Lockdown life might make getting together with friends and loved ones less than easy, but even in these tough COVID times, the spirit of the cèilidh endures.
The Gaelic word cèilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee) simply means 'to visit' and is used across our islands when we invite folk round for a wee gathering, a drink or two, and maybe some tunes.
Of course, these difficult days of social-distancing and keeping each other safe have meant that our once effortless evenings of socialising have been few and between.
So, harnessing the power of 21st technology, we thought we’d bring the best of a Harris cèilidh to you, as we invite people from all over the world to join us for some music and craic via their computer.
Last month over 600 folk came to the virtual cèilidh house for a splendid session, and next Saturday 27th of February your hosts Iona Cairns and Calum Barker are back with three more great guests…
Joining them on the night will be Norrie Maciver, a Gaelic singer/songwriter from the Isle of Lewis. A firm favourite here in the Outer Hebrides, Norrie has been the lead singer in seminal bands Manran and Skippinish, as well as an acclaimed solo performer in his own right.
We’re also delighted to welcome Kim Carnie to the cèilidh. Her debut EP ‘In Her Company’ drew comparisons to the late Eva Cassidy and found regular airplay on BBC Radio 2. We know you’re going love her intricate Gaelic vocals, breathing beauty into every note she sings.
Finally, we round things off with Robbie Greig, an award-winning young fiddle player steeped in traditional Gaelic music. As well as being a full-time member of three busy folk bands, Robbie can be found recording on numerous albums and performing with the well-loved likes of Niteworks, Malinky and Talisk.
And, to help keep the island spirit flowing we’ll also have a special guest from the distillery dropping in to tell us a few stories about life here in Harris and help put a very local twist on the proceedings.
If you’d like to take part, we’ll be opening our online doors at 8 pm GMT on Saturday the 27th of February.
Simply drop your hosts an email via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and they’ll send you an invitation with all you need to know.
Meantime, we’re pleased to release our latest collection of trad tunes to stream from the Spotify music platform. Just click below to find songs by many of our past guests to get you in the mood as the Harris Cèilidh continues…