The Sweet Melindas are one of the acts playing at Netsounds Unsigned Showcase at Mad Hatters on the 18th of March 2012. Frank Finlayson tracked down Dave Bales of the band to fire a few questions in his direction.

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FF: The last time we caught up with you was prior to your slot with KOBI at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh. How did it go that night?

DB: It was a really great night.  It was fantastic playing at such a prestigious venue as Sneaky Pete’s, which has played host to bands like Mumford and Sons, Frightened Rabbit, Ben Howard and Admiral Fallow.  We also learnt a lot from playing with the more experienced bands and have taken what we learnt forward onto other gigs.

FF: This will be your first gig in your native area, how does it feel to finally playing up north?

DB: We’re really excited to be playing up north!  Five of us are from the north of Scotland and we’re looking forward to showing friends and family, who have had not had the opportunity to see us down in the central belt, just how much we’ve developed as a band. We’ve all been to nights in Madhatters before, so it will be great to be on the stage this time, instead of being in the crowd.  The crowds are always better up north and we can’t wait.

FF: So does this mean that you will be taking quite a crowd along with you?

DB: We certainly hope so.  There’s a lot of the family faithful coming along, which may raise the average age of the crowd, but we expect a lot of friends from our respective towns to be attending as well.  It’s sure to be a good night!

FF: Are you looking forward to the summer, what are your plans for then and beyond?

DB: We’re looking to play a couple of the festivals up north – it would be tremendous to play somewhere like Rockness or Belladrum.  We’re also looking to develop a few more songs before summer.  Maybe manage to graduate as well!

FF: How easy, or difficult, is it to balance being students with making music with the band?

DB: To be honest, as fourth year students at uni, finding the balance between pushing the band forward and continuing with our studies is not always easy.  However, we all love it so much that it doesn’t really feel like a chore.  If anything, it makes a welcome distraction from the horrors of our final year.  We just have to make sure we still pass our exams!

FF: Which one song do you feel sums up The Sweet Melindas, and why?

DB: Base of Your Soul, because it the first song that we played together and, in years to come, I think it’s the song that I think we’ll remember most fondly.  It blends our love of folk music and indie music with a Highland twist.  We’ll be playing it at Madhatters, so you can decide for yourself.

The Sweet Melindas are playing as part of the NetSounds Unsigned Presents, at Mad Hatters joined by Masters in France, Cherrie Fosphate ( see Cherri Fosphate talk to invernessGiGs) and Axis of, on the 18th of March.

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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