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A whole lot of Heb as legend Robert Plant joins 25th anniversary celebrations

Robert Plant
Robert Plant

The Hebridean Celtic Festival’s 25th anniversary celebration will be graced by legendary singer-songwriter Robert Plant and his latest musical collaboration.

Saving Grace featuring former Led Zeppelin lead singer Plant and fellow vocalist Suzi Dian will take to the HebCelt stage on Thursday, July 16, in a major coup for the multi award winning island festival announced today.

The acoustic cooperative, which also includes Oli Jefferson (percussion), Tony Kelsey (mandolin, baritone and acoustic guitars) and Matt Worley (banjo, acoustic and baritone guitars, and cuatro), played their first public gig just over a year ago and have since played to small audiences at theatres and festivals around the UK.

Their sound has been described as bluesy and folk-inspired, which packs a punch ranging ‘from a whisper to a scream’.

Best known as the lead singer and lyricist of Led Zeppelin, one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history, Plant is regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

He said of performing at HebCelt: “I have a deep and charged connection with those faraway islands and look forward to returning to the beautiful machair and to bring a different slant to my longstanding game.”

Saving Grace will join Texas, Seasick Steve, Tide Lines and Julie Fowlis as some of the star names on the bill for the milestone festival.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “Our 25th anniversary festival is a very special occasion and the programme reflects that.

“Robert Plant is a legendary name in the music scene and it is so exciting that he and the other highly accomplished musicians in Saving Grace will be joining us for such a significant event.”

The 25th anniversary HebCelt will be held from 15-18 July in Lewis and Harris.

Also announced today for the anniversary line up are Colin Macleod, Mischa Macpherson, Sean Harrison, Rusty Shackle, INYAL, Hecla, Ryan Young & Jenn Butterworth, Scott C. Park, Nicky Murray and James Nicol.

The Hebridean Celtic Festival is a not-for-profit charitable event firmly rooted within its community and is almost entirely managed and produced by voluntary effort.

Over its 25 years, the festival has grown from a small event attracting less than 1,000 fans to an international showpiece for roots, Celtic and traditional music, with annual attendances topping 18,000. In that time, it has generated more than £30 million for the local economy.

Last year it was crowned Best Cultural Event or Festival at the Scottish Thistle Awards and it won a Highly Commended accolade at A Greener Festival Awards.

It also scooped the Festival of the Year award and the Grand Prix prize at the 2018 Scottish Event Awards and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards for the second time in three years.

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