Media release: BBC ALBA documentary charts Western Isles musicians


PEAT & Diesel’s band members are a hilarious and unlikely trio – a toothless frontman, a delivery driver and an electrician, who sing about life in the Western Isles, wild parties on the moors and crofting.

Now, a new documentary gives an exclusive insight into their lives which have become increasingly hectic as ‘Peatlemania’ has spread across the nation.

Fisherman Calum ‘Boydie’ Macleod, delivery driver Uilleam ‘Uilly’ Macleod and electrician at the local airport, Innes Scott, all from Stornoway, are just ordinary men by day, but by night they are Peat & Diesel.

Their meteoric rise to fame has taken them all by surprise and they’ve hardly had time to enjoy it because they’ve been so busy.

However, that’s all changed now because, like everyone else just now, they are practising social distancing.

Before the Covid-19 crisis, Peat & Diesel had almost sold all their tickets for an Irish tour, and they had loads of summer festivals and an end-of-year tour to look forward to. Now, most of their gigs have been cancelled and it remains to be seen whether they can pick up where they left off.

And just before the lockdown, Peat & Diesel explained to fans on their Facebook page why they hadn’t been playing for online, because their singer/fisherman, Boydie, had gone out to sea to gather his thoughts.

Their Facebook page said: “We are all facing difficult times ahead with self-isolation and social distancing happening all around us which MUST be taken very serious!

“All bands and musicians are playing tunes online to help cheer people up and we just want to say the reason we haven’t is due to Boydie being at sea gathering his thoughts, and without Boydie there is no Peat & Diesel.

“We met up quickly tonight (Sunday, March 22) and it will be the last time we probably get together until this all blows over and we will be back to give it laldy!”

Since Boydie’s return they have now live streamed a performance from their respective houses (Friday, March 27) to entertain their fans and give everyone a laugh.

More than 1,000 people tuned into their video gig, which was initially just intended to be a test of the streaming facility, and they’ve now had 24k views.

The documentary, ‘That’s The Way We Do It’, on BBC ALBA this Friday (April 3), charts the success of Peat & Diesel and it shows them as three extremely down-to-earth guys with a wicked sense of humour who are the best of pals.

They started out playing in their front room and Stornoway’s Lewis Bar, but after a video of them went viral on Facebook there was a huge increase in demand for gigs and they’ve had to juggle life on the road with full-time jobs.

Singer, ‘Boydie’, gets a real thrill out of playing live gigs. He says: “I get the same feeling when I get a full lift of prawns as when I get a full room of people.”

Innes Scott, accordion player and father-of two, added: “It’s a lot to take in when you’re not used to it. Other bands might be used to it but we’re not, we’re straight off the croft to this. I honestly don’t know what’s happening anymore.

“I don’t know where people are coming from or how they’re hearing about us but they are. I don’t think even my mother wanted me this much!”

None of them wants to give up their ‘day’ job yet in case it all ends as quickly as it began, but they’ve all been under a huge amount of pressure to keep up as their fan base has increased, which surprisingly includes
hundreds of adoring primary school children.

Innes has been taking holidays to play with the band and says the Covid-19 crisis may give him time to get back on track, he might even finally start building the family house that’s been on hold while he’s been on the road.

He said: “I don’t think the band will lose momentum. We’re a bit behind with making videos and this will be time to recharge.”

That’s the way we do it! – Peat & Diesel is on BBC ALBA on Friday, April 3, at 9pm, followed at 10.30pm by From the Barrow to the Barrowlands, highlights from one of the band’s biggest gigs yet at the iconic Scottish
music venue.

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