Energectic five-piece hit Sabhal Mòr

Critically-acclaimed Edinburgh-based quintet Mt Doubt are making big waves on the Scottish music scene.

Described as “Caledonian pop with a good slug of guitar” the “atmospheric” alt rock/dark pop five-piece are on tour to promote their latest EP Moon Landing and come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, An Talla Mòr, tomorrow (Saturday, 18 November) with singer-songwriter and poet Lee Robert Bouzida.

In 2015, Edinburgh musician Leo Bargery set up the Mt Doubt project. Two years down the line and the addition of four talented musicians, the band have received radio airplay on Amazing Radio, Xfm, KEXP, and BBC Radio Scotland;  Leo’s distinctive vocals (“a voice like grizzled honey”) and the band’s accomplished musicianship have gained high praise from The Herald, The National and the BBC; and they were tipped as one of Vic Galloway’s ’25 Scottish Artists to Watch in 2016.

Lee Robert Bouzida is a young singer songwriter with family connections in Ord. He comes to An Talla Mòr following the launch his new CD, The Making of a Bad Dream.

The evening kicks off at 7.30pm.

SEALL’s new and extended Board

At a busy AGM on 15 November SEALL was delighted to welcome aboard 3 new Directors: Eilidh MacFadyen, Student Liaison Officer at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (and who probably halves the average age of the Board!); Rose Hill of Broadford and John White of Kilmuir. They join the current members: Rosie Macdonald, Kath MacLeod, Alistair MacAoidh, Robert Spode, Jacqui MacKinnon, Pam Allen and Duncan MacInnes.

Welcome to Skye’s new cultural hub

“Pleasure to officially open @SEALLEventsSkye new hub – great people with a passion for culture”

Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Minister for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

Scotland’s new cultural arts hub celebrated its official opening on Friday morning with a number of very special guests.

During her short visit to Skye last week, Fiona Hyslop, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, visited the new office and community space of SEALL (Skye Events for All), the largest rural touring promoter in the Highlands.

The community-led performing arts promotion charity runs a year-round touring programme and the Fèis an Eilein, the Skye Festival. SEALL’s head office has been situated on the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig campus in Arainn Ostaig for a number of years but, owing to an increase in staff in late 2016, needed more space. Last week, they moved upstairs to the old library room and transformed the space into an ambient and comfortable cultural hub where artists and members of the community will be made welcome. 

Between a wet and windy trip to the Fairy Pools and a tourism summit at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the minister took time to officially open SEALL’s new offices alongside SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate Forbes.

Guests included Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Principal Boyd Robertson, Lucilla Noble of Fearann Eilein Iarman, local dignitaries and members of the Skye communities who were all treated to a warm Island welcome and a few songs by Ùig Gaelic singer Anne Martin. The Minister was also presented with a book entitled An Leabhar Liath by Ian MacPherson and Peter Mackay, which provided the inspiration for a concert by Anne during this year’s Féis an Eilein.

The Minister said: “SEALL is an inspiration to what can be achieved in terms of support for Scotland’s culture. Over the years, SEALL has become one of the best rural performing arts promoters in Scotland with a great reach and range of events.

“SEALL connects with the local communities to help serve them and is one of the best organisations across the UK in terms of its ability to mobilise its many volunteers in a very rural area.

“Skye has always been on the cultural map and achievements such as this are the life blood of our communities.”

Mrs Hyslop made particular note of Scottish band The Elephant Sessions who come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s An Talla Mòr on Thursday, 16 November, as part of SEALL’s 2017 autumn programme.

She said: “The Elephant Sessions are one of those Scottish bands who are on course for a great career. I saw them recently on the Pavillon de l’Écosse at the Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France. They got such a good reception that the pavilion floor broke!”

On Twitter, the minister tweeted: “Pleasure to officially open @SEALLEventsSkye new hub-great people with a passion for culture- they have @ElephantSession gig soon.”

Kate Forbes added: ““I was delighted to join the Cabinet Secretary for Culture to officially open the new SEALL offices in Sleat.

“SEALL is a fantastic initiative – I’m on their mailing list and so I see the fantastic variety of events.

“I commend the huge amount of work that has gone in to building up SEALL and it was great to spend time with the team and the Cabinet Secretary to celebrate those successes.”

SEALL chair Eileen Armstrong said: “It was a great privilege to welcome everyone to this momentous day in SEALL’s history and the opening of a brand new cultural space on Skye.

“This will be more than just an office and we hope its informal atmosphere will not only encourage locals and visitors to drop in for a chat but will also provide a welcoming space for our performing artists to meet and rest before their concerts.”

Established in 1991 by director Duncan MacInnes, award-winning SEALL has grown from a small community events organisation in the south of Skye to the largest performing arts promoter in the Highlands, delivering a diverse mix of quality live events to locals and visitors in an area with a population of around 800 people.

Duncan said: “We were absolutely delighted with the turn-out to the opening of our new cultural hub and for the show of support from the Scottish Government, councillors and members of our local communities. We offer our thanks to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for offering us the use of this space and for our on-going partnership.

“Above all, we owe our continued success to the tremendous support we receive from our funders, partners and communities as well as our board members and the volunteers who give their time and effort to make SEALL events so popular. Of course, SEALL would not be here without the support from local people and visitors who make it a priority to come to our events in all weathers and at all times of year.

“SEALL is all about bringing top quality events to remote rural areas of the Highlands whilst embracing our Island’s unique cultural heritage and we are proud to be considered leading lights in the creative sector of Scottish culture.”

SEALL administrator Marie Lewis says she is looking forward to welcoming visitors to the new hub. She said: “We are very grateful to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for facilitating this new move. We’ve spent some time and effort in transforming the old library into a comfortable, informal space.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors and artists to Skye’s new cultural hub and extend a warm invitation to anyone who is interested or involved in performing arts on the Island, as well as members of our wonderful communities, to come in for a chat, have a coffee and see what we do.”

Skye debut for Embers

Adam Holmes & the Embers come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Tuesday, 7 November and will be joined on this UK tour by Rachel Sermanni.

Singer-songwriter Adam Holmes is one of the brightest rising stars on the UK music scene, with influences from either side of the Atlantic mixing together to form his own brand of soulful Americana with a hint of Scotland.

Adam said: “The band and I can’t wait to play at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. This will be our first time playing on Skye but we’ve only ever heard great things about the crowd and we can’t wait to see you all.

The Midnight Milk tour will showcase the much-anticipated third album from the Edinburgh outfit. This new album is a widescreen affair with no instrument or sound off limits, audiences will be happy to hear the live performance is no different with instrumentation including guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion and glockenspiels.

When Adam began thinking of ideas for his third album he came to the realisation that his four year old MacBook had more technology on it than The Beatles had available for Sergeant Pepper or that Pink Floyd had used on Dark Side of the Moon. With the confidence that he had everything to hand that he needed to get the album in his head out to the world, he began the process of recording and producing Midnight Milk from the comfort of his own bedroom. What has resulted is not the minimalist album that you might expect, but instead an album that upon listening has been described as an “atmospheric, cinematic experience”.

Adam’s live performances have been described as “atmospheric” or “cinematic” and their concert promises audience a cross mix of musical genres, ranging from folk to gospel to hip-hop with some ska and reggae rhythms,  alongside some beautiful melodies that fans have come to expect of this band. Ultimately the performance promises to leave the audience feeling a sense of completeness and satisfaction, the ultimate aim behind the album.

The “minimal, murky, magnificent” music of Rachel Sermanni provides an exciting addition to the evening. Rachel has proved herself to be one of Britain’s most promising folk artists and this live set will be accompanied by her long-time friend Jennifer Austin on piano. 

More information and tickets from HERE.

 

SEALL AGM and new Directors

The A.G.M. and Members’ evening is on Wednesday 15 November in our new office upstairs in the old courtyard of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (next An Talla Mòr). Come along to find out what a great year we had in 2017, and talk about plans for 2018 over a glass of wine. We are always interested in widening the expertise of our Directors. We are losing Eileen Armstrong, our chairperson this year, so are looking for at least one new Board Member. If you are interested download SEALL Board application form

Monster of a performance

★★★★ “(A) small and perfectly formed piece of physical theatre… wondrous to behold and awesome in the true sense of the word” Irene Brown, Edinburgh Guide 

© Chris Scott

An unusual and captivating piece of visual theatre, exploring Mary Shelley’s Gothic monster, comes to Sleat next week.

Edinburgh-based circus artist, musician, theatre maker and entertainer, Phil Hardie, will deliver Welcome My Son, his immersive solo exploration of Frankenstein via circus, physical and traditional theatre and words.

Based on Mary Shelley’s “The Modern Prometheus” the show explores themes of social conformity, isolation, prejudice and abandonment, told in an extraordinary, moving and intensely physical performance.

Phil seamlessly blends acrobatics and balancing acts with dialogue to build the narrative, in particular the relationship of the central two characters: Dr Frankenstein and his monster.

© Chris Scott

With a chilling and uncomfortable original score by composer Stuart MacFerson, this visual masterpiece is not for the faint hearted and may well leave its audience clinging to their seats.

“Heart in mouth stuff as well as tears in eyes. Stunning marvellous and truly original. Thank you.”

“Fantastic theatre, managed to drag me into the piece entirely. I could watch him all night.”

“Great music and creation of mood…magnetic presence…fully engaging with us, we understood your characters dilemma; great use of the apparatus to tell us about a character.”

For more details and tickets click HERE

 

 

Without our audiences, what is the point?!

“I would just like to say how much I enjoyed last night’s performance by Tony McManus et al. Dìreach mìorbhaileach! I have to say that, so far, my year’s membership has more than repaid the modest outlay and thanks to the efforts of the Seall team in keeping things going through the dreary months of winter, it is likely to keep doing so for some months yet!”

SEALL hosts “the best Celtic guitarist in the world”

A full house for Tony McManus who brought with him the wonderful guitar and fiddle player Julia Toaspern. Tony then invited Dougie Pincock and Jack Evans up for a set. SEALL has no idea why it has taken 17 years to get Tony back!

Tony comes to the south of Skye as part of his tour of Scotland and this is a rare opportunity to experience a concert by “the best Celtic guitarist in the world.”

Jango Starr – the children review the show

One Wednesday 27 Spetember the whole of Bunsgoil Shlèite came to the children’s show ‘One Man Shoe’. They report back-

The plate flying around his waist was very clever (a lot of pupils were trying to work out how you did this and many of the other tricks)

Talking picture – this was creepy in a fun way

It was very entertaining, fun to watch and good that the audience could join in

When the ball was eaten and then came out the bottom – this was very funny (many pupils agreed)

I got a fright with the banana being thrown – it was so close to me

The stand was walking – that was funny and scary

The stand with the hand – it was scary, I like scarySpitting the rope out – it was interesting (again there was lots of discussion about how this was done)

All 3 chairs piled up and balanced – cool – amazing

When the balls kept coming out his mouth – I was in tears laughing.

Head Teacher says – “Sitting listening to the pupils, while they were watching the performance, I could hear a lot of discussion about how things were done. They were amazed and came up with some fascinating ideas. It was a very enjoyable show and lovely that you mixed with the pupils afterwards. Thank you. Yet again another high quality and very clever performance.”

Usually it all goes smoothly but . . .

Sometimes things go a little awry! Sorry we canceled ‘One Man Shoe’ on Wednesday evening 27 Sept. It was entirely our misunderstanding over the availability of the venue. We sent emails where we could and changed our road-side A-frames. It is always best to book ahead – then you will be the first to know of any changes. Please let us know if you had a wasted journey.