Douglas Montgomery (fiddle/viola) and Brian Cromarty (Vocals/Guitar/Mandola) are no strangers to Shetland having performed as Saltfishforty at the Folk Festival in 2003, 2009 and 2014, and also as part of The Chair at several Festivals. The much-loved Orcadian pair have been wowing audiences at many of the world’s top folk festivals with their infectious and feisty rhythms.
A partnership forged back in 2002 – more by accident than design – the two knew each other since primary school, and played together in sessions and various bands, until they were booked in a four-piece for a charity gig, and only the two turned up: “We decided to go on and just make as much noise as two people possibly could – which is kind of how it’s been ever since!” they say.
Saltfishforty have a fresh and dynamic sound, combining the rich traditional music of Orkney with original contemporary compositions, boldly cross-fertilised with influences from Americana to East European folk, plus a high-octane whiff of heavy metal. The powerhouse partnership have won a devoted following throughout the UK and beyond, brilliantly transcending the duo format’s conventional confines. Linchpin figures in the currently flourishing revival of Orkney’s traditional music, they unite these deep-rooted sources with an exhilarating breadth of influence and expertise, catalysed by a creative empathy born from decades of friendship. The result is a sound of equally thrilling raw attack and multi-dimensional richness.