NEW festival on the Highland music scene, AmaSing, will offer fans of Glasgow guitar band Kassidy a chance to not only hear the band play, but to hear them talk.
The unique festival, which takes place across the town of Strathpeffer and the surrounding area this weekend, is not a typical music festival, with its use of multiple venues and broad range of music, which includes not only Kassidy and fellow headliner Eddi Reader, but also Dean Owens, the Scottish Ensemble and Donnie Munro, as well as plenty of local talent.
As part of festival founder Emily Scott’s aim with the festival is to encourage people in the Highlands to make music themselves, so in addition to Kassidy’s Saturday night show, the band will also be giving an insight into the life of a busy working band in a Q & A session.
"It seems the sort of thing that people who are right into music will really enjoy," the band’s Lewis Andrew said.
"It’s almost like a seminar as well. Some of the festivals we play at, like South by South-West (in Austin, Texas), have seminars with bands explaining their experiences that bands can take advice from. I think it’s a really good thing to do because there’s not opportunity in the run of shows to do that. It’s just like gigging and keep on to the next one."
Kassidy have plenty of experience of north music festivals with appearances at RockNess, Belladrum and Loopallu. The band also have a policy of supporting up and coming festivals, Andrew added, as that is where they see the future of live music.
"I think the large ones, to a certain extent, will get too large," he said.
"It will be all the wee ones that draw people’s attention with bands and acts that they might not necessarily see at other festivals around the UK."
Kassidy, which also comprises Barrie-James O’Neill, Hamish Fingland and Chris Potter, was busy earlier in the year supporting US singer Lana Del Rey — who is reportedly going out with O’Neill — so the band are looking forward to doing their own headline show once again.
"We’ve got a lot of new songs that we’re wanting to play," Andrew revealed.
"Touring with Lana Del Rey was an amazing experience. We travelled all around Europe and saw some amazing countries, but because we were spending so much time on the bus, we were writing songs. By the same token, we didn’t want to disturb anyone else on the bus by playing songs at 5am when everyone else was asleep, so as soon as we got back, we really needed to write and record music, which is what we’ve been doing — and it’s sounding pretty cool at the moment.
"We have a couple of live shows booked, but we really want to focus on writing and recording because it’s been so long since we had any free time to do that."
Each of Kassidy’s four members — all of whom had experience of various other bands before getting together in 2009 — bring their individual talents to the songwriting process.
"There are no egos involved and everyone chips in," Andrew said.
"I’ll happily say I’m not the strongest lyricist — my strength is more in melodies and harmonies. Hamish is a much better lyricist than I am, but we all play our part."
So Saturday’s Strathpeffer show might just offer a hint of what to expect from Kassidy’s third album, the follow up to debut Hope Street and last year’s One Man Army.
"You get an emotion when you play something new, and if it’s cooking, it’s good," Andrew said.
"If it’s not, then maybe you should tweak that track a bit. It’s going to be good to play these new tracks, because the last record we did was written and recorded in the studio and we didn’t get much time to perform them because we were on a bit of a deadline. This time we are a bit freer and have more time to mess around with stuff.
"And everyone up there really loves music. Fortunately for us, they also love our music."
• Kassidy appear in Strathpeffer on Saturday 31st August as part of the AmaSing Festival.