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Byron Shire
June 23, 2024

Interview: Breabach

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Scottish five-piece Breabach deliver a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scenes as one of the UK’s most dynamic and exciting bands.

James Lindsay of Breabach had a chat with The Echo ahead of their Mullum gig.

What’s the essence of a Breabach gig?

It’s a diverse show, up-tempo flute and fiddle tunes, Gaelic and Scots songs and plaintive melodies, all building to a full-on barrage of double bagpipes and Scottish step dance.

A second Scots Folk award? What’s the band’s take on that? Do you humbly accept – then hide it in the garage, or is it on the dining room table?

It’s very humbling to recognised for our work but it’s not something we dwell on too much; awards aren’t the reason we make music.

What do you take from tradition and what do you innovate? How important is it for you to have a foot in both camps?

Having a foot in both camps is the essence of our sound. At the core is our use of traditional instruments and our interest in the old melodies and songs from Scotland. We take these ideas and write with them in mind but aren’t afraid to blend them with contemporary influences, while always aiming to respect the tradition.

Your album Astar is about a journey (see I looked it up!). What is the concept for this album?

Thanks for checking it out! The album is a celebration of the travels we’ve been fortunate to have over the past few years, particularly in Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and Quebec. Our aim was to write music with these cultures in mind and combine them with our own Scottish sound.

How important is it for the band to engage in collaboration? How does it change or add to what you do?

Incredibly important to us! Everywhere we go we love to play with other musicians and this is what made Astar so special for us. It’s exciting to experiment and see how the sounds from other cultures can merge with our own.

What should we expect for your show in Mullumbimby?

We’ll be playing a lot of music from Astar as well as some older material. Expect a varied night of contemporary Scottish music, and we encourage you to bring your dancing shoes!

Breabach play the Mullumbimby Ex-Services on Saturday. Tickets on www.redsquaremusic.com.au

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