On Thursday Mad Hatters played host to a Birchwood Highland fundraising night with 4 local acts taking to the stage.

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First up was singer/songwriter Hannah Finlayson who played a set predominantly of her own material. This is the first time that Hannah has played since being mentored by Peter Noble as part of Music Plus. The guidance that she had been given was evident in the reconstruction of many of her songs giving them a greater maturity.

 

 

James Mackenzie needs no introduction and did what he does best giving an energetic half hour engaging his audience and also leading the crowd in some very effective audience participation during ‘Something I’m Not Telling You’. James knows how to play a crowd and once again he did it well tonight.
James Mackenzie needs no introduction and did what he does best giving an energetic half hour engaging his audience and also leading the crowd in some very effective audience participation during ‘Something I’m Not Telling You’. James knows how to play a crowd and once again he did it well tonight.

 Autumn Sun were the third act of the night. Three UHI students who are carving out their own sound with the rapping and bass playing Ben Lightley complementing the more traditional frontman Neil Cannon. It’s a set up that works really well with John Aitken giving the drive from the drums. Their reworking of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ is a version that really sticks with you.

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Final act of the night was the Dougie Burns Band. For anyone that has a copy of Dougie’s album ‘California Cadillac’ will surely be familiar with Dougie’s instantly recognisable tunes. Although recorded with a full band I have mostly heard Dougie either solo or with Al Davies. Tonight was a treat having a full band perform the tracks to full effect.

 

All in all a good night of music with quick turnarounds all put together for a very worthy cause.

Follow the link to find more information on the support that Birchwood Highland offers.

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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