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Isles’ musical contingent get ready for Celtic Connections

Quartet Vair will make their second appearance at the festival.

SHETLAND is set to enjoy a strong presence yet again at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

At least seven acts with isles links will grace the various stages at the event, which will bring together folk-leaning music from across the globe in January and early February.

Fiddler Chris Stout and Catriona McKay will play at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on 19 January before Fiddlers’ Bid perform at the venue six days later in a special reprise of their collaboration last summer with Finnish folksters Frigg.

String Sisters, who feature isles fiddler Catriona Macdonald, are also scheduled to perform at the esteemed venue on 20 January.

Fiddlers' Bid will reprise their collaboration with Finnish group Frigg at the Royal Concert Hall.

On 1 February Blazin’ Fiddles – who include Shetlander Jenna Reid – will perform at the Royal Concert Hall, with folk festival favourites Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards set to support.

Veteran fiddler Aly Bain will also take part in a couple of Transatlantic Sessions gigs on 2 and 4 February.

Quartet Vair will perform at the National Piping Centre on 3 February in what will be their second appearance at the festival.

The group’s banjo and mandolin player Lewie Peterson said the band is “really excited” to be back at Celtic Connections with debut album A Place In Time.

“We made our debut there in 2016 and it really motivated us to get the album written and produced afterwards,” he said.

“The fact it’s the 25th anniversary of the festival is more special too. There’s some of our favourite musicians playing and hopefully this time we can see some more other acts while we’re down.”

Quarff resident Kris Drever will also make numerous appearances including a reunion for the Drever McCusker Woomble trio on 19 January. His band Lau’s 10th anniversary tour – which stops off at Mareel next month – arrives at the Royal Concert Hall on 25 January, and Drever also has spots at the opening night concert (18 January) and “Northern Star – Scotland Sings Canada” (28 January)