Arriving in time to see the ceilidh in full swing, there was already a ruckus vibe that kicked off the night, which continued on into the wee hours. Celebrating twenty years of independence, the spirit of the Isle of Eigg was very much present in the Drygate Brewery in East Glasgow, as we witnessed dancing, drinking and good spirits.

The Hebridean Isle of Eigg has become iconic in Scotland, both among advocates of land reform and local self-determination, and for staging one of the country’s most (in)famous annual revels. Annually they celebrate their ‘Independence Day’ in June with an Anniversary Ceilidh and 2017 saw twenty years of the inhabitants owning the land, whilst also instigating its own renewable energy supply. Staging a gig that showcased the talent of the island, whilst also giving us a flavour of their annual ceilidh it was a wonderfully intimate insight into being on the island, and the camaraderie that exists there.

As aforementioned, the evening was kicked off by Ja’Ma’Tha Ceilidh Band, and the floor was filled with dancers, watchers and a clear enthusiasm to have a grand ole evening.

Dàimh, referred to by one that evening as a folk supergroup, increased party spirits further, as Ellen and the guys fair created a ruckus on the dance floor from their wonderful mix of Scots traditional and more contemporary elements. The bagpipe performance was particularly notable and intensely aroused the spirits of the revellers.

Next on the bill was Pictish Trail, who hosts a fabulous music festival on the island, bi-annually. Playing a list of hits from Future Echoes, including Lionhead, Dead Connection, Half Life and Afterlife, as well as some from the back catalogue such as Michael Rocket and Winter Home Disco, the crowd by this time were comfortably cosy, and still giving it their all with their dancing shoes. Hitting us with that Silver Columns track, Brow Beaten, we were all a little sore from throwing shapes for the crux of the evening.

Unfortunately by this time it was well past my time to head home, and The Massacre Cave were still giving it heir best head banging with a rather jaw-droppingly amount of hair on stage. Despite this, it was a joyous evening and a privilege to feel invited into the spirit of the island, as they annually partake in these celebrations.

For more on the Celtic Connections and the remainder of their line-up click here.