Published: 26/03/2014 00:01 - Updated: 26/03/2014 09:05

Tom Jones tops Bella bill

Tom Jones will make what is believed to be his Highland debut at Belladrum this year.
Tom Jones will make what is believed to be his Highland debut at Belladrum this year.

ONE of British music’s most enduring figures, Sir Tom Jones, will headline this year’s Belladrum Festival.

In a 50 year music career, his appearance on the main stage at Belladrum on Friday 8th August is believed to be his first ever performance in the Highlands.

Headlining the same stage the following night, Saturday 9th August, will be anthemic English rock band Razorlight.

Currently one of the mentors on BBC1 talent show, The Voice, Sir Tom has sold over 100 million records since emerging on the music scene in the mid-1960s, including such signature hits as It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat and Delilah.

His two most recent albums, stripped back gospel album Praise & Blame from 2010 and 2012’s Spirit in The Room both made the Top Ten of the UK album chat.

Formed in 2002, Indie-rockers Razorlight are comparative newcomers, but have also topped the UK charts with their single America and their self-titled album in 2006, while singles Somewhere Else and In The Morning have also been Top Five hits for the London band.

"Sir Tom has long been a hero of mine and it is a singular privilege to be able to welcome him to a Highland stage," festival promoter Joe Gibb said.

Razorlight, pictured at RockNess, make a Highland festival return at Belladrum in August.
Razorlight, pictured at RockNess, make a Highland festival return at Belladrum in August.

"We are also thrilled by the appearance of Razorlight at Bella whose last festival appearance in the Highlands was to headline RockNess in 2008."

Also announced is a Belladrum debut for singer-songwriter Billy Bragg who blends folk and punk styles in protest songs and romantic ballads, while another familiar television face, comedian Adrian Edmondson, brings his folk band The Bad Shepherds who play punk songs with traditional folk instruments.

In a Scottish festival exclusive, special guests Frightened Rabbit will return to the event for the first time since 2012, since when they have also enjoyed Top Ten album success with their release Pedestrian Verse.

Blues rockers The Temperance Movement, led by Glasgow-born vocalist Phil Campbell, are one of the headliners on the second, Hothouse, stage. The band have garnered a strong following after releasing their first studio album in 2013.

Veteran British roots band The Mekons will make an appearance on the Black Isle Brewery Grassroots Stage, while indie band Casual Sex, rapidly picking up a reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting acts and featuring a local boy in bass player Pete Masson, are also announced for the festival.

Other artists so far include Glasgow ska band Esperanza, who survived the Clutha Bar helicopter tragedy; Danny & The Champions Of The World; The Big Fat Electric Ceilidh Band; Call To Mind; Randolph’s Leap; Dorec-a-Belle; The Lorelei; Scooty & The Skyhooks; Mad Dog McRea; Caledonian Ceilidh Trail and Holly Atkinson from Inverness, the 2013 winner of Bella’s Got Talent.

Many more artists are still to be announced.

Full weekend, Saturday, child (aged 12 and under), and electrical hook-up campervan and caravan e-tickets can be purchased by going to the ticket link on the festival’s web site www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk.

Campervan and caravan tickets for the event have sold out already, two months ahead of last year, and sales of tickets to the event were running at well above last year’s rate, even before any line-up announcement.

The festival has sold out each of the past five years and fans are urged to buy early to avoid disappointment.

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