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, http://www.abcradio.co.uk) 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.

Donald Macdonald and the Islands @ The Greenhouse review


Katie’s lovely handywork

It was a busy couple of days in The Greenhouse. Crazy night on Thursday for Fash’s Annual Christmas Extravaganza, a very well attended Saturday set in the afternoon and then on Saturday evening the final gig of the Donald Macdonald (and the Islands) tour. And the place was HEAVING when I got there. Standing room only, and in some areas barely even that. Mainly there for the main men themselves obviously but they were also in for a treat to start off with.

Sorry for the dodgyness of the pictures as usual. Let’s hope I have a better camera at some point in the coming year!


Solo sapling Alice Bentley

As with pretty much every gig there was some support on offer and it came in the shape on Dingwall native Alice Bentley from the Young Trees. Unfortunately it was a rather noisy crowd for the Greenhouse, felt more like Hoots really, but this didn’t put her off at all. After the set I was talking with Alice and she admitted to suffering pretty badly from stage fright before every gig. It doesn’t show in the least though. Alice came across as a very comfortable performer who belongs in front of an audience. Great guitar playing, lovely voice and a mix of covers in her own style and original tracks. Her own style being what I’d describe as pop folk, something that appears to be on the rise. A seasonal cover, Santa Baby, was given a bit more energy that the more famous versions, while her cover of U2’s With or Without You was more mellow. Alice doesn’t have a soaring voice, more of a delicate one, so none of Bono’s wailing just lovely lovelyness. I didn’t get a note of the names of the originals as I’m useless but they were all very good, and the one I do know the name of (Scottish Rain) sounds just as great solo as it does with the whole Young Trees forest.

2 other things of note as well. She doesn’t suffer from Fiddly Tuner Syndrome, will have a wee check to make sure things are sounding okay but that’s it. Very glad to see that. And while the between tracks banter was light it was present which is also a good mark. Despite what may be going on inside before a gig, and EVERYONE gets a bit of stage fright, what you see is a talented young lady who should go very far. And has a very proud mum.


Sexy McSexy (and the Sexys), random superfan on the left

After a bit of turn around setting up time it was time for the main event, Donald Macdonald (and the Islands). Who, as you can see from the caption, I’m reliably told are a very attractive group of young men. I don’t care about that myself, I like girls, but I do care about what kind of music they produce. Their first EP is very familiar to me and listeners to the radio show as they’ve had a few spins at this point. Live they are that but a wee bit more. Turned up a notch or two. Whether it’s just because it was the last gig of the tour or if they always do this live I don’t know but they certainly gave it their all. I mean look at the Jake Bolt rivaling sweat levels


Wet T-shirt contest

So they produce some loud folk rock then, with plenty of quiet bits thrown in. In many ways a bit of a north west answer to Fatherson in the varied pace and energy levels, with more subtle vocals from Donald than comes from Ross. Very distinct from each other, but a similar effort vibe. The crowd and this reviewer were loving it and the band were giving back their all. Bit of singing along and lots of clapping. There was waltzing. There was bouncing. AND there was crowd surfing. A challenge for some crowd surfing was put forth and local celebrity wild child Josephine Sillars (kidding about the wild child bit) stepped in. With a lift from Fash and a boost from myself, hence no picture, she was up on the sea for a bit and walked away the proud owner of a DMac t-shirt.

Not the first time there’s been crowd surfing in the Tea Posy btw but I do believe it’s a first for a folk gig!

The set was a mix of high energy folk rock with mellower ballads thrown in and a great time was had by all. Alas my notes are a bit sparse as I was one of the all. Plus I accidentally found myself in the midst of the sizeable crowd. I can tell you that they threw every last ounce they had in to the final number which was actually quite punky. Basically this isn’t your grandpa’s folk music by any means.

You’ve missed your chance for the year for either of these acts I think, but if you get the shot next year to see either Alice (slash Young Trees) or DMac and the I’s then get yourself along. You won’t regret it. You can pick up an EP from the main men here and they have another EP in the works for release….I dunno, probably a month or two. You’ll hear it on this page when that happens, and can keep up on Facebook here.

A Slice Of Fried Gold playlist for 10/12/2012

Hey kids, here’s all of the tunes that you heard on the show this evening

JAMES MACKENZIE – BOAT SONG FROM CURTAIN ROADS EP
KNICKERS – DARLING
INDIANS – I AM HAUNTED
ANNA SWEENEY – DON’T LOOK DOWN
JOSEPHINE SILLARS – CORNERS
MEGAN BLYTH – FREEDOM OF SILENCE FROM MEGAN BLYTH EP
THE BIRDMAN RALLIES – TELESCOPE KATIE
FATHERSON – FIRST BORN
DYLAN LE BLANC – BROTHER
CAHALEN MORRISON AND ELI WEST – STONE TO SAND
MATCHSTICK MAKER – EVERGREEN
SHRAG – TENDONS IN THE NIGHT
IAIN MCLAUGHLIN AND THE OUTSIDERS – BREAK THE CYCLE FROM WE ARE ALL OUTSIDERS
ROBERT KING – FLICKER FROM THAT I AM ACTUALLY HERE
LAST SUMMER EFFECT – HAVE YOU HEARD?
ROB HERON AND THE TEA PAD ORCHESTRA – HOT BATH FROM MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING
YOUNG TREES – SCOTTISH RAIN
ALL HAT NO CAT – THE DRIFTER
BOBBY WOMACK – STUPID
THE TUESDAY CLUB – NEW REGIME
DONALD MACDONALD AND THE ISLANDS – WRECK OF A SHIP FROM DONALD MACDONALD AND THE ISLANDS EP

Thanks for listening! Next show is on 04/12/2012 from 7pm until 9pm at http://www.abcradio.co.uk or via the TuneIn App (search ABC Radio Alness) on smart devices!

A Slice Of Fried Gold playlist for 19/11/2012

Hey kids, here’s all of the tunes that you heard on the show this evening.

THE BIG EYES FAMILY PLAYERS – MAUREEN FROM GIPPURSLAND FROM FOLK SONGS II
THE RED KITES – HOLD FAST FROM BEAT IN TIME EP
LAST SUMMER EFFECT – PASSION
BARELY BLIND – HOW TO SAIL THE ATLANTIC ALONE FROM WILDER CHILD OF A THOUSAND SONS
ALL HAT NO CAT – DIPPER
SKELETON VERSE – FORT KNOCKS FROM STORM BEFORE THE CALM VOL 1
ROADWAY – GOOD MAN DIE FROM ROADWAY EP
DOREC-A-BELLE – ON THE ROAD FROM ALBUM SAMPLER EP
WASHINGTON IRVING – PHANTOM BUCK FROM LITTLE WANDERER, HEAD THEE HOME
PETUNIA & THE VIPERS – YES BABY YES FROM PETUNIA & THE VIPERS
ENDOR – CIRCUS PLACE LINE FROM ENDOR
THE MYSTIC SHOES – FUNKY TOWN FROM BLOOD, SWEAT AND BEERS
DUNCAN OVERMEER – THE CABIN (PEACE AND QUIET) FROM FIVE SONGS EP
SHRAG – TENDONS IN THE NIGHT FROM TENDONS IN THE NIGHT
THE RAGAZZI – YOUNG AND ANGRY
NAKED RED – TRIP ME UP
THIS GOOD ROBOT – CALL THE POLICE FROM THE HUMAN I AM
HILLFOLK NOIR – L&N FROM SKINNY MAMMY’S REVENGE
FINDLAY NAPIER AND THE BAR ROOM MOUNTAINEERS – DON’T LOOK IN MY EYES FROM FILE UNDER FICTION
BOMBSKARE – ALL THE GUYS IN THE NIGHT CLUB FROM CHOP SHOP EP
YOUNG TREES – SCOTTISH RAIN

Thanks for listening! Next show is on 20/11/2012 from 7pm until 9pm!

A Slice of Fried Gold playlist for 29/10/2012

Hey kids, here’s all of the tunes that you heard on the show this evening.

ANNA SWEENEY – OH, GOSH DARNIT FROM OH, GOSH DARNIT EP
DONALD MACDONALD AND THE ISLANDS – OLD STYLE ARROW FROM THEIR EP
ROBERT KING – DESERTER FROM THAT I AM ACTUALLY HERE LP
LAST SUMMER EFFECT – PASSION
THE STAVES – GONE TOMORROW FROM THEIR LIVE EP
ENDOR – FLY STRAIGHT AND ALWAYS WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES FROM ENDOR LP
THE RAGAZZI – JELLY
THE EDEN HOUSE – NEVERSEA FROM THE TIMEFLOWS EP
THIS SILENT FOREST – MILK
THE MAGINOT BAND – SLOW DOWN SUN DIAL FROM PEACE AND QUIET EP
SIIGA – EMBERS
HEART ATTACK ALLEY – TOO HOT BLUES
HOOVERS OOOVER – COLLECTION
SPOKE TOO SOON – SIDEWAYS ON A BUS
SHRAG – TENDONS IN THE NIGHT
CLEAVERS – THIS RAIN WILL NEVER END FROM LIFE IS S**T 7”
TOBY MICHAEL’S ROLLING DAMNED – SAVE ME
STEVE POLTZ – SPIRIT HANDS FROM NOINEEN NOINY NOIN LP
YOUNG TREES – SCOTTISH RAIN
MINIATURE DINOSAURS – TURN IT ON FROM TURN IT ON EP
THIS GOOD ROBOT – WOE IS BARNABY BLACK FROM THE HUMAN I AM EP
KANSAS – CARRY ON MY WAYWARD SON
BON JOVI – BLAZE OF GLORY

Thanks for listening! Next show is on 30/10/2012 from 7pm until 9pm!