Music News For The Highlands Part 1 13/01/2013

Hey everybody, I’ve decided to make these posts weekly instead of a daily thing SO every Sunday a new one (or two or three or five) will drop on to the site. Same as the daily’s, don’t plan to miss stuff, and I’ll keep them to a certain size so they aren’t overwhelming!

The Whisky River Band: The Whiskys have started recording on their second studio album (yay!) and if you would like to have a look in on that process they will be posting pictures up on Instagram. I don’t have Instagram myself, but their name on there is @thewhiskys apparently. If for some reason you don’t have a copy of their first album The Taming Of Me I’d like to welcome you from under that rock you’ve been living beneath. The good news for you is that they have a new stock of physical CDs so if you want a hold in your hand copy head on over to their store. It’s also available in the digital places.

Young Trees/Alice Bentley : Alas the Young Trees have been felled and will no longer be a band. There’s a fair chance that all the members will move on to new things, and one already has! So I introduce to you….Alice Bentley! If you did catch the Young Trees I believe those songs, or at least the majority, were Alice’s. And I say introducing but she’s performed solo before. In fact there’s a review of one of those solo performances here. She was also on my watch list for 2013 so good times ahead. Get recording some stuff would ya? Cheers.

James Mackenzie: James has plans this year. Those plans being getting in to a studio to record some new material, take his music in a new direction and then tour a bunch. Good plan that. In the mean time he’s having a January sale over on his site where you can pick up a copy of the excellent Curtain Road EP and the Something I’m Not Telling You single onanittybittyCDisn’titcute at a discounted rate. I don’t know how long that will be the case, so run don’t walk.

Rachel Sermanni: Long time readers of music news on the site, along with people who are Rachel fans in general, will probably have seen the video intros for tracks from Under Mountains. I THOUGHT there might be one or two missing and I was right. So to complete the collection here’s Eggshells (some very cool flocking bird shots, well done!) and a suitably eerie one for Song To A Fox. There’s also a very much not new video of Rachel on home turf in Carrbridge singing a tune called Humming Home dang near 2 years ago. Could have been filmed today really, I had to look at the date on it. Vaguely familiar tune too so MIGHT have heard it before…

As the picture there says there is something brand new on the way too. Rachel has recorded Ae Fond Kiss by Robert Burns and is releasing it as a single on the 25th, that being Burns Night. You can pre-order a copy here and all proceeds go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland. You can find out more about their great work here and if you want to hear the single before you buy (it’s lovely) tune in to my show on Monday (6-8PM, as I’ll be giving it a play.

Scooty and the Skyhooks: No clue if I’ve posted this before but seeing as I’ve gone weekly I don’t mind posting the same thing a few times. The Skyhooks are giving away a pair of tickets for their show in The Ironworks on the 16th of February. Head over to their page, find the relevant post, like it and share it. You have until the 28th of January to enter.

Sid Innes: Sid continues to dig through his archive (might be done actually), cleaning up tracks and shoving them up on Soundcloud. His latest offering is Busters Tune and I do believe that picture was taken at the Greenhouse, possibly at the one very brief gig of his I’ve been to.

Bogbain Farm: Not ones to hang around, the folks at Bogbain have already set the line up for THIS YEARS Hogmanay celebrations. Yes, the ones in 352 days. Bogmanay 2013 will feature The Mystic Shoes and Donald Macdonald (and the Islands). Two excellent bands so it’ll no doubt sell out ahead of time again. If you want to be super organised you can buy a ticket here. Speaking of sell outs, Burns Night at the Bog has sold out BUT you can pick up a Ceilidh only ticket (so make your own haggis first) for a fiver here. Proceeds go directly to the Highland Rugby Club. Also (all go at the farm just now) the first acts for the Northern Roots Festival have been announced. Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra and The Henry Girls are on the shows play list already, no doubt many of the other acts from this will end up on there too. Details can be found here though I’ll see about putting together a proper preview piece. Still have to finish the one for Brew at the Bog yet (bit more on that in the next post)

Roads To Damascus: Lead singer Steve Simms has a solo album on it’s way and has released a video for the first single. The album will be called 7 Deadly Simms, the single is called Believe and the video is here. Going by that the solo stuff will be electronic in nature with politically charged lyrics. And it’ll also be rather good actually.

I’ll wrap this one up here then. Part 2 is here. You can see exactly when by liking the Facebook page. Cheers for now.

Brew at the Bog 2013 Preview!

I only managed to make it to a few festivals last year, 3 to be exact, and I loved every one. Hopefully 2013 will contain a couple more but for me the festival season starts with a very specific one. Brew at the Bog. Held at award winning venue Bogbain Farm it’s got a friendly atmosphere, some great music, some great beer from Brew Dog and….bloody cold weather. WELL 2012 did anyway. While it’s set at the May Day bank holiday weekend this years was unseasonably cold. And that’s the important bit. The one negative thing….shouldn’t have happened. So there’s a very good chance that this year it won’t. And even if it does, it didn’t put anyone who attended down and we all still had a damned good festival.

PLUS it’s only £20. £30 if you camp and you probably should as the craic at the campsite on the Friday night was great. I wimped out and went home on the Saturday so can’t really speak to that night. Won’t be the case this year though, I’m hardened now. If camping isn’t for you it’s really close to Inverness anyway so you can get a hotel room or something. Or just go home after if you’re local.

Here is a bit of what last year was like from Breaking News North (yes, that’s me) and here’s a wee session with Anna Meldrum from Kitty The Lion.

So this year it falls on the 4th of May, here’s who you’ll get to hear. And who I’ll hopefully be getting session tracks for the show from. If there aren’t descriptions yet you’ll have to do some leg work of your own, but I’ll update to include one for everyone.

Fatherson – One of my ones to watch in 2013. Fantastic at being a bit mellow, fantastic at being really loud, sometimes in the same song! Great folk rock music fronted by a very powerful voice and bouyed by very strong lyrics.
Randolph’s Leap – a melodic 8 piece pop folks band out of Glasgow. They sound brilliant, and instead of doing my own description I’ll quote my favourite DJ. “They are ace” – Marc Riley, BBC 6Music. Don’t need any more endoursement than that in my book.
Fake Major
United Fruit
Cherri Fosphate
Olympic Swimmers
This Silent Forest
Adam Holmes And The Embers
Trapped in Kansas
The Stagger Rats
James MacKenzie
The Winter Tradition
Michael Cassidy
Donald MacDonald And The Islands
Poor Things
Bronagh And The Boys
JP Jones
Sion Russell Jones
Tomos Lewis
Jonathan Powell
Shambles Miller
Seven Summits
Verse Metrics
The Whisky River Band
Chris Devotion and the Expectations

PHEW! That’s loads. Thankfully the start times are a bit staggered so you can in theory catch a wee bit of everyone if you want to.

E-Tickets are available from or via the BrewDog shop. The festival lives here on Facebook, and I can be found here. See you in May!

Music News 10/12/2012

Hey kids, here’s all the news that’s fit for youse from the last couple of days there.

First off, local Electro bods Them & Us have a new EP out. It’s called Neon Lights, you can buy it here and the one track I know for a fact I’ve heard at time of writing (8 Days) is pretty damned good actually. I know that sounds like huge amounts of surprise and it’s not, I’m just not a huge electronical music person.

Congratulations to the folks at Bogbain Farm on another award win! They scooped up Venue Of The Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Good stuff, well deserved.

If like me you missed The Ragazzi playing in the Eagle, pants eh? Not them, missing it. WELL the good news is that most of the set will be coming out in video form in the next little while. First video is here and it features original tune Ask Myself Why and a cover of The 5,6,7,8’s Woo Hoo. Bloody good they both are too.

Roads To Damascus collaborated with Dyke Primary School to do a wee christmas single. You can hear it on Soundcloud here and it’s for sale at all of your digital download site places. LET’S GET THEM TO CHRISTMAS NUMBER 1!!! Okay that might be a stretch, but go buy a copy and raise some money for the kiddies. I had a mate who went to that primary school. Yes, I chuckle at the name.

And finally another Inverness Gigs look back with the lovely Megan Blyth who completely fails to mention that the highlight of 2012 is meeting me. That being a life highlight for most people it’s understandable though. I am speaking nonsense.

That’s your lot. If you see this as soon as it’s gone up then head on over to at 6PM to hear the show, I’m on until 8.

Music News 03 (oh alright 04 but there might be one in 22 hours)/12/2012

Hey kids, well late with this but I picked up an extra hour on the radio tomorrow and had to program it. On to the news then back to me

Thankfully, not a crazy amount of news. Siiga has announced the name of the last track of the album/year. It’s called Ikuenora and HE WON’T TELL ME HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT!!! Won’t matter if I get it wrong, no one will notice me making a mistake on the radio really. Par for the course. Anyway, there is also a wee blog entry on the journey from the start to here. There and back again kind of.

If you’re Hogmanay plans were Bogbain Farm and you don’t have a ticket yet then you are shit out of luck as it’s sold out. Never drag your feet on a Whisky’s gig.

Not much to report on the Leonard Jones Potential beyond the fact that they’ve been quiet….for a reason. They’ve been recording and plotting for next year. So I assume there’s either an album or EP coming, and a whole bunch of new tunes for gigging and that. Good good, look forward to hearing them!

And lastly, Roads To Damascus have teamed up with Dyke Primary School to do a wee Christmas Tune. You can hear it here. Aww, don’t they sound cute? And so do the kids. Mwuhahaha

SO me. Monday’s A Slice of Fried Gold Radio Show is now up on Mixcloud for the next week here. Give it a like, give it a favourite or whatever the heart is and share it about. Bumper edition tomorrow night from 6-9PM as young Callum who is normally on before me isn’t well so I’m filling in. 3 hours, woosh! All good tunes though. or via the TuneIn app on smart thingies, just search for ABC Radio Alness.

Music News 10/09/2012

Hey kids, here’s what’s been happening with local acts over the last….bloody ages. Haven’t done a news post in days as I’ve been galavanting about at festivals and that. Not sure if this will be a full on back up to speed update or not. I’ll cut it off at a certain point so it’s not as huge as the Jocktoberfest review. Should be back on track in a few days anyway. On with the news.

You can now get your hands on a copy of Abagail Grey‘s Dark Wood EP in HMV. I’ve got mine already so you can read a review here. Or just go buy it.

There’s no way that 5 days could have gone by without me having some Rachel Sermanni stuff to talk about. Here’s another Waltz video. Even if you’ve watched a couple, this one is really worth a look. Very beautifully shot around a very interesting tree, and Rachel is on fine form. Possibly the most fitting video I’ve seen actually, well done HibOO d’Live. Alternatively BETC did a rooftop session with her. So if you’d rather see Paris in the background that’s the one for you. It’s the first single off her album btw, hence all the sessions being Waltz.

The boys at Netsound Unsigned have added a new feature to their site. Every…well I don’t know how often, they’ll highlight a band that has been or will be on the podcast with a bit of a profile and stuff. First up it’s The Maginot Band, that’s a link to the article. No point linking a page as it’s in there. Nice idea guys 🙂

Speaking of Netsounds, throw in some goNorth, it’s a Rockhopper Session. Here’s rock gods KOBI playing All The Way in a caravan for your enjoyment. With brass section if you haven’t heard them that way before.

Bogbain Farm have landed themselves an award for being the Best Unusual Venue at the Scottish Event Awards. Can’t argue with that really, it’s a great place for some music and not a traditional venue in the least. Well done guys!

Time for another session track. This time it’s PAWS doing a Fatcat session for Brooklyn Vegan. Here’s Jellyfish. Sounds great and I’m looking forward to the album which is only a month away! Clash Music have also made Salem, the b-side to the bands latest single Sore Tummy, their track of the day. Nice choice, it’s a damned fine track.

Much like Miss Sermanni it wouldn’t be a news post without the Cleavers. New track up in their soundcloud, this one is called This Rain Will Never End. It’s a rough mix. Didn’t know they had any other kind! Only kidding guys, pretty much there though if you ask me.

Sticking with soundcloud, and this is a long one so I haven’t listened before posting but will right after, there’s a new Justice Never Sleeps mix from resident DJ Boomshank Redemption. As I’ve said before I’m not a big electronic music guy BUT I’m giving it a shot. If you are I’ve heard his stuff before and you’ll like it. And if THAT isn’t enough for you, his mix from Monster FM is also up. That’s a lot of music!

There’s a small chance that the whole set will be up here at some point, but there’s another video up from dorec-a-belle from their excellent showcase set. This is When You Said and it’s a lovely wee mellow tune.

I love the Oxides me. You should too. The sound is a little bit patchy on this video, Duncan (Front Room Unplugged) was right down the front after all and I know how loud it was there as I’m a wee bit in front of him, but it’s good enough to hook you in. Thanks for putting these videos up man, keep up the good work 🙂

After last week I now also love the Ragazzi me. You should too. Can’t really see them much/too well and it’s not the whole thing, but here’s some of Jelly from last weeks Battle of the Bands. Bloody good eh? I’ll have some more of that.

The Maginot Band have a new EP out called Peace and Quiet. I haven’t heard it yet but will be picking up, and therefore reviewing, a copy soonish. It’s available at all the usual electronic outlets and there’s no doubt links on their page there.

And I’ll finish off with this (yay, all caught up after all). If you missed Jocktoberfest you are a silly billy. Here’s a rough video of the main site, backing music is by the excellent Esperi who was the highlight of the fest for me. I’m in the video too, sporting my Team Kapowski shirt. And a second one that is unsullied by my presence.

Phew, loads of stuff there. Thanks for reading, please like the Facebook page, I’m all worded out now (you’ll probably be glad to hear)!