Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award is an award for musicians and bands who put the charge into the tradition. At Hands Up for Trad we like to celebrate innovation so we have brought forward this award to celebrate those musicians who take chances and in doing so make Scottish trad music an exciting place to be. Congratulations to Euan McLaughlin who has been awarded the Ignition Award for 2022.
We asked Euan the following questions.
When did you first start playing music?
There were always instruments lying around the house as I was growing up so I used to pick things up and play them, or at least hit them, from a young age. Around 6, I think, I properly started learning the fiddle, I got classical lessons as well as attending my local Fèis and learning trad music from a variety of different people. The first was, very memorably, the late, great Angus Grant Jr.
Did you make a conscious decision to be innovative with your music?
I think I take a lot of influence from a diverse range of genres and musicians, and I’ve always tried to embrace these influences when writing, but I wouldn’t say I consciously strive to be innovative. I’m also incredibly lucky to be constantly surrounded by amazing musicians. The Scottish scene is bursting with incredibly diverse players and forward thinking bands which all feeds into what you do.
What are your main influences?
Some of my teachers over the years have been an amazing influence on me. Too many to mention here but special shouts have to go to Simon Coverdale, Stewart Hardy, Duncan Chisholm and Greg Lawson who were all massively inspiring at different times.
Of course some of of the many pioneering names within folk music such as Martyn Bennet, Shooglenifty, Ross Ainslie, ALDOC and many others have been big influences. There are so many amazing musicians releasing within trad music which is brilliant because there are so many places to draw influence from.
I’m also a big fan of a big range of genres, in particular world music, dub and heavier styles of dance music and I think all of that massively influences me as well.
What music excites you that we should be listening to?
There’s so much amazing music out there at the moment. As far as trad music goes I’ve been listening to recent releases from Duncan Lyall, Niteworks and Mec Lir a lot recently. Outside of trad music, Glasgow based corto.alto are releasing some incredible music featuring a wide range of amazing musicians. I also just picked up a couple of records from Afro-Futurist group Onipa which I’ve been really enjoying.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve got a bunch of my own music which has been sitting waiting to be recorded for a while now, so I’ll hopefully get into the studio with that sooner rather than later. I’m also working on a follow up to last years ‘An Dannsa Dub’ record which I released with Glasgow Dub Vocalist and Producer Tom Spirals. We’ve put a band together for this and are about to start touring, so hopefully we’ll get more tunes out this year along side playing a bunch of exciting shows.
I’m also looking forward to the Valtos album release which I was involved in, writing some of the tunes and playing fiddle/strings stuff. It’s been great fun doing a few live shows with those guys so far and I’m looking forward to more of that.
I’ve been working behind the scenes on writing/recording on a bunch of different music with a whole heap of folk and gigging with other people including Rhona Stevens, Vulin, Ostar Sound, Lewis McLaughlin and as well as some very exciting new projects which I’m sure will be revealed soon…
Mainly though, I’m just looking forward to getting back on the road and playing loads of gigs this year. I’ve been missing this massively over the last couple of years so it’s brilliant to have the diary filling up again.
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Ignition Award?
I think I might head out to one of Glasgow’s many amazing trad sessions for a drink and a tune or two!
Contact Euan McLaughlin
Follow these topics: Ignition, News, Newsletter