Festivalgoers at Heb Celt 2018 are asking each other “did the earth move for you” after the mighty beat of Niteworks from Skye shook the Castle Green to its pre-Cambrian foundations.
Playing in the Islands Tent, the “Jurassic schploom-schploom” of their beat – a festival-goer’s comment referencing the Tyrannosaurus footsteps of the film Jurassic Park – made an unforgettable impact on the last evening of Heb Celt 2018.
The sold-out festival has been the most successful event in its 23-year history, say organisers.
And as festivalgoers depart today (Sunday July 22nd) Caledonian MacBrayne warn: “INFO #Ullapool #Stornoway 22/07 - The 1300 sailing from Stornoway today is at full capacity for foot passenger bookings. Customers intending to travel as foot passengers on this sailing without a reservation do so at their own risk. Details here ? bit.ly/2uH8GRa
Niteworks, who formed ten years ago in Skye, mixed the Gaelic language and traditional music with electronica and techno sounds, leaving the entire festival field reverberating.
Earlier vocalist and keyboard player Innes Strachan said: “We've always absolutely loved coming back to HebCelt after we were offered a great slot at the festival early on in our career in 2011. Since then, playing HebCelt has been a bit like returning to a home
“We're always made to feel very welcome and the crowd have always been good to us, so we can't wait to return after a few years away.”
Earlier there had been a very different sound on the Main Stage as festival favourites Blazin’ Fiddles made a flying visit to the festival with the help of Loganair.
The airline, a long-time supporter of HebCelt, sponsored the travel to Stornoway for members of the band.
By way of thanks, the five-piece gave an impromptu gig at Stornoway Airport to the delight of staff and other passengers.
Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “HebCelt is a community event which relies on the support of funders and sponsors.
“We are extremely grateful to Loganair for its commitment to the festival and its very welcome assistance.”
Kay Ryan, Commercial Director of Loganair, said: “We have a great affinity with the Outer Hebrides, where we fly in and out of three airports, and were delighted to again support Heb Celt which is such as important part of island life and its culture.”
Before Niteworks, the Tumbling Souls set out their stall in the Islands Tent. The Tumbling Souls, a six-piece, fronted by Lewis singer-songwriter Willie Campbell and featuring members of the bands Face the West, Astrid and Hò-Rò, were making their festival arena debut.
Their sound is heavily influenced by the Country music and Bluegrass of America from the 50’s and 60’s with Scottish traditional music seeping in through their instrumentation. The Tumbling Souls were formed in April 2017 and have a debut album due for release in several formats, including cassette tape, band member Keith Morrison told the crowds. It is already available to download.
Also wowing the audiences on the last night were Eleanor and Spanish in the acoustic tent and Deacon Blue in the Main Tent.