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Seven top tips for what's on across the Highlands and Moray from Friday, December 27 to Thursday, January 2

By Kyle Walker

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Every week What's On North offers up seven top picks from across the north of Scotland of all the things to do out there in our area. This week's picks include bagrock belters, verse-atile magic and New Year's Day delights.

1 SPICING up traditional music, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers brings their own spin on Scottish tradition back to Inverness to help melt the ice and hot up the city’s Hogmanay preparations.

The “bagrock” maestros bring their contemporary covers and bagpipe belters to the Ironworks on Friday night to kick off their last run of Scottish shows before the bells.

Doors open at 7.30pm, and tickets cost £25 - go to www.ironworksvenue.com

2 NORTH magic fans have a few final chances to catch Lorenzo Novani’s blend of close-up trickery and spoken word when he returns north for a whirlwind run of dates - thanks to a packed schedule that seems to be a magic trick of its own

On Saturday, Lorenzo brings Poet of the Impossible to Portessie Public Hall at 2pm and Resolis Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. And Sunday sees him travelling north to Helmsdale Community Centre for 2pm, before hitting Dornoch Social Club at 7.30pm.

For full details on each show, or to find out how to book tickets, go to www.poetoftheimpossible.com

3 RISING Inverness three-piece rock/metal trio Square Eyes are set to crack the winter frost with a raucous, rambunctious rammy at Mad Hatters this weekend.

The group, who released second single Didn’t Think So? in October, will headline the Inverness city venue on Friday night, with support bands joining them on the night for a loud post-Christmas concert.

Doors open at 10pm and entry is free. Search Square Eyes on Facebook.

4 BEFORE they return to the Ironworks for their annual Hogmanay hooley, Ross-shire revellers have a chance to party with Rhythmnreel.

The band play at Tain’s Duthac Centre this Saturday night, bringing their repertoire of traditional songs and contemporary classics to the town for a night of revelry.

Tickets cost £15 and are available from S&B Allsorts, High Street, Tain. Go to www.rhythmnreel.co.uk

5 TRAD stars Manran bring the pipes to the Pavilion, as the Scottish supergroup prepare to see out 2019 with one last big hooley in the Highlands.

The band, who will celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2020, round off their 2019 with the introduction of two new members to play the band’s celebrated songs at the Strathpeffer Pavilion on Saturday night.

Support comes from Rura. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £20 (plus booking fee). Go to www.highlifehighland.com/strathpefferpavilion

6 AFTER two decades of supplying the party to Highland crowds, the Mystic Shoes are bowing out with one last party of their own.

The Shoes are tying up loose ends with one last big rammy at Hootananny, Inverness on Saturday night - with all the songs and covers that endeared them to the region over the years.

The show starts at 9.30pm and entry is free. Go to www.hootanannyinverness.co.uk

7 THOSE brave souls who feel able and keen to brave the New Year’s Day cold (and possible hangovers) will find a warm welcome at the Ceilidh Place.

The Ullapool venue is hosting its annual New Year’s Day hooley, with The Poozies, Snuffbox, and Mairearad Green and Anna Massie all providing the tunes to welcome 2020 in traditional fashion.

Tickets cost £35 and are available from the venue by calling 01854 612103. Go to www.theceilidhplace.com for more info.

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