Highlands & Islands

Tessa Jowell 'uplifted' by Scottish Trad band

Tessa Jowell
Image caption Baroness Jowell was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour last year

Former MP Tessa Jowell has found relief in her battle with brain cancer in the tunes of contemporary Celtic music band Skipinnish.

In her first interview on her battle with brain cancer, Baroness Jowell sings along to the band's song Alive.

In May 2017, the former Labour minister was diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour known as glioblastoma.

In her interview for the BBC's Today programme the politician also plays another tune by the Scottish band.

In a post on social media, Skipinnish said "it meant so much" to musicians when their music had an "uplifting emotional impact on people".

'Powerful feeling'

Skipinnish was co-founded in 1999 by Angus MacPhail from Tiree and Lochaber musician Andrew Steven.

The band's numbers have grown over the years and today the members include musicians from Kyle of Lochalsh, Carloway on Lewis, West Calder in West Lothian and Bishopton in Renfrewshire.

Named Scots Trad Live Act of 2017, last year also saw Skipinnish play its biggest gig so far, a performance in Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom.

MacPhail told BBC Radio Scotland it was "very humbling" to learn that Baroness Jowell was listening to the band's music.

He said: "It's the ultimate honour as a musician and a song-writer to hear when your music has been positive in having an effect on people who are going through that type of illness and hard times in life.

"It is quite a powerful feeling."

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