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1999 Festival Review

1999 Festival

The Barra MacNeils
La Bottine Souriante
Tartan Amoebas
Michael McGoldrick
Alasdair Fraser & Tony McManus
Alyth McCormack
The Bumblebees

"What miracle can transform a grey, wet blanket of a weekend in Stornoway into a boiling, bubbling pot stirred with excitement and energy? The Hebridean Celtic Festival it would seem. Now in its fourth year, it has become incredibly popular with islanders, and this year's events attracted visitors from across the UK, Europe and beyond, boosting overall numbers to record levels.

A strong Gaelic emphasis permeated the programme, which featured top local acts Mackenzie, and Alyth McCormack. An undoubted coup for the festival was the Michael McGoldrick Experience; the golden boy blew his whistles, pipes and the crowd away. Alasdair Fraser and Tony McManus hit the stage on Friday night and fired up the crowd for The Barra MacNeils, who also souped up their set. La Bottine Souriante returned to a hero's welcome, and the nine-piece Quebecan band soon had everyone stomping and smiling with delight. On Saturday night 1000 hardy survivors filled the big tent for a hoolie with bouncy Irish girl-band The Bumblebees and Scotland's stupendous Tartan Amoebas.

Scotsman, July '99