THIS year’s Blas Festival bows out with one of the biggest names in Celtic music, Capercaillie, who have their own special reason to celebrate this year.
2013 marks the 30 years since the band’s beginnings in Argyll and Capercaillie are marking the occasion not only with a series of live dates, but the release of The Heart of It All, their first studio album in five years, which features a host of other stars from the traditional music scene.
Singer Karen Matheson takes a quick look back as the band prepares for its return to Inverness,
There have inevitably been big cultural changes over the past three decades. Comparing the state of traditional music and Gaelic in 1983 with the position in 2013 is there cause for celebration?
When we started playing music there was very little opportunity outwith your own wee community. The Feisean movement has been pivotal in promoting both the language and the music across the country and bringing people together to share this precious nugget that we have. I’m not up on facts and figures but would like to think that the interest and awareness is increasing all the time.
The band has collected some famous fans over the years, not least HRH Prince Charles. Are there any other names you can reveal that we might be surprised have Capercaillie in their CD collection?
Our favourite fans are not so much the "celebrities" but the more interesting stories like the climber who listened to us when he reached the summit of Everest or the man from Brittany who was coaxed out of a coma with our CD after a bad accident. They inspire us more than Beyonce being a fan!
• Capercaillie headline the Blas Festival Grand Finale at Eden Court on Saturday 14th September. Also taking part will be Seamus Begley and Jim Murray, poets Angus Peter Campbell and Niall O’Gallagher and excerpts from this year’s Blas Festival Commission, "Boraraig" by Calum MacCrimmon.
For more from Capercaillie, see next week's Inverness Courier.