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Features / Another admirable folk festival

FOLK pop supergroup-to-be Admiral Fallow launched another hugely successful Shetland Folk Festival with their big , but not-quite-sell-out concert at Clickimin on Thursday night that brought the isles youth out to join the old folkies that have made the annual shindig their favourite musical fix of the year.

The Scottish six piece follow in the footsteps of Mumford & Sons to be tipped for the top, with the Shetland date giving them a welcome breather from the hard slog of their promotional UK tour for their new album Tree Bursts In Snow due out next week.

The big concert was designed to draw in young blood to bring on the next generation of festival goers, but there is no sign of the five day fiesta flagging.

While the big concerts at Clickimin on Thursday and Friday failed to sell right out, few other tickets were available for any of the country halls or town venues. Sunday has sold out completely and the only seats still free for Saturday were in Mossbank and Skerries.

Festival promotions dynamo Mhari Pottinger was particularly pleased with the Trad Seeds education project that saw five young Shetland musicians from Anderson High School spend a week rehearsing and writing with the acclaimed Treacherous Orchestra to deliver a 40 minute set on Friday night.

The Shetland musicians are Danny Garrick (fiddle), Joe Watt (guitar/bass), Isaac Webb (percussion), Callum Nicolson (accordion/piano) and Liza Fullerton (fiddle).

“They went down an absolute storm,” Pottinger said, “and the buzz around the festival as a whole and especially the festival club at Islesburgh is really, really good.”

It’s as international a field of musicians as ever this year with a strong northern hemisphere contingent being joined by five strong Kasai Masai who blend Congo and Kenyan traditional sounds, and Australian Rory Ellis playing with a couple of Scandinavians he met at the same festival four years ago. The southerners will have been feeling the chill.

Creative Scotland head of music Ian Smith opened the festival on Thursday lunchtime saying that having reached its 32nd year it has become a firm fixture on the world folk stage, a mature adult compared to Glasgow’s Celtic Connections which is barely out of adolescence at a mere 19 years vintage.

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Pictures by (Councillor) Billy Fox