Trad Musicians Pay Tribute at Oban Live

An impressive all-star line-up of 24 top names in the Scottish traditional music industry will come together at Oban Live 2018 in an exclusive collaboration named ‘Sons of Argyll’. Performing on Friday June 8 at the two-day festival, the project will pay homage to late inspirational figures from the region that played a key role in the lives and music of the performers involved.

Musicians from Tide Lines, Skipinnish, Skerryvore, Blazin’ Fiddles, Trail West and Gunna Sound, as well as this year’s Mòd Gold Medallists, Rachel Walker and Alasdair Currie, members of Oban Gaelic Choir and world class pipers, Angus MacColl, Angus J MacColl and Stuart Liddell, are included in the project line-up. Also involved are Marie Fielding, Phil Cunningham, Craig & Hector MacFadyen, Sileas Sinclair, Mary Catherine MacNeil and Archie & Alex McAllister.

Sons of Argyll, which is founded and co-ordinated by Trail West’s Ian Smith, pays particular tribute to the recently passed Norman MacLean (Tiree/Uist), Ian’s father Bernie Smith (Tiree), Murdo MacLeod (Lochgilphead), Angus MacColl (Mull), Nonny MacInnes (Oban), Colin Campbell (Oban), Calum MacLean (Tobermory) and many more.

Announcing the project on social media, Oban Live said of the highly regarded men: “Throughout the generations, Argyll and the Isles have produced many men of wit, talent, and character. As each year goes by, familiar faces and much loved personalities are lost and, with their passing, Argyll loses another son. Join us in paying homage and remembering some of the “Sons of Argyll” who we have lost in recent years and who have helped shape the Argyll we know today. ”

Women of Argyll will be honoured too in a performance of Andy M Stewart’s song Queen of Argyll, performed by former member of Silly Wizard, Phil Cunningham and Tide Lines’ Robert Robertson.

The project will also remember ex-service men and women, as 2018 marks 100 years since the end of WW1, and those lost at sea.

Ian Smith said: I’ve been a travelling musician since the age of 16 and without a doubt my favourite part of the job is the opportunity I’ve had to meet so many different people throughout Argyll and the rest of Scotland.”

He added: “In the last few years Argyll has lost many well-known characters, many of whom I counted as good friends, including my own father, Bernie Smith. I’m delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to organise this performance, which I hope will be a fitting tribute to those we’ve lost in recent years.”

Sharon Shannon

Along with Sons of Argyll, more acts have been announced for Oban Live 2018’s overall line-up. Widely respected and deeply talented Irish musician Sharon Shannon, featuring multi-instrumentalist and composer Michael McGoldrick and Irish singer/songwriter Susan O’Neill, Irish duo Hudson Taylor and local Oban band Chunks join the exciting list of artists confirmed for Oban Live 2018. More acts will be announced at a later date.

Oban Live is Argyll’s biggest outdoor live music festival and takes place this year on Friday June 8 and Saturday June 9 at Oban’s Mossfield Stadium. It won best Outdoor Event/Festival Excellence at EventIt’s E Awards in Glasgow last week. This will be the event’s third year running, historically entertaining around 7,800 attendees over the weekend and bringing in £1.39million to the local rural economy. The latest line-up additions will join Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Hermitage Green, Heron Valley, Blazin’ Fiddles and Oban High School Pipe Band with even more acts still to be announced. Oban Live 2018 is supported by BID4Oban and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. Tickets are on sale now at

Hudson Taylor

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