March sees the first festival of 2013 in the north with the MV Festival taking place from the 1st to the 3rd in that pleasure strip known as Aviemore.

MV LOGO SEP 2012 FINAL 1

Fear not those anticipating sub zero temperatures in the confines of a festival tent, this festival takes place in a range of venues within Aviemore and also a wee turn out the ski road at the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel. The hardcore outdoor types are also advised that DJ Arnivore and DJ Shiny will be knocking out some tunes on the slopes of Cairn Gorm on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

It’s not just music, but comedy too, and with the programme announced there is a wide range of bands and acts to suit all tastes.

The Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel is the “main stage” of the festival with comedy shows on each of the three evenings of the festival and late night headline acts. Friday night is rounded off with Largs trio Brown Bear and the Bandits supported by the bold sound of Blue Lip Feel. Saturday afternoon has a strong local representation with Be Like Pablo and Toby Michaels Rolling Damned, and topped of with by a performance from Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell formerly of Bad Company & Friends. Those friends just so happen to be local rockers, Roadway! Following on from the comedy in the evening we have Katie Sutherland, formerly of Pearl and the Puppets, who will be releasing an album sometime this year, which I have heard, and it’s good! Rounding off the night and taking us into Sunday morning are Toploader. With new material they are setting out to show us that there is more to them than just Dancing in the Moonlight. The Sunday afternoon music session includes Belladrum favourites, The Dangleberries and the accomplished Finding Albert.

The Cairngorm Hotel is hosted on Friday night and Saturday afternoon by comedian Billy Kirkwood, with Iszi Lawrence taken up the mantle on the Saturday night. The Saturday afternoon is dedicated to performers who are all under 18. A line up that includes Hollie Atkinson, Tammy Miller and Emily Middlemas, it is open to all ages and may be an opportunity to spot a star of tomorrow. Later that night more seasoned performers, but still youthful, Last Summer Effect and Megan Blyth, amongst others, have their moments to impress.

2 Hoots Club at the Winking Owl has two nights of music. Friday night is hosted by Iszi Lawrence and features Simon Patchett, Emily Middlemas, Kellie Buchanan and Lori McTear. It is the turn of Tony Jameson to introduce the Saturday night acts who consist the fine talents of Cami Ramsey, Sid Innes, Joanne Summer and Jemma Tweedie. Both nights move well into the wee small hours with DJ sets until 3.

Mackenzies Inn is a stone’s throw from the 2 Hoots Club and has a similar set up over the same two nights. On Friday night Tony Jameson gives us Freespeech, Tammy Miller, Kirsty Marquis and Nori “Tago” MacIver. A day later Billy Kirkwood takes up the reins and delivers Anna Sweeney, The Oxides, Beccy Atherton and Purple Divide.

Super Panther, you may know it under its previous incarnation, Cafe Mambo, also gets in on the act with DJs playing late night/early morning sets.
For those coming for a bit of comedy to mix in with the music, each show at the Coylumbridge will have the same acts on each night, so that gives you three opportunities to be entertained by Terry Alderton, Andrew Maxwell, Phil Nichol, Craig Campbell, Tony Jameson, Iszi Lawrence and Billy Kirkwood.

MV 2013 Tickets

The festival has a further two good reasons to give it your support with fundraising for their two nominated charities, Disability Snowsport UK and CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association Scotland).

Read our interview with the MV festival organiser Stephen Barbour.

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Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy.A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre.Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy.You can contact Frank direct via frankieboyfin@gmail.com