news – all the indie-schmindie happenings

21st January 2023

Primal Scream, Edwyn Collins and The Pretenders are among the acts headed for the Outer Hebrides for the first incarnation of a brand new music festival.

Public Service Broadcasting, Honeyblood, Spiritualized, and Ocean Colour Scene are also on the bill for the three-day Midnight Sun event which takes place from May 25th – 27th, at Lews Castle, near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

There are many acts still to be announced, but appearances from Addo Matheson, The Choir, The Joshua Hotel, and Issie Yardley are also confirmed.

The Midnight Sun Weekender is the brainchild of Charlie Clark – of Astrid fame – and Ian MacArthur, who has worked with Virgin Records as well as a stint as worldwide group Chief Executive of The Big Issue. The two have recently set up Outer Hebrides-based indie label No Big Deal Music.

Speaking about what to expect from the first ever Midnight Sun Weekender, co-founder Charlie Clark said: “The Midnight Sun Weekender will be the first ever major pop and rock Festival to be held in the Western Isles. It will be held, annually, on Lews Castle Green, the iconic setting in front of Lews Castle and overlooking Stornoway Harbour.”

The event will also be making strides to address many of the other ethical imbalances of the wider festival industry. Eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable, it will be completely powered by hydrogen produced on the Isle of Lewis, while the comon issue of festival gender balance will also be addressed with a guarantee of a 45% to 55% female to male ratio of performers across the weekend.

Tickets are priced at £79 (Thursday), £99 (Friday), and £129 (Saturday), with a limited number of weekend tickets will also be available, priced at £270 – all on sale via Skiddle.

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15th January 2023

Celtic Connections, widely regarded as Europe’s premier folk and roots music festival, launches in Glasgow on Thursday 19th January. (more…)

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3rd January 2023

Alan Rankine, co-founder of Scottish act The Associates, has died aged 64. (more…)

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30th December 2022

Despite the return to normality, and more importantly live shows, the creativity of our allowed-out-in-the-real-world musicians remains unabated (more…)

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15th December 2022

Two Scottish music venues have received vital grants from the charity Music Venue Trust (MVT). (more…)

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21st October 2022

Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ has been selected as winner of the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award (more…)

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8th October 2022

The classic Cocteau Twins album ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ has been announced as the winner of 2022’s Modern Scottish Classic Award.;

Tying in with this year’s SAY Award, the Grangemouth-formed band’s 198x album is set to be honoured at the Ceremony, taking place in Stirling’s Albert Halls on Thursday 20th October.

This year’s 20 SAY Award Longlisted artists voted for Scottish albums predating The SAY Award’s establishment that still inspire music being made in Scotland today.

Containing Top 40 single ‘Iceblink Luck’, the album was released by 4AD in 1990, it became the band’s most successful release, reaching #7 in the UK Album Charts and breaking the US Billboard top 100.

Elizabeth Fraser, Cocteau Twins’ lead vocalist, said: “What a delightful surprise!!! Thank you for expressing such heartfelt affection for ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ and for presenting us with an award that we are thrilled and honoured to receive. Thank you so much.”

Bassist Simon Raymonde added: “When I was invited to join the band in January 1984, I just knew from the first session that we wrote music together that this was going to be a special time in my life and Elizabeth and Robin (Guthrie) could not have made me feel more ‘at home’ and I was never made to feel like the odd (English) man out.

“What I couldn’t have known was the impact our music was going to have, and ‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ the subject of this wonderful accolade from SAY. Even 32 years after its release it seems to keep finding new fans, without the aid of any reunion tours, marketing campaigns or fancy reissues. It is without doubt a great privilege to have been part of this band with two of the most talented Scottish musicians of the last 50 years, for such a big part of my life, and I am still moved by the reaction that ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ in particular continues to have. The award is humbling and I am grateful to everyone who chose this over so many other wonderful possibilities.”

A second announcement ties in nicely in shining a spotlight on Scottish music’s future as well as its inspiring past.

Five young and emerging artists have been selected by a panel of former SAY nominees as finalists for the Sound of Young Scotland Award, with one set to receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to help create their debut record.

The finalists, narrowed down from 71 eligible submissions, include Berta Kennedy, Dead Pony, KLEO, Psweatpants and Uninvited. The winner will be decided by a diverse panel of previous SAY Award nominees including Brìghde Chaimbeul, Carla J. Easton, Christopher Duncan (C Duncan), Dave Hook (Stanley Odd), Declan Welsh (Declan Welsh & the Decadent West), Graham Costello (Graham Costello’s STRATA), Jubemi Iyiku (Bemz), Paul McGeechan (Starless), Rachael Swinton (Cloth), Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood) and TAAHLIAH. The winner will receive a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of their debut album, including recording time at Tolbooth Stirling.

More at sayaward.com / Facebook.com/SAYaward.

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8th October 2022

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award – Scotland’s National Music Prize – has announces its ten-strong Shortlist (more…)

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New music playlist November 2021