australia this year, and plan a trip to north America as they release their new album in the coming months.
The latest line-up change was Ewen Henderson, a 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist (fiddle/ bagpipes/whistles/piano/vocals) who hails from Fort William.
Ewen was the first-choice replacement for remaining members Alasdair White, Mike Katz and Sean O’Donnell when founder member Alan Reid retired from the group after four decades on the road.
Ewen said: “I grew up listening to Battlefield Band and I couldn’t decide what was more terrifying; having to play alongside three musicians I’d personally looked up to through my own musical development or try and fill the shoes of a legend of the Scottish music scene.”
Alasdair, who plays fiddle, whistle and bazouki, told TheSouthern: “It’s always great to play a local festival – there is a special feeling about them.
“We played in front of 20,000 people at the Philadelphia Folk Festival last year and that was great.
“But you only get 20 to 25 minutes in front of that audience – at festivals like Innerleithen you get to meet real people and play for well over an hour.”
The Wrigley Sisters are made up of Orkney siblings Jennifer and Hazel. After many years of touring, the Wrigleys returned home to Orkney and in 2004 set up The Reel, predominantly a music school but also encompassing music shop, venue and exhibition space.
The school now has over 600 students, allowing the girls to put something back into Orkney.
As well as their concert performance on Friday, August 17, Jennifer and Hazel will be holding a guitar and fiddle workshop on the Saturday, August 18.
The concert in Innerleithen Memorial Hall starts at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £15 from Scotlight in Innerleithen, Eastgate Theatre in Peebles and online at www.innerleithenmusicfestival.org.
More information is available from the website or by calling 01721 729949.
To win a pair of tickets to the gig, as well as a Battlefield Band DVD, answer this question:
What is the name of the newest member of Battlefield Band?
Send your answer, name, full address and phone number to Battlefield Band Competition, The Southern Reporter, The Hermitage, High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DA, or email email@example.com by Thursday, July 19. Usual Southern rules apply.
Check TheSouthern’s Life page in the coming weeks for further Innerleithen Music Festival competitions.