Hebridean band take over former lighthouse ship for global streaming event from Leith Docks

A luxury floating hotel overlooking Edinburgh's new film studio is to be turned into a concert venue for a global streaming event.

Hebridean band Skerryvore will take over a former west coast lighthouse ship berthed in Leith Docks for a live show, shortly before it reopens to the public for overnight stays.

They will perform in the lavish ballroom of the former Northern Lighthouse Board vessel Fingal, which was built in 1963 and was in service for nearly 30 years, at Skerryvore’s Onboard event.

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It opened as a luxury hotel just over two years ago after a £5 million transformation by the trust which runs the Royal Yacht Britannia as a visitor attraction in Leith Docks.

Skerryvore’s fans will be taken on a virtual tour of Britannia and be treated to a special performance by keyboard player Alan Scobie on its famous Welmar baby grand piano, which was played by Sir Noël Coward and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The “pay what you want” event will feature interviews with various band members in Fingal’s Skerryvore Suite which, like the group, is named after Scotland’s tallest lighthouse 11 miles off the coast of Tiree in the Outer Hebrides, which Fingal used to regularly visit.

Costing upwards of £1200 a night to stay in, it features a private deck and dining area a converted of part of the ship the Princess Royal previously slept in when Fingal was still in service.

The floating hotel is located in Leith’s Alexandra Dock, close to the former Pelamis wind turbine factory which has just been turned into a film studio, where Amazon Prime has just started shooting a supernatural thriller set on a North Sea oil rig.

Skerryvore’s livestream show from Fingal on Saturday 24 April will be the third staged over the last 12 months by the band, one of Scotland’s leading trad music outfits, who founded the Oban Live music festival.

Their last event, on New Year’s Day, which took fans on a virtual tour of the birthplace of Robert Burns, was viewed by more than 7000 fans around the world.

Founder member Daniel Gillespie, Skerryvore’s managing director, said: “We’re really looking forward to treating everyone to a truly unique livestream.

“The ship makes for a spectacular venue and we feel incredibly honoured to be able to play to fans around the world from this special place.

Alec Dalglish, Fraser West, Daniel Gillespie, Martin Gillespie and Alan Scobie visit Fingal in Leith ahead of Skerryvore's gig this month.

“The last year hasn’t exactly been plain sailing and we continue to miss touring and visiting the home towns of our fans.

"But we’ve been thrilled to see how many people are enjoying seeing us via livestream and we hope this latest offering ups the ante for fans yet again.

"The year started with a bang for us when we entered the BBC Radio 2 playlist for six weeks in a row so we hope this will also be a chance for the thousands of people who have discovered the band in recent months to get a taste of that unique live Skerryvore experience.”

Andrew Thomson, head of hospitality and events at Fingal, said: “Not only did Fingal service Skerryvore Lighthouse in her Northern Lighthouse Board days but our most luxurious suite is named after this iconic lighthouse – the tallest in Scotland. It’s the perfect collaboration and what a way to build up to our re-opening.”

Skerryvore bandmates Daniel Gillespie, Alan Scobie, Fraser West, Alec Dalglish and Martin Gillespie at Fingal in Leith.

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Skerryvore's gig from Fingal is expected to be broadcast to thousands of fans around the world.
Skerryvore will be broadcasting live from Fingal in Leith on Saturday 24 April.
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