Three members of the Scottish pipes-and-drums group Albannach are interviewed in Mugdock Country Park near Glasgow before leaving for a two-month tour of the United States.
The tour takes to Savannah, Georgia, then to New York for Tartan Week, before embarking on the Highland Games circuit.
Compared with Scottish gigs, the band reckon the American crowds are “a bit more energetic, they get right into it”. The band is happy to oblige: “Wildness is the key.”
The band’s heavily percussive, almost tribal music comes courtesy of Jamesie Johnston and Kyle Gray on drums, Jacquie Holland on maracas and vocals, Donnie MacNeill on bagpipes, and Aya Thorne and Davey Morrison on the bodhrán.
“The style of Celtic music that they’re used to is the fiddles and guitars and that kind of nice pleasant sort of Celtic music,” says Thorne. “And then on come these rough buggers.”
“Each one of us has been brought up interested in traditional bagpipes and drums,” Johnston notes, “so what we’re doing is taking it back to the grassroots.”
“The way we play, we end up in a trance almost because of it, you’re that far into it and you’re enjoying it but you’ve really got to push it. When the people are jumping about in front of you, that’s when you feed off the energy and you give it more laldy and it just happens.”