Peat & Diesel Interview: “Festivals are probably our favourite gigs to do”

We caught up with the definition of true true Scottish magic; the three Stornoway coves , Peat & Diesel. As the boys talk about their eagerness to perform at Highest Point 2024, and the debut to their new festival. Read more down below!

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 22nd Apr 2024

What started out as a regular jam session between friends on a Saturday night turned into what would become the beginning of trad/punk and rock band, Peat & Diesel. Since that night the Stornoway coves (Uilly, Boydie, and Iness), have been throwing themselves into the deep end with each success. 

Peat & Diesel, filled with Scottish pride and joy have been building up their band over the years, which wasn’t hard as the boys continued to stay true to their love of the highlands, and decorate it into their music. Growing not only their fanbase but also their passion for music. From selling out Glasgow's iconic Barrowlands in a day, to releasing their second album in 2020; “Light My Byre”.  

The band has now taken a big leap, within their career as they look forward to the debut of their first ever festival, Black Isle Belter, and taking part in performing at Highest Point 2024 for the first time ever! With greatness truly following Peat and Diesel around, read more to find out how the boys plan to approach festival season this summer. 


Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, guys. There are two huge events we want to focus on here, so we’ll kick things off by discussing your upcoming appearance at Highest Point Festival. This will be Peat & Diesel’s first-ever performance at Highest Point, congratulations! Is there anyone you’re excited to be performing alongside at this year’s event? 

"The whole lineup looks really good and we just love being a part of festival season because we get to see loads of artists we've never heard of. Going round all these sites and seeing all the effort the organisers go to and getting the chance to play these festivals."


For those who might not have heard your tunes before, can you describe, in your own words, the music you guys create and the atmosphere you’re hoping to cultivate at Highest Point?

"Our music is often described as a mix of Scottish trad/punk and rock. We bring punchy backlines with melodies that are catchy and get people dancing. Even if we have a few people who have heard our music, they always find a way to bring the energy right across the crowd, so hopefully, they'll all come onboard the Peatlemania train."


You’ve got some impressive achievements under your belts - selling out the almost 2,000-capacity venue Barrowlands in a day, soon you’ll be at Highest Point, and you’ll have done it all while having a laugh with your mates - what are your personal favourite moments?

"Barrowlands shows will always be special and one of our favourite gigs, but headlining our home festival and also Belladrum Festival was very special. Glastonbury was also mad to be a part of and we're glad to just be able to say we done it!"


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook

You guys have a pretty broad fan base ranging from littluns to grandparents, including people who aren’t Scottish and have no ties to the culture. What do you think made Peatlemania spread so far?

"We don't really know the answer but it seemed to resonate with a lot of people especially natives from home and those who moved from the island years ago, they often say the songs and music remind them of home. We're still in awe at how far and broad our music travels and the crowds we get - even in Ireland and England - it's all a little mad. We just feel very privileged to be able to live our dream and see people smile as we do it!"


Moving on to your festival, Black Isle Belter, now, which kicks off in May this year. First of all, congratulations on this huge step within your career. What inspired the start of your very own event?

"It's not something we planned on doing but having had a busy summer across the UK last year we wanted to take it to another level and we felt this could be the perfect opportunity for us to bring our biggest and best show to the Highlands with all our friends."


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook


I’m sure you guys have had your fair share of festival/event experiences. Could you share a couple that grew your love for live events and eventually the birth of Black Isle Belter?

"Festivals are probably our favourite gigs to do as there's never any hassle involved, and we always just get up and play and bring it to the crowds. The crowd is always very intrigued when we start but by the end, they're all dancing along to our songs!! We nearly missed our slot last year at Belladrum when the plane was grounded due to fog in Shetland. We managed to get to site 30 minutes before we were due on stage. The other standout moment from Belladrum is when we got the call two years ago to step in for Sam Ryder who cancelled the day before due to being unwell. Our employers were very forgiving and let us get the ferry away to play mainstage to 20,000 people who were there to see Sam Ryder. We've had so many great festival experiences up and down the country including a slot at the world famous Glastonbury, they've all been amazing!"


Very curious about the logo for the Black Isle Belter. What was the idea behind that?

"The idea of the logo is all down to the man who does all our design work, Pearse O' Halloran and his company LOOM. The three of us obviously wanted something relating to the fact it was on the showground in the Black Isle, so we had to get a bull!! There's always a few ideas for every gig or event we put on with the designs but they always seem to get it right and we're so glad we have a talented local company who know that the weirder and funnier, the better."


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook


You have a strong Scottish audience, is that plan to keep this completely homegrown or eventually expand across England? 

"I think we do have a strong audience in Scotland but we've toured England a lot now and we can say we've got a strong fanbase on the south of the border too. We've been all over the UK and the English crowds can be just as good and lively as any Scottish crowd. We feel we have a lot of places we are still to reach and we hope to do that over the next few years and spread the Peatlemania train a wee bit more."


As a band, Peat and Diesel, seem very proud to be Scottish. Were there any Scottish artists who inspired you guys and your music?

"Scottish bands have influenced the music we like and the way we play. Runrig and Wolfstone are the two bands we keep coming back to each time this question appears. They both brought Celtic Rock onto the scene in the late 80s and into the 90s, the music all three of us grew up with and enjoyed. We all love a lot of different music and genres, that's why we brought our brand of "trad punk" to the world!!"

Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook


If you could play on a stage with any artist who would it be?

"Innes would probably say he'd love to be on a stage with Roxette, Boydie would have to be Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac, and Uilly would love to share a stage with Shania Twain!!"


Are there any Scottish talents that have caught your eye recently? 

"Scotland has an array of talent out there; Nathan Evans, Katie Gregson Macleod, Jarad Rowan, LF system & Dylan John Thomas but to name a few. It's great to see so many artists and bands holding the Scottish flag up and doing so well!!!"


Peat and Diesel know what it’s like going from a small band to a big success. So do you have any advice for newer artists that maybe you guys wish you knew when you were starting out?

"Be yourself first and foremost, never forget where you came from and your roots. Stick with it and the rest will fall into place. Believe in your talent and don't doubt yourself. Always use social media platforms to help you get the reach to the people who can help you along the path and make sure that you're always having fun."


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook

Any advice for other bands or artists trying to create their own festival? 

"Find a big field, get your musical friends and bands to join you and just go for it. It doesn't have to be on a large scale. Start off small and before you know it you could be having your own big festival!!"


What is the message behind Black Isle Belter that you’re trying to spread? And is it something that you think will come across well? 

"There's not enough musical events across the highlands pre-summer and I think it's the perfect time to start a summer vibe for everyone. If the weather is on our side, we could all have a very special weekend and enjoy the festival vibe in one of the most picturesque places in our country. We wanted to have two days, a night for the mums and dads to go have a good night out and for the Sunday it's all about the family and having a great day out with loads of activities and music to enjoy!!"


What are you guys most excited about when the festival is in full swing? 

"The most exciting bit for us at the festival will be getting round and saying hello to everyone while trying to enjoy the music too, we like taking the free time we have with our fans and just getting the craic with them. I'm sure we'll find time for Boydie to get a light refreshment and maybe even get his face painted!!"


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook

Did you have much artistic experience before the band? Talk about what really pushed you guys to pursue music.

"All three of us still work our day jobs and don't intend on giving them up in the near future, the stability is good! We've all been together for a number of years. Innes and Uilly used to play in a wedding band together for a decade before P&D came about, and Boydie always used to join us for a few gigs too. Music has always been with us right through from our younger days and we still love and have fun playing, it's exactly what we always wanted to do and dreamt about."


It’s clear that Pete and Diesel have a big future ahead of you so are there any other projects in the works for you guys?

"I think the main project for the band right now is to get our heads down and work on our third studio album. It's been a long time coming for us and our fans but we can't rush something like this, we want it to be a true representation of us and where we are now in our musical career. We'd like to think we've still got plenty of fuel in the tank and can keep bringing you Peatlemania for a few more years yet!"


Image: Peat & Diesel on Facebook

Without giving away too many spoilers what should people expect from Black Isle Belter?

"Well, as with any other festival, plenty of fun, plenty of music and just a good festival experience. There's so many amazing musicians coming together for this spanning across different genres and there's definitely something for everyone. As long as everyone has an enjoyable weekend, loads of laughing, dancing and having the best time, our mission will be complete"



To catch the three Stornoway coves live on the Main Stage at Highest Point 2024 scroll down to the bottom of this page!

For more information, and some FAQs on Highest Point Festival 2024, visit the festival page on Skiddle, by clicking or tapping - HERE



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image credit: Peat& Diesel /

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