When SKERRYVORE first formed on the tiny Isle of Tiree off
Scotland’s west coast in 2005, little could they have known
that within only a matter of years they would be performing in over 20 countries worldwide, playing to audiences from
Chicago to Shanghai, with four albums and an array of
industry awards under their belt.
Back then, Skerryvore consisted of Tiree-born brothers Daniel Gillespie (accordion) and Martin Gillespie (bagpipes, whistles & accordion) who bonded with holidaymaker Fraser West (drums & vocals) and friend Alec Dalglish (lead vocals & guitar) over a shared love of music: everything from traditional to rock and jazz.
It was this mix of musical styles and sounds that set the path for the band’s debut album, ‘West Coast Life’, released later the same year and awarded Album of the Month by BBC Radio Scotland’s Celtic Connections programme.
The more the fledgling band experimented with fusing together different influences, the more their signature sound evolved, aided by the arrival of new members Barry Caulfield (bass & vocals) and Craig Espie (fiddle) in time for their second album, ‘On The Road’, in 2007.
But it was with the release of their self-titled third album, ‘Skerryvore’, that the band found themselves catapulted into the musical limelight, winning a string
of prestigious awards, including SNMA Record of the Year 2011 and STMA Live Act of the Year 2011, and garnering much critical acclaim:
“Skerryvore are the most promising young band in Scotland today.”
Mick MacNeil, Simple Minds
As word quickly spread, booking after booking followed with Skerryvore performing at venues and festivals in over 20 countries worldwide – from Bahrain to Beijing, and from Scotland’s very own T in the Park, Belladrum and Loopallu to Central Park NYC where the band played to an audience of 10,000 for Scotland Week.
It was from these experiences on the road that the band drew inspiration for what is undeniably their most polished and radio-ready album to date,‘World of Chances'.
Created in collaboration with producer and guest musician Alan Scobie (keyboards & percussion), and recorded in part at the iconic Fisher Lane Studio (Genesis, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, The Cure), ‘World of Chances’ weaves together the band’s spine-tingling musical talents with the award-winning songwriting abilities of frontman Alec Dalglish (Frankie Miller Songwriter of the Year 2011).
At times uplifting, at times reflective, the result is a brighter, breezier, feelgood sound that looks set to broaden the band’s appeal even further, with ‘World of Chances’ having already been selected as Album of the Week by five different radio stations, including BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson show.
When not touring the different corners of the globe, the band can still be found performing relentlessly, contributing to projects by Live Music Now (LMN), The Royal Blind School, Artlink Central and HMP Cornton Vale as well as special needs schools throughout the UK. They also feature in a current VisitScotland TV commercial aimed at international audiences.
To coin the words of one local journalist: “Six of the best musical ambassadors Scotland could ever have wished for… a living, breathing, 12-legged party waiting to happen.”
The Falkirk Herald, Scotland