A Bella Carol; a preview of Belladrum 2018

They say that you can hear what you need to hear in a song which is true. However I think it’s more important to me when a true connection happens, when you hear a song that totally understands you. Understands you not only at that moment in time but whenever you hear it again it can reaffirm that moment. That being said some of the best songs also remind you of a time gone by or make you dream about the future and drive you forward. These are my 3 ghosts, sorry I mean songs (and bands) of past, present and future that you can catch at Belladrum 2018.

Triggers memories of the past

While everyone and me loves and laughs with ‘Belter ‘ by Gerry Cinnamon, the not so secret Bella act. I find the song ‘Sometimes’ brings a blushful grin to my face. Having had a somewhat mischievous youth, the words in this song remind me of crazy days and nights. It has me signing along every time with a total cheeser. I think there are many people out there that know that sometimes feeling or have those sometimes memories. Some people will just be making them now. His great use of truly Scottish words combined with his weedgie accent makes this and all his songs raise a little Scottish pride, even if the subject matter is a little risqué for some. For most it’s true, it’s honest, plus lyrically and melodically great as well as lots of fun.

Tugging on the heart strings of the present

For me The Wandering Hearts touched my soul about a year ago. They were doing a live session on Radio 2 with Bob Harris as I was driving. My relationship was a little bumpy at the time and the track ‘I wish I could’ felt like it was written just for me, although it took almost a year for the truth of the lyrics to sink in and now listen to that song often to remind myself you can’t change the past. Perfect for anyone needing reminded that when you break up it’s for a good reason and there is no going backwards. Last September they only had 2 songs on spotify and compared to the live sound I heard on the radio I was a little disappointed with the produced sound, but still loved the words and eagerly awaited for more. I was not disappointed when they released an album in February this year, stunning!

Their country sound and beautiful story telling sounds like a group who have know each other for a long time, but they have only been together for less than 3 years now. It is almost a fairy tale story, having put their first song up on sound cloud they were discovered after just 30 minutes and soon after signed to Decca Records. With Americana male vocals contrasted by ethereal female harmonies and toe tapping country beats and twangs they are a winner. The album tells about the complicated nature of love ‘Burning Bridges’ and ‘Nobody’s Fool’ but also has fabulous anthem songs ’Devil’ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ that will have crowds clapping and dancing for delighted at Bella this year.

Forward to the future

Darlingside are playing on the Friday at the Grass Roots Sage. Their song ‘Hold Your Head Up High’ makes me feel so warm and optimistic. It feels like the sun shines on me every time I hear this song and I hope the sun shine’s on everyone this weekend. There are strong hints of old country and folk, with haunting fiddle playing, gentle plucking, beautiful banjo and gentle vocal harmonies from this all male 4 piece. The track 1979 holds more synchronicity, being the year of my birth so truly feels like it was written for me and anyone else born that year. Is happy and energetic and makes me raise my arms in the air, and that’s in the house so I can only imagine it live at Bella.

There are electronic undertones and stirring brass on the track ‘Singularity’ which paints a picture of a future where a shooting star could cleanse the earth, its haunting yet hopeful. They released their current album Extralife earlier this year and I could listen to it over and over again. Additionally I think there may be more than a few people, not just me, finding one or more of them to crush on too. Who doesn’t love a talented beautiful musician!?
Obviously these are just my musical connections, there are many to be had at Belladrum. So whether you’re heartbroken, in love or having fun with your friends you will find a something this weekend that will connect with you and become part of the playlist of your life; past, present or future.

I found the official Belladrum playlist on Spotify a great place to start. Tip – listen on your phone and if you hear something you like screen shot it and go back and listen to more from this artist.

WHAT HAVE YOU MISSED? All our other Belladrum 2018 interviews, reviews and photographs can be found here.


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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.