The Mercury Music Prize nominees have got something special up their sleeves...

THE DELGADOS are to perform a set with two string quartets, a brass section, timpani and tubular bells at a major folk music festival in GLASGOW later this month.

The Mercury Music Prize nominees have been invited to headline one night of the Celtic Connections festival, the biggest festival of traditional and folk music in Scotland. The Lanarkshire band have previously played with a full orchestral line-up at the Royal Festival Hall in London, when they were joined by veteran Scottish folk-rockers The Incredible String Band, whose ‘A Very Secular Song’ they have previously covered.

Drummer Paul Savage explained: “It might have been the Incredible String Band connection that prompted them to ask, I suppose. But we’re really pleased, as we’re hardly in the folk category.”

Savage added: “This will probably be the last time we’ll play ‘The Great Eastern’ set in full, so we’re going out in style. There’ll be 17 musicians involved, including two string quartets, and a percussionist playing tubular bells and timpani, as well as a couple of brass players.”

The group originally wanted to invite Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci to support them, but the Welsh band were unable to make the gig at The Old Fruitmarket on January 20.

Savage said: “We considered getting [them] in for the gig, but when they couldn’t do it we remembered Arab Strap’s acoustic set in Edinburgh at Christmas.” And he warned that the woolly jumper brigade could be in for an ear-bashing, adding, “I don’t think either band will be toning things down for the folk fans, which could be interesting.”