September brings even more fantastic Scottish acts to the stage – make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment…
Siights @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
8th September 2018/£8
Although one half of SIIGHTS are from Ireland, we can forgive them this given their meteoric rise to fame. Mia (from Dublin) and Toni (from Glasgow) layer up an improbable blend of 80s pop and dance that is the perfect fit for a late summer night of dancing. Whilst these two young music makers are still finding their feet, this is a gig that’s guaranteed to be remembered for a long time to come. Grab tickets whilst you can!
The Nickajack Men @ The Mash House, Edinburgh
15th September 2018/£7
Scotland is brimming with young music talent and The Nickajack Men are a perfect example of this. Barely out of their twenties, these young lads have already pressed their first single earlier this year. Changed Ways Different Languages is a great introduction to the bands unique take on country flecked rock. Whilst influences such as Alabama Shakes and The War On Drugs are clearly evident, there are other sound at play here that worth paying attention to.
The LaFontaines @ The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
5th September 2018/£15.40
The LaFontaines are amongst the fasting rising stars coming out of Scotland with their refreshing blend of electronic-pop, hip-hop style vocals and guitar led choruses. Although the band has supported some of the biggest acts in their genres (Twin Atlantic and All Time Low, to name two) they’re still at a level where they’re comfortable in smaller venues such as the excellent Lemon Tree in Aberdeen.
Jed Grimes @ Glenfarg Village Folk Club, Kinross
3rd September 2018/£9
Not to be confused with Simple Minds and Danny Wilson bass player Ged Grimes, Jed Grimes is one of the oldest hands on the Folk Festival scene and a force to be reckoned with. Having played up and down the country in some of the biggest venues (including the Royal Albert Hall) in the 1970s, Jed has since served as a producer, arranger but it wasn’t until the release of The Hush (with Bob Fox on vocals) that he came back into the spotlight once more. Three solo albums later and Jed is a uniquely talented performer that is much in demand.
Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham @ SEALL, Isle of Skye
19th September 2018/£22
Voted Best Duo at the BBC National Folk Awards, as well as Live Act of the Year by the Scottish Traditional Music Wards, Aly and Phil have been playing together for over 30 years and are often described as ‘the best traditional musicians you are ever likely to hear’. Having recorded multiple albums to critical acclaim, their most recent effort celebrates their long career and has lead to a huge run of shows across Scotland.
Looking to get stuck into some live music this month?
We’ve pulled together just a few of the gigs in Scotland this month that are on our radar…
Black King Cobra @ King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
3rd August 2018/£7
Glasgow’s own rockers Black King Cobra might be in the infancy of their career but they’ve been tipped for greatness by a number of local critics. They headline at the iconic King Tuts this month in support of their brand new EP Law of Attraction which has been garnering a similar amount of buzz from bloggers and music journos. Catch this band on a small stage whilst you can as it sounds like they’re destined for greatness!
The Fratellis @ Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow
10th August 2018/£30
Another Glaswegian group that has been known to blow the roof off King Tuts, there are still tickets available to see The Fratellis who are performing at the iconic Kelvingrove Bandstand as part of the Summer Nights series of concerts. Their recent record In Your Own Sweet Time was released this March recorded with the help of Tony Hoffer (Costello Music and Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied) given them 5 full-length albums to select their set from.
wojtek the bear @ Drummonds, Aberdeen
18th August 2018/£6
Scottish rockers wojtek the bear have just released their first record A Talent For Being Unreasonable in May, they’re a hard hitting four-piece that have been causing a stir in their hometown of Glasgow but the’ll be taking their show on the road to Aberdeen in August. Support for this show comes from local Aberdeen boys Meraki and PAGES. This will be an exciting night of eclectic music from some truly up and coming acts: not to be missed!
Side by Side @ Crieff Hydro, Crieff
23rd August 2018/FREE
There might be plenty of lovely self-catered lodges in Crieff that you can stay in, but when it comes to luxury holiday accommodation for families Crieff Hydro is the place to go. The stately home turned holiday resort is packed full of things to do and see including regular live music from local folk duo Side by Side. A simple set up of two vocals, drums and acoustic guitar are all this couple need to get the crowd going with a set of lively covers and originals.
Blazin’ Fiddles @ Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen
30th August 2018/£24.20
They don’t get much more Scottish than Blazin’ Fiddles! Celebrating 20 years of fiddle-based madness, this quintessential Highland folk group will be performing a string of shows across Scotland alongside celebrated singer Karen Matheson. Their show at the iconic Beach Ballroom is guarantees to be a joyful occasion as the band play through a wide selection of traditional tunes as well as a number of original works.
Our third featured song comes from a Scottish singer whose powerful voice has won numerous awards already…
Noted for her sublime ability to inhabit every song that she performs, Hannah Rarity is on the ascension having recently won the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year award for 2018, in addition to receiving a number of nominations from The Scotsman and the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards the year before.
After releasing her EP Beginnings in 2016 to critical acclaim, Hannah has been busy collaborating with a wide number of internationally renowned groups, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Irish-American band Cherish the Ladies.
It’s funny what you can find on the internet. You might start out looking for New World cooker parts and before you know it you’ve unearthed a low-key recording by one Scotland’s fastest rising talents. This recent cover of Brian McNeill’s Strong Women Rule Us All demonstrates Hannah’s great emotional potential, even when performing in a stripped back setting:
After easily surpassing her crowdfunding goal of £5,000 back in May, Hannah has been working with celebrated folk producer Euan Burton to release her first full-length album which will hopefully effectively showcase her tremendous talents. Playing with her core band (featuring Innes White, Sally Simpson and Conal McDonagh) Hannah’s record Neath the Gloaming Star will be comprised of a variety of songs including covers, traditional folk classics and original material.
Before the release of her record in September 2018 Hannah is playing a handful of festival dates including the Tiree Music Festival, Paxton Festival and Aberdour Festival. From August 28th she’ll be launching her record on the back of a number of dates across Scotland including:
Torphichen Summer Nights
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
The Blue Arrow, Glasgow
Songs and Reels at the Rose 2, Linlithgow, West Lothian
Our second featured song is from a group well known for their mastery of traditional Celtic instruments…
Brothers Daniel and Martin Gillespie began playing music on the island of Tiree back in 2004 with the aid of a couple of friends from neighbouring isles in the Inner Hebrides. Mining their Celtic roots whilst wilfully embracing new influences, Skerryvore’s lineup has grown and changed over the years reflecting their progression as musician and composers. Their recent release ‘Take Me Home’ exhibits the huge progress they’ve made in the last few years alone:
Deftly blending rock, trad. folk and Americana, their new record EVO (short for evolution) signals a real shift in the band’s dynamic and style. Half recorded in East Lothian and Conneticut, there’s a real variety to the band’s new set of songs with foot-stompin’ festival numbers sitting neatly alongside softer melodic numbers. The nature of Skerryvore’s music has adapted in response to their surroundings, as well as their slow but steady rise to popularity and its wonderful to see young Scottish musicians taking the music of their people to distant shores.
Skerryvore will be touring the East Coast of the USA throughout August, followed by appearances at Tonfer Festival, Denmark and then a slot at Shrewsbury Folk Festival later that month. You can check their tour schedule and buy their CDs and LPs through their website here.
Get ready to stomp your feet and ceilidh with the best of them.
There’s something so life-affirming about going to a great music festival.
For a few days you can forget all about your worries back home and fully immerse yourself in the joy of music. Whether you’re a fan of traditional folk, jazz or you just love any opportunity to enjoy a good old fashioned hoe-down, Scottish Folk Festivals are fantastic opportunities to meet like-minded people and see some live music.
It’s not too late to book your tickets to one of these fantastic festivals – take a look at our pick of Scottish festivals for September to see if you can make it to any of them this year:
Linlithgow Folk Festival
5th-9th September/Various Prices
The 20th incarnation of the Linlithgow Folk Festival is promising to the biggest one yet – established in 1998 by the Linlithgow Folk Festival Association, this festival is a true hub for the West Lothian style of Folk music. The lineup this year features a number of stellar names such as Ralph McTell and the Hannah Rarity Band to name a few, but it’s the community led group performance sessions that make this festival worth the trip.
7th-15th September/Various Prices
There aren’t many festivals in Scotland that take heritage as importantly as BLAS. Over the course of 9 days hundreds of folk acts descend upon the dozens of venues all across the Highlands. There’s a wide range of performers here from traditional folk acts to fill blown Ceidlidh Bands making this a perfect time time to visit the Highlands. Whilst BLAS is unlike a music festival in the traditional sense, it offers newcomers to the genre a great chance of getting acquainted with the music of the Highlands.
Jura Music Festival
It might take an arm and a leg to get to the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides but the trip is well worth the effort. Less than 200 people live on this tiny island, so it goes without saying that things get a little bit crowded when the festival starts up each year. Two simple events are held in a purpose-built marquee and the cosy village hall which makes for a distinctly homegrown atmosphere. There aren’t any holiday homes for sale on this island so guests must make use of hotels or wild camp if they wish.
Kirriemuir Festival of Music and Song
Now in its 37th year the Kirriemuir Festival of Music and Song is a quintessential Scottish event that encompasses ceilidhs, concerts and street entertainment. Thanks to the festival’s long-running nature some of the most established players throughout Scotland find their way to the stage here – this year you can expect to see legendary bothy ballad singer Joe Aitken, local singers Angus Folk and festival favourite Murray Douglas.
Our first featured song comes from a truly groundbreaking Scottish group…
Epic post-rockers Mogwai are staunch advocates of Scottish music having led the charge in avant-garde music for well over 20 years now. Donuts is their recently released song from their first ever feature-film soundtrack:
Although they lost founding member John Cummings in 2015, the now four-piece have continued to break the boundaries of the alternative music genre by contributing and composing soundtracks to documentaries and television series.
Their latest record is the soundtrack to the upcoming sci-fi movie Kin. Telling the story of two brothers on the run from gangsters, government agents and a mysterious alien force, Kin will have its US release on August 31st when you can also pick up the record too.
Mogwai will tour the England in November. There are still a handful of tickets left for one of their shows at Edinburgh’s Leith Theatre and they will also appear at True North Festival, Aberdeen in September.