SKIPINNISH – The Seventh Wave (Skippinish Records SKIPCD26)

The Seventh WaveThe Seventh Wave is the seventh album to be released by Skipinnish and it is possibly one of the most enjoyable albums that I have recently been given the opportunity to review. When I agreed to take on the suicidal responsibility of reviewing new releases I was, unbelievably, excited about it. However, I have been disappointed with many of the albums I have been given, but not so this one. I am not sure if Skipinnish have been taking notes from my reviews but they seem to have “taken some of my advice”.

My Concern No 1 – If you only have 9 tracks to record then you are not ready to release an album Skipinnish – No problem. The Seventh Wave has 14 tracks. My Concern No 2 – Vocals are pushed back and over-powered by aggressive instrumentalisation. Skipinnish – No problem. They include twelve vocal tracks and the voice is always at the front supported by excellent musicianship.

My Concern No 3 – Lack of clarity in the vocals. Skipinnish – No problem. You can easily make out every word of every song. Superb clarity. My Concern No 4 – Groups issuing all of their vocal tracks entirely in Gaelic, a language few of their fans can understand. Skipinnish – No problem. The majority of their vocals are in English with the inclusion of their native Gaelic in acceptable levels.

My Concern No 5 – “Traditional” bands thinking that they are rock bands. Skipinnish – No problem. They are undoubtedly targeting an audience beyond the folk audience but with a professional awareness of the roots they came from. My Concern No 6 – Poor quality sleeves with not enough information about the album. Skipinnish – They provide a booklet with all the words of songs.

I will not go through the album track by track because that is the responsibility of the listener. I will tell you that most of them are simply excellent with two or three excelling even themselves. Skipinnish have included several “choral” backings to tracks and they are beautiful, especially on ‘The Iolaire’ and ‘Walking On The Waves’.

No album will be reviewed by me without some criticism and on this album, it relates to tracks 2, 7 and 13. I cannot stand the sound created by the introduction of “screeching” bagpipes played at an excessive speed supported by simplistic, heavy rock drummers. It is great fun for young, festival fans when played live. It gives them a chance to dance. Personally, I would not have included track 2, ‘The Hag’, as it is difficult to identify Skipinnish from any other folk band using the same instruments. Keep it in for live gigs but it is not great on an album. Strangely, on the final track the pipes are very much part of the effect but played sensitively and beautifully.

I am sure everybody who buys this album will love it and it is easy to fast forward track 2. It is unlikely you will fast forward any of the other tracks, maybe track 13. It is a great CD, so nip out and buy it.

Fraser Bruce

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artists’ website:

‘The Island’ – official video:

Skipinnish – new single


If the last two single releases from Skipinnish are anything to go by, the music world is in for a treat when the band launches their latest single, ‘The Island’, today.

If its success matches that of its’ two predecessors, Skipinnish will be looking at an incredible hat-trick of appearances in the official UK download charts within a year.

Skipinnish field a 6 piece line-up based on powerful vocals and foot-stomping bagpipe tunes. Their new-found chart topping success would have been hard to believe over 15 years ago when the band was formed by accordionist Angus MacPhail from Tiree and piper Andrew Stevenson from Lochaber over some tunes in the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

‘The Island’ is a summer festival hit waiting to happen. Written by MacPhail and lead vocalist Robert Robertson from Lochaber, it is both powerfully nostalgic and irresistibly feel-good. “Will you dance and return to the island of the young” is a profoundly emotional take on the Gaelic idea of going to Tìr nan Òg (the land of the young), while it also reflects the vibrant atmosphere of the western highlands and islands during summer festival season.

In some ways the song is fresh and uniquely modern; yet in others it is deeply traditional and metaphorical. This paradox between old and new is reflected in the track’s sound, which blends the band’s West Highland roots (it is led by a lively riff played on accordion, whistle, and fiddle) with a subtle presence of electronica – driven by bass and synth. The electrifying energy which has made Skipinnish so popular at festivals is bursting from this studio recording.

Skipinnish’s increased popularity in the past year has been due in no small measure to their pioneering approach to social media. This will be their third single to be released with an accompanying music video online – a unique situation for a band on the traditional, Scottish scene.

The video, directed by Dol Eoin Mackinnon from the island of Scalpay, Harris, intersperses stunning shots from the coastline of Argyll with footage of a bouncing Skipinnish gig. While the song will make listeners want to get up and dance, the video’s storyline of love and loss resolved by impassioned, eternal reunion in the island of the young will pull upon the strings of even the hardest heart.

Music video releases have always worked well for Skipinnish. Last year’s ‘Walking On The Waves’ became something of a summer anthem. It hit number 1 in the iTunes World music charts, overtook the likes of One Direction and Ellie Goulding in the official UK download charts, and also made a huge splash on social media –receiving well over 100,000 views to date on YouTube, and being tweeted about by celebrities such as Hollywood actor Alan Cumming, and television presenter Lorraine Kelly. Shortly after ‘Walking On The Waves’, the band released ‘December’ which climbed even higher up the UK charts and remained on top spot in the World charts for over a week.

As MacPhail and Robertson continue to build upon a formidable songwriting partnership, this driving summer single looks set to take Skipinnish to the next level.

Artists’ website: