Angus MacPhail and Andrew Stevenson met while studying at what is now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and originally formed the band with a mission to champion classic Scottish Highland West Coast music.
They built a solid reputation as a musical powerhouse over several years with their exhilarating live performances that set audience’s feet stomping in venue after venue. Skipinnish are now embarking on an exciting new phase of their career with Atlantic Roar, their first studio album in some time.
Released in 2013, it’s a unique and sublime mix of authentic Highland tradition and contemporary sounds. The line up consists of Angus MacPhail on accordion, Andrew Stevenson on bagpipes / whistles, Norrie MacIver on load vocals, Jonathan Gillespie on Keyboard, Alasdair Murray on pipes and drums and drummer Rory Grindlay.
Angus MacPhail is one of the finest examples of a whole host of superb accordion players to emerge from the small Hebridean island of Tiree. Every ounce of his music is inherently linked to his island roots.
After a spell as a fisherman, Angus honed his accordion skills at the esteemed RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow.
Andrew Stevenson, co-founder of the band, is extremely accomplished on the small pipes, whistle and fiddle; but it is his electrifying performances on the Great Highland Bagpipe which have earned him widest renown.
A native of Lochaber, his intrinsic knowledge of the Highland pipe tradition and a degree in Traditional Music from the RSAMD, make Andrew the genuine article.
Born and bred near the Kyle of Lochalsh, Alasdair Murray studied Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and is very passionate about the culture of the Gael. His mastery of the bagpipes gives Alasdair a matchless ability to follow melodies on the drums with the greatest ease and invention. He is inspired by modern influences and his contemporary drumming drives the band’s sound along with vigour.
Norrie "Tago" MacIver is a singer/songwriter from Carloway in the Isle of Lewis and is currently living in Glasgow after graduating from the RSAMD. From 2005 to 2011 Norrie was the lead singer of the award winning band Bodega and from 2010 to 2015 he was the lead singer of the award winging band Manran. Since the age of 18, Norrie has been touring all over the world and has appeared at some of the biggest music festivals in folk music such as, Tonder, Celtic Colours, Heb Celt and Celtic Connections. He has also sung at some of the biggest UK festivals including Belladrum and Glastonbury. During his time at university Norrie appeared as a guest singer on albums for artists such as Julie Fowlis, Daimh and also Skipinnish. In December 2011 Norrie was voted Gaelic singer of the Year at the MG Alba Scot Trad Music awards.
In 2014 Norrie released his first solo album, “Danns an Rathaid,” on his own label which features some of the finest musicians in the country. In 2016, after leaving Manran, Norrie was asked to become the new lead singer of Skipinnish and has enjoyed a great new chapter in his musical career with the new band.
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Jonathan Gillespie, grew up steeped in traditional Irish music. Although born in Glasgow, his Donegal Irish heritage was huge influence from a young age, having been taught by Cherish the Ladies very own talented pianist, Kathleen Boyle.
His eclectic musical taste brings a different twist to his signature piano-playing style and his passion for music is evident through his dynamic, enthusiastic performances.
Rory from West Calder began playing the snare drum in Livingston Pipe Band in Primary 7. On going to high school he developed more interest in playing the drum kit.
Whilst mostly self taught Rory further developed his drumming and percussion skills through school based tuition, which enabled him to be involved and play with various school ensembles such as West Lothian Schools Big Band and West Lothian Schools Folk Group.
Outside of school Rory enjoyed playing at lively local jam sessions, regularly uploading his performances and drum covers to his YouTube channel. His time as a member of an Inverness based Trad band gave him many opportunities which reinforced that he wanted a career as a performing musician.
Being a member of Skipinnish is allowing him to pursue exactly this.