Blyde Lasses

Shetland music duo, Blyde Lasses, are launching their debut album of folk songs and tunes at Shetland Folk Festival on Friday 3rd May 2013, 12.30-2pm.

Frances Wilkins and Claire White’s 'Blyde Lasses' album has developed out of seven years of domestic and international performances by the musical pair. Concertina player Frances explains ‘After many requests for recordings at concerts we finally entered the studio in 2013 to produce an album which encapsulates our own brand of Shetland music.’ The CD features old and new instrumental pieces as well as traditional and self-penned songs in Shetland dialect. Claire White adds ‘I’ve been playing the fiddle for a very long time, but songwriting and singing are recent pursuits, inspired by my love of stories and a desire to weave more words into Shetland’s living musical tradition.’ The duo's name means 'glad girls' in Shetland dialect, reflecting the fact that both players spent their formative years in the islands before basing themselves in Aberdeen. Their playing partnership has seen them touring New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Ireland in recent years, performing the music of Shetland and telling stories of island life.

As an ethnomusicologist Frances is expert at ferreting out old recordings and dusting them down for the duo. Claire works for BBC Scotland by day on all manner of creative projects and loves composing new material for Blyde Lasses to play and sing.


Claire White learned the fiddle with Dr Tom Anderson from the age of eight and played as a member of Shetland's Young Heritage in Europe, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. She now performs regularly in popular Aberdeen-based ceilidh bands Danse McCabre and Jingbang. In her day job, she brings all sorts of stories to the airwaves as a BBC Producer.

Frances Wilkins fell in love with the music of Shetland while living there in the 1990s and taught herself many of the melodies on the English concertina. She was soon performing throughout the British Isles and internationally with three-piece band, Sølan, and recorded two CDs in 1999 and 2001. She moved to London in 2001 to study music at the School of Oriental and African Studies before returning north in 2006. She performs regularly with a number of groups including Blyde Lasses and Danse McCabre and is a lecturer in Ethnomusicology at the University of Aberdeen.

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Editor's Notes:Contact:07779 726 652

Please email [email protected] by Wednesday 1st May if you'd like to attend the album launch in Room 16, Islesburgh Community Centre on Friday 3rd May, 12.30-2pm.

Hear selected tracks, see photos and videos, read reviews and buy music at