Folk quartet Fara to perform new album tracks in Peebles

Orcadian folk quartet Fara make a return visit to the Borders this weekend armed with fiddles and the promise of fiery and engaging tracks from their latest album.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 12:44 pm

They’ll make a much-anticipated appearance in Peebles on Saturday, October 26, as they tour the UK with material from their second album, ‘Times from Times Fall’.

Fara were formed in 2014, bringing together four young musicians from Orkney who are now at the forefront of today’s Scottish folk scene.

Fiddlers Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price, with pianist Jennifer Austin, conjure a colourful sound rooted strongly in an upbringing immersed in the music of the Northern Isles.

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In addition to playing together as Fara, the four have diverse outside projects, such as playing with Blazin’ Fiddles,Siobhan Miller, Rachel Sermani and Twelfth Day.

They made several appearances as The Chairettes, a backing band for Orkney band The Chair. But, at one gig, they were asked to play a couple of sets on their own and Bob Gibbon, The Chair’s accordionist and Orkney Folk Festival director, suggested they form a new band. Following a nomination for Up And Coming Act of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2015, the success of their debut album, ‘Cross The Line’, in 2016 led to a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Horizon Award. In 2017 they won the German Critics Choice Award and were nominated for Folk Band of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.

Since then they’ve graced the stage twice at the annual HebCelt Festival on the Isle of Lewis, performed in Australia, China, Canada and Switzerland, and made their debut appearance at Kelso Folk Festival.

Comprised entirely of self-penned songs and instrumental tracks, Fara says the album celebrates the community which inspired them to become musicians.

It’s an album rooted in the spirit of Orkney and its people, combining the unique isles fiddle tradition with contemporary and original songs and tunes.

With the mission of creating something entirely new and collaborative, the ladies have co-written many of the melodies on the album, blending all four distinctively-different musical voices together, celebrating the unity of their beginnings.

The songs incorporate words by Orcadian poets George McKay Brown, Edwin Muir and Christina Costie, as well as one original and one traditional text.

The Orcadian imagery running through these songs, alongside new melodies brimming with the islands’ tradition, whilst also pointing in new directions, celebrates the ever-expanding Orcadian folk tradition.

And the reviews on the new album so far certainly agree, with one from Folk Radio saying: “Fara have all the ingredients for a perfect album, and ‘Times from Times Fall’ is the proof.”

Fara plays the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles this Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets, costing £15, £13 and £6 under-15s, available from box office on 01721 725777, or online at