Trail West

Andrew Findlater from Trail West talks, music, whisky and Speyside

Trail West
Trail West

Hailing from the ‘wild wild’ Western Isles of Scotland, Trail West are a young band causing a storm on the Scottish music scene.

They were formed on the Isle of Tiree in 2008 by founding members Andrew Findlater (Drums/ Vocals) and BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Finalist Ian Smith (Accordion/ Vocals), the band has since added further Hebridean fire power with multi-instrumentalist and Young Traditional Musician of the Year Semi-Finalist Seonaidh MacIntyre (Whistles/ Bagpipes/ Tromb/ Vocals) from SouthUist and fellow Tirisdeach Alain Campbell (Guitar/ Bagpipes/ Vocals) to create a blistering sound that presents an exciting twist on the traditional ‘west coast’ ceilidh band style.

Hi thanks for the interview.

Who was the founding member of the band?

There were 5 original members all from Tiree that started the band in 2008 but nowadays there are only 2 of us left from that group, Ian Smith and Andrew Findlater.  Alain Campbell and Seonaidh MacIntyre joined us in summer 2010.

What made you decide to form a band?

We all have a real passion for traditional music and got asked to play at some local events in Tiree and it started from there.

For people that may not yet be familiar with your music, how would you describe your musical style?

We are a West Coast ceilidh band that play upbeat traditional music for dancing to.

What influences you musically?

Whisky!  The whole band was influenced by Skipinnish, Skerryvore, Alasdair MacCuish, Blair Douglas and the Vatersay Boys.

You have had huge success with your album ‘One That Got Away’ and upon your release in April 2013 you had reached No. 1 in the iTunes ‘World Music’ Album Charts as well as No. 171 in the entire iTunes Album Charts, did you expect the album to be so well received?

We had our own following which always helps but the overall response was far greater than we expected!  With radio requests in Texas, Germany, Hawaii and hoodies to Italy we were blown away it all.

Can you describe your core “fan base”.

Predominantly characters from the west coast that enjoy the craic and a good dram!

It’s been said that you play traditional Scottish music with a modern twist, what does this mean to you?

We have tried to put our own style to our music but maintain a traditional theme with good fun along the way.

Is this the first year you have been involved with the Spirit of Speyside Festival?

Yes it is and we are looking forward to it very much.

What does the Festival mean to you?

A chance to play to new folk in a place we have never been to before and an opportunity to sample a few new drams!

As part of the events the Festival are running, there is the Speyside Sessions – (which is a music festival), how important do you think this event is to showcase Scottish music?

Sessions are important across the country as it allows people to get together, play new tunes and enjoy the music.

If someone hasn’t experienced Scottish music before, why would you recommend they try it?

It’s good fun and good exercise if you are up for dancing!

Do you have an interest in whisky?

Yes, we’ve been known to partake in the odd dram from time to time.

Do you think whisky and Scottish music are synonymous with each other?

Yes without a doubt, a good dram helps with the atmosphere!

Tell us about your event – A Night with Trail West!

We’ll do 2 sets over the course of the evening where we will mainly be playing for dances with a few songs and instrumental sets along the way.  We hope you will come along and enjoy the tunes, the dancing and the drams!

Kirsty Clarke (@kirstyclarke29)

Thank you very much for the interview and we look forward to seeing you at your event.

There are still some tickets available for this event, so if you haven’t already booked, what’s stopping you?  Book here now!

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