ONTARIO — Musical genre fusion is the specialty of Skerryvore — an influential eight-member band from Scotland performing tonight at Four Rivers Cultural Center.
Merriam-Webster defines a “skerry” as “a rocky isle” and the first known use of the word was in 1612. Rock structures like these are unique and are formed over time, much like the band who took their name’s inspiration from the revered island, Tiree, off the coast of Scotland, that is home to a beloved lighthouse named “Skerryvore.”
Skerryvore, the band, however, has quite the list of accomplishments. Having received accolades in the form of Scotland’s Traditional Music Live Act of the Year award for both 2011 and 2016, Skerryvore has enthralled audiences for almost 15 years.
In a recent phone interview with band member, Fraser West (drummer), the Argus learned that Skerryvore will be celebrating their 15th anniversary as a band next year with a big event planned for June 6, 2020. Skerryvore’s website is the place to enter the drawing for a trip to see the band play this special show in Scotland.
West gave some background on the band’s roots saying that two of the members, Daniel and Alec, knew each other from school before the band formed. Two other members are brothers, so they had already met and known one another prior to the band. West said that the band gathered more members as they went along until there they settled upon eight. He also said that the band has two bagpipe players and that’s enough bagpipes for one band.
When asked about the genre of music the band plays, West indicated that Skerryvore plays a fusion of musical sounds from varied influences. “Jazz and rock and funk and country,” he explains, saying that listeners can consider their brand of music to be Celtic rock / traditional rock fusion.
How does the band like audiences to react to one of their performances?
West says, “Stand up and get up and move and dance. Get people moving and feel good at the end of it.”
He said some performances can get emotional and that several couple’s have used the band’s song, “Take My Hand” as the song to be played as the first dance at their weddings. This, in addition to at least three on-stage proposals according to West.
West said the band is “keen to play new places” and that was one of the main reasons for the performance in Ontario. He said Skerryvore’s music appeals to people of all ages from younger to older, including fans who are “young kids to pensioners in their eighties.”