HIGHLAND couple Brian Ó hEadhra and Fiona Mackenzie take to the road this week to launch their new music duo, but the pair are no strangers to performing on stage together.
Both toured the world with the band Anam in the late ’90s and then with various bands over the past 15 years including Mackenzie and Cruinn, and have performed and recorded as solo acts.
The Inverness residents play traditional and contemporary songs from Scotland, Ireland and beyond. They are also acclaimed song writers and a song they co-wrote for the band Cruinn was nominated for best Traditional Track at last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in Cardiff.
Originally from Dublin, but based in Scotland for almost 20 years, Ó hEadhra sings in Irish and Scottish Gaelic as well as in Scots and English. Mackenzie is from a musical family on the Isle of Lewis and joined her sisters Eilidh and Gillian in the trio Mackenzie.
"This is a very exciting time for us musically," Ó hEadhra said.
"We continue to perform together with the Gaelic group Cruinn, along with Rachel Walker and James Graham, but this new duo allows us to perform a wider range of material and offers us more flexibility as there are just two of us to organise the sets and gigs."
Mackenzie described the couple’s sound as re-imagined folk music.
"The choice of music in the duo is a mix of our own material, traditional song as well as remodelling of some classic pop songs. It’s re-imagined folk music," she explained.
The duo have decided to play their first gig as a charity fundraiser to raise funds for refugee crisis victims.
This will be upstairs at La Tortilla on Castle Street, Inverness on Thursday at 7.30pm. They then play at The Cèilidh Place, Ullapool, the following day, Friday March 25, with further gigs scheduled for Leith and Uist.