Setting out on an international tour, the Scottish band, Skerryvore, is ready to take center stage at the Washington Center for Performing Arts on April 14 at 8 p.m. With an eight-member lineup, Skerryvore crosses genres, combining the sound of traditional Scottish tunes with elements of contemporary pop and rock. Concertgoers at the Washington Center will be able to experience longtime favorites from the band while also hearing sneak peeks from Skerryvore’s upcoming album, “Tempus.” Celtic music is best enjoyed live, where foot-tapping and singing-along are encouraged. Purchase your tickets now!
Skerryvore Delivers Electrifying Live Performances
Skerryvore has been performing and creating music for almost two decades. The band originally formed through a more casual approach, playing traditional Scottish songs in pubs and other small venues. The band’s original four-piece lineup included brothers Daniel Gillespie on accordion and Martin Gillespie on pipes, whistles and accordion, Fraser West on drums and Alec Dalglish on guitar and vocals.
“We just started really casually playing traditional West Coast cèilidh music,” explains Dalglish. “It’s the kind of stuff that you would play at weddings and dances and in pubs. Traditional sort of music, you would hear, playing pipes and accordions and fiddles. And we just made up as we went along with no intention to be in a band.”
Through word of mouth, the group gained popularity and were beginning to book more gigs. This inspired the group to take on an official name, Skerryvore, and eventually release their inaugural album, “West Coast Life.”
Over time Skerryvore’s music evolved, maintaining elements of traditional Scottish music while also writing more of their own material with pop, rock and folk influences. The band also added to their lineup throughout the years, including Craig Espie on fiddle, Jodie Bremaneson on bass, Alan Scobie on keyboards and Scott Wood on pipes and whistles.
In a live concert setting, the band combines their musical influences with an energetic performance, encouraging audience members to clap along, party and have fun during the show.
“We kind of blend songs together that have instrumental sections that have got that sort of Celtic folk thing to it,” says Dalglish. “But the songs are otherwise, pop or rock or sometimes a little bit Americana. And we kind of like to have an uplifting atmosphere at the concert.”
Hear Skerryvore’s Newest Tunes at the Washington Center
One of Skerryvore’s most recent ventures is their upcoming album, “Tempus.” Officially set for release on April 28, several tracks from this new album are already available online, including “Eye of the Storm,” “You & I” and “Everything You Need.”
The origins of “Tempus” stem from 2020, during periods of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While unable to perform live, Skerryvore started to record songs remotely, combining individual contributions from each band member’s home studio. This method proved successful as these remotely-created Skerryvore songs found increased play, including on the BBC Radio Two playlist, which Dalglish says was a longtime goal for the band. Over time, this led Skerryvore to expand from individual songs into a more cohesive album.
The use of home studios changed Skerryvore’s creative process for the new album, especially for Dalglish, who is a primary songwriter for the band. Dalglish was able to craft more polished demos within his home studio that he later presented to the rest of the band in the recording studio. For this album, the band focused on more radio-friendly tunes that contain Skerryvore’s signature mix of rock and pop with traditional instrumentals.
Anticipating the release of “Tempus,” Skerryvore is heading out on an international tour and will be performing in venues across the United Kingdom and the United States. As Skerryvore gears up for touring, Dalglish is excited to play for new audiences and to meet new people along the way.
Skerryvore will make a stop in Olympia on April 14 at 8 p.m. at the Washington Center for Performing Arts. Dalglish says the set list will contain a mix of offerings from throughout the band’s past discography, as well as brand new songs from “Tempus.”
“The audience will be among the first to hear some of those songs live,” explains Dalglish. “As well as songs that, well, at least to us, are the older classic ones. And they might all be new to the audience, depending on who’s seen us before. And just a mixture of that Celtic folk, rock crossover. We do some ballads, we do instrumental sets with double sets of pipes and fiddles and then some poppier, catchy sing-along songs as well. So, we kinda like to throw in a mixture of stuff and keep, hopefully, keep people entertained.”
To purchase tickets to see Skerryvore live, visit the Washington Center for Performing Arts website.