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You The Critic: Shetland Folk Festival 2014

Event: Shetland Folk Festival 2014

Review: Hannah Nicholson, 26

Verdict: 4 out 5 stars

Now in its 34th year, the Shetland Folk Festival brings a variety of bands and artistes from around the world on the overnight ferry from Aberdeen, where the party essentially starts with the visiting musicians having a session in the ship's main bar which goes on long into the night, beginning a trend that will last the whole weekend in the festival club at Islesburgh House in Lerwick.

As folk singer Dick Gaughan was once quoted as saying: "This festival should come with a health warning - no one sleeps."

Undoubtedly the highlight of this year's concert for many audience members was American/Canadian gospel band the Sojourners, who were ably supported by a heavily blues-influenced backing band.

Their stage presence, enthusiasm and gorgeous harmonies kept audiences thoroughly entertained at their concert sets.

Canadian folk duo Madison Violet were also very well-received during their second visit to the isles. A highlight of their set at the Sunday afternoon singing concert at Mareel in Lerwick was the song 'The Woodshop', written by member Brenley MacEachern about the tragic death of her brother, which left few dry eyes in the audience.

Concerts this year were held at various venues throughout the islands: as well as the aforementioned Mareel, the Lerwick British Legion and the Clickimin Sports Centre, halls were utilised in villages such as Brae, Sandwick and Ollaberry, and islands such as Bressay and Fetlar.

Even 34 years in, this festival shows no signs of slowing down, and long may it continue.

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Arts and Entertainment

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