Live Band of the Year – Scots Trad Music Awards 04
Album of the Year – Scots Trad Music Awards 05
Take a group of the hottest contemporary fiddle players from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and you’ve got the award winning Blazin’ Fiddles on your hands. In the past decade no other band has quite captured the excitement, passion and the sensitivity of Scottish music as Blazin’ Fiddles. Having grown from a showcase tour of individual fiddlers highlighting the distinctive flavours of Highlands and Islands fiddle music.
During a performance, the audience has the opportunity to hear pieces featuring the regional styles of each fiddler followed by all hands jumping in for a wonderful explosion of music. Fiddles and bows blaze away with guitar and piano for one of the most exciting and memorable fiddle ensembles ever to take the stage.
European festival appearances have included The Cambridge Folk Festival, The Sidmouth International Music Festival, Lorient, Tønder Festival, the Falun Festival and Scotland’s premier event Celtic Connections.
Past performances have included their own project With Strings Attached debuted at Celtic Connections 05 featuring singer songwriters Eddi Reader, Justin Currie (Del Amitri) and Colin MacIntyre (Mull Historical Society). In 2005 they made a welcomed return to Cambridge Folk Festival and also played the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall following the release of their last album ‘Magnificent Seven’ which picked up the Best Album Award at the Scots Trad Awards 2005. The band released their fourth album, Blazin’ Fiddles Live, in lead up to their 10th year anniversary in 2008.
Like rare single malts, each member of Blazin’ Fiddles draws the distinct flavour of music from their part of the highlands and islands. From solo to ensemble sets, they all come together in a fiery blend that raises the roof. Fiddlers Jenna Reid, Bruce Macgregor, Allan Henderson and Iain Macfarlane are joined by Anna Massie on guitar/fiddle and Andy Thorburn on keyboard to form one of the best live acts today.
“The Led Zeppelin of the folk world” The Scotsman
“Absolutely mindblowing” Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
“A Blazin’ Fiddles gig is an informal party complete with chaos, fun and natural enthusiasm” Glasgow Fiddle Magazine
BLAZIN’ FIDDLES ****
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Spangly bald heads appear to be the must-have look for Scots fiddle bands these days, if the appearance on stage of two of Blazin’ Fiddles’ (male) members sporting what they claimed was the fall-out from a cocktail on their gleaming pates is anything to go by. However, the infectious high energy and good humour of these five individually superb fiddlers – Allan Henderson, Aidan O’Rourke, Scots Trad Award winner Jenna Reid, Bruce McGregor and Iain MacFarlane – propelled by Andy Thorburn on piano and Marc Clements on guitar, requires no cosmetic enhancement.
The inexorably snowballing sound of the group’s opening set – a French-Canadian reel – cranked up the energy for much of the evening, but there were also some memorable moments as they soloed or played off one another in various permutations. An utterly beautiful slow air, evoking a deserted Highland village, was followed by the collective Highland fiddle power of strathspeys at full skelp and hard-driving jigs and reels…
Blazin’ Fiddles Live *****
Scotland on Sunday
Playing to an enthusiastic and understanding audience in Moidart’s Glenuig Hall, this is the five-fiddle-fronted band at its best. Rich harmony, aggressive rhythm, subtle dynamics and sensitive phrasing, on the solid bedrock of Marc Clements and Andy Thorburn on imaginative guitar and keys, this is moving music from Scotland’s great ambassadors of the centuries-old Scots tradition. Changing direction as tightly as a flock of birds, their reels can take the breath away.