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Heather Macleod & The Bad Precentors + SAL - Thursday 24th March 05


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interesting music are proud to announce another evening of lovliness:-

Thursday 24th March 05

The Tunnels

Doors 8.00pm

Entrance 5.00

Heather Macleod + an all star band line-up

Having honed her talents on everything from traditional Gaelic ballads to classic jazz and blues, contemporary folk to cutting-edge pop, Heather Macleod has long been recognised across the Scottish music scene as an exceptionally gifted and versatile vocal interpreter. More recently, she's been expanding this already impressive portfolio with her own potently emotive, lyrically insightful songwriting, a new vein of work that's winning acclaim from peers and critics alike.

Born on the Hebridean island of Lewis, Heather grew up surrounded by a wide variety of music not only the rich local heritage of Gaelic song (a time-honoured test for any singer), but also country, rock and R&B, thanks to the strong transatlantic influence long felt in the Western Isles. Her father, too, was a keen musician, armed with a passion for everything from Scottish country-dance tunes to be-bop, who played in several different bands. With her family home renowned as a haven for local and visiting musicians, Heather herself recalls memorising Queen and Beatles songs as a six-year-old, even before she began competing in the Gaelic Mod at nine.

It was while at art college in

Aberdeen, however, that she started stretching her musical wings, quickly becoming a familiar voice in the semi-underground blues-jam scene that thrived in the city at that time. Its original epicentre was the legendary Saturday afternoon sessions at the dockside Drift Inn, where the repertoire could range from jazz standards to Frank Zappa, but the burgeoning energy of these gatherings soon saw them expanding into a city-wide network of gigs and residencies. After graduation (and whilst juggling a day-job at the Aberdeen Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre), Heather regularly appeared with Scottish cult luminaries such as Mojo Pep and Gerry Jablonski, also beginning a three-year spell as lead vocalist with [prodigy blues guitarist/songwriter] Andy Gunn, before relocating to Edinburgh in 1995.

Working as music programmer from the inception of the Scottish capital's best-known alternative arts venue, the Bongo Club, Heather was soon collaborating regularly with many of the musicians performing there, including, Mr McFall's Chamber, the Loveboat Big Band and Chroma. In 1998, she was lead vocalist in the Songhunter project, a major initiative by the Highland Festival based on a region-wide songwriting competition, culminating in a 10-date tour with a 7-piece band, followed by a widely acclaimed Greentrax album. The following year, she was among the featured Scottish vocalists who premiered Andy Thorburn's multi-lingual contemporary composition Tuath gu Deas, commissioned by Glasgow's prestigious Celtic Connections festival.

Since 1999, Heather has been arranging and performing backing vocals in the Eliza Carthy Band, (first performance appearing on Glastonbury Main Stage), and accompanying the celebrated English singer on several extensive UK and North American tours, and featuring prominently on Carthy's Warner Bros debut, the Al Scott-produced Angels & Cigarettes. She currently fulfils the same role for other ongoing projects, including the Afro-Scottish ten-piece La Boum! (whose 1999 debut album, Global Warming, is soon to be followed by a second), and Jim Condies Distant Cousins.

Amidst all this musical diversity, it's Heather's striking breadth of style and technique that forms the common thread. While widely admired for her sensual, authoritative handling of jazz and blues - by such top Scottish jazz artists as Brian Kellock and Fionna Duncan, among others - she is equally at home and in demand as an interpreter of original contemporary songwriting, the bedrock of many of the bands she's worked with. Her current solo set (first unveiled at the world-famous Celtic Connections Club, with subsequent appearances at many Scottish festivals and frequently featured on BBC Radio Scotland), while centred on her own material, takes in covers as contrasting - yet similarly compelling - as Richard Thompsons Baby She Dont Know What To Do With Herself and k.d. Lang's "Tall in the Saddle". Right now, though, it's her own compositions that are grabbing the most attention. With lyrics that paint vivid pictures and conjure complex, heartfelt emotions, borne on a radiantly expressive, seductively world-weary voice, Heather's songs draw strength from all of her wide-ranging influences, while announcing a creative identity that's entirely her own.

This has been reflected further this year by opening for Cara Dillon, Michael Marra, Eliza Carthy, Tam White, Bert Jansch, and Paddy Casey as well as an appearance in Dick Gaughans heralded piece Timewaves specially commissioned by Celtic Connections.

Heathers first album Crossing Tides is due for release in Jan 05. It will involve many friends made over the years including Sugar Blue, MacFalls Chamber, Steven Polwart and Donald Hay, and will feature the legendary Danny Thompson on double bass.

Sal

From Shetland, Magnus Robertson (vocals) and from Selkirk, Paul Tasker (guitar and vocals) met through the then vibrant and varied Aberdeen session scene in 2001 and frenetically established a reputation as a versatile and exciting live act.

Their first performance was in May 2002 as part of the Tennants T-Break event where the performance was described as "beautiful songs played expertly on the acoustic guitar" by www.redt.co.uk, which was followed by a support slot to folk band Danu at Aberdeens Lemon Tree underlining their "folk, blues and all points in between" approach to music.

Songs from the EP "Picture Postcard Town" recorded in 2002 have received airplay in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA, and their first full length album "Red Book Recording" was completed in December 2004." In between the two recordings, Sal were finalists in the Daily Record 192 Big Break song-writing competition and won a coveted Danny Kyle award at the 2004 Celtic Connections festival, and have performed at the 2004 and 2005 Celtic Connections festivals.

Sals sound is rooted in the folk music of Scotland, Ireland and America with strong harmonies that have been described a "contemporary John Martyn times two!" Influenced by Bert Jansch and Tim Buckley Sals repertoire includes interpretations of traditional songs to acoustic versions of classic punk and rock via their own original material.

Among others, Sal have supported Danu, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Frances Black and Kathryn Williams in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow as part of the Celtic Connections festival.

"Beautifully chilled out songs with depth and feeling" Aberdeen Evening Express

"Excellently played, sung and arranged with a very classic feel" Session in Scotland DJ, Vic Galloway.

www.salmusic.co.uk

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