Na h-Òganaich

Sat 22 July

Na h-Òganaich are widely credited with reviving interest in Gaelic music in the 1970s for a younger generation and influencing many musicians who followed in their footsteps, including Capercaillie.

Founding members Margaret and Donnie MacLeod were brought up in Edinburgh and Peterhead, (Gaelic was always spoken in their home as their parents came from the Isle of Lewis). Following many musical and Mod successes, Margaret won the Gold Medal at the 1970 Mod and the following year she formed Na h-Òganaich with Donnie and friend Noel Eadie. Na h-Òganaich went on to win the folksong competition at the National Mod in 1971 and the Celtavision Song Contest at Pan-Celtic week in Killarney in 1972.

Over the following years they breathed new life into Gaelic music with their three part harmonies, accompanied by guitars, bodhran and whistles. Their youth and energy combined with the inspiring words of Murdo Macfarlane, the Melbost Bard, successfully took the Gaelic world by storm. Gradually their appearances onstage and television spread through the Celtic nations, Europe, Canada and the USA earning them the cult status that they now enjoy.

The original group has reformed on several occasions since then on a one-off basis, notably at Fèis nan Còisir in Stornoway and at Celtic Connections in Glasgow (2007). Margaret has continued to sing professionally, while Donnie in the 1980s became a popular TV performer and producer. Noel has been living and working in education on the Isle of Lewis since 1978. More recently they have been accompanied by irrepressible local musician Andy Yearley.

Their concert at HebCelt in 2015 was recorded as the fastest selling show in the festival history to that date so we encourage all to get their tickets early for this show.