Back in 2006 a group of local North East musicians formed a band and called themselves Bratach Bana, a name suggested to them by the popular Scottish singer Fiona Kennedy, named after a song made famous by her late father Calum Kennedy many years before. So far so good, however having agreed that this was a great name for this new band, and adopting it as their own, a little bit of research seemed to confirm that this name was also shared with the famous Fairy Flag of the clan McLeod which still exists, and on display at the ancestral home of the clan chief, Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye.
As it turns out their research was a tad squiffy as the fairy flag is actually called the Bratach Sith (pronounced Bratach Shey), but they were never going to let a small detail like that get in the way of a good story!
The band ( Sandy Fettes, Andy Ritchie, Scott Thompson, John Simpson, Eddir Connor, later replaced by Kenny McKenzie, and Babs Burnett ), continued to be known as Bratach Bana and proudly featured the Fairy Flag on their album cover of their Shetland Lights CD which was released in the summer of 2007, the entire album as well as many unreleased session tracks are available to listen to on the music page of this website, click here to listen.
Unperturbed by this minor faux pas, the Band’s Scott Thompson penned this brilliant song called ‘The Shining Child’, which explains vividly the myth of the Fairy Flag. It was only ever performed live on one occasion, at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, fortunately this recording of the song was made on that night, and discovered again just recently we are delighted to share it with the Doric TV Community.
There’s not a great deal of video footage featuring Bratch Bana, but we did find this lovley clip from a video shoot taken during a rehearsal session in Cruden Bay Village Hall featuring the Dougie McLean track Ready for the storm.
The band’s Scott Thompson was one of the founding members of the Cruden Bay Folk Club which was formed in 2012 and still meets today in a The Kilmarnock Arms Hotel on the last Friday of the month where Scott is the club MC, however like so much else in the world at the moment, our club has been postponed since March 2020 due to the Corona virus lock down, we really hope to get things started again as soon as circumstances are safe to do so, keep an eye on the folk club website for updates on their regular meetings.
This was a short trailer made to promote the band’s 2007 Shetland Lights album.
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