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Five Minutes with...Heisk

Posted on 15 November 2018

Vibrant six-piece HEISK are a powerful new force on the folk scene. We caught up with the band ahead of their appearance here at Sage Gateshead during New Year New Artists Festival on 19 January.

What can people expect from your show?
HEISK are from all over Scotland, although are now based in Glasgow. The band has roots in traditional music and features: Catriona Hawksworth – keys; Lauren Macdonald – kit; Megan MacDonald – accordion; Rosie Munro – fiddle; Sally Simpson – fiddle; and Becca Skeoch – electroharp.

We combine Scottish traditional music with punchy riffs and grooves to create our relentlessly energetic sound. We love to dance, and hope you do too!

Who are your biggest musical influences?
We love all music that makes us dance. The Swedish band Sallyswag were a big inspiration for us getting started – they’re based in traditional music but have an amazing powerful and relevant sound.
Apart from that we listen to a load of stuff between us: Chic, Sister Sledge, String Sisters, Vulfpeck, Rachel Newton, Destiny’s Child, Karine Polwart, Snarky Puppy, Cassie and Maggie, Croft No. 5, Sylvan Esso, Lau, Fat-Suit.

Who is your favourite new musician?
We love the Kinnaris Quintet. They’re creating beautiful punchy music with loads of passion and style.

What does performing at Sage Gateshead mean to you?
Catriona and Rosie both performed at Sage Gateshead a lot as students, through the connection with Newcastle University’s folk degree and Sage Gateshead. It’ll be great to be back performing in a professional capacity!

What’s coming up next for you?
We’ve got lots of great gigs coming up over the next year, including Celtic Connections and some fun summer festivals. We hope to record an album some time soon – so keep an eye out for that.

See the full New Year New Artists line-up