Barluath are a diverse and innovative Glasgow-based Scottish folk band, who embrace both the traditional and contemporary music of Scotland, Ireland and America. The band can be booked in a veriety of line-ups to suit your needs. The band can be either:
A five piece including Scots and Gaelic song, highland and border bagpipes, whistle, fiddle, piano, guitar and step-dance.
Or the band can be booked as a six piece including percussion. This lineup is perfect for bigger festivals and events where covers may be required.
Barluath have continued to grow since forming in early 2010 and have delighted many audiences, such as with their appearances at Scotland’s Celtic Connections, Linlithgow Folk Festival and PipingLive! to name only three as well as at festivals in Germany and Belgium. In November 2011, the band were invited to Washington DC as part of the Scottish Government’s St. Andrews Day celebrations in the USA, culminating in performances at The National Museum of Women in the Arts and the British Embassy. The band have also worked on several European tours including playing at the Labadoux festival in 2015.
Barluath were also winners of a prestigious ‘Danny Kyle Open Stage’ award at Celtic Connections 2012 and followed this up with their own slot at this year’s festival. The band released their debut album ‘Source’ on the Nimbus Alliance record label in September 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. This has been followed up with their second album ‘At Dawn of Day’ released in 2015.
Our name Barluath (pronounced Bar-lhu-ah) comes from an ancient bagpiping embellishment used in a style of music called piobaireachd (pronounced peeb-ur-uch). The Barluath embellishment is no longer commonly played in modern-day piping and it consisted of 19 separate grace notes, which made it too difficult in practice. Though there are no written examples of a ‘barluath’ in the surviving piobaireachd manuscripts, it is thought that it was used as an embellishment to the already challenging ‘crunluath’ and ‘crunluath a mach’ variations at the end of some piobaireachd.
As well as being available for concert performances for a wide variety of events, Barluath also have considerable experience as a ceilidh or function band. We are available for all types of occasions involving ceilidh dancing, such as parties, weddings, corporate events, and even ceilidhs themselves!
Barluath’s ceilidh line-up can be a 3 to 6 piece band consisting of a combination of fiddle, whistles, Scottish smallpipes, border pipes, Highland bagpipes, guitar Scots/Gaelic song and piano. This format can be adapted depending on the occasion and Barluath are confident, able and happy to talk dancers through the steps of each dance. See the Contact tab for information on how to enquire about booking Barluath for your next event or occasion!
Ainsley is an experienced songwriter and singer and is quickly becoming one of the UK’s leading and most diverse folk singers, after various nominations at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. Much of her own material is performed with touring band ‘Barluath’ and now ‘Ainsley Hamill and Band’.
Ainsley hails from Cardross, and has been involved in singing, dancing and performance from a young age, and specialises in songwriting, Gaelic Song and English Song.
Ainsley’s love of Gaelic song was nurtured whilst studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she obtained a First Class Honour’s Degree in Scottish Music, with Gaelic Song as her Principal Study, under the tuition of Kenna Campbell and Màiri MacInnes. There she met her fellow band mates, and Barluath was formed. In recent years, the band has recorded two studio albums, ‘Source’ and ‘At Dawn of Day’, along with touring extensively in Britain and abroad.
In October 2013, Ainsley won The Silver Pendant at The Royal National Mòd, held in Paisley. She has also appeared in the final of the An Comunn Gàidhealach Gold Medal competition in 2014, and 2015. Ainsley was also named as a BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Finalist in 2014/15, and recently nominated for Gaelic Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.
Ainsley has been broadcast on radio and television numerous times both with her band and solo. She has several on-going projects that involve songwriting and singing at the moment.
She has also appeared at major folk festivals such as The Festival Interceltique de Lorient, and Celtic Connections since 2010, along with many others in Britain and abroad, whilst touring extensively in Germany and Denmark with Barluath.
Ainsley continues to write her own material. This includes original songs in English, as well as composing tunes that compliment Gaelic material that no longer have a melody attached to the lyrics. She is also a keen step dancer, which can be seen in Barluath’s live show.
Alistair is a piano player and piper from Bishopton, and is one of the most popular musicians on the Scottish folk music scene. He graduated from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2013 with a first class honours degree in Scottish Music, and was fortunate to be awarded four scholarships during his studies, most notably the Martyn Bennett Memorial Scholarship in 2012 (www.margaretbennett.co.uk/scholarship/martyn-bennett-scholarship). His tutors at RCS were Mary McCarthy and James Ross, but it was his gran, Nan Maciver, who first sparked his interest in piano and love of traditional music.
He regularly plays keyboards with folk band Barluath, who have toured extensively throughout Britain and Europe, and were nominated in 2014 in the “Up and Coming Artist” category at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, and again in 2016 for “Folk Band of the Year.”
Since graduating in 2013, Alistair has been working full time as a freelance musician on a variety of projects in the fields of performing, teaching, composing, arranging and recording. He was a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014.
Notable performances have taken Alistair around the world to many countries including France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, the USA and Brazil.
In 2013 he toured and performed with the National Theatre of Scotland production “A Little Bird Blown Off Course” based on the life of eminent American-born folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw. In 2015/2016 he featured on the BBC Alba/TG4 programme ‘Port’ alongside Julie Fowlis, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and a host of other top traditional musicians. In July 2016 he performed again with Julie Fowlis at the National Commemorative Event to mark the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme at the Thiepval Memorial in France, which was recorded and televised live.
Alistair has also collaborated with a wide variety of other Scottish artists including Patsy Reid, Robyn Stapleton, Mischa MacPherson and James MacKenzie.
In 2015 Alistair was awarded The Saltire Society’s International Travel Bursary for Music, which saw him travel to Cape Breton in Canada in October 2016. Alistair is also a keen teacher and recently became a piano tutor on the BMus course in traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Eddie was born in Edinburgh and started playing the chanter at school when he was 12. Over the course of his time at high school, he took playing the whistles and was involved in the Feis Dhun Eideann movement. He also played for the Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band, as well as the school band during this time.
Eddie spent his final year at school at the National Centre for Excellence for Traditional Music before completing a BA (hons) in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Since graduating Eddie has toured extensively with Barluath and with several other outfits. These include Nic Green with her show “Fatherland” which saw performances in The Arches in Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Belgium, Iain Gillie’s “This is Ceilidh” which ran at the Edinburgh Fringe’s Spiegel Tent in 2015, as well as being in demand as a wedding piper and tour host at the National Piping Centre.
He also tours regularly with guitarist/singer Luc McNally in a duo that has released an EP “Headlights” in 2015 and is set to release an album in November 2016.
Now based in Glasgow, Eddie is a regular teacher having worked for the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop, The National Piping Centre and The Big Whistle Festival.
Brought up in Dundee, Eilidh studied violin with Gill Simpson at the High School of Dundee. A member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, she has toured the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Ireland. She has also been section principal of the National Youth String Orchestra of Scotland and leader of the Tayside Young Fiddlers, a role that sparked a love of traditional music. Eilidh received four scholarships for the Alasdair Fraser Scottish Fiddle School in California. Already an experienced teacher, Eilidh’s work has taken her from New York to the Pacific islands of Fiji.
Eilidh has recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she studied fiddle with Alistair McCulloch and Marie Fielding.