Published: 04/02/2014 14:02 - Updated: 04/02/2014 14:29

Local Band Spotlight: Scooty and Skyhooks serve up some new favourites

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promise some unfamiliar tunes in the set along with a few old favourites when they return to The Ironworks this weekend.

Scooty and The Skyhooks backstage at The Ironworks.
Scooty and The Skyhooks backstage at The Ironworks.

SCOOTY and The Skyhooks

"We’ve got some new songs coming in and some new classics, so it will all be a bit of a surprise with some big orchestral pieces," Sarah Mackay, one of the band’s three vocalists promised.

"We had quite a few big gigs last year — supporting Runrig, the main stage at Belladrum and B-Fest at Wick — and we’re hoping to be busy again this year. We’re already in talks with a few festivals."

The 12 piece band have been much in demand since reforming for a "one-of" gig in 2009 showed how much their fans had missed the groups menus of soul and funk classics with a Scottish twist.

Inevitably though, the band members have their own favourites in the set.

"I love doing Higher and Higher, that always goes down really well," Mackay said.

"Then there’s Deacon Blue’s Dignity. The crowd sing it for us — we don’t need to do anything!

"Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield is another one that always gets the crowd going."

For fellow vocalist Gill Smyth, there is a special reason for looking forward to a soul classic originally recorded by The Marvelettes back in 1968 and given a new lease of life when it featured in the soundtrack of Alan Parker’s film The Commitments over 20 years later.

"I have to say Destination Anywhere as it has a special place for me, being my first solo," she said.

"It just so happens that Higher and Higher is one of my favourites as well, along with Take Me To The River.

"I like Higher and Higher as that was one of the first songs I had to learn when I first joined the band and I feel the crowd really get in to it and enjoy it. Take Me To The River has such a rich sound and is so recognisable for the audience."

For Louise Blair, the other female contributor to the current line-up, it is probably more about what is played rather than what is sung.

"Playing with Scooty and the Skyhooks is brilliant. Soul music has amazing energy and the gigs are always great fun, particularly when we play at The Ironworks because the crowd are fantastic," the saxophonist said.

"My favourite pieces to play are the Dexy’s Midnight Runners covers because the sax parts are loads of fun — particularly Jackie Wilson Said.

"But my current favourite song is one of our new ones. It’s called Some Kind Of Wonderful and it is a fab tune."

•Scooty and The Skyhooks are at The Ironworks, Inverness, on Saturday 8th February.

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