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  • Johnnie

The Eilean Dorcha Festival 2016

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

A brief video clip (using iPhone) of Trail West performing live on Friday 29th July 2016.

"These boys are fantastic, do you have to be a bagpipe championship winner to make it into a band like that?", I asked the lady standing next to me at the Festival. "No, the most important thing is to be able to stand up and play the pipes when you are completely drunk", she replied. Wow, that makes it even more impressive!

This was the opening night of the inaugural Eilean Dorcha music festival held beside the sea in Benbecula, about 30 mins drive from the cottage. The sun was setting as Trail West took to the stage. Almost everyone we know from North Uist was there enjoying the music and the atmosphere, families, children, teenagers and grandparents, together with many hundreds more from South Uist and Benbecula and also from the mainland.

Trail West (three boys from the Hebridean Island of Tiree and one from South Uist) were my favourite band, although The Vatersay Boys followed by Skipinnish were also superb. Others have posted video clips of both Skipinnish and The Vatersay Boys performing live at the Eileen Dorcha festival on U-tube. However there were no video clips from the festival showing Trail West, so we uploaded ours. Although our clip is just a poor quality iPhone recording, it does convey a little of the sound and the atmosphere and rekindles my memory of such an amazing evening.

"The music and culture that they were raised in remains a pure and refreshing trademark in the sound of Trail West" - a quote from The Guardian

"Traditional music in Scotland has a very strong future. Their hearts are on the dance floor" - a quote about Trail West from Folk Radio UK

Roll on next years festival!

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