Frank Finlayson introduces the next batch of acts announced to play Belladrum 2012.

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We may well be on the approach to Rockness but it’s the turn of Belladrum to take centre stage and add a number of acts to its listing. Some ads for the festival in local publications have seen a few names slipping on unannounced, but tonight they, and a good few others, can be revealed formally. The word from Camp Bella, with a few interjections from me, is as follows:

The South – formerly known as The Beautiful South – have been added to the line-up for the ninth Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (3rd & 4th August 2012; Beauly, Inverness-shire). Comprising two lead singers from the original band – Dave Hemingway and Ali Wheeler – plus other original members, The South will delight Bella’s main stage audience with sensational hits such as ‘Song For Whoever’, ‘Perfect Ten’, ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Don’t Marry Her’, ‘You Keep It All In’, ‘Old Red Eyes Is Back’ and many others. As The Beautiful South, the band produced ten studio albums, five greatest hits compilations, thirty-four chart singles and 15 million record sales over 10 years. We’re just hoping that the appearance isn’t as fraught as their February appearance at the Ironworks!

Returning to Bella on the Hothouse Stage line-up on Friday is Northern Ireland’s incredible Foy Vance, who has been handpicked by Ed Sheeran to tour with him this year. Foy last played the festival in 2005.

A Mystery Special Guest has been added to the main stage line up on the Friday evening “The identity of this artist will not be revealed until they appear on the Garden Stage at 1830 on Friday 3rd August,” said festival promoter Joe Gibbs. “But – and here’s a hint – judging by their previous receptions at Bella, they’re going to be a popular choice.”

Now this one has got us guessing! so much we have put our guesses here.

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Joining these at Bella are: Man Like Me with their infectious ska/grime/ indie songs; The Magnetic North bringing Orcadian connections and comprising Erland & Simon from Erland & The Carnival and singer/orchestral arranger Hannah Peel; the Nottingham indie five piece Dog Is Dead; two Blackpool singer-songwriters Karima Francis, whose sensational voice brings out the goosebumps, and Rae Morris; young Irish singer-songwriter Marc O’Reilly; acoustic popsters Ellen &The Escapades from Leeds; Highland blues/bluegrass trio The Ballachulish Hellhounds; Inverness Celtic band Hoodja; Scots bands Make Sparks and Zombia Militia; and Highland youth Celtic groups Feis Rois and TMC Youth Fiddlers.

We can’t talk highly enough of Karima Francis who performed an intimate gig upstairs at the Ironworks in September last year. Also, anyone wanting to find out a bit more about Rae Morris could do no worse than pop along to Mad Hatters on 13 June to make your own judgement. The quite excellent Dog is Dead may have had a select few watching when they shipped up in March but expect a bigger turnout as the word spreads about this 5 piece. Nice to see Zombie Militia quietly slipping on to the bill. Ok, maybe quietly isn’t the best word to describe their addition.

But it’s not all good news :(

Singer songwriter Lianne La Havas has had to cancel her performance at Belladrum due to US touring commitments.

So these are the latest additions to the line-up, with a tantalising special guest thrown in for good measure! I’ll just leave it to Bella to round it off with the earlier declarations and the all important where to get your tickets. Surely you’ve got them by now?

In response to popular demand, Belladrum has printed a new batch of tickets for availability through high street agents. So from Friday 1st June, hard tickets are back on sale from the following agents: In Inverness – Eden Court, the Ironworks, Mania and Hootananny’s; Dingwall – Sweet Treats; Elgin – Sight & Sound; Aberdeen – One Up; Beauly – Morrisons; Kiltarlity – Post Office; Edinburgh and Glasgow – Tickets Scotland. Weekend and Saturday e-tickets are still available from

Belladrum has sold out each of the past three years.. Advance adult weekend tickets are £95 and Saturday tickets are £65. They include parking and camping, except for campervans and caravans which will be charged £50 per vehicle or £130 to include electrical hook-up.. As in previous years, tickets for children 12 & under are free.

You can read our interview with Ali Wheeler here, and an review from THAT gig, here.Of course we have all the previous announcements of Belladrum 2012 here.

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