Potato and HerringTraditional Music Event. (Bunta`ta angus Sgadan)
Fiddlers of the Heather Isles on the Island of Lewis held a very traditional evening on the 28th November 2003.
Salted herrings and mackerels were served up during the ceilidh with boiled potatoes(roosters),butter and fresh milk.This was the staple diet on the islands up until not very long ago.Salting was the system of preseving the fish over the winter periods in days gone by before refrigeration.The fish were gutted and then layered in buckets and salted.This could then be eaten within a matter of weeks when boiled.
Fingers were used to eat the fish in the old days but it was noted that most guests used a knife and fork to eat the fish this time.
One of the benefits of eating salted fish of course is the tremendous thirst that develops after a while.
On the musical side of things performing at the ceilidh were Dougie Kane on the pipes,Catriona Watt gaelic singing,Sticks and Drones a local bagpipe and drums group,Heather isle fiddlers the local fiddle organisation,Campbell Maclean on accordion,the Kane brothers and star of the show “Tiene”which translates to Fire,Lynsday Macritchie(Keyboards),Judy Morrison(Clarsadh),and Catriona on low “D”whistle.The highlight of the Tiene performance was a beautiful version of Phil Cunninghams` Youngest Ancient mariner`.
The finale of the evening was all the fiddlers on stage playing a series of 6/8`s ,Nell Flahertys` Drake,Ness Bochan,Wee tod,Kenny Gilles of Portnalong to an Orcadian Strip the Willow.
Then followed a gaelic waltz to the tunes
MorunGeal Dileas,Cailuin mo Ruansa and Morag of Dunvegan.
It is refreshing to report that the majority of the musicians donating thier talents on the evening were teenagers.Every one of them are serious players in their own disciplines.It bodes well for the future of traditional music in the hebrides.
Fiddlers of the Heather Isles.