Kevin Clark; Norman Macleod, Autoparts store manager; and Calum Macaulay

Stornoway rockers The Broken Ravens played to more than 20,000 screaming fans in Bulgaria last summer…and now they are heading in the opposite direction, for a fortnight of intensive recording and performing in Los Angeles.

But drummer Kevin Clark says this is only due to the massive amount of local support over the last six weeks after the band found itself without the public-sector funding which it had applied for, despite a business plan which had been enhanced and approved by Rod Smallwood, co-manager of Iron Maiden, contacted through a family connection of the band’s on Point.

And it was Autoparts of Stornoway that stepped in with the final £500 – also the biggest single donation – to get the band on the run next month for their stay in LA. This came after weeks of intensive fundraising including an amazing on-line response from fans to a t-shirt offer.

The planning of the LA trip has been under way for six or seven months – and everything had been booked and paid for by the time it became clear that there would be no public funding. They had been trying to get about £5000 to cover as many costs as possible – but much of the support comes from LA-based artists, performers and studios who love the band’s work and have offered help and discounts.

Kevin said a trip like this was needed to raise the profile of the band and overcome the disadvantages and travel costs resulting from being island-based. One of the places they will be performing is The Viper Room is on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, where many famous performers have played. It opened in 1993 and is partly owned by actor Johnny Depp.

The aim is to return home after a fortnight with the masters for an EP and as many other tracks as they can record…and then it will be up to Keith Morrison at the Wee Studio to take on the remainder of the mastering and mixing. This will also establish links between two studios on opposite sides of the world.

The firms that helped the band to raise the capital also include: Hebrides Haulage; John Maciver & Sons; Lavas Garage; Holm Appliance Repair; Duncan Mackay & Sons; Hughson Autos; Point and Sandwick Windfarms; Maybury Gardens; The Harris Distillery; Harris Tweed Hebrides; Ken MacDonald and Co; Derek Mackenzie Solicitors; Engebret Ltd; Gael Pack Foods; Salon Nan Eilean; George Macaskill Painters; O Mac Construction; Norries Garage; Sign Print; RMK Insurance Services; Tech Mobile; Maclean Mair and Nicolson; Roddy Smiths.

Kevin said: “On behalf of the band, I would like to thank all our sponsors for their continued support.

“All the venues that have also sponsored and supported us like The Sea Angling Club, McNeils, The Golf Club, An Lanntair and The Rangers Club, allowing us to use their venues, investing in the band and helping to promote our music.

“All the local bands that we have played with and roped into our crazy fundraising activities and to everyone that has bought our merchandise, expressed their good will and wished us all the best.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in us and allowing us to take our music to far away lands, flying the flag for Stornoway and our fantastic island community. Let the thunder roar!”

Duncan Mackay, the director of Autoparts, said the company welcomed the chance to support the Broken Ravens. “We are delighted to help them meet their target for sponsorship to get them across to the USA and we wish them all the best. They have a great story to tell for themselves and our islands.”

The Broken Ravens are: Calum ‘Thrash’ Macaulay (guitar), Kevin Clark (drums), Derek Healey (guitar), Lotto Ferguson (bass/vocals), and Toby Michaels (vocals)