Kris Drever on Orkney

The guitarist, singer and songwriter Kris Drever – Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2017 - was born and brought up on Orkney, the archipelago of about 70 islands off the Northern coast of Scotland which is steeped in history.

Kris takes Matthew Bannister for a walk, starting in the main town of Kirkwall with its huge sandstone cathedral commemorating St Magnus who came to an untimely end. In the graveyard Kris sings “Winter Moon”. Then they head off to the shores of the great natural harbour at Scapa Flow where Kris performs his powerful song about the scuttling of the entire German navy there in 1919. They end up at the chapel created in a nissen hut by Italian prisoners during the Second World War – a poignant setting for Kris’s song “Ghosts”.

Along the way, Kris reflects on the influence of his musical parents; on Scotland’s fondness for strong drink and explains why he’s now moved to Shetland. It’s another great episode with a thoughtful and inspiring artist.

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