The music festival scene for the west coast in the summer of 2012 is red h0t in more ways than one.
Yes, the Chilli Pipers of the Red Hot variety are playing Tiree – under the topline Toploader and with Skerryvore; The Vatersay Boys; Emily Smith; Rura; Face the West; Donald MacDonald and the Islands; Gunna Sound; Skipinnish; Trail West; Anderson, McGinty, Wesbter, Wrad and Fisher; Goitse, Kenny Bogan, Chunks – and then some.
All of this, with the Tiree Music Festival Community Villlage and Campsite – hosting music workshops, family activities and local food stalls – will hit what they call ‘The Hawaii of the North’ on 20th and 21st July. Get your ferry tickets booked now – and tickets for the Tiree Music Festival are available here at its website.
Then, further up the west coast for the serendipitous palindromic Loopallu Fe4stival at Ullapool where the Fratellis are now confirmed as the frontline act – on 21st and 22nd September.
After months of speculation the wraps have finally come off and the first acts are being announced for this year’s eighth Loopallu Festival programme.
The festival organisers are ecstatic having been chosen as the first festival outing for newly reformed greats – The Fratellis.
‘We’re over the moon The Fratellis have chosen to make their festival comeback at Loopallu since reforming recently. With a back catalogue of hits like theirs, I challenge anyone not to jump around. I can’t wait. Coupled with a long overdue return of festival favourites The Dangleberries attention has now got to turn to booking some fine weather!’ says Robert Hicks.
The Fratellis will certainly set the crowd alight with a back catalogue of chart hits that include Chelsea Dagger, Henrietta and Whistle for the Choir. John Fratelli has also built a big audience with his Codeine Velvet Club and solo ventures and the live show is something else – believe me!.
Also confirmed for this first batch of acts is Spean Bridge sensation and Shinty legend Gary Innes, who makes his Loopallu debut with Celtic/Gaelic cross-over act Manran.
The boys, fronted by young Mr Norrie ‘Tago’ MacIver on vocals and with the Fort William’s Ewen Henderson’s stylish play on pipes and fiddle augmenting the five piece – they are described as ‘an exceptionally talented bunch of young guys’ by Donald Shaw of Celtic Connections and Capercaillie.
Radio One favourite Jake Bugg (pictured above) makes a return to Ullapool after enjoying his Highland acoustic tour at the start of the year. Jake Bugg is set to be one of the big break through acts of 2012 and a highlight of the Loopallu weekend. Hicks is delighted …’We’re also really pleased to have man of the moment Jake Bugg coming north. His little Highland Tour at the start of the year obviously had an effect on him. Catch him before he goes stellar’.
Loopallu doubles the population of the village for the weekend. As well as the usual eclectic line up of acts appearing at the festival big top and the fringe events after hours in the villages pubs, the festival will again provide a selection of fine food and drink from around the Highlands as well as the usual warm Ullapool welcome.
I think I feel another wee road trip coming on…me the tent and the big Rover heading North West with a song in the air as Calum Kennedy would say.
Tickets for this year are priced at a very generous £60 for the weekend and £75 for weekend plus camping.
Weekend and Camping ticket holders wishing to bring campervans and caravans will be charged £25 per vehicle.
As, since the beginning, tickets for children 12 & under will be free (though they need to be accompanied by an adult).
Campbell Cameron, Music Editor