Monday, 15 August 2022

Orkney school pals have come a long way to play Nettlebed

THEY hail from Orkney, which is pretty far away, but on Monday night Fara will take

THEY hail from Orkney, which is pretty far away, but on Monday night Fara will take the stage at Nettlebed Village Club.

Specialising in harmony singing backed by fiddles and piano, Fara brings together four exceptional and respected young musicians at the forefront of today’s Scottish folk scene.

Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s dynamic fiddles, together with Jennifer Austin’s driving piano, produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in their upbringing surrounded by the music and traditions of Orkney.

Having been friends most of their lives, the girls grew up immersed in Orkney’s musical landscape.

Musicians such as Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley along with many other local musicians and the Orkney Traditional Music Project instigated the girls’ love and enjoyment of Orkney’s music and traditions.

Under the musical guidance of Douglas Montgomery (The Chair, Saltfishforty), they started to perform at different functions and events.

The four girls went on to study on the UK mainland, and hold degrees from the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Strathclyde University.

They have all since established themselves in the Scottish music scene, winning prizes along the way that include the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, the Deutsche Bank Award in Performance and Composition, and the Danny Kyle Award among others.

The idea for the band came after several guest appearances as “The Chairettes” — an occasional part of big band and Orkney institution, The Chair.

At one gig the girls were put on stage to play a couple of sets on their own, and Bob Gibbon, accordionist with The Chair and director of the Orkney Folk Festival, suggested they form a new band. One inspired name change later, and Fara was born. With their blend of self-penned and traditional tunes, plus songs with lead vocals from Jeana Leslie and lush four-part harmony vocals, the girls combine musical experiences and friendship to produce an exciting and individual sound, ready to burst on to the folk music scene.

Monday night’s concert starts at 8pm. Tickets are £12.50 in advance or £13.50 on the door. For more information or to book, call 01628 636620 or visit

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