In the lead up to Belladrum 2013 we have caught up with various acts that are taking to the stage, but we have not ventured past the Garden and Seedlings stage. So we were grateful for the opportunity to catch up with Little Kingdom a new folk duo based in Edinburgh and Aberdeen who will be opening the Free Range Stage at midday on Friday the 2nd of August.

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The duo, who originate from Alford in Aberdeenshire are comprised of Fraser Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitars, keyboards, percussion) and Samir Diab (lead guitars, rhythm guitars). They described how they came together; “Both of us used to do our own thing musically; Fraser was a solo singer-songwriter, Samir was an instrumental guitarist. We then both collaborated on a song called “Leave It In The Past” which Samir wrote. It turned out being a good song, so we carried on writing, recording, and began gigging regularly in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.”

Describing themselves as “Folky and (hopefully) fun”, they explain the process of creating their music; “Most of our songs, with the exception of one or two, start with Samir writing the main parts on guitar. Fraser then takes the raw guitar piece, adds bits and bobs here and there, usually on a whim. A couple of our songs have been ones that Fraser used to play by himself which Samir then added lead guitar parts to.”

Whilst finding it difficult to identify a song that defines the band they acknowledge “Greet the Sun” is a shared favourite, explaining “because it’s fun to play, and people at our gigs have reacted well to it – dancing, clapping, stomping. It’s got a fun, good-time vibe to it.”

As for influence, with tongue in cheek (we hope), they reply;  “First and foremost: Justin Bieber. We both have posters of him on our walls which we kiss every night before going to sleep.” Looking for common ground they mention acts such as Mumford & Sons, John Butler Trio and Newton Faulkner. However they are keen to add “there are lists and lists of other artists who influence us individually, which influence both our contributions to music writing for the band.”

At the moment they have been gigging regularly taking in Aberdeen venues Holburn Street, Café Drummonds and Tunnels, whilst also playing Edinburgh, where they return to busk during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 17th-19th August.

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And of course the festival slot. “Our slot at Belladrum is 12 noon, FRIDAY 2nd AUGUST, on the Free Range Folk Stage. This is our first time playing any festival slot, so we’re really excited to do it, and hope we deliver a good set. We’re also looking forward to the actual festival itself as neither of us has been before.” “We’ll make you bounce” they promise any festival goers who venture to catch them at Bella.

Check them out on Facebook and you can see our other coverage of Belladrum including interviews with Twin Atlantic and Dougie Maclean.