Internationally-acclaimed legends The Waterboys are the first headliners to be announced for the 2017 Hebridean Celtic Festival as the island event looks to build on this year’s record-breaking success.
HebCelt has also confirmed the festival, to be held from 19-22 July, will feature singer songwriter and former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, as well as Tide Lines, a Scottish band with strong traditional influences who launched earlier this year. Further leading acts will also be announced before Christmas.
It will be a third appearance at HebCelt for The Waterboys formed in 1983 by Mike Scott. Their first visit, in 2003, set a record for the biggest ever gig in the islands, and their return in 2012 was a huge sell-out success.
Their most recent album, Modern Blues which was released last year, was recorded in Nashville, produced by Mike Scott and mixed by the award-winning Bob Clearmountain, who has worked with hundreds of artists including Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Robbie Williams and Simple Minds. The band will close the four-day festival on Saturday night, 22 July.
Mike Scott said: “Yes! I am delighted to bring my troupe of musicians back to Stornoway and Lewis for another fabulous bash at HebCelt! We have some Americans in the band and I look forward to blowing their minds with the beauty of Lewis and the wildness of the people."
Lucy Spraggan, who describes her music as 'A-Flop' - a mixture of acoustic, folk, and hip hop, has three Top 40 albums and several sell-out tours to her name. She appeared on the X Factor in 2012 and since then her audition video has been viewed 35 million times on YouTube. She was also the most Googled musician of 2012.
Lucy’s debut album, Join the Club, was a Top 10 success and her latest record, We Are, was released on her own label, CTRL Records, after she again opted for the independent route. This year she has been on the road solo for her acoustic tour and has also released a new EP, Home.
Lucy said: “I did a small acoustic tour of the Highlands recently and the audiences were so amazing. It’s a fantastic place to see and an even better place to play music, so I can’t wait to be in Stornoway again to experience the festival atmosphere.”
Tide Lines are a four-piece band who were launched on social media in June and their debut single, Far Side of the World, entered the UK download charts less than 24 hours later.
The band consists of former Skipinnish members Robert Robertson, from Lochaber and Ross Wilson, from Mull; as well as Alasdair Turner, from Alness, and Fergus Munro from Glasgow.
Robert said: "We’re delighted to be involved in HebCelt 2017. It’s been such a massive event for the Highlands and Islands for so many years and some of us have enjoyed playing there before with other bands. We really can’t wait to take Tide Lines to the festival next year”.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “We are really excited to have The Waterboys headlining the festival in 2017. They are a great live act and have produced some of the most memorable gigs at HebCelt. Lucy Spraggan and Tide Lines are also fantastic young artists with big followings and who will bring something new and fresh to the festival.”