Published: 22/02/2013 15:02 - Updated: 22/02/2013 15:19

Winter Tradition weathers the Highlands

Written byby Margaret Chrystall

The Winter Tradtion from Edinburgh for Inverness date.
The Winter Tradtion from Edinburgh for Inverness date.

EDINBURGH four-piece The Winter Tradition have reason to have mixed feelings about the Highlands.

The band – who were originally called The Void – return to Inverness on Saturday to play the Netsounds Takeover night at Mad Hatters with Aberdeen’s the Marionettes.

They’re looking forward to it.

And they’re also keen to hook back up with the Highland sound and lights team they now plan to take with them to all their live gigs, where possible.

But ask them about their worst-ever tour overnight stay experiences and Inverness supplies it – a cold night in their van in Tesco car park.

But then again, one of drummer Calum Mouat’s best memories of a gig is ... well, let him tell it.

"We’ve had so much fun at our gigs up there.

"I remember at the Newmarket in Thurso, it always seemed to be some themed fancy dress night.

"Once I just looked up to see Michael Jackson dancing with Lady GaGa – I thought someone had put something in my drink!"

But singer Mark Morrow is pleased with the building crowds The Winter Tradition attracts these days.

"We’ve not got a huge following in Inverness, but every time we go back there are always more people there. We always try to include Inverness, Thurso and the Highlands.

"And we’re happy to be working with Netsounds again.

"At goNorth they had us in to record in the Rockhopper studio [a mini-studio in a vintage caravan]. It is probably one of the strangest things we’ve done, but it worked out really well."

It was at goNorth that the band first came across Inverness soundman Calum Martin in action and knew they wanted to work with him and lighting man Nick Holden again.

Thankfully, when they return to play Brew At The Bog for the first time in May, they will probably stay with Calum – no Tesco car park this time around.

Mark laughed: "I think that might have been one of the worst places we’ve had to sleep.

"Though last summer there was a venue in Sheffield with sleeping arrangements organised beforehand.

"But when we turned up a guy called Sausage who ran the venue showed us to a room upstairs with rat traps and about eight sofas.

"And in Dundee one of us ended up having to sleep in the back of a Ford Fiesta which was not the best."


But The Winter Tradition are used to making the best of things.

The launch night of their much-praised debut album Gradients was an example last July.

Mark said: "We ended up launching it at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh which was totally unexpected.

"It was meant to happen at Cabaret Voltaire which is smaller, but it flooded and we had to shift the gig on the day!

"We literally went around all the Edinburgh venues asking if we could put the gig on there.

"At about 5pm we finally got the Liquid Rooms. It was totally unexpected that we were playing that big a venue, so it was scary because we didn’t really plan for it.

"But it worked really well. We let people know about the change online and if it had gone ahead at the original venue, we’d have had to turn people away."

The band’s favourite movie to watch in spare touring time is Jurassic park.

"Jurassic Park has so many classic moments," laughed Mark.

But unlike the dinosaurs, The Winter Tradition have successfully evolved to survive their own climate change.

Netsounds Takeover at Mad Hatters, Inverness, on Saturday, features The Winter Tradition and The Marionettes.

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