The award-winning and uniquely-talented singer-songwriter Tom Odell is to headline the inaugural True North festival of music and song in Aberdeen in September, Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) announced today.
The young musician, named 'songwriter of the year' at the 2014 Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, will play the city’s Music Hall on the second day of the three-day festival, on Saturday, September 29, with support from upcoming singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson.
Making the announcement today, APA director of programming and creative projects, Ben Torrie, said:
“We are delighted with the lineup for the first True North Festival, which features a range of artists who provide a snapshot of the fantastic songwriting and performance talent working in the music industry today.
“To have secured the award-winning Tom Odell as our headline artist is the icing on the cake. It will be a great privilege to witness him performing alongside the exciting range of established and emerging musicians taking part in the festival.”
True North runs from Friday to Sunday, September 25 to 27, at The Lemon Tree, Music Hall and in Queen’s Cross Church and celebrates the North-east's singer songwriter tradition, creating a platform for the very best music and song, from ballads to contemporary classics.
The full line-up for the festival was unveiled today and True North kicks off with two Lemon Tree-based events, the opening gig headed by rising young Scots band Fatherson with The 101, and then the first of three late night sessions, hosted by RM Hubbert at 11pm and featuring fingerstyle guitarist and pianist James Blackshaw, who primarily plays an acoustic 12 string guitar.
Day two, starts off with a 2pm gig in The Lemon Tree, headed by Wounded Knee, who will be joined Scott Gardner and others, performing and discussing song traditions from the North-east and beyond, using the Matt Armour song Generations of Change as a starting point. They will be joined by local young people who will have reinterpreted the song for life in Aberdeen today.
That night, the amazing Tom Odell takes the stage at the Music Hall with Siobhan Wilson followed by and RM Hubbert’s 11pm late night Lemon Tree session with Malcolm Middleton, renowned for his work with Aiden Moffat and Bill Wells in the cult Scots band Arab Strap.
Day three on the Sunday, begins at 1pm with an intimate and off-the-cuff session in The Lemon Tree, called a Songwriter’s Circle, featuring songwriters from three bands with a strong connection to the North-east and who have also played across the country - Rick Redbeard (The Phantom Band), Jo Anthony (Last Ones Left) and Steven Milne (The Little Kicks). All three enjoy employing different methods of writing and approaches to songwriting which they will be discussing in brief, in between playing their own material and collaborating on each other’s songs.
And at 4.30pm, there is a stunning concert at Queen’s Cross Church with the eclectic English folk band The Unthanks and Scots contemporary folk songstress Rachel Sermanni.
Then at 7.30pm, the closing gala concert is a celebration of the music of Neil Young, now in his 70th year, featuring Eddi Reader, Justin Currie, Admiral Fallow, Emma Pollock, Withered Hand, Tommy Reilly and Blue Rose Code, and curated and hosted by Roddy Hart and Lonesome Fire.
When True North was announced, Roddy Hart commented: “Scotland has such a rich tradition of song that continues to this day, and it’s exciting to be involved with something that celebrates both established singer/songwriters and emerging artists.
“I’m particularly happy to be curating the closing concert at the Music Hall and we have a stellar line up coming to doff their caps to one of the most iconic songwriters of our time and perform some of his best known work. It promises to be a truly special curtain closer for what will be a fantastic new festival.”
The festival winds up with the third and final late night session at The Lemon Tree, at 10pm headed by famed Scots vocalists and musicians Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat with Scottish Album of the Year Award finalist Kathryn Joseph.
Ticket packages for True North are available online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and in person at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre box offices.
Further details around artists and ticketing will be available online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/truenorth.