Eden Court rings to the tunes of Blas

Eden Court in Inverness has hosted many fabulous Blas Festival concerts and this year’s events, on 9 and 10 September, will be no exception.

Crossing Borders will be performed in the One Touch Theatre on Friday 9 September. An exciting new work by Inverness fiddler, Graham Mackenzie, originally commissioned by Celtic Connections, Crossing Borders is a journey through the places that have influenced Graham and shaped him as a musician. Graham will be launching his debut CD at the event joined by an enviable line-up including Megan Henderson, Robbie Mackenzie, Innes Watson, Alice Allen, Stewart Wilson, Ciorstaidh Beaton, Scott Wood, Jim Molyneux and Alison Mackenzie.

Sharing the stage will be a collective of Gaelic singers recently involved in Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Fuaran project. Fuaran, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has resulted in a CD and online resource being created. Blas will showcase the diverse range of Gaelic songs unearthed through the project by Ceitlin LR Smith (Lewis), Ellen MacDonald, (Inverness/North Uist) Anna and Jamie MacDonald (Tiree), Isabelle Bain (Lewis) and John James Galbraith (Barra).

A great mix of international and Highland talent will round off Blas in Eden Court’s Empire Theatre the following evening, Saturday 10 September, headlined by Box player Sharon Shannon from County Clare, a superstar of Irish music who has toured with the Waterboys and enjoyed success featuring with Steve Earle on the world No1 song Galway Girl.

Sharon Shannon’s band will be joined by Nuallan, a group of pipers formed in 2012 through Cape Breton’s Gaelic College to represent, promote and explore the Gaelic style of piping brought to Canada from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Tide Lines is a brand-new four piece band made up of former Skipinnish boys, Robert Robertson from Lochaber and Ross Wilson from Mull, as well as Alasdair Turner from Alness and Fergus Munro from Glasgow. They are riding high on the success of their first single, Far Side of the World, which entered the UK download charts ahead of Coldplay, Beyonce and Adele.

Completing the line-up will be Gaelic poet and writer Angus Peter Campbell, originally from South Uist, whose epic novel An Oidhche Mus do Sheòl Sinn, was voted by the public as one of the Top Ten Best Ever Books from Scotland in The List/Orange Awards. Angus Peter is appearing at Blas through of a long-standing collaboration with Comhairle nan Leabhraichean, the Gaelic Books Council.

Donna Macrae of the Blas Festival said: “The festival’s remit is to ensure quality events take place across the Highlands and Argyll in venues large and small. Blas has enjoyed a relationship with Eden Court since the festival’s establishment and it is fitting to round off the festival at the Highlands’ premier venue with two magnificent shows showcasing Gaelic culture.”

The full Blas Festival programme is now available at www.blas-festival.com where full details of all events and how to buy tickets can be found.

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