VISITING acts will often proclaim a special affection for whatever location they find themselves in on any given night, but for Kilmarnock/Glasgow four piece Fatherson, there is every indication that they really do enjoy their visits to the Highlands.
"We always love coming up there. Inverness was probably the first place that we had an amazing gig outside of Glasgow and we’ve just had a soft spot in out hearts for it ever since," bass-player Marc Strain said.
"We opened up the main stage at RockNess this year and played Belladrum as well, so loads of fun."
The band’s current tour takes them to Ullapool on Saturday while Sunday sees Fatherson’s second headline show at Inverness’s Ironworks following an "amazing" gig at the end of last year.
"When people talk about venues, The Ironworks comes up as one of the best ones out there," Strain said.
"A nice big stage and usually good people along to the shows as well."
For those who have seen them before, be it at The Ironworks, RockNess, Bella or Bogbain Brew at The Bog Festival, Strain promises the show will be bigger and better than ever before, with several songs drawn from the band’s forthcoming debut album, along with a few old favourites.
"The album is finished now," Strain said, adding that the band hoped to reveal news about its release during the tour.
"This is kind of the pre-release tour and early next year we hope to come back and tour the record.
"We’ve managed to get the money together to record it and get in mixed and mastered. We’ve got it sounding the way we wanted to and it sounds great. We’re very keen to get it out there."
Keeping it in-house, the album has been produced by the band’s tour manager Bruce Rintoul rather than opting for an outside producer.
"We spoke to quite a few big name producers who have worked on some of our favourite albums, but at the end of the day we decided the best plan was to go with Bruce because he knows the band inside and out," Strain explained.
"Again we sent it off to a number of big name engineers, but we just ended up with Bruce and Lewis Gardner, who plays with the band Prides, to mix the album. It keeps it close to home. If you have so many talented people on your doorstep, you might as well use them and it lets us keep more control over everything.
"The main idea of the record was to make it sound live because a lot of people come up to us after gigs and say we sound better live than recorded, which I take as a compliment."
Recording the album has also allowed them to revisit songs that they have recorded in the past and not been totally happy with and get them right. It also marks the first time the band have been in the studio since Fatherson’s expansion from a three to four piece, giving a fuller sound than any of the band’s previous recordings.
"There’s nothing on this album that annoys me. I’m totally happy with it," Strain added, though it seems that playing live is where the band are happiest.
"We love going out and playing shows so I’m looking forward to going out on this wee tour. We’re really lucky that we have a lot of people come out and sing along to our songs, even the ones that are not properly recorded yet," he said.
The tour also takes the band to some places most touring bands do not reach, including shows in Orkney and Lewis.
"The album is called I Am An Island so we wanted to play on some islands," Strain explained.
"We played the HebCelt in Stornoway in the summer, so we’re looking forward to going back."
• Fatherson appear at Ullapool’s Arch Inn on Saturday 28th October; The Ironworks, Academy Street, Inverness, on Sunday with support from Silver Coast and Alice Bentley, and Aberdeen’s Garage on Wednesday.