Congratulations to Màrtainn Skene Highland Dance Band who have been nominated in Dance band of the Year sponsored by National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018. Vote now!
We asked Martainn Skene of Màrtainn Skene Highland Dance Band the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
The Màrtainn Skene Highland Dance Band is a six-piece coming together of Ranco & Morino accordions, fiddle, piano, drums and double bass. We love the old West Highland style of dance music – blasting out the pipe tunes, the Gaelic songs and the old Mackintosh, Gow and Marshall fiddle tunes. We've been lucky enough for our playing to take us all over the UK and further afield, from village halls to international festivals. This is the first time we've been nominated for the Trads and we're pretty excited to be part of it!
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Nothing beats the atmosphere and adrenalin of a dance floor full of folk having a good time: Scotland's got a pretty special, thriving traditional dance scene, that I guess would be hard to find anywhere else in Western Europe. So, getting together for a tune with musician friends, and including a room of dancers in that moment, is a pretty good feeling.
Any particular career highlights?
We've done a couple of Take the Floor broadcasts on Radio Scotland, which was cool, and encouraging for us to progress as a band. Recording also made us really focus on our musical discipline, which is always pretty useful. Good fun, but a lot of work.
This year we played at the final dance of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society's "Spring Fling", held in Kelvinhall, Glasgow. It moves country every year, so is a totally international affair. It was incredible to see, I think maybe 350, young folk from all over the world, having a great time doing Scottish Country Dancing.
What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully make an album soon! One of the things we try to do is work on material that's lesser-known or, indeed, never been recorded before. It's quite a dusty old job, raking about the old books, but then we balance that with writing our own tunes a lot.
An ambition is also to see Crianlarich in daylight.
If you wish to attend the final ceremony, tickets are available to buy via: https://www.horsecross.co.uk/whats-on/the-mg-alba-scots-trad-music-awards-35002 For box office call 01738 621031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bands performing on Saturday 1st December include includes Croft No Five, Mànran, Karine Polwart Trio, Hannah Rarity, Eabhal, Catriona Watt, Gordon Duncan Experience and Gerda Stevenson. and more to be announced. There will also be a late night ceilidh after the Awards till 1am.
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