A Stornoway band is about to move on up, after a viral video hit quickly clocked up over 150,000 views explaining ‘that’s the way we do it in the Western Isles.’
Tomorrow (Saturday April 27th) sees the debut album launch of Uptown Fank by Peat and Diesel at the Mull Festival. The album will also be on sale in shops around the islands and pre-orders should drop onto people’s doormats today.
Peat and Diesel, fronted by Calum ‘Boydie’ Macleod on guitar and vocals, with Uilleam Macleod on drums and Innes Scott on the box, have been something of a surprise success – not least to the band members themselves.
Drummer Uilleam says: “We certainly didn’t expect it to take off the way it has, as we only started it for a wee bit of craic. It’s amazing the amount of people who have seen the video and have been in touch saying how bonkers we are and how much they love it.”
The video, filmed in and around Stornoway harbour and town centre, with locations including the Manor roundabout, captures a certain indefinable something about a band which can make lyrics out of a series of very distinctive island experiences. Calum Dan’s transit van, collie dogs and cailleachs all tumble together in Boydie’s head, and the songs that come out just couldn’t be found anywhere else. Uilleam says: “Boydie’s songwriting is all about real island life situations, which most local folk can relate to, and that’s why they love it so much.”
Since the band have been getting such attention, they’re also getting bookings from far and wide. Saturday’s gig in Mull will be followed by more festival performances, but the local fans will never be forgotten – since they’re the ones who are most likely to understand what’s going on. Uilleam said: “The fans and followers are the people who make the band what it is. It’s been a great journey so far and we’re looking forward to bringing P&D to wider audiences in 2019.”
Last word to Boydie: “Well coves and blones, this here is our album. How it ever got this far we have no idea. It's not everyone's cupan ti, but the ones that understood exactly what was going on inside this cupan ti at the very beginning are the ones that have given us the 'get up and go' to get it done!”
Uptown Fank is available to download at https://peatanddiesel.bandcamp.com/album/uptown-fank and to buy at shops including Bùth an Rubha, An Lanntair and Blackhouse Bakery. The band will be live at the Crown Inn in Stornoway on Friday May 24th and you can follow them at https://www.facebook.com/PEATANDDIESEL/