Skipinnish to stage one of Scotland’s biggest ever trad music gigs at Edinburgh Castle next summer
Skipinnish, a former ceilidh band who made their name playing pubs and village halls around the Highlands and Islands after being formed by two students nearly 25 years ago, will follow in the footsteps of Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, The Who, Tom Jones, Deacon Blue and The Proclaimers when they appear at the castle esplanade.
The Celtic rock outfit have been booked for Edinburgh's Castle Concerts series after one of their best-known anthems was used in the 2022 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The band, who will appear at the castle on July 12, have already announced a headline show at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in January and big top gig in Inverness in July to celebrate their 25th anniversary.
The Skipinnish show, which goes on sale on Friday, is the second to be announced for next year’s Castle Concerts series, with the Manic Street Preachers and Suede playing a co-headlining gig.
Skipinnish were formed by accordion player Angus MacPhail, from Tiree, and piper Andrew Stevenson, from Lochaber, while the pair were studying at the-then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
The band grew in number thanks to appearances at pub sessions, wedding dances, ceilidhs and festivals. Renowned for crowd-pleasing anthems like Alive, The Island and Walking on the Waves, Skipinnish, who are now fronted by the Lewis singer Norrie “Tago” MacIver, now regularly sell out major venues like the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow and the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.
The band’s 8,500-capacity Edinburgh Castle show reflects a surge in popularity of trad music acts over the past decade. A new Hoolie at the Hydro event launched last year sold more than 7,000 tickets. More than 8,000 have already been bought for a follow-up show in December.
MacPhail said: “Since Skipinnish started in 1999, we have never been so excited about a gig. Little did we think back then when we were students playing tunes around the pubs and village halls, that we would be marking our 25th year with a concert at Edinburgh Castle.
“This is the biggest announcement we have ever made and we are so grateful to our fans who have supported us throughout our voyage and given us this chance to perform in a setting beyond the wildest dreams of the two young lads we were in 1999.
"Of everything I’m looking forward to about this event, by far the most powerful is the sound of a Skipinnish crowd in full voice resonating around the castle and down the Royal Mile.”
Mark Markie, chief executive of Regular Music, who stage the Castle Concerts, said: “We’re thrilled that Skipinnish has chosen to come and celebrate their birthday with us up at the castle next year for what will be a truly amazing event.”
Jason Barrett, the Tattoo’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re delighted to present both modern and traditional music, and Skipinnish's Walking on the Waves made for a perfect finale in our 2022 show. We’re proud to carry on our partnership with the band as we welcome them to our arena to celebrate their 25 anniversary.”
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