On Friday, the 9th Loopallu festival in Ullapool kicks off its two-days of music that blend Highland favourites (Ullapool Pipe Band), national stars (The Enemy, Newton Faulkner), veteran names (Reef) and has cemented a reputation for spotting the next big thing (The Temperance Movement).
Below we give you a preview of the acts set to kick-off the festival in style on Friday.
Blood Relatives Deerheart
BLOOD RELATIVES – luckily the message that Glasgow band Kitty The Lion were changing their name to Blood Relatives seems to have reached all the fans and the four-piece line-up is primed to release their debut album on Comets And Cartwheels on October 28. Check out the band’s website to see the video for title track Deerheart which is also the first single, out since Sept 9. They’re also appearing live in session on Vic Galloway on BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, playing songs from the album – and a cover - suggestions please on their website!
Music sounds like: indie pop
Useful quirky fact: The band’s Callum is also a member of another band that’s gone for a name-change, Midnight Lion, now called Prides. Er, see below!
Follow them: Twitter: @blood_relatives Facebook.con/bloodrelativesband http://www.blood-relatives.com/
Prides Out Of The Blue
PRIDES electronic three-piece from Glasgow have just enjoyed a week of being featured on Radio 1 shows, everyone from Fearne Cotton to Greg James. Brew At The Bog’s crowd got the first Highland taste of the band’s sound back in May. But since then they’ve hit a host of festivals including Belladrum, Reading and Leeds and Wickerman. Loopallu for the set!
Music sounds like: electronic
Useful quirky fact: They are giving away a free download of track Out Of The Blue from their Facebook page: facebook.com/Pridesband
Follow them: @pridesband www.pridesband.com and Facebook Pridesband
Kassidy I Don’t Know official video
KASSIDY Anyone who caught one of their recent shows at the AmaSing festival in Strathpeffer knows that even without regular main frontman Barrie-James O’Neill, the line-up can go from nought to cooking in just a couple of songs, thanks to the guitar power of the line-up with Hamish Fingland, Lewis Andrew, Chris Potter and bassman Billy Kay. Recently they’ve been working on new material.
Music sounds like: guitar-heavy folkie/hippy southern rock with heavenly four-part harmonies
Useful quirky fact: Is there anyone left who doesn’t know Barrie-James goes out with Lana Del Rey?
Follow them: Twitter @Kassidyuk www.kassidymusic.com and on Facebook.com/kassidyuk
Roddy Hart Cold City Avalanche
RODDY HART AND THE LONESOME FIRE After his three solo albums, the musician and Radio Scotland regular presenter donned his band guise for Roddy Hart And The Lonesome Fire, the six-piece that has just released the self-titled album two weeks ago that already some critics are calling a classic. It’s come out on Middle Of Nowhere Recordings, the Highland-based label that hosts the work of Roddy, Rachel Sermanni, Pete Roe and most recently Colin Macleod (his new four-track EP The Anchor is out on Oct 21).
Music sounds like: "Americana and Celtic soul".
Useful quirky fact: The band has a cameo part (and sound!) in the new Sunshine On Leith movie!
Follow them: Twitter @roddyhart and Facebook.com/RoiddyHartandtheLonesomeFire and the website www.roddyhart.com
The Beat Mirror In The Bathroom
THE BEAT The original line-up with Ranking Roger, Dave Wakeling, veteran Jamaican saxophone player Saxa, bassist Andy Cos, guitarist David Steele and drummer Everett Morton formed in 1979, first hit being a cover of Smokey Robinson’s Tears Of A Clown which went straight to number 6 in the singles chart. Lots of singles followed – Mirror In The Bathroom, Can’t Get Used To Losing You, Hands Off … She’s Mine, Best Friend and anti-Thatcher protest song Stand Down Margaret. These days The Beat includes Ranking Roger, his son Ranking Jr, drummer Everett Morton and keyboard-player Mickey Billingham.
Music sounds like: New Wave/ska
Useful quirky fact: Ranking Roger has just raised the fan support via PledgeMusic to release a compilation which will include two previously unreleased tracks featuring Roger and Sly & Robbie.
Follow them: Twitter @TheBeat and website www.thebeatofficial.com (no Facebook).
The Enemy Saturday
THE ENEMY The Coventry three-piece got together in 2006, with their first 1000 limited vinyl 40 Days and 40 Nights selling out in a day, their debut album We Live And Die In These Towns went to the top of the album charts a year later and their third and most recent album Streets In The Sky hit the top 10 last May. They are not long back from an American tour and are working on their fourth album
Music sounds like: The NME once said "Jam-steeped blasts of punk rock".
Useful quirky fact: The band shared the pain of the recession by pegging tickets for their January tour at £5. And maybe it’s just as well that the band is flying up most of the way for Loopallu. Back in 2010, lead singer Tom Clarke smashed his TVR spinning it four times on the A90 near Aberdeen.
Follow them: Twitter @theenemyband and www.facebook.com/theenemy and the band’s website at www.theenemy.co.uk
For full details of the Loopallu festival on Friday and Saturday in Ullapool, go to: www.loopallu.com