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Inverness Artyness columnist and musician Liza Mulholland says drought of live music seems to be over

By Liza Mulholland

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The local music scene is beginning to feel like waiting for buses…

Liza Mulholland
Liza Mulholland

Covid has caused such a long drought of live music but now suddenly lots of great stuff is happening at once! And this is such welcome news for musicians and music lovers alike! Not only is the Under Canvas outdoor festival well under way at Eden Court, and out on tour across the Highlands, with traditional music on offer throughout afternoons and early evenings – notwithstanding this week’s Covid-related closure – but Inverness’s award-winning music bar, Hootananny, reopened this week.

The long-awaited throwing open of this well-loved venue’s doors is almost more of a relaunch than a simple reopening, as there has been extensive refurbishment and reconfiguration of the space.

An impressive new mezzanine level has been added on the ground floor, the whole place is sparkling from a fresh paint job and music is back with a bang, with exciting new innovations in that department too. Well done, Kit Fraser!

For those of us who have spent many a fun night dancing in Hoots, we can’t wait for restrictions to ease sufficiently to allow us to get back on the dancefloor, and when we do, there’s a fantastic new single released on July 30 from local band Algorithm that is guaranteed to keep us there.

New band Algorithm.
New band Algorithm.

Brought together by well-known Highland musician and songwriter Andrew Still, best known as frontman of the popular Galipaygos, the new electro-pop four-piece melds house-infused beats, Amy Mullen’s soaring vocals and searing saxophone from Dorec-a-belle’s Bev Fraser, over Ali Brown’s grooving basslines, to create an incredibly infectious and irresistible sound.

The single, Off The Floor, invites us to do our thing, show the world our moves, and my goodness, it will be hard not to do just that to this track.

The band has also unveiled a hilarious video to accompany the song, directed by filmmaker Tom Alner, adopting the roles of reality TV judges as a succession of would-be dance stars strut their stuff. It’s very funny and a perfect visual match for the lyrics.

The formation of this new line-up of superb musicians with great original music and video hot off the press, is something I find so inspiring, particularly in a pandemic.

We all know the Highlands is bursting with creative talent but folk have definitely not been sitting on their laurels throughout these long coronavirus months.

Musicians like Andrew and Algorithm have been innovative and experimental, stepping out of usual musical comfort zones to try new challenges and have clearly struck a rich seam of inspiration.

In addition to the new single, the band has already made around 30 song demos, so come the time to play live, they have a full set ready to rock. And when they do, their rallying cry of ‘Dance or get off the floor’ is a challenge I for one will be more than happy to take up!

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