Enjoy a fun night out in Southport with Fara

Scottish folk band Fara
Scottish folk band Fara
Share this article
0
Have your say

Fara are an all-girl quartet from Orkney and one secret of their success is that they don't take themselves too seriously.

The band sees them bring together four leading musicians at the forefront of today’s Scottish folk scene – Jennifer Austin, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s - playing three fiddles and a piano.

Jen takes up their story: "We're four girls from Orkney. We sort of grew up together. We all play the fiddle. I play the piano. We all knew each other. We all left Orkney to go and study - we all studied music. And then we got back together to form a band for the Orkney folk festival. It was just a sort of one-off gig and then we all decided it was pretty fun, so we just carried on from there."

The four girls grew up under the musical guidance of Douglas Montgomery (The Chair, Saltfishforty), Seona Dunsmuir, Jean Leonard and Hazel Wrigley. She explains: "There's quite a rich music scene in Orkney, thanks to the Orkney traditional music project which teaches fiddle and accordion every Saturday.

"And there's also fantastic musicians like Douglas Montgomery, who's a great fiddle player and he plays in a band called The Chair. And he teaches in the school - he taught all of us at one point.

"There's also the Wrigley sisters - they left Orkney when they were just 16, and they are really talented musicians - they travelled and toured, then came back and set up a little music centre. It's a cafe where they teach as well.

The three fiddle players and pianist make up Fara

The three fiddle players and pianist make up Fara

"So there's a quite a rich music community, so we all grew up with that."

The four contrasting personalities and individual musical voices in Fara, make for a colourful melting pot – each member brings a different musical pallet to the table. But the strong Orkney fiddle tradition that the four women grew up on together, is the glue that binds them, and is at the heart of each of their musical characters.

"I guess the fiddle style, it's everywhere in Scotland. There's the West coast style to the Highland style, and the Shetland style is quite fiery and fast - like the Shetlanders! - and then Orkney style, I guess, is slightly more lilty and has a bit of a swing in it," Jen added.

And according to Jen, having a laugh on stage with audiences will always be a key component of what Fara do as a band: "We definitely don't take ourselves too seriously.

"And because we've grown up together we're not shy of taking the mickey out of each other, so it comes across sometimes on stage really."

And that's exactly what gig-goers should expect on the night. "A bit of a fun, some good going tunes as well as some songs.

"One of the main comments we get is that it's such a range of stuff we do, so there's some fiery tunes, mixed with more mellow tunes that we've written. Some stories, tunes and a laugh - that's what audiences should expect."

Catch Fara at The Atkinson on Friday, May 17. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14, with concessions at £12, available online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/fara/ or by calling 01704 533333.