Seven piece bands are a rarity on any music scene.
Ones that create as much excitement as this band are even rarer.
Having only formed a short time before, winning a Danny Kyle award at Glasgow's Celtic Connections Festival in 2000 exploded the band into the public eye. It was only 6 months later before they also walked away with the equivalent award from the World's largest Celtic Festival: the "Festival Interceltique de Lorient" in France.
Since then, Brolum has built up a following not only at home, but also in countries such as Italy, Belgium, England and of course France.
The band's debut album "7:11" was released in January 2001. The band have been working on new material over recent months and are eagerly looking forward to recording their second album in the near future.
All seven of Brolum are graduates or students from two of Scotland's major institutions of music. This makes sense not only when you see the expertise shown by each member, but also when you hear the quality of arrangement that band produces.
Twin fiddles, pipes and whistles backed by one of the most solid rhythm sections around combine to create one of the most driving sounds you will have heard in a long time. Add clarsach as a bridge between the two sections and you have the complete outfit. Well, almost complete. Complete is when you consider that Brolum is one of the few bands around today which can boast having both Gaelic and Scots vocals as part of the line-up.
Eilidh was brought up in the small village of Aberfoyle, in the Trossachs, and has been playing the fiddle since the age of eight.
She graduated from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, in 2001, with a BA (Hons) in Applied Music. Now twenty-three, she plays with various bands, and has performed in many countries throughout Europe, the Czech Republic, Singapore, the USA and Scandinavia, and completed a six-week tour of New Zealand in 1998.
In addition to performing and teaching, she is also part of the late Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! Scheme, which takes live performances to a wide range of community venues.
Eilidh has done recording work with Brit-Award winning band, ‘Belle and Sebastian’ and, as part of a group including Andy and Martin, was a finalist in the 1999 Radio 2 Young Folk Award. She also performs in a duo with pianist, James Ross.
Ali, 20, comes from Methven, Perthshire. He has been playing Highland Pipes since the age of 7, then in recent years took up the whistle, guitar & bouzouki. Ali played with the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band where he received tuition from the great Gordon Duncan.
As well as playing with Brolum, he also performs with Rinwud and the Deoch'n'Dorus Ceilidh band. He has also performed with Clueless, The Gordon Duncan Band, Deaf Shepherd, Dougie Maclean and Cantrip. He is in his 2nd year of the Scottish music degree at the RSAMD.
Kathleen, 23 hails from the Isle of Skye, brought up in a musical family steeped in the gaelic culture. Currently in her hons. year at the RSAMD, Kathleen is studying Gaelic song with the renowned singer Kenna Campbell. Kathleen is not only known for her vocals, as together with her warm vocal tones her imaginative Clarsach arrangements combine to make this enigmatic performer.
As well as interests in the Gaelic and folk traditions Kathleen has a strong interest in Jazz and is at present studying with the singer and song writer Sophie Bancroft.
With her music Kathleen has travelled to Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Canada and the States.
As well as performing Kathleen is a regular employee of Feisean nan Gaidheal as a tutor in Gaelic song, Clarsach and Step dance. She is also currently employed as a tutor for the RSAMD junior academy outreach project and for North Lanarkshire council.
Kathleen also regularly performes for Live Music Now.
On completing her course at the RSAMD Kathleen wishes to continue her career in traditional music.
Duncan, 23, currently resides in a halfway house in Glasgow's trendy and thriving west end. While Duncan remains a stalwart of the house, the constant flow of well travelled people bring him inspiration in what can sometimes be a somewhat depressing city. Meeting these people on a daily basis have caused Duncan's feet to itch somewhat. Only one thing ties him to the city.
Folk music keeps a strong hold on the unsuspecting. Duncan didn't know of its influence when he was taken to folk clubs as a child, although these things have a habit of creeping up on you. When Duncan went to university to study music, his dreams were of riches and rock, but what chance did he have of that with this early conditioning? Duncan graduated from Strathclyde University with a 2:1 honours degree and a tendency towards pessimism.
Duncan's time with Brolum has taught him a lot about accepting life for what it is and cherishing the good times. The good times for Duncan would appear to be long gone, however. Duncan only has time now for Frank, his trusty bass. Frank has suffered as Duncan has, breaking his neck in a tragic fall on the hazardous streets of Glasgow. Fortunately, an operation involving the insertion of two thick bolts to the affected area brought him back to life. Frank also dreams now of fleeing the city for a brighter future. Maybe Duncan and Frank will find it together.
Martin, 22, holds All-Scotland, All-Britain and All-Ireland titles on Bodhrán and is widely recognised for his skilled performances. He graduated in 2002 with an honours degree in Music from Strathclyde University, and when not playing with Brolum, he is kept busy performing and recording with various artists and teaching when he has the chance. He has performed throughout the UK & Europe with Brolum, and also made appearances with Dochas, Beneche, and top Scottish band, Deaf Shepherd. Other work includes performing in Mark Sheridan’s commissioned works (Curve of The Earth, The Evangelists and most recent When They Lay Bare).
Andy has been a guitarist for over 15 years. His mother was his first teacher of many, and over the years he has learned how to play in numerous different styles such as classical, jazz, funk, and open tunings.
Also a member of bands Calasaig and Rinwud, his music has seen him travel to Russia, Canada and countries all over Europe. In the past, he has played as part of the Dougie MacLean Band and also with the Phamie Gow Band.
Other instruments Andy plays are trumpet, bass guitar, and piano (a little), and he is the male vocalist in Brolum. As well as playing, Andy is very much into composing, and to date, some of his writings have been included on various compilation albums across Europe.
When not working as part of a major folk supergroup, Andy can be found either mountain biking in the Borders, taking part in extreme watersports in Perthshire, jogging or rollerblading in Lanarkshire or simply reading or cooking (Italian) at home. He is also a connoisseur of coffee and a right old cinema buff.
Oh, and he has a BA Honours Degree in Applied Music from Strathclyde University.
Sarah comes from Ayr on the West Coast of Scotland and has played vioiln since the age of eight. Performing in both folk and classical groups, Sarah has enjoyed success in both fields. As a former member of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra, Sarah took part in extensive tours of Canada and America including performances in Toronto, Washington, Boston and New York.
In 1997, Sarah began the Applied Music degree at the University of Strathclyde where she met several members of 'Brolum'. In her first year of study, Sarah recorded with Glasgow band 'Belle and Sebastian' for Brit-award winnning album 'The Boy with The Arab Strap'.
During her honours year, Sarah produced an extensive folio of composition including works for string and symphony orchestra as well as a recital on violin accompanied by piano and string quartet. Two of her string orchestra works were performed by the Applied Music orchestra.
More recently, Sarah helped to form 'Ultraviolet', a quartet consisting of four female music graduates who all compose for the group; Flute, Violin, Clarinet and Cello. Sarah continues to write for both Brolum and Ultraviolet and enjoys the challenge of performing and writing in two such diverse styles.
You can listen to short samples from some of the tracks from this artist using the player below.
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