Carrying on the tradition

Alasdair White (centre right) with band mates Sean O'Donnell, Ewen Henderson and Mike Katz.
Alasdair White (centre right) with band mates Sean O'Donnell, Ewen Henderson and Mike Katz.

TEN years ago Alasdair White gave up a place at Edinburgh University to replace Bothwell’s John McCusker as the fiddle player in Battlefield Band and says he hasn’t regretted it for a moment.

For over 40 years Battlefield Band has been the vanguard of carrying forward traditional Scottish music at both home and abroad, and will be appearing at Motherwell Theatre next week.

Alasdair, who is from the Isle of Lewis, said: “I was actually still at school when I was approached to join, I had been doing some session work for their record label, Temple, and when John left obviously saw something in me to fill his shoes.

“I had been planning to go to Edinburgh University to study linguistics, but decided that maybe I’d give the band a year or two and then I could always go back to education.

“Ten years on I’m sure here and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything as I’m enjoyed so many amazing experiences.”

Over the next year Battlefield Band have gigs planned in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and the USA, and Alasdair says he loves promoting Scottish music.

He said: “I think the only continent I haven’t played on is South America, and maybe one day we’ll go there, but it is such a thrill to be in a position to promote your own culture in other countries.

“Our culture, our roots, our music belongs to everyone in this nation and we have always been delighted to have the opportunity to introduce it to a wider audience all over the world.

“We always get a great reaction in the likes of America and Germany, but it’s also great to play in Scotland as people have a familiarity with the music so you don’t need to explain it.”

Battlefied Band are at Motherwell Theatre on Friday, May 10, at 7.30pm, with tickets costing £14 (£13 concessions) available by calling 01698 403120 or visit NLC entertainment

The band have also just released their new album Room Enough For All and the Times & Speaker has three copies to give away plus a Battlefield Band DVD.

For your chance to win answer the following question and send your entry, including name, address and daytime telephone number, to Battlefield Band Contest, Motherwell Times, 29 Hope Street, Motherwell, ML1 1BT, by Wednesday, May 8.

How many years has Alasdair White been with Battlefield Band?