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Four decades of music from Highland ensemble Scooty and the Skyhooks

By Rachel Smart

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Scooty and the Skyhooks Performing
Scooty and the Skyhooks Performing

Four decades ago, four Beauly lads decided to start a band for the love of music. Fast forward to 2024 and they are still giving it their best.

Having been first called ‘Rotation’, they are now more famously known as Scooty and the Skyhooks. And to celebrate 40 years of providing music to the Highlands and further afield the band is set to embark on an anniversary tour.

From Lossiemouth to Thurso the band will be leading fans in a rendition of songs from over the years.

Speaking about the band over the decades, lead singer Davie Ross said: “Who’d have thought we would still be around four decades later!

“In 1984, the band name was changed and Scooty and the Skyhooks were formed. The name was thought up by drummer Alan because of a certain apprentice painter being sent by his peers for some skyhooks!”

Ed Scooty Campbell , Davie Ross and Alan Brindle were then joined by Davie Tuach and James ‘Jazz’ Henderson. Their first public appearance was in the Moorings Hotel, Muir of Ord.

The bands setlist of popular cover songs by U2 and Simply Red mixed with 60s soul music floor fillers proved very popular with their great local following, resulting in more and more gigs.

He continued: “Sunday afternoon sessions became renowned! In fact, one Sunday afternoon in the upstairs bar at the Priory Hotel Beauly had to be stopped early due to the amount of people attending, as there was a fear that the floor may not hold out due to the foot stomping and dancing that was going on!

By the mid-80s the band had several changes in line up. New additions included Norman MacLean on drums, Alan Hogg with the saxophone and the multi-talent Norman Matheson on keyboard and the saxophone.

Scooty and the Skyhooks
Scooty and the Skyhooks

In 1985 Scooty and the Skyhooks were presented with an opportunity to support pop legends Showaddywaddy at Eden Court Theatre.

This was the first of many exciting support slots that the band were to play over the next four decades. They included Deacon Blue, Jools Holland, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Runrig and more recently they were an hour away from supporting Billy Ocean but unfortunately, the show was cancelled at the last minute due to Billy being unwell.

Davie said: “The continued support we receive is just amazing. We really appreciate it. We just want everyone to have a really good time and hopefully turn back the clock for one night with lots of dancing, fun and reminiscing!”

Lorraine Christie of LWC Events is organising the 40th anniversary tour and has been with the band since the beginning.

She added: “I first took the band up to Thurso in 1988 and it was an amazing night in a marquee! I’m so proud to be able to do this with them now!

“They are a local band who have been so successful and it would be good for them to have full venues throughout the north of Scotland to show our appreciation for the entertainment over the years!”

Tour Dates

Dingwall – Sunday, June 9, Dingwall National Hotel

Thurso – Saturday, June 22, RBL Thurso

Invergordon – Saturday, September 7, Invergordon Social Club

Inverness – Saturday, September 14, Raigmore Motel Inverness

For tickets visit Scooty & the Skyhooks Facebook page.

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