Laura Mvula & Richard Hawley to headline True North festival in Aberdeen

Laura Mvula & Richard Hawley to headline True North festival in Aberdeen

Iconic soulstress and Brit Award-nominee Laura Mvula will head the line-up for this year’s True North festival, Aberdeen Performing Arts is delighted to announce.

The singer-songwriter takes top billing for the festival, now in its second year and with an expanded programme over four days.

True North – Aberdeen’s festival of music and song – will take place in venues around the city and in outdoor locations from September 22 – 25. The festival is inspired by the fantastic heritage of singer-songwriters in the North-east, and features a line-up of iconic musicians and emerging talent.

Soul Superstar, MOBO winner and Brit Award-nominee Laura Mvula will open the festival at His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT) on Thursday, September 22. She has just released her second album, The Dreaming Room, is fresh off the back of a headline slot at Glastonbury Festival, and is still to play Somerset House, Latitude and Longitude Festivals and V Festival, as well as various dates across Europe - all before appearing at True North in Aberdeen.

Ben Torrie, Director of Programming and Creative Projects for APA, said: “We’re very excited to reveal that brilliantly talented Laura Mvula will be headlining True North this year. She has shot into the limelight and the recent release of her second album is sure to shake up the charts. With her soulful sound and star quality she has all the makings of a global phenomenon and we’re absolutely thrilled we’ll be welcoming her to perform in Aberdeen for the first time.”

Highly acclaimed musician and former Longpigs and Pulp member Richard Hawley will play at His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT) on the Friday evening, supported by local duo Best Girl Athlete. The Saturday headline act will be an intimate gig at the Tivoli Theatre with Mercury award-nominated King Creosote, and support from local alt-folk musician Rick Redbeard. On Sunday HMT will play host to a special Kate Bush celebration concert featuring a bill of top contemporary talent paying tribute to one of the most iconic songwriters and performers of our time.

Ben added: “Several events throughout the weekend will recognise the important contribution of women to the music industry, and none more so than the very special celebration of the music of Kate Bush. She has been such an important artist in UK music history, as the first female artist to achieve a number one with a self-written song, the first British woman to top the UK album chart and the first woman ever to enter the album chart at number one. The concert – entitled Running Up That Hill – has been curated by Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist Emma Pollock, best known as part of indie band The Delgados, who has brought together a group of amazing musicians including Kathryn Joseph, Karine Polwart, Rachel Sermanni, Roddy Hart, Bdy_Prts, James Graham of Twilight Sad, Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow, Peter Brewis of Field Music, and Kathryn Williams – all backed by a house band and string quartet.

“Richard Hawley is another fantastic addition to our line-up. He’s twice been nominated for a Mercury prize and once for a Brit award, and many will know him from his time in Britpop act Longpigs and Sheffield rock band Pulp with his friend Jarvis Cocker, who helped convince him to launch what became a very successful solo career.

“King Creosote has released more than 40 albums to date and his collaborative album with Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine, was nominated for a Mercury Prize and Scottish Album of the Year Award. The historic and beautifully restored Tivoli Theatre is the perfect location for what promises to be a unique and memorable performance.”

Other programme details revealed today include a series of late night gigs at The Lemon Tree which showcase the very best of contemporary UK song writing talent. The Lemon Tree late line-up features amazing singer-songwriter Lonelady, Mercury prize-nominee C Duncan, Scottish alternative band Kid Canaveral, electro-musician HQFU, Bossy Love who performed on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury, and a closing concert from Scottish two-piece Honeyblood will signal the end of the second annual festival.

Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Chief Executive Jane Spiers added: “Scotland and the North-east in particular, has a rich and enduring singer songwriter tradition that goes right up to present day. True North affirms that tradition with a stellar line-up of talented acts preparing to take the city by storm. Laura Mvula leads the march of the women on Aberdeen for the festival, which this year explores the influential role of women in music. We expect demand for tickets to be high, and there will be more artists announced in the coming weeks.”

Further events including the True North Fringe, family events, industry panel discussions and an education programme, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ticket packages will be available across the weekend when tickets go on sale this Friday (July 1) online at, by phone on 01224 641122 and in person at His Majesty’s Theatre and The Lemon Tree box offices.

Posted on Tuesday 28 June

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