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The Revellers to celebrate tenth anniversary in style

The Revellers at the 2015 Shetland Folk Festival. Photo: Dale Smith
The Revellers at the 2015 Shetland Folk Festival. Photo: Dale Smith

LOCAL band The Revellers are set to celebrate their 10th anniversary with a special gig at the Whiteness and Weisdale Hall in May.

The folk-rock juggernaut will play the venue on Saturday 19 May, with tickets going on sale at High Level Music in Lerwick this Friday.

A family concert for children will also take place earlier in the day at 3pm, with entry pay on the door and proceeds going to local charity Mind Your Head.

The Revellers enjoyed somewhat humble beginnings as a Levellers covers band, but they have since released two original albums, headlined the Clickimin and have toured in the UK and abroad.

Their heady mix of folk, rock and metal has ensnared fans from across the musical spectrum, while their effervescent live show is a big draw.

The group were formed by vocalist/guitarist Magnus Bradley and fiddle player Daniel Gear in 2007 before their first gig took place a year later.

Debut album Renegades was released in 2013 before follow-up record Skeletons followed three years later.

“The Levellers is a big influence – I was listening to them a lot when I was growing up,” Magnus said.

“Because Daniel played the fiddle, I wanted to start a band with him, and I suppose we always wanted to write our own stuff. But we thought in order to get the band together and get some gigs under our belt, we’d get together and start off by doing covers of their songs, and gradually do more and more of our own stuff.”

The group has grown to consist of seven members, with John-William Halcrow, Michael Anderson and Adam Priest currently on board alongside brothers Lewie and Erik Peterson.

The musicians’ ties with work and family – as well as mandolin player Erik living south – means that The Revellers aren’t able to perform live as much as they want to anymore.

“It’s hard now,” Michael reflected. “Just with shifts and other commitments, it’s nearly a job to have a practice now.”

The Whiteness gig, which will also see DJ Lyall Halcrow take to the stage and is for over 18s only, will feature a mix of originals and covers, as well as guest cameos.

The choice of venue, meanwhile, harks back to a time in years gone by where youngsters were regularly treated to live gigs in halls in the likes of Whiteness, Burra and Scalloway.

“The reason we partly went for the country hall – when I was 17,18,19, they were brilliant,” Magnus said.

“Ones that age now don’t have that – there’s never anything on in the country halls anymore, and that was some of the best night outs I ever had. So in a way we’re wanting to do that so that folk can have that.”

From a Levellers covers band to a group headlining the Clickimin – did The Revellers ever expect to become so prominent?

“Our ambition back then was to play the North Nesting hall for the Nesting Hop, so it did take off more than we planned,” Magnus smiled.

Tickets for The Revellers’ tenth anniversary gig at the Whiteness and Weisdale Hall on 19 May will go on sale at High Level Music from Friday.