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Outstanding playing at pre-festive trad gigs

Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, including Kevin Henderson (centre), again proved a class act at the Carnegie Hall in Sandwick on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Dale Smith Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, including Kevin Henderson (centre), again proved a class act at the Carnegie Hall in Sandwick on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Dale Smith KEVIN Henderson’s pan-Scandinavian group Nordic Fiddlers Bloc were joined by Catriona McKay and Chris Stout for a trio of intimate concerts at the weekend.

Carrying on the mantle of his late father Davie Henderson’s “peerie Christmas sprees”, Kevin and bandmates Anders Hall and Olav Luksengard Mielva treated audiences to classy performances at the Shetland Museum in Lerwick on Friday, Muckle Roe Hall on Saturday and then Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall on Sunday afternoon.

The latter saw the trio glide through an hour’s worth of consummately-played tunes drawn from Shetland, Sweden and Norway.

While Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, who released their second album Deliverance earlier in 2016, consists of three fiddles, the use of harmonies and bass lines makes for a rich, varied sound.There was time, too, to dedicate a set of tunes to one budding young fiddler who had enthusiastically attended all three shows: Ross Couper.

Harp-and-fiddle duo McKay and Stout had earlier delivered an innovative, imaginative set rooted in traditional music and frequently straying into classical territory.

McKay’s elegant, endlessly adaptable playing provides a perfect foil for Stout’s arresting dramatic flourishes and lump-in-the-throat slow airs.

And with all five musicians joining forces for the closing set, it proved the perfect way to brighten up a dreich Sunday afternoon in December. Catriona McKay and Chris Stout performed a dazzling array of tunes during their set. Photo: Dale Smith. Catriona McKay and Chris Stout performed a dazzling array of tunes during their set. Photo: Dale Smith.