Skerryvore first formed on the tiny lsle of Tiree off Scotland’s west coast in 2005. Back then, the band consisted of Tiree-born brothers Daniel Gillespie (accordion) and Martin Gillespie (bagpipes, whistles, and accordion) who bonded with holidaymaker Fraser West (drums and vocals) and friend Alec Dalglish (lead vocals and guitar) over a shared love of music—everything from traditional to rock and jazz. It was this mix of musical styles and sounds that set the path for the band’s 2005 debut album, West Coast Life. The more the fledgling band experimented with fusing together this mix of musical styles, the more its signature sound evolved, aided by the arrival of Barry Caulfield (bass and vocals) and Craig Espie (fiddle) in time for the group’s second album, On the Road, in 2007.
But it was with the release of the self-titled third album, Skerryvore, that the band members found themselves catapulted into the musical limelight, garnering much critical acclaim and winning a string of awards, including the Scottish New Music Awards (SNMA) Record of the Year and the Scots Trad Music Awards (STMA) Live Act of the Year, both in 2011.
In June 2012, the band released what is undeniably its most polished and radio-ready album to date. World of Chances weaves together the band’s spine-tingling musical talents with the award-winning songwriting abilities of front man Alec Dalglish (Frankie Miller Songwriter of the Year, conferred by SNMA in 2011). At times uplifting, at times reflective, the result is a brighter, breezier, feel-good sound that further broadens the band’s appeal.
When not touring the different corners of the globe, the band, now with bassist Jodie Bremaneson, can still be found performing relentlessly, contributing to projects of special-needs schools throughout the United Kingdom; Live Music Now (LMN), which likewise operates across the UK; the Edinburgh-based Royal Blind School; Artlink Central, based in central Scotland; and HM Prison Cornton Vale. The band is also featured in a current television commercial of VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourist board, aimed at international audiences.
Six of the best musical ambassadors Scotland could ever have wished for . . . a living, breathing, twelve legged party waiting to happen.
—Falkirk Herald (Scotland)