Picks for 2013

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So it’s no mean feat trying to figure out who makes it onto our list. Last year we backed a massive array of talent and by all accounts did not that bad at all, Little Mill of Happiness, Whisky River Band,KOBI, Last Summer Effect the list goes on and on (Ed. – it doesn’t really just another five acts).

So this year it’s worth reminding folk of how we pick ‘em, well they have to be local, they have to have played together prior to the middle of December and they can’t have been in the list from 2011. So we are looking at talent across the genres at different levels of their careers that show a bit of promise. Without further ado, and in no order whatsoever, here is our list:

76 Knots

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When 76 Knots burst onto the scene we really didn’t know what had hit us. A barnstorming performances at the Summer Showcases at the Ironworks made people sit up and take notice. Add a bit of competition at the Eagle’s Battle of the Bands for which they took the honours and we knew we had an act to reckon with. They may have done the local circuit this year, but next year should see their stock rise. A couple of festival slots hopefully should be on the cards, as they rip their way through the summer.

Read our 76 Knots interview from October.

Purple Divide

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There is something quite irresistible about Purple Divide. They have the catchiest of indie pop tunes and a cohesiveness belying the band’s tender age. 2012 was good for the lads but next year can be better. With a growing support I would expect them to step up a gear with the release of their second EP, which loaded with more memorable songs can expect a more prominent stage at the forthcoming year’s festivals. They have the potential to go far, and next year should see them take further steps in the right direction.

Read our latest interview with Purple Divide talking about their forthcoming EP.


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The rock band have a year of very well documented ups and downs, (keep an eye on the site for an interview with Ross McEwen from the band on New Years Day). Despite the lows, it is clear that the band are on the up. The second EP is currently being recorded and the band have already announced dates for their collaboration with Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell.

Read our latest interview with Ross on New Year’s Day.

Jemma Tweedie

The 19 year old self taught singer songwriter from Nairn calls upon the likes of Johnny Cash and Ellie Goulding as influences.She recently supported Charlotte Church at Bogbain, and has been winning fans during her local gigs. Tracks from her debut Ep, “Two Hands”, have been played by Dermott Leary, Marion Scott, Tom Robinson to name but a few. Ending 2012 with a flurry of gigs in Nairn, Inverness and Classic Grand, Glasgow, the momentum is due to follow into 2013, starting with the promise of a new EP in Spring time.


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Lionel arrived on the scene in the second half of the year, storming a to the final of The Eagle’s Battle of the Bands, running the aforementioned 76 Knots close. A three piece, with an indie edge, and further heavier side lurking below, we expect Lionel will make their mark in the coming year. Very much a word of mouth band, you’ll struggle to find any of their material online, Lionel are a band that you will need to go out and hear. And that’s no bad thing…

Our Lionel interview from October.

Matchstick Maker

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Duncan Overmeer a beautiful man as rugged as the west coast from where he hails grabbed my attention this year as an engaging performer and evocative lyricist.Captured by the bitter sweet tone of his voice this artist soothes yet provokes through his well crafted songs that resonate in the heart of the listener.

 A captivating storyteller with light in his eyes ‘The Matchstick Maker’ makes you feel like the only person in the room, wrapping you in the warmth of his voice and offering an honest acoustic sound that lures the ear to the message at the heart of every song. With the launch his ‘5 songs’ EP and an appearance at this years Belladrum Festival it has been an exciting year for Duncan Overmeer  faithfully gigging in and around the Highlands he has made a name for himself within the local music scene. Time has also been well spent in the Watercolour Studio pulling together his first solo album ‘Rumour Mill’ to be released in spring 2013.

With this year closing ‘The Matchstick Maker’ has been a musical highlight for me. Treasure to be sought out and found. So make it your New Years resolution to seek out The Matchstick Maker.

James Mackenzie

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James was busy in 2012, but we predict that next year it can all step up a level or two. James may be a veteran of the local festival scene, taking main stage slots at Rockness and Belladrum  but the real test for James is pushing that popularity further afield. A busy 2012 saw James make inroads, and 2013 can see him kick on.


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It’s hard to anticipate what is around the corner for Toecutter, 2012 saw an impressive summer showcase gig being quickly followed by a change of frontman. Our reviewer said of the debut of the new line up that “their multi-tempo and lengthy riff-fests along with a front man full of attitude demonstrated a band with loads of potential – one to watch for next year?” Yes.

Our last interview with Toecutter in September.

Lucky Cub

Quite simply a no brainer, the new solo project from Louis W T Buick (of Count Clockwork), which Vic Galloway described as “deep soulful intelligent dance music”. As part of Count Clockwork, he supported Toddla T, Rudimental and Annie Mac, there is no denying that we will be hearing and seeing an awful lot more of Lucky Cub.

City in Surveillance

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When this group of toerags appeared on the scene little over a year ago with a raucous gig at the Phoenix, their statement of intent was made. Gigs have grown in profile and their image is more professional, but still with that attitude thrown in for good measure. Their year rounds off at the Ironworks with a support slot for top tribute band Kazabian. Expect more next year, a lot more.

Our last interview  with City in Surveillance back in July.

The Oxides

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For those that lamented the demise of both 28 Jacks and The Boosts, they had little to feel despondent about when Jake Bolt returned to the circuit. Some bands ease their way in, but not the Oxides. Joined by Archie and Duff, their debut appearance was highly anticipated and more importantly they delivered big time. Jake, the powerhouse behind the band, is back mixing it up. Giving us infusions of Nirvana and Oasis, any gig with the Oxides will be worth turning out for.

Our last interview with The Oxides, in July.

2013 promises to be another good year for Inverness, make sure you are up to date by signing up to our mailing list.

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