Belladrum 2015. A preview.

Imogen Islay Hay playing the Ironworks
Imogen Islay Hay playing the Ironworks

With Bella just around the corner I am sure lots of you are like me still looking up/listening to the last few bands and colour coordinating them on your spread sheet, word document, note book or even just scrawling them on a scrap of paper.

It always seems the closer it gets the more there is on offer to delight within this amazing weekend and getting some information ready to cross reference with your lanyard is (for me) essential to the formulation of a festival plan, even if that is right up until the car is packed and ready to go.

I first heard Imogen Isla Hay in 2012 when she was 14 entered in the Inverness Music Festival playing the clarsach (harp) and singing her own song ‘Little Birds’. It is a song filled with comprehension well beyond her years, while at the same time seeing things so simply, as they should be. I feel blessed to have seen her perform each year since then and see her talent and confidence blossom.

Having performed at the Winter Showcase in December she can be found on the Free Range Folk stage at 3pm on Friday and Shipping Forecast 9pm on Saturday, two chances for her to delight you all with her beautiful song writing, delicate harp playing and gentle Scottish voice. She has an amazing future ahead, catch her now.

Keeping it local Elephants Sessions were the best crazy dancing and twirling finale of BATB2014 anyone could ask for and this year they are at Bella helping to get Friday going on the Grassroots stage Friday at 12.45 at. If you want to get your cheeks glowing and a spring in your step early head here. They may even have a few slower tracks for those a little sleepy, but you will need to go to find out.

Smilie from Elephant Sessions
Smilie from Elephant Sessions

In complete contrast all the way from Rhuddlan in Wales, Goat Roper Rodeo Band team up a double base with 2 guitars to offer beautiful acoustic country blues. No idea when they are on and never seen them before but will be finding on the lanyard sharpish and hoping for some swaying in the sunshine just about the right time.

Also from southern climates Tantz’s from Leeds who have a jazzy, baltic, gypsy sound that is super fun and can get really fast and exciting! And did I mention a clarinet plays a big part?!Described on the bands website as a ‘concoction of hard hitting Klezmer and manic beats’, Klezmer which I just discovered is traditional music, most often played in Jewish villages across eastern European countries by nomads. Tantz have taken this style and brought it to light and life again adding elements of modern tempo and rhythm. Bring your dancing shoes!

With so much all over the place Bella is like visiting the most magical village that only appears for a few special days. Where nature meets music, art, food, drink, fun and much more. Where even if you plan there’s a high chance you might miss your favourite band because you were distracted by bubbles on the breeze. Those bubbles will most likely lead you to a corner you might not have seen or into an old/new friend, the adventures continue.

Check out IGigs coverage of Belladrum, also get what’s left of the tickets and upgrades for Belladrum 2015.

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I can’t promise you intellectual chat about structure or comparisons to other bands but I am going to try and put the feelings I have into text. That being said you might hear the word tingle more than occasionally and other words like fantastic, amazing and delighted are favourites! Honestly I am only learning about instruments and how music goes together, possibly as most of my 20’s I was reaching for lazers. Live music baffles, intrigues and delights me!! However I have not a musical making bone in my body but I love to dance and make the occasional badge for talented musical folks. ;-) If you enjoy excited ramblings about music tickling my senses as I learn and fall more in love with it, then you might like things I try to write.