Over the last couple of years I have watched the steady rise and rise of Peat And Diesel with some interest.
They played the Barrowlands a couple of years ago and in the summer played at Kelvingrove Bandstand.
It was the latter gig that really made me take notice of what they were doing.
Particularly seeing people I know and people I follow on social media posting about that gig.
But they weren’t the regular gig goers. No.
Nor were they those with some sort of Hebridean connection. They were people I didn’t expect to have any interest in this band.
And yet there they were.
So what is this band doing to get their attention?
Peat and Diesel to me are basically a punk band. Riffing on traditional Scottish music and island life, some hooks from tunes you already know and mix it together with a lot of wit, fun and their own unique personality.
They’re not just a band from Stornoway but they’re a band that could only come from that town.
You don’t have to be from there to understand the jokes and the characters they talk about.
But if you’ve had a little taste of island life it does help. And if you haven’t, go there and see for yourself. You’ll enjoy it.
As with all good power trios they are punchy and to the point.
But they also have a great sense of humour.
I mean, they’ve got a Peat & Diesel boiler suit on sale at the merch stall!
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Stornoway and there are so many lines in their songs that people have actually said to me.
This gig started with a “Where’s Boydie?” sketch. As accordion player Innes and drummer Uilly took to the stage before going on a hunt for their absent guitarist.
Their voices bouncing around the speakers in the hall.
When Boydie joined they fired straight into ‘Horo Gheallaidh’.
This gig in the concert hall is probably their biggest headline show to date.
With a really cool stage set up and fantastic lights (for once!).
They even have a light-up branded bass drum skin. I’ve never seen a band with one of those before.
“We’re an accidental band. We never planned on ending up here.” Box player Innes Scott told the crowd after the first song.
So how did they get here?
They seem to have organically grown by constant gigging and by making good use of social media.
At least as far as I can tell.
They’re also really good musicians and fun performers.
If you look at the banner at the top of this page they definitely fit into ‘Independent Music from Scotland’.
But the thing that sticks with me from this gig was the crowd. They sang along to every song knowing all the words. The band could literally have sang the first line of each song and then just let the crowd finish the song.
Also I noticed the demographic of the crowd.
It had everybody from young children to older people.
A broader mix than I’ve seen for a long time.
Support this night was from Moonlight Benjamin.
This Haitian born but French-bred singer (French Bread!) and her band play sort of bluesy rock with Haitian and Voodoo rhythms. They do sound very Worldy and maybe not what I’d expect as the support for this night. But they were a lot of fun to watch with really upbeat tunes.
They were very lively around the stage and she is a very good performer.
She’d go around the stage and whipping the crowd up.
Which is exactly what you want in a support band.