Brighton date for Skipinnish ahead of big anniversary

Skipinnish are building momentum once again as they head towards their 25th anniversary.
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They're hoping it won't go the way of their 20th anniversary which saw Covid cut them off just as they were flying high.

The band, founded in 1999 when Andrew Stevenson and Angus MacPhail joined forces, are playing Brighton’s Concorde 2 on Thursday, October 12 at 7.30pm (tickets on 01273 673311).

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Norrie MacIver, a singer/songwriter from Carloway on the Isle of Lewis who joined the band in 2016, said there were big plans for the big year including big gigs and a new album on which they have already started writing: “The pandemic was obviously pretty difficult. We were doing everything, and everything was looking so good and we had just celebrated our 20th birthday. Everything was great and we were doing big shows. We had just sold out the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow and we had big plans for 2020 and then Covid came along. Obviously everything had to go out of the window and it was just really tough but actually I quite enjoyed lockdown because we had our second son just after the lockdown so it was important time together. Andrew and Angus, who run the band, were thinking that it wouldn't last long and that things would soon cool off but as soon as we realised that it wasn’t going to go away anytime soon, I went straight online and I started teaching. Angus went back to fishing and Andrew started doing all the things he does, cutting down trees and building things. When we got back to it, it was still distancing and masks and it was all very, very strange but because of the other work that Andrew and Angus had been doing during Covid, they were not as available as they thought they might be once we could get going again. They didn't have so much free time for rehearsing or coming up with new material.”

Skipinnish  (pic by Andrew King)Skipinnish  (pic by Andrew King)
Skipinnish (pic by Andrew King)

But things are now more or less back to normal: “We did some huge shows last year and we sold them out and now there's the 25th anniversary to look forward to next year and we have started writing new material for it. The album will be the third since I joined.”Norrie isn't the new boy anymore: “We have got a few newer members that have come in over the last few years but it certainly doesn't feel like since 2016 that I've been with the band. I think that's because of Covid taking almost two years out of it.”

But now things are looking good again: “We are very, very lucky that we have, as far as I'm concerned, one of the best songwriters in the country in Angus MacPhail. Because he and I were brought up on islands, I have this connection with him and what he writes. I just feel that I understand every single thing that he says. For me it was just like when I was growing up listening to Runrig.

“But basically as a band we're just trying to perform the music that people can relate to and I think that's how we ended up being so popular and being where we were before the pandemic. Our songs are songs people can connect with and we're so lucky that we've always had amazing fans. During the pandemic we definitely missed it and we missed being together. It's very rare that you get a group of people in a band together that just get on so well as we do.”​