Not every reader may have heard of Peat & Diesel, but they soon will, as they are rapidly becoming the most talked-about band in the Highlands and Islands.
Everywhere they go, they’re mobbed by fans – at the recent Gathering in Inverness, they were swamped.
And at this week’s HebCelt Festival, demand to see them is so high that a special meet and greet session was held in Stornoway Town Hall last night so that fans, many of them families with young children, could get closer to them.
Peat & Diesel hail from Stornoway in Lewis and are led by frontman Calum “Boydie” Macleod on vocals and guitar; Uilleam “Uilly” Macleod is on drums and Innes “G” Scott plays the accordion.
The trio are fast-rising stars of the Scottish music scene, yet fame isn’t something they have been chasing.
Innes said: “Boydie is our singer/songwriter and has been writing sort of nonsense songs, just to entertain himself, since he was a kid, and some of these referred to peat.
“We wanted to come up with a name for the band that reflected island life so thought we’d include peat.
“I was a lorry driver and always around machinery, while Boydie is always around boat engines, so diesel seemed appropriate, hence, Peat & Diesel.”
The band, who have a new album, Uptown Fank, play an eclectic mix of music ranging from blues to rock, while their amusing lyrics feature lots of Gaelic words.
Innes explains: “The music has been described as punk folk – I’ve no idea what that is – but that’s what people are telling us we play so we’re going with it!
“Boydie plays the guitar, sings and writes all the songs.
“He’ll put a song together; we’ll listen and tell him it’s awful, then he’ll keep changing it until we instantly know ourselves, it’s right.
“Songs often reflect bits of island life – people who aren’t from the islands might hear a song and think, what on Earth’s going on over there – but that adds to the comedy.
“When we first got together it was just for a bit of a laugh, a pastime really, not with the aim of performing in public.
“Then Boydie put a video of himself playing on social media and it just exploded from there. I realised then, people were going to appreciate what Boydie had.”
That was around a year ago.
Within three months they had gone from jamming in the house to performing on the main stage of the EDF Festival in Benbecula.
“That was our first chance to go on stage and show people what we were all about,” said Innes.
“We were terrified, but haven’t had time to look back since then.”
Further fame came for the lads, who all hold down full-time jobs, after the release of a video, filmed in and around Stornoway entitled That’s The Way We Do It In The Western Isles.
The video went viral on the internet, clocking up tens of thousands of views.
A trip to Inverness to perform at The Gathering gave them an insight into how well the band’s fame had spread.
“We knew we had a big following in the islands but hadn’t realised how many people in other areas had heard of us until The Gathering, which we’d booked to play while still relatively unknown.
“The tent just wasn’t big enough and the crowd was ridiculous, we were completely swamped.
“Even during our soundcheck they were going crazy, so we were advised to hold off performing until the band playing the main stage had started, but even then, the crowd didn’t budge.
“We were buzzing after it and couldn’t get over the amount of people desperate to see the band.”
You can catch them at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival which takes place from August 1-3.
They’re appearing on Saturday, August 3 and after their slot will take part in an Up Close and Personal Interview in the P&J’s Verb Garden tent at 5.30pm.
Visit www.facebook.com/PEATANDDIESEL and see tartanheartfestival.co.uk for more.