Congratulations to Heron Valley who have been nominated in Up and Coming Artist of the Year sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017. Vote now!
We asked Arlene MacKechnie of Heron Valley the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Heron Valley are an energetic, young traditional band from Scotland who have serious enthusiasm for the music they play. Their roots lie in Scottish and Irish traditional music, while taking influence from various Folk, Country and Bluegrass styles. The six-piece, energy fuelled group comprises fiddle player/accordionist Alex Mackechnie, banjo player/drummer Nick Hamilton, guitarist/piper/whistle player Euan McNab, pianist Arlene Mackechnie, guitarist/vocalist Abigail Pryde and bassist Callum Cronin.
Since their inception in 2011, Heron Valley have always ensured that they are conveying the highest amount of energy they have to every crowd they play to, ensuring that people who come to see them live have a fantastic experience. In 2015, they set themselves the challenge of releasing a music video and a debut single, to allow people to clearly see their intentions. This was extremely well received and racked up 85K views, with people all over the world purchasing the single. A year later, they released their second single ‘Home’ along with an extremely diverse music video. This gathered an incredible 173K views, and was shared over 2,000 times.
Earlier in 2017 Heron Valley recorded our first album “Roam” which was a huge success. We were astounded by the positive response we received and sold numerous copies on our summer tour around the UK and Europe.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
As individuals, we have always had a passion for Scottish music and have been involved in the scene since we can remember. The diversity within the Scottish music scene has always interested us and we each play at least 3 instruments which we learned in our home towns (mainly Dunoon and Strachur) by local teachers. Whenever The National Mòd took place in Dunoon, we would always make sure to enter! It is fantastic that traditional music was supported in our home towns as we believe it really encouraged us to continue pursuing our passion.
Any particular career highlights?
One particular career highlight we regularly revisit is our 2017 summer tour of Italy. This tour opened our eyes to the level of appreciation for Scottish music worldwide and we were astounded by the welcoming and cheery response that we received from the locals. We toured around Spilimbergo then made our way up to Valle d'Aosta in the North of Italy. We had never experienced such beautiful scenery and the whole ambiance which exists within festivals around Europe is such an enjoyable experience.
What are your plans for the future?
The future of Heron Valley is one we want to make as diverse as possible. We hope to visit numerous countries and share our passion for traditional music within different cultures and types of people all over the world. We also hope to record a second album in the foreseeable future and continue developing our sound as much as possible.
If you would like to come along to the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in Paisley’s Lagoon Centre call 0300 300 1210 or to buy online visit www.paisley2021.co.uk/events/the-mg-alba-scots-trad-music-awards. Tickets can also be purchased via Paisley Arts Centre. Bands performing on Saturday 2nd December include Elephant Sessions, The Shee Big Band, Siobhan Miller, Tidelines, Paisley Fèis, Snuffbox, The Seamus O’Sullivan Experience, Lori Watson, Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair, Songs of Bàrd Phàislig (featuring Gillebrìde MacIlleMhaoil, Sìneag MacIntyre, Màiri NicAonghais, Seonaidh MacIntyre, Ewan MacPherson, Mhairi Hall, Màiri Nic a Mhaoilein and more to be announced. There will also be a late night ceilidh after the Awards till 1am.