True Talent in aid of TEACH May 25th Dingwall Town Hall

Charity gig time! A handful of locals providing some musical entertainment to raise some money for a good cause. Warms your heart. This time the location is Dingwall Town Hall which once had the Beatles in it. Hopefully this time the turn out will be WAY better though. And it should be, because this is who you’ll be getting:

Iain McLaughlin: Outsiderless from what I can tell. Iain solo is still some cracking stuff though. Throaty passionate voice, songs written and performed with huge amounts of feeling, possibly relatively intense but also extremely relaxed start to the night (assuming this is the order things will be in)
Toby Michaels: Rolling Damned less. So two front men without their backs. Very different front men, though they share some things in common. The most important one being the amount of feels they put in to their performances. Toby’s not short of passion himself, with a souring voice and some excellent licks. Ticket price more than justified already and we’re only two guys in.
The Ragazzi: But Dave, they aren’t a band anymore. They’re back baby! Sorry for calling you baby, that was a bit overly familiar. The return gig (3 currently listed on their page) for an excellent group that nearly wasn’t anymore. Lo-fi slightly reggae vibe with lots of energy and plenty of bass. If you didn’t catch The Ragazzi before their hiatus catch them now. If you want a preview pick up Jelly from iTunes.
Gary Thain: Not Uriah Heep’s bassist, KOBI-less front man. I haven’t actually heard Gary solo at all but KOBI are a cracking band and he’s a talented fella.
Stuart Thain: No relat….actually I’m pretty sure they’re related. He’ll be doing a bit of DJing. It’ll be good. Never know what to say about DJs. Except myself, and I never say good things about that plonker.

SO hell of a line up there. And a quality cause. TEACH have decided to make my job hard by having a fancy website that I can’t copy from, but essentially they are a charity who help alleviate poverty in Africa through education. It’s better to teach a man to fish than to just give him a fish so they do just that. Though it’s brains rather than a fish. Not in a zombie type of way, they teach them STUFF. I’m no good at metaphors. Maybe I should get them to help me too….

Tickets are a fiver, you can get them in Scizzor Sisters in Dingwall or here . And if you want to keep partying after midnight like some crazy person you can get half price entry to The Picture House thanks to your gig wristband. Night sorted then, see you there.

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Headway Highland Charity Gig 5th April Preview

I’ll be honest with you, I had a bit of trouble starting this piece as it has to be somewhat serious. You may recognise the name of the headline young artist there, he’s hit the local scene quite recently and made quite a splash. Alas, things didn’t quite start as well for young Dylan. When he was very young, younger than any of us can remember things from, he lost his mum. It started with a headache which lead her to the hospital. She was prescribed pain killers that she couldn’t get due to it being the weekend, and refused further treatment until she’d gotten them (bar an injection for the pain from her GP). Over the next two weeks she suffered headaches on and off before collapsing and being rushed to the brain unit in Aberdeen. Unfortunately it was too late and she passed away. So essentially, Dylan never really knew his mum. I find that especially sad as 1)my mum is awesome and that would suck and 2)she (and I) nearly died when I was born due to the epilepsy that she suffered from at the time.

In honour of Kelly there’s going to be a gig, the poster may have given that away, in support of Headway Highland. They are a charity who promote an understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services for people who have suffered a brain injury, their families and carers. (I’ll admit I copied and pasted that bit from the FB page as I couldn’t write it any better). The poster says a fiver but I’m sure no one would mind if you used a different bigger note to get in.

It’s not all altruistic though, you get to hear the following:

Emily Mackinnon – Can’t understand a word of the first tune on her Soundcloud as it’s in gaelic, but not a problem with the Mumford tune. They both sound absolutely lovely
Jemma Tweedie – No way I need to say anything about her. She sings, she plays guitar, she was on the show, she’s ace etc etc
Meeshelle – Doesn’t play anything as far as I know so she’ll have someone along to do that bit. Or not if I’m wrong. Lead singer of the funky Leonard Jones Potential, soulful and powerful voice. Lovely stuff.
Sara Bills and The Hasbeens – very generous band these guys as they do a fair bit of charity gig work. Also means it’s not just Dylan representing the boys. Sara is a girl obviously, the Hasbeens aren’t though. Y’all have heard them before. Just on Monday there actually
and of course
Dylan Tierney – the main man himself. A sound and talent for someone way older than he is, the next Jake Bugg, someone I haven’t seen live yet and probably won’t this time because of the flippin bus. Catch him now so you can tell people you saw him back when.

EXTREMELY generous at the price that and you’ll be doing some good with your weekends entertainment budget. Get along to Nellie Dean’s!

Inverness Women’s Aid Fundraiser At The Eagle Preview!

I love women. A lot. They’re pretty and they smell good. I’m not saying they’re perfect by any means, but women? Okay in my book. When I was a kid we were taught a very important thing as boys. You don’t hit girls. Ever. Even though girls had a tendency to kick you in the shins. Well, that might have just been me.

It’s resulted in me being pretty much incapable of hitting a girl. At all. I’m not violent anyway but there’s a proper physical block there. I am perfectly capable of hitting a guy who does though. Not that that’s a solution at all. Makes me bloody mad though. THANKFULLY there are people much smarter than I am working on solutions and support for ladies who have been abused.

Inverness Women’s Aid, a division of Scottish Women’s Aid, is one such group of smart people. They campaign and lobby for effective responses to abuse, along with providing aid and shelter where needed. I’ve seen the effects of abuse, it leaves women and children terrified and vulnerable. The effects can last a life time but help….well, it helps. A safe environment and some assistance can get people back on their feet and kids can be pretty resilient. Needing help isn’t a sign of weakness, god knows these people have probably been told how weak they are enough. Being a victim isn’t a sign of weakness. I’ve know some DAMNED TOUGH women who’ve had a rough time of it. If I had my way we wouldn’t NEED people like Inverness Women’s Aid. Unfortunately we do. So we should probably help. BUT I don’t expect you to just do that. This is an entertainment blog, someone is putting on some entertainment for it.

That someone being The Eagle. 4 lovely ladies, and a couple of lovely gentlemen, will be providing some lovely music for you on the 18th of January to raise money for Inverness Women’s Aid. Which is lovely of them.

Josephine Sillars = A young lady who sings a heck of a tune and plays one heck of a piano, a top one cracking Ironing board.
Emma Mitchell = Plays a mean guitar and has possibly the finest set of pipes (singing, not bag) in the area
Jemma Tweedie = A young lady who also plays one mean guitar and also has a cracking singing voice
Sara Bills & The Hasbeens = A lady fronted folk rock group who belt out some cracking tunes, and this is where the gentlemen come in.

Lovely people the lot of them. I assume that there will be an entry by donation or buckets going about or something. Bring your ears and bring your money. It’s an extremely worthy cause and 4 extremely good acts so you can’t lose. See you there đŸ™‚

STV Appeal gig preview

Now I’m not going to preview every gig going, though I do have 5 articles (including this) that are preview pieces in the works. I am listing as many as I can in The List above, but that’s about it for future stuff (not counting festivals) bar the odd piece. I’m not mystic meg. That said, this is well preview worthy and I want as many people as possible to go to it.

No matter what you might think of STV’s programming, or the single that goes along with this whole thing, it’s for some worthy charities and the money stays within our wee country. I’ll just nick some of their own words for the charity bit:

Working closely with six major Scottish charities (Aberlour, Action for Children, Barnardo’s Scotland, Children 1st, Save the Children Scotland and One Parent Families Scotland) the STV Appeal supports initiatives that seek to change the lives of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people in a sustainable, long term way.

All operational costs of the STV Appeal are met by The Hunter Foundation and STV meaning that every penny donated by the public will go directly to support those children most in need.

STV Appeal is the only charity where every penny raised is doubled by the Scottish Government and spent in Scotland.

Those three points are all I really care about from the larger page. Who it’s for, that all the money goes there, and that it gets doubled by Big Eck and the Funky Bunch. Alllriiiight. But we are selfish beings by nature, us humans. I wouldn’t fork over money (even if it is only £6) for a BAD gig regardless of the cause. But if you’ve been paying attention to the music section of this page you’ll realise something very important. This is the Highlands, we have shit loads of extremely good bands and artists, why would they put on a bad gig? They wouldn’t, and haven’t. Here is the line up to please your ears while you put your money to a good cause. In no particular and probably more or less backwards to running order order:

The Whisky River Band – Folk rock at it’s finest and never a bad time had by anyone, the Whiskys will make you jump around. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, all that good stuff. It’s actually getting a bit hard to write blurby bits for them. And probably pointless, you MUST have seen the Whiskys by now. No? Get your arse to this then!

Alas KOBI have had to pull out due to illness. Well half of them anyway. The other half will still be there though as replacement band Toby Michael’s Rolling Damned share a few members. Still epicly rocking, but in a different way. Big guitar licks, crazy antics, good lucky getting back on the stage if you leave it Toby! You call this a party? Well it sure is now. A little bit of these guys does you good. Other song title.

City in Surveillance – some indie rock scamps that got together in college roughly a half mile or so away from where I work. They’ve been knocking about for around a year now and have been gigging away for all that time. No idea if they passed the course, but they should have as they are a very fine wee rock band who bring a lot of energy to their songs. Ah to be young again…

3 acts in, down to 2 quid an act, we’re not done yet!

Ailsa Jean Lyall Mathews – This might only be her 3rd ever gig, I may have missed one though. It also puts me in the awkward position of seeing someone 3 times in one month, twice in one week (the record is 3 in a week currently held by Megan Blyth). Thankfully she’s bloody good. Music wise relatively simple stuff, which works for the style, vocally powerful as all hell. Put yourself in the enviable position of being able to tell people you saw her way back when she was just starting in a couple of years.

And finally, Barry Mackay and Ryan Golder. They’re no bad like.

What, you want more than that? I kid. Not sure if they’ll have a few others playing with them, either way it’ll be an excellent gig. The boys both play one mean guitar (well, one each obviously) and sing one mean…voice. Long term fans, that includes me, will also be waiting to see if the medley has expanded any. Heartful songs, songs to make you tap your feet, you’ll laugh, you’ll etc.

6 QUID?! That’s so rediculous that I tried to do a capital 6 there! Click this link and go and buy a ticket. Or maybe just get one at the door. Wouldn’t order after Monday just to be safe. I think you can probably call the Ironworks and reserve one though. OH there’s e tickets now too. I never do that cause I don’t have a printer. Why are you still reading, you should be buying a bloody ticket. GO! CHARIDY!

Halloween Option 2: Hoots

Actually it’s on both floors, so Mad Hootanatters!

Now I said in the Option 1 piece that you can go to at least 2 of the (currently) 3 events, and this is the non clashing one. It’s actually ON Halloween, which is a Wednesday this year, so yay for that but unfortunately it’s also a school night. BUT carpe diem (stuff your YOLO somewhere, I’m classy) and a couple on a weekday isn’t the end of the world.

Particularly as there is a whole heap of music on offer for you. AND some form of movie action from Screen Hi (not sure what yet). AND it’s for charidee mate. I shall get to that in a bit, but first the bands. I don’t know running order so I’ll do them in press release order. Here’s who will be spread over the two floors (and possibly a number of them will be ON those floors by the end of the night).

Zombie Militia are a damned fine metal band. I unfortunately had to miss their set at the Easter Showcase as it was last bus time but I saw a video and they put on a hell of a show. I doubt there will be the same level of theatrics this time around but there will be some full on proper metal. And if things kick off and people’s costumes become real you want some boys who are ready for the zombies, right?

Cleavers are in the news posts all the damned time so you should be familiar with them by now. They play fast, they play loud, they are punk. Also, they are good which is quite important really.

Toby Michael’s Rolling Damned who will be in the final showcase. I mention this because I haven’t seen them live so I can only go by recordings at the moment. So I do know for sure that they are a metal band of the highest quality. I don’t know if the crowd interaction and humour are just a Bella thing or if that’s a general motif. Hope so! And they’ll have a busy Halloween period as you will see in the option 3 post.

Swamp Radio, speaking of highest quality there’s more of that on show here. More rock than metal, bit proggy I suppose and I’ve enjoyed the heck out of them both times I’ve seen them.

Skeleton Verse who are new to me. That’s because they aren’t from this neck of the woods, they’re from Fort Bill and Glasgow. More than a bit of System of a Down about these guys, but with a Scottish accent. Loud, speedy lyrics, nice.

Last Summer Effect back with the home grown talent (the above are the only tourists really, unless a TBA is from far away). An accomplished rock band who veer towards the anthemic style of alternative rock with a high energy front man. Generally guaranteed to please, and certainly looking to get a crowd going.

And last of the announced bands (as I said, there’s a TBA) Searching for Donkeys. Completely new for me, haven’t seen them live. That said they’ve only existed for 2 months so that’s no surprise! So all I can really say is that they’re a rock band and they’re a lot mellower than the others on the bill. Which will give you a bit of a breather thankfully. I’d say more compared to the first five, with LSE filling in the gap in the middle.

So that’s a whole lot of music with a bit more to come. How much? Up to you. Entry is by donation and all proceeds go to Birchwood Highland who do a fine job of improving the lives of people with mental illness. Worthy cause, good music, an excuse to dress up and drink on a weekday. What more could you ask for?

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