The Battlefield Band – Potted History (Courtesy Artist’s site, 2005)
PLUS: All ‘The Batties’ & All their Bits.
Inspired by their rich heritage of Celtic music and fired by the strength and vibrancy of today's Scottish cultural scene, which indeed they have done much to create and fuel, they have led, and been at the forefront, of a great revival in Scottish music. Refusing to be limited musically by suffocating antiquarianism, or the music business' fashions, they have mixed the old songs and music with a new self-penned repertoire, all played on a fusion of ancient and modern instruments - bagpipes, fiddle, synthesiser, guitar, flutes, bodhran and accordion
Named after the Glasgow suburb of Battlefield, where the group was formed by four student friends, Battlefield Band have been on the world''s roads for just on 30 years now, distilling their own unique form of the Scottish spirit and bottling it in concert and onto disc - Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Syria, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, U.S.A., Canada, Uzbekistan and the U.K. They have broken down barriers and pioneered many new directions which others have followed. Angry, joyful, raucous, contemplative, their music is most importantly - accessible to all.
During those years there have obviously been line-up changes and indeed the band are remarkable for the smooth and organic way in which these changes have taken place. Their continued creativity, freshness and enthusiasm is due to the positive way they have viewed, and used, these changes - and of course the new musicians themselves have been of prime importance. Musical evidence of these changes can be heard on their many albums made over the years.
The current line-up features:
Mike Katz (Highland pipes/small pipes/various whistles/bass guitar) the unmistakeable piper who joined the line-up in late 1997and has contibuted massively to the music and accessibility of the band.
Alan Reid (keyboards/guitar/vocals) from Glasgow, one of the founder members of the band and an invaluable factor in their success and longevity, does much of the bands singing and songwriting, particularly on contemporary Scottish themes.
Alasdair White (fiddle/whistle/banjo/bazouki/Highland and small pipes/bodhran/...and probably anything else he can lay his hands on!), is the most recent addition to the band. Already a superb fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist, Alasdair hails from the island of Lewis, one of the Gaelic speaking Outer Hebrides.
Pat Kilbride (vocals/guitar/cittern), who played in the band for a couple of years in the mid 70's and has returned to the fold after over 20 years earning a name for himself as a solo artist. This Irish guitar maestro brings with him great musicianship and experience and is a valuable addition to the band.
All ‘The Batties’ & All their Bits.
According to the notes from the 206 albums recorded by the Battlefield Band, the full membership list totals 15 members:
Alan Reid (the only sole surviving original); Brian McNeill; Alistair Russell; Dougie Pincock; Duncan MacGillivray; Ged Foley; John McCusker; Iain MacDonald; James McMenemy; John Gahagan; Pat Kilbride; Davy Steele; Mike Katz; Karine Polwart & Jenny Clark.
Occassional add-in were: Kris Drever; Simon Thoumire; Alison Kinnaird; Mystery Juice and, on the only two times they used drums, Donald Hay.
The talented bunch trucked around the world with a van packed with instruments:
Keyboards; Fiddle; Viola; Mandolin; Mandocello; Guitars; Bouzouki; Concertina; Highland Bagpipes; Small Pipes; Flute; Whistle; Saxophone; Cittern; Hurdy Gurdy; Organ; Synthesizer; Piano; Mouth Organ; Northumbrian Pipes; Percussion; Accordion; Dulcimer; Pedal Organ; Covals; Guitarra; Bodhran; Bass; Melodica & Banjo
And they try to tell us Robin Morton did not play a thing??
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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