Saltfishforty are a fresh and dynamic duo hailing from the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland. Douglas Montgomery (fiddle/viola) and Brian Cromarty (songs/guitar/mandola) combine the rich traditional music of Orkney with original compositions, as showcased to wide acclaim on their five albums: Bere (2017), LIVE (2013), Netherbow (2010), Orkney Twister (2005) and Goose Music (2003).
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.
A partnership forged back in 2002, more by accident than design, Douglas and Brian have known each other since early school days, playing together in sessions and various bands – until they were booked in a four-piece for a charity gig, and only they 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.
Twenty years later, Saltfishforty have delighted audiences at many of the world’s top folk festivals including Celtic Connections, Cambridge, HebCelt, Shetland, Lorient, and Canada’s Celtic Colours, as well as touring to the US and throughout Europe. Their focus on Orkney music takes in traditional, contemporary and original material, boldly cross-fertilised with influences from Americana to East European folk, plus a high-octane whiff of heavy metal.
If ever a duo was more than the some of its parts, this is it!