Stornoway is a wee burgh settlement on the Isle of Lewis, way out in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Stornoway are also a pop-folk quintet based in Oxford, England. The name likely came from one of their hiking trips, though they admit the closet they have got to their namesake is 37 miles. How and ever, the celtic connotations are fitting. Lead singer Brian Briggs sings with a round-vowelled clarity evocative of Fairport Convention or 70’s British folk in general. They are an eclectic bunch, self-described as ‘an ornithologist, a rusty russian translator, and a South African brotherhood’, with two of them being classically trained. Their sound is a melting pot of folk, pop and African beats; cleverly structured and catchy with jangly, guitars, violin, trumpet and visceral percussion. The band will appeal to fans of Fleet Foxes and Belle & Sebastian. It may not be entirely new but there’s something about the band that is fresh, passionate even; somehow timeless and yet very much of its age.
Stornoway have released two singles through Rough Trade. You may have seen this performance of their debut -Zorbing’ on Jools Holland.
Follow up single -Unfaithful’ was released just 6 weeks ago and there’s album due for release in early 2010. No strangers to the live circuit, the band played six shows at Glastonbury last year, so hopefully we’ll see them land on these shores soon.