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Barry's bright ray of musical sunshine

Barry Nisbet has just released his first solo album A Bright Ray of Sunshine.FOLLOWING the maxim “do more of what makes you happy”, Cullivoe fiddler and singer Barry Nisbet is pouring his heart and soul into musical and seafaring pursuits perhaps more than ever before this year.

Georgeson examines different ages of dance

Neil Georgeson during the 2017 classical season at Mareel.SHETLAND piano virtuoso Neil Georgeson will be returning to Mareel this Thursday for his last appearance in Shetland Arts’ 2017-18 classical season.

Speaking to Shetland News, Neil explained that the concert, Dance Music, will be a look at “all different kinds of dance”. The musical choices range from the 12th century to the modern day, spanning a wide range of dance styles and composers.

The four voices of the Furrow Collective offer a distinctive take on traditional folk songs

The Furrow Collective. Photo: Seth Tinsley.A QUARTET of highly rated singers and musicians from north and south of the border are bringing their inventive interpretations of traditional folk songs to Mareel this weekend.

The Furrow Collective are a four-piece consisting of Edinburgh singer and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Newton, Glasgow-based guitarist and singer Alasdair Roberts, Glastonbury singer and banjo/concertina player Emily Portman, and Maidstone viola player and vocalist Lucy Farrell.

Gomez man brings solo show north

Gomez frontman Ben Ottewell.ONE of the singers from Mercury Music Prize winning indie band Gomez is heading north to perform in Shetland this weekend – and says he “leapt at the chance” to play in the isles.

Comedian Hall's hoedown set for Clickimin

Rich Hall performing last year. Photo: John Zumpano.AMERICAN musical comedian Rich Hall returns to Shetland with his Hoedown band in tow this week – and promises a show that begins with a “withering dissection” of the US under Donald Trump and ends up in a “celebration of Americana”.

The grouchy, deadpan comic previously entertained islanders at Mareel two years ago in a two-hour country-comedy cocktail featuring an accompanying guitarist.

This time the Perrier award-winner will take to the stage at Clickimin’s Bowls Hall with fuller musical backing for a night promising a “precision dismantling of the tenuous relationship” between Britain and America that is “as freewheeling and deadly accurate as ever”.

Shetland set for operatic treat next week

Catherine Backhouse and William Morgan in Opera Highlights, Scottish Opera 2018. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken WanSCOTTISH Opera are set to visit Lerwick's Garrison Theatre this month, as part of their unique and intriguing Opera Highlights tour, writes Alex Garrick-Wright.

The acclaimed opera company are visiting 17 venues across Scotland with an unusual concert, where excerpts from famous and not-so-famous operas are woven into a theatrical narrative.

Popular crime drama set for return

Actor Steven Robertson: 'it can only be a good advert for Shetland'. Photo: BBCTHE FOURTH series of BBC crime drama Shetland is set to launch next week - and anticipation is decidedly high.

The six-part series will air from Tuesday (13 February) on BBC One and it focuses on a Shetland man returning home after having a historic murder conviction overturned.

Lerwick Up Helly Aa has strong family links for guizer jarl Stewart Jamieson

WHEN 2018 guizer jarl Stewart Jamieson leads his squad of 57 hardy Vikings and seven children through Lerwick for the first time on Tuesday morning, he will be keeping a strong family link alive in more than one way.

As guizer jarl back in 1981, the late Harry Jamieson represented Viking leader Thorvald Thoreson. Now, 37 years later, his son Stewart has chosen to do the logical thing and depict his father's son Thorvald Thorvaldsson, who was based in Papa Stour in the 14th century.

Obituary: death of a 'gentle Greenpeace giant'

Jon Castle visiting Bressay in June 2005. Photo: Jonathan WillsWHEN Greenpeace set up office in Lerwick's Commercial Street in May 1995, it was the start of an extraordinary campaign that changed the way the oil and gas industry operated.

The Brent Spar campaign was THE catalyst for stimulating a legislative process that eventually saw the ban of dumping oil installations into the sea and, as a direct consequence, the growth of a decommissioning industry.

Line-up unveiled for 38th folk festival

Calan.SHETLAND Folk Festival has unveiled the provisional line-up for its 38th year, with the four-day event featuring musicians from North America, Scandinavia, Holland, Ireland and across the UK.

So far 12 acts have been confirmed to take to stages the length and breadth of the isles to demonstrate their musical prowess.

Fun Quiz - Historical geography of Shetland

What’s in your backyard?

Answers now available, click here.

HISTORY is all around is us in Shetland, sadly often seen as the ruins and walls of long-forgotten homesteads, piles of stones in a field.

Some of that social history is captured on the maps of a hundred years ago. Modern maps are bland in comparison and can’t compete with the delightful details to be found hidden in the past.

Lau: eclectic, experimental & enthralling

MULTIPLE award-winning, experimental folk trio LAU took the Mareel audience on a truly eclectic musical journey to conclude a UK tour celebrating a decade of music-making.

Happy birthday, SIBC - and co-owner Ian admits he hasn't had a full day off in 30 years

The main control desk at SIBC's Market Street studio. Photo: Shetland News/Neil Riddell.POP MUSIC radio station and local institution SIBC this week celebrated the landmark of 30 years on air – during which time one of the station's two voices, Ian Anderson, has never had a full day off.

SIBC, run by Ian and his wife Inga Walterson, first began broadcasting in an era when playing music on the radio meant standing queuing up vinyl records one after the other for shifts lasting four hours at a time.

‘Part of our past that needs to be kept alive’

A TRIO of important events commemorating World War One took place in Lerwick earlier this month. Laurie Goodlad went along and was struck by the meticulous dedication shown by local researchers into Shetland's involvement in the catastrophic years of conflict.

Karen Fraser, collaborating with local volunteers and Shetland Museum & Archives, organised the programme, which coincides with wider national Remembrance Day events.

Edinburgh Quartet returns after 20 years

The Edinburgh Quartet returns to the isles this week. Photo: Jean StonerSHETLAND Arts' classical season is set to continue next Wednesday with The Edinburgh Quartet's first performance in the isles in nearly two decades.

One of the UK's most celebrated ensembles, The Edinburgh Quartet will be playing a programme which they describe as "varied, and covers a broad spectrum of style".

Newton’s one-man-band strikes a chord

Newton Faulkner's music hit the sweet spot between infectious melody and musicianship. All photos: Steven Johnson"I'm Newton Faulkner and this is a song," says the flame-haired man on stage as he carefully cradles an acoustic guitar.

It was a humble introduction to an evening of music at Mareel on Tuesday night that at times was anything but, with soaring melody and musical flair exuded throughout.

Where wool enthusiasts share their passion

Fair Isle knitting with Hazel Tindall at Jamieson & Smith was one of the many workshops held over the nine day long event. All photos: Calum Toogood.WHEN THE eighth annual Shetland Wool Week got underway last Saturday our reviewer Terri Malcolmson embarked on a busy week trying to take in as much as she could of the ever popular event that attracted around 500 textile enthusiasts again to the isles.

The Shetland Museum and Archives was filled with wool and fibre enthusiasts. Everyone was catching up while deciding which notebook, bag or top to buy from the merchandise.

Top chef wowed by 'amazing' local produce

Jim Macmillan's butchery stall at this year's food festival. Photo: Mark Berry.FROM seafood to sausages and salt, with vegetables and vegan treats in between, this year’s food fair offered a superb selection of what the Shetland food scene has to offer, writes Louise Thomason.

Now in its third year, the event was recently rebranded as the Taste of Shetland Festival, and saw over a thousand visitors attend the Clickimin by 3pm yesterday.

Film attendances up at 'tremendous' Screenplay

Bill Nighy during a Q&A at Screenplay on Saturday night. Photo: Dale Smith.TEN DAYS and over 80 screenings later, the 11th Screenplay festival came to an end on Sunday, writes Patrick Mainland. As ever, the programme has been a diverse one – highlighting local and international filmmakers, featuring quizzes, workshops, dramas, animation, cats, dogs, and a certain time-travelling cyborg.

A musical exploration of identity and home

Pianist Neil Georgeson and cellist Abigail Hayward are opening Shetland Arts' classical season 2017/18.SHETLAND Arts' classical season for 2017-18 is set to begin with a local flavour – an inaugural concert by two of the isles' most accomplished instrumentalists, Neil Georgeson and Abigail Hayward.

Neil, who helmed a number of well-received concerts last season (all as engaging as they were unorthodox), told Shetland News he was pleased to be returning to Mareel once again with a fellow Shetlander – a situation that heavily inspired this opening concert's theme.

Four Seasons

Four Seasons – Summer 2015

A brood of four hooded crows - Photo: Lea GardensFour Seasons? Summer was a bit like Waiting for Godot with the dramatic element, if one can call it that, supplied by the climate. Or should that be weather?

Seeds refused to germinate in the cold, wet soil, courgettes under protective cloches turned grey and furry and rotted away, while healthy rows of lettuce vanished over night – down the gullets of Shetland's slug population; a sizeable population at the best of times, undoubtedly swelled by a rain-aided swarm of newly-hatched sluglets.

Four Seasons – Spring 2015

A blackbird dining off one of Lea Gardens' bird dining areas - all Photos: Lea GardensGARDEN fauna usually only feature in gardening columns when they become troublesome: rabbits ring-barking trees, cabbage whites decimating the kale yard, otters cleaning out the carp pond, slugs gnawing their way through a forest of lettuce seedlings, and weevils – in the dead of night- laying their eggs into the crowns of primroses. Headaches all of them, and not the fauna I'll concern myself with today.