Published: 24/12/2015 13:25 - Updated: 30/12/2015 10:42

Bands re-form for Back For Good gig

Back For Good
Back For Good


by Margaret Chrystall

IT’S a decade since two of the four bands specially re-forming for a charity gig on Sunday played together.

But the bands dusting off their old setlists will turn back time and come out of retirement to play one gig only.

Unlike the title of the night - Back For Good - it’s pretty unlikely any of the four will be making a permanent comeback, so former fans should go along to catch them while they can.

But omens for a good night remembering the glory days of each band’s contrasting music styles sound promising.

Lymerick Smith was that young band...
Lymerick Smith was that young band...

Lymerick Smith, Findo Gask, The Lush Rollers and Jetstar , getting together for the fundraiser in aid of Macmillan and The Cancer General Fund for Raigmore Hospital, will also be joined by special guests Spring Break and The Mystic Shoes.

From pop punk three-piece Jetstar, singer and guitarist Gylen Boardman - who now lives and works in Glasgow – said this week: "When the three of us got together for a rehearsal, we enjoyed it so much it lasted twice as long as we’d planned!"

Jetstar formed in 1997 and continued till 2004, so, barring a one-off reunion in 2009, the band has not played live for six years. Formed by brothers Ali and Dougie Brown on bass and drums with Gylen the band built a loyal following in the Highlands and further afield.

They were also the first Inverness band to win through the regional T-Break heats and perform in the T Break tent at T in the Park.

Gylen said: "That was one of the highlights!"

Asked for memories of best and worst gigs, he laughed: "I think there was one gig in Skye that was both!

"It started in a hotel where I think we were playing for one man - till he went to the toilet. But you couldn’t make it up, a bus party of Americans, a college football team with cheerleaders, suddenly appeared, so we just started our set again and had a great night in the end."

Jetstar - Dougie Brown, Gylen Boardman and Ali Brown.
Jetstar - Dougie Brown, Gylen Boardman and Ali Brown.

Gylen was a little vaguer about a gig in former Inverness venue Balnain House where he maintained all three emergency services ended up making an appearance, though no-one was hurt.

But although he might miss Jetstar’s wilder moments, he continues to write music and perform with a covers band for corporate events, down in Glasgow.

Also continuing to play music are all four former members of alt-country Inverness band The Lush Rollers.

It’s one of the reasons Willie MacAskill believes there would be little chance of the line-up re-forming in future.

Brothers Willie and Tabs MacAskill, who had been singing their own brand of Americana as a duo, teamed up with Robin Abbot on bass and Derek Urquhart on drums, in 1998 and two albums, a four track EP, TV appearances, tours in the UK, Europe and America – including playing music convention South By South West followed.

But around 2007 the band agreed to take a break. Finally, in 2010 they played an emotional reunion at Belladrum Festival.

The Lush Rollers - Tabs MacAskill, Derek Urquhart, Willie MacAskill and Robin Abbot at a TV filming session.
The Lush Rollers - Tabs MacAskill, Derek Urquhart, Willie MacAskill and Robin Abbot at a TV filming session.

Willie said: "It’s great to be doing this show. We’ll be delighted to be there and part of it and getting the chance to catch up with all the other bands too."

One of the early highlights he remembers from the start of the Rollers came right at the start: "We were arranging the harmonies and just suddenly all the four voices really clicked – it was just one of those ‘Eureka!’ moments."

Good memories include playing South By South West in 2002 and returning the following year to play the Americana Awards in Nashville, though that journey out had quite a different feel, as Willie explained.

"We flew out on September 11 the year after 7/11. We were flying from Paris to Atlanta and I remember the air steward saying ‘There are 235 seats spare, so you can spread out’."

The reunion onstage at Belladrum in 2010 was an emotional occasion for fans of the band.

Willie said: "It was a nice reunion and there was definitely nostalgia, though I think the band had peaked in 2007 – we had put so much into it because none of us had family commitments or other jobs then.

"But it’s great to be doing this – and we are all still friends."

One of the two bands which hasn't played together for 10 years is Findo Gask – featuring bassist Scott MacLean from Conon Bridge and lead singer Cameron Stark from Beauly.

The bands are dusting off their old setlists to turn back time and come out of retirement for one gig only for the fundraiser at the Ironworks to help raise money for Macmillan and The Cancer General Fund for Raigmore Hospital.

It’s pretty unlikely Findo Gask will be making a permanent comeback, so former fans should go along to catch them while they can.

And Findo Gask always stood out for their progressive/screamo style of music.

Guitarist Jason Hamilton said: "We were always oddballs and more in your face than other bands around at the time, so we were odd ones out, maybe – and I still think that will be true at this show!

"But we will do what we normally did and play the music we wrote because it was what we liked to listen to."

Jason has clear memories of some of the band’s big moments in their two-year history from 2003.

"We had two great gigs in the space of two weeks, first supporting Biffy Clyro in Inverness on their Vertigo of Bliss tour – and we were massive fans of the band.

"And the following week we played at Inverness Blue to our biggest crowd when we supported InMe."

Even their final gig ended the band’s time on a high.

"We booked Frank Turner to come up – Blair Stewart who played keyboards and sound effects for us knew him – so it was a big night and we gave everyone who came along a 14-track CD with live tracks on it."

The idea for Back For Good came from Michelle Campbell (34) from Inverness - who has herself been undergoing gruelling treatment for a rare form of cancer.

Michelle’s desire to do something for charity became the Back For Good night.

Michelle Campbell said: "I am really delighted that these fantastic Inverness bands have agreed to re-form to raise money for Macmillan and the Inverness Cancer General Fund for Raigmore which have provided such an incredible amount of support to myself, family and friends."

Raffle prizes include two Belladrum tickets, two Groove Festival tickets, bed and breakfast for two at the Penta Hotel and a trip for up to four on a pilot boat from Inverness Harbour plus many more.

The venue has been donated at no cost, all acts are playing free and every penny from ticket sales and the raffle will be split and donated to both charities.

Check out details and tickets at: www.facebook/ironworksvenue

Back For Good is on at the Ironworks on Sunday, December 27.


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