The fourth of our month long end of year reviews, goes to fervent gig goer, Linda Williamson nee Wilson….

Coast 2011 019 thumb - Linda Williamson reviews 2011

Me and the lads from Coast, taken after their gig in Strathpeffer in August 2011.

What’s your involvement in the music scene?

I have no involvement in any bands, nor am I actively involved in the local music scene…. I just love going to gigs and love to have fun. As you will see, I do not travel far in my quest to see and hear good music……we have plenty talent coming up to see us here in the Highlands. My heart lies with traditional and Celtic influenced music and just wish I had enough time to go and see everyone that plays in and around the Inverness area.

How has 2011 been for you musically?

2011 has been a bit of a stand out year for me. It was an absolute pleasure and joy for me to have seen both Big Country and Simple Minds for the first time ever. The gig was a very wet affair, but hey…it’s only rain, we soon dried out!! Belladrum 2011 and I managed to hear, for the first time, a Glasgow based band called Cousti…. I know one of the members, Matt Morrow, so it was great to hear them play live after waiting to see them for so long!! Huge downside of 2011 was the news that The Side were splitting up and going their separate ways….. I have been a huge Side fan and the news they were splitting was very hard to take. Who knows if they were just about on the verge of making it big?

What was the best local act this year, and why?

My best local act for 2011 has to be the lad from my hometown of Invergordon, the hugely talented, Davy Cowan, who launched his latest CD, The Journey, at The Ironworks in April.

What was the best non-local act you have seen this year?

Best non-local act, this is an easy choice for me!! I am a massive fan of Southampton based Celtic Rock Band, Coast, who are managed by Iain Bayne from Runrig. Coast travelled to The Ironworks in May to launch their second CD, The Turning Stone. The gig was well attended by locals and fans who had travelled from Denmark, Germany, England and Northern Ireland as well as from all corners of Scotland.

The band treated the Highland folk to another date in Strathpeffer Pavillion in August as part of a mini tour which took in Portree, Stornoway and Benbecula. Paul Eastham, the lead singer and his brother, Chris, (percussionist) spent some of their childhood living in the Western Isles, so this was an emotional and very moving trip back to their childhood days.

What do I want from Santa?

Apart from world peace and all children living in a decent homelife with no deprivation whatsover?? I would love a decent camera that lets me take decent gig photos….. I just can’t take a good photo of a band…. If Santa reads this, it would have to be idiot-proof and easy to work!!

What’s your hopes for the music scene in 2012?

Well as a die hard, Riggie….one dream and hope was realised this week with the announcement that Runrig are to play their only outdoor Scottish gig in Inverness in August 2012. I also would love to see a Celtic/Traditional influenced festival held in the Highlands.These festivals work well in places like Tonder, Denmark, and I think there is an opening for such an annual event in the summer months…. think Wolfstone, Runrig, Ivan Drever, Davy Cowan, Blair Douglas, Skerryvore, Peatbog Faeries, Vatersay Boys…and you get the picture….one giant ceilidh on a bonny summers day in the Highlands….

What are your plans for 2012?

My plans for 2012 are to travel to Southampton to see Coast play a gig in their hometown. I also plan to pluck up the courage to survive an entire weekend at Belladrum and that I can get over my portaloo phobia to camp with my friends!!

Got anything to plug?

All I want to plug, is to ask that people check out Coast…. they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love them and am sure they are going to be back playing in the Highlands in 2012…. I would hate to think that someone missed them because they hadn’t heard of them!!

Thanks to Linda Wilson

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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