The Parmaviolets have been building up a fair bit of momentum recently with 2012 surely too be the year to both consolidate and grow. Barrie Maclennan of the band casts his eyes on 2011.

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What’s your involvement in the music scene (gig goer, musician, etc etc)?

I started playing piano at 5 and got to grade 8 then moved on to guitar. Since then  I’ve gigged regularly as a lead guitarist in the local music scene for 18 years including festivals, biker rally’s , marquee’s and pubs.
I am frequent gig goer and seeker of good local music. I’m currently backing my family record label Ramus Records that was brought to light through a single with great interest from Muff Winwood.

How has 2011 been for you musically?

The 2011 Local Scene is growing and some really good bands have come out. i have to say a big hats of to “Terry O’Connell” at the Ceol-Mor for laying a platform for local original bands to push from ! Not to mention Shaun Arnold @ Go north 2011, Steve Robertson and Rob Ellen (these guys are a great help to the local scene).
i just wish more local people and pubs would support the original bands rather than go and watch a one man bad or a band pump out ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ in the background of there night like the Friday before,

I think it will change when the university campus opens out. The Market Bar and Hoots are still paving the way for pubs in inverness to follow with regards to music .

What was the best local act this year. and why?

The most exciting has been Last Summer Effect, Leonard Jones Potential & Zombie Militia due to performance, promotion, interest and talk from other musicians.

The ones that have caught my eye have been .. Last Summer Effect, The Boosts, Little Mill Of Happiness, Last Summer Effect, Thousand Stars, Sara Bills & The Hasbeens, KOBI, Whisky River Band, Megan Blyth, Iain McLaughlin & The Outsiders, Roadway, He Slept on 57, Swamp Radio, Zombie Militia, Graham Brown, Abigail Grey, Leonard Jones Potential, The Parma Violets .. they have all been fantastic and can’t wait to see what they are doing in 2012 !!

What was the best non-local act you have seen this year?

Red Kites & Chasing Owls … check them out on facebook !!

What was your favourite music experience this year?

Belladrum 2011 Seedlings Stage & Black Isle Brewery Jocktoberfest 2011

What do you want from Santa?

Gibson SG

What’s your hopes for the music scene in 2012?

I hope that more bands network with each other and swap gigs so they can gig in each others towns and cities, it’s easy to think your fantastic in a small city and have 1000 views on YouTube, it doesn’t mean that your a star ! There are a lot of bands out there working really hard to tour around and get there music out. That’s what it is all about. It will really expand the music scene here.

I was in Arbroath at The Bells Rock Blues festival which was spread across 18 – 20 pubs every one of them have music all through the day and they were all packed out to the walls, why is Inverness not running something similar ? is it all down to audience support ?

What are your plans for 2012?

Support the local music scene and pushing Ramus Records also keep playing guitar and piano.

Got anything to plug?

There is a lot of EP’s and Albums on the way in the New Year, I will be very interested in the response to The Parma Violets release and live and acoustic tour after there success at Belladrum 2011 Seedlings Stage.

If your quick you will see The Parmaviolets at The Ironworks on the 27th of December tickets via www.ironworksvenue.com.

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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs