(SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #278: Saor Patrol

By on Tuesday, 10th December 2013 at 12:00 pm

Not your typical indie five-piece, Saor Patrol has three drummers, a guitarist, and a set of bagpipes. Wait, what? Yes, this is not an indie folk band. This is a real, traditional, Scottish folk band. In fact, the band is “part of The Clanranald Trust for Scotland a recognized non-profit charity based in Kincardine, Scotland. The Trust was established in 1995 as an educational organization, […] existing to support Clanranald’s efforts”. Playing what they have dubbed ‘medieval Scottish rock’, Saor Patrol – which translates as ‘freedom guard’ in Scottish Gaelic – kicks up the amperage on other traditional folk music. Not content to stick with the 100% traditional sound, these guys add a grinding guitar to pull it just this side of modern. Completely instrumental, the combination of this driving guitar overlaid with a bagpipe melody is just different enough from traditional bagpipe bands to turn heads.

I know what you are thinking, how do they fit in with the new music-laced, hipster-heeding, sweat-bath that is SXSW? Honestly, I don’t know. I listened to some of their music, and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, after about 15 minutes the pipes grated on me. I think, however, I would love to be under a blue sky at a festival romping around with them. Because of that, I would put money on this being one of the most fun, rousing shows in Austin next year.

With both a new live album, ‘Die Krieger’, and a joint album with fellow trad folkies The Dolmen called ‘Crann Tara’, released in 2013, the band are ready to take in some new fans. Saor Patrol is not exactly the first kind of band that you think of when you conjure up an idea of a music festival like SXSW. But they are the real deal: tough looking highland men with rough hewn kilts and an authentic sound. I think they are going to kick some major Scottish arse come March.


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2 Responses

12:02 pm
10th December 2013

New post: (SXSW 2014 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #278: Saor Patrol @saorpatrol: http://t.co/aWzcVqJVEB

4:48 pm
15th February 2014

the guy’s are back

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