Any Scottish fans of James unable to get tickets to their sell-out appearances will get another chance to see the band this summer at the fourth Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (August 10 & 11, Belladrum Estate, Beauly, Inverness-shire)
The legendary alternative rock band who came out of Manchester in the ‘80s head up another exciting, varied and innovative bill at the festival whose reputation as Scotland's premier independent family friendly music event is firmly established. The festival now offers over 100 acts over a wide range of genres and spread over six stages. James headline on Saturday 11 August.
The Magic Numbers will headline on Friday 10 August in what is a Scottish festival exclusive. Their much anticipated appearance promises to be a defining moment of the Belladrum weekend as the brother/sister foursome perform their inimitable dreamy, sunshine indie-pop, including material from the critically acclaimed new second album ‘Those the Brokes’.
Also featuring at the event are celebrated UK reggae roots band Misty In Roots, centrepiece of the Rock Against Racism movement, and The Alabama 3 who make a welcome reappearance at the festival; Julian Cope, formerly of post punk band Teardrop Explodes, heads the line-up on the MacRae & Dick Hothouse Stage on the Friday. And Fife folk maverick and former punk rocker Jackie Leven appears with Robert Fisher of the Willard Grant Conspiracy and Michael Weston King of the The Good Sons.
Scots indie talent on show at Bella includes the 1990s, whose music has been likened to ‘a blonde getting out of a car’, The Dykeenies, Aereogramme and Crash My Model Car. Other bands include psychedelic pop exponents The Earlies, UK alt country cult heroes The Broken Family Band and London five piece Ben’s Brother.
The Black Isle Brewery Grassroots Stage features new Scottish singer-songwriter sensations Amy MacDonald and Kris Drever. Also on that stage are Scots seventies vets String Driven Thing, alt Americana band 6 Day Riot, Belfast alt pop artist Duke Special, rock and roll singer- songwriter Wreckless Eric with Amy Rigby, alt country Piney Gir, Canadian folk rockers Loomer, country and western singer Tom Russell from Texas, Aberdeen folk band The Lorelei, and singer-songwriters Martha Tilston, Nick Harper, and Ben Taylor son of Carly Simon and James Taylor.
After missing a year last year, Skye Celtic rockers The Peatbog Faeries are back for their third appearance at Bella; they are joined by Celtic piping virtuosos The Fred Morrison Band, veteran duo Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, Bruce MacGregor's Blazin' Fiddles, Breton Celtic musicians Skilda and the experimental Fitkin Wall which features Sutherland harpist Ruth Wall
A world music element will be brought by the Senegalese singer-songwriter Nuru Kane and his band Bayefall Gnawa who played at the original Festival in the Desert in Mali in 2004.
The Venus Flytrap Stage, besides featuring theatre, cabaret and burlesque, also offers music from the some of the wilder reaches of experimentation including Tunng, The Strange Death of Liberal England and psychedelic folk band Circulus who combine modern and medieval instruments to produce music which has been described as ‘a fist fight between a group of under-nourished sixteenth century court musicians and an acid-soaked bunch of hippy rockers from the early seventies.’
Cabaret and burlesque on the Venus Flytrap will include Glasgow’s Club Noir and The Flash Monkey Cabaret Casbah, fresh from London’s Café de Paris. Also on that stage will be Brighton’s Fake Bush who delivers an affectionate pastiche of Kate Bush, Slow Club and Minima who perform music they have written to accompany a simultaneous showing of the avant-garde classic French film ‘ The Seashell and the Clergyman’.
The BBC Radio Scotland and HAIL Seedlings stage for Scottish emerging talent will also return to the event this year, with artists for this stage being selected by a panel representing the sponsors and the festival.
A new stage sponsored by Highland Solicitors Property Centre will feature comedy curated by the Glasgow Comedy Festival, poetry, debate, interviews and performance art.
As in previous years, there will be plenty of entertainment and things to do for the 2000 or so children who attend the festival. Also at the event will be the Hielan’ Fields with complimentary medicine and treatment and plenty of alt retail experience from the large variety of traders there.
Capacity at the increasingly popular family-friendly event will remain the same at 12,000 in 2007. "We sense the festival is reaching its natural size in terms of the site and of the feel of the event and in terms of wanting to keep it as an event based around the Highland community," said festival director Joe Gibbs
"However, with the event’s reputation rapidly growing in stature, not increasing our capacity will inevitably put pressure on ticket availability so we would urge family festival-goers to buy."
The festival was nominated for three awards in the UK Festival Awards 2006 – Best Small Festival, Best Family Festival and the Shelter Award for Social Responsibility.
Tickets to Bella ’07 are weekend only and cost £70 which includes parking and camping (tickets for children under 12 are free -maximum three per adult).
On-line ticket sales:
SECextra and Tickets Scotland
Ticketmaster 24hrs on 0870 169 0100
Eden Court on 01463 234234
One-Up on 01224 642662
Tickets Scotland on 0870 220 1116
SECxtra on 08700 132652
Aberdeen – One-Up
Edinburgh – Tickets Scotland
Glasgow – SECxtra and Tickets Scotland
Invergordon – JMF Records
Inverness – Eden Court Debenhams, Hootananny and Mania
Lochcarron – The Julienne Scotson Shop
Plenty more acts remain to be announced.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival has been supported by the Highland 2007 Regional Events Programme which is funded by EventScotland.