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Skipinnish return to 'a favourite venue' to stage milestone anniversary gig

By Margaret Chrystall

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A SPECIAL live concert marking Celtic music stars Skipinnish’s 25th anniversary at Bught Park next July will be their “flagship Highland celebration”.

Skipinnish will be celebrating 25 years at their Bught Park Big Top gig. Picture: Andrew King
Skipinnish will be celebrating 25 years at their Bught Park Big Top gig. Picture: Andrew King

Though most of the city park will be closed for redevelopment next year, the Big Top will be sited in a slightly different area there to allow the concert to go ahead on Saturday, July 6.

The band got together in 1999, when two “recently-acquainted college friends” decided to have a tune and a dram together.

As the band put it, one tune led to another, one gig led to another, and now the musical powerhouse has a silver anniversary to celebrate in 2024.

Once a small ceilidh band, the band has grown to perform dozens of sell-out shows over the years at some of the country’s biggest music venues, producing songs that resonate across the globe.

That catalogue of hits includes Alive, The Island, Last Of The Hunters and live festival favourite Walking On The Waves.

Skipinnish’s music has attracted audiences greater than the band could ever have imagined when they started out and with the loose ends of lockdown activities now tied up, the band say they are getting their foot firmly back on the musical throttle and working up to their quarter century, with 2024 set to be a momentous year in their journey.

Founder member Angus MacPhail said: “The Highlands and Islands are the heartland of our music and it feels very fitting that we are able to mark our 25th birthday with a major show in Inverness.

“Some of the biggest and best shows we have been lucky to perform have been staged at Bught Park and we are delighted to be returning there next July.”

Promoter LCC Live’s director Les Kidger explained how it has been possible to allow the band to bring their concert back to Bught Park.

“Though the park is going to be closed for development next year, it’s really good that we have been able to work with High Life Highland to find a space there to keep live music going.”

This is the first show to be announced for the Live In The City 2024 series, organised by the Inverness-based promoters.

Les Kidger at Bught Park where the Big Top will be raised again. Picture Gary Anthony
Les Kidger at Bught Park where the Big Top will be raised again. Picture Gary Anthony

Mr Kidger said: “We’re delighted to be working with Skipinnish once again, and to be a part of such an important milestone for the band.

“It’s set to be a very special show and we’re so excited to welcome everyone back to the Big Top under canvas at Bught Park next year.

“Skipinnish were out of this world when they last performed there in 2022.

“Their fans had the most amazing night, so we can’t wait to do it all again for their 25th anniversary.”

On identifying part of the Bught to create an alternative to the usual under canvas pitch site on which to stage the concert, he added: “We won’t be putting the Big Top on its normal pitch.

“High Life Highland has identified an area that won’t be affected by the development work.

“Our guys have made appraisals of the site and we can put the Big Top and event space there.

“The 25 years with Skipinnish – it takes us back to memories of all the Runrig anniversaries.

“Next year’s concert will be a big night, but we are limited to 5000 in the Big Top, so I think it should sell out quite quickly.”

Tickets for Skipinnish: The 25th Anniversary Concert go on sale at 9am next Friday (September 29) here And to buy in person from Caffery’s Menswear in the Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness. More on the band here:

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