Emsworth date for Skerryvore

One year later than planned, Skerryvore are fulfilling their obligations to Emsworth.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 10:05 am

As they emerge from the pandemic, their England and Wales tour brings the internationally renowned Scottish folk/rockers to St James’s Church on November 24 at 8pm.

Martin Gillespie (pipes, whistles and accordion) is delighted to be back on the road. In fact their current tour comes hot on the heels of dates in September and October in the States.

“It was pretty crazy to be honest when the pandemic kicked off,” Martin says. “At the time when it all started happening we were in America touring and we had to down tools and book flights as quickly as we could to get back home. We were doing a festival in Oklahoma and we had about two days to get home or we could have got stuck there. We managed it just.

“And then when we were home we were thinking that it would last maybe one or two months and that we would get back to touring but it just went on an on. But luckily, we were able to create some new music and to do some live streams as well.

“We did a track called Everyday Heroes with all the proceeds going to the NHS. It was when they were doing the clap for carers on Thursday nights and I was seeing online how much pressure our frontline NHS people were under and it was suggested that it would be good to have a piece for them. I woke up one morning and I had the melody. We all have got our recording equipment and we were able to do things separately and then it was all pulled together.”

They also managed to live stream: “We did three live streams from three different locations as well and these three different streams went out to about 30 odd countries from all over the world. It’s a weird concept with the streaming aspect but at least you’re reaching people even if you’re not able to play live. With the social media following that we have got from touring, we were able to pick up a lot of people and reach them which was great and I do think there is still a future for streaming. People are just wanting to get back to playing live at the moment and that is great, but I do think that the streaming will continue. We’ve got a big following in the States and it’s a good way to reach people over there.

“We have got 12 shows on the England/Wales tour at the moment and we’re really looking forward to it. We’re not long back from touring America. We were there in September and October and we were quite nervous in terms of the travel aspect. We had a struggle to get visas but once we were over there, everything was fine and it was great fun. The audiences were not so much nervous but I think it was just the case that in America the vaccination rates are a lot lower than we have got over here and some of the venues struggle to get people sometimes, but it was all good.

“We have done three or four festivals in the UK and going by Inverness the people were just wild. They were ready to go. People were still being cautious and rightly so because people are still getting ill. We are by no means out of this but if we can get going with gigs then I definitely think we should.”