Published: 11/03/2016 10:49 - Updated: 11/03/2016 12:38

Groove CairnGorm musicians put on the spot

Written byMargaret Chrystall

The LaFontaines
The LaFontaines

Groove CairnGorm, the UK’s first snowsports festival will bring music up the mountain, not just to the evening après-ski party at Badaguish Outdoor Centre, between Cairngorm and the village of Aviemore.

But will the visiting musicians feel at home on the slopes?

We asked some of the Scottish talent taking part in this weekend’s festival about their music and own experience of snow centred activities.

MOTHERWELL’S LaFontaines – Kerr Okan, Jamie Keenan, John Gerard, Iain Findlay, and Darren McCaughey – blend rock, pop and hip hop into a unique mix that has earned them a loyal fanbase and a number of awards including Best Live Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards.

The band, whose live highlights include festival appearances at T in The Park and Belladrum as well as a show in New York, released their debut album Class last June, reaching number 10 on the Scottish Albums Chart.

What are the three things people need to know about your music?

It’s unique, fun and totally normal to be surprised that it sounds nothing like you thought it would.

When the world ends suddenly what is the one track you’d have got stored on a memory stick round your neck (to play on your remaining music device – and to make life worthwhile?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Desert Island Discs recently so I’ve been thinking about this. I’d go for a song called Green Grass Of Tunnel by an Icelandic band called Múm. There’s a good chance I’d be freaking out so that would calm me down quite well.

Are you a snowsports person?

The closest I get to snow sports now is snowball fights with my stepson. However, I remember attempting to snowboard as a youngster and failing miserably. I may attempt again on Friday. Watch out for me.

Seriously, look out.

What are your most dearly-cherished dream projects for 2016?

I think we’re all really looking forward to recording album number two. We’ve already demoed some tracks so really looking forward to letting people hear what we’ve been doing. I think our frontman Kerr is actually in London today interviewing (US hip hop star) Macklemore for something. All going to plan – hopefully he’s been smuggled back up to Motherwell to record some tracks.

I’m sure that’s not wishful thinking at all.

The LaFontaines play Groove CairnGorm on Friday.

Spring Breal performing at Inverness's Ironworks.
Spring Breal performing at Inverness's Ironworks.

JUST back from playing their first shows in Sweden, Highland trio Spring Break are very much on home turf for Groove Cairngorm.

Guitarist Ben Hesling, singer Emily Mackinnon and MC Butterscotch (Ross Carbarns) have made quick strides since their spontaneous first appearance at Belladrum’s Burke & Hair Stage in 2014, winning The Scottish Alternative Music Award’s Best Hip Hop Act accolade last year for their sample free funk and folk crossover.

What are the three things people need to know about your music?

Ross Carbarns: We are open minded in our approach, All is not as it seems and leave your preconceived ideas about hip hop at the door. You can collect them from the bin on the way out.

When the world ends suddenly what is the one track you’d have got stored on a memory stick round your neck (to play on your remaining music device – and to make life worthwhile? ?

Where It’s At by Beck.

Are you a snowsports person?

I remember going up Cairngorm for the first time in the late ’90s on a freak sunny and snowy day and trying snowboarding for the first time, loving it, and coming back with a panda eyed sun tan.

What are your most dearly-cherished dream projects for 2016?

For 2016, getting the album out. In an ideal world collaborating with Beck and as a guilty pleasure playing a gig on the island of South Padre. Or having Chas and Dave cover our song Dolphin Puncher.

Spring Break play Groove CairnGorm on Friday.

Lional
Lional

ALSO representing the Highlands, Inverness band Lional released their debut single Season of Salt in late 2015 on independent Highland label IMOUT Records.

The self-described indie-noir four piece, comprising Joshua Mackenzie, Russell Montgomery, Ross Haddow and Gogo McKerrow, were nominated as best newcomer at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and were included in BBC Radio Scotland presenter Vic Galloway’s list of 25 bands to watch in 2016 and Amazing Radio DJ Jim Gellatly’s 10 picks for 2016 in The Scottish Sun.

What are the three things people need to know about your music?

Josh Mackenzie: It’s dark but uplifting, serious but soulful and it’s a culmination of all our favourite artists from the past 30 years.

When the world ends suddenly what is the one track you’d have got stored on a memory stick to make life worthwhile?

Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

Are you a snowsports person?

In all honesty I’m not really a snowsports person. I used to be a keen skateboarder which led to occasional bouts of snowboarding but not in many years. I really love the snow and snowy landscapes, if that’s any consolation.

I’m just really looking forward to seeing the site and playing. Have heard it’s a bit of a winter wonderland from the organisers so I’m stoked.

What are your most dearly-cherished dream projects for 2016?

Personally I’d love to work with Damon Albarn, but that maybe wouldn’t be great for the direction of the band! As a band I’m sure all of us would have liked to have collaborated with David Bowie.

Lional appear at Groove CairnGorm on Saturday.

Niteworks
Niteworks

SKYE’S Niteworks have long been favourites on the Scottish festival circuit.

Together Ruairidh Graham, Allan MacDonald, Christopher Nicolson and Innes Strachan have taken their fusion of Gaelic song, Scottish music and electronica to RockNess, Knockengorroch, headlined Hebridean Celtic Festival’s Islands Stage, sold out Glasgow’s Oran Mor during the city’s popular Celtic Connections Festival, and made a number of return visits to Belladrum/

Their long awaited debut album, NW, was released last October.

What are the three things people need to know about your music?

Ruairidh Graham: A) It blends all sorts of influences from our lives

B) We enjoy playing it immensely

C) It can be enjoyed whilst dancing in a festival tent or whilst eating a Sunday roast with your parents in equal measure

When the world ends suddenly what is the one track you’d have got stored on a memory stick to make life worthwhile?

Cànan nan Gàidheal

Are you a snowsports person?

I think Innes has tried skiing in his garden before and the two of us used to skive off school in primary 1 in order to go bum-sledging down the back of his croft. Personally, I’ve stood up on an assortment of fish boxes while sliding down the back of Ann Macaskill’s croft as well. However, I’ve never had the opportunity to do this on snow before. The festival may be the first time I’ll attempt this – but I’m not sure if they hire out fishboxes.

What are your most dearly-cherished dream projects for 2016?

The event would have to be Glastonbury. Another album would be smashing! Playing our first festival in England at Bearded Theory festival is going to be mega. We definitely hope to collaborate with more cool people and have made some advances in that general direction (watch this space) and my guilty pleasure will be to start playing the fiddle again.#

• Niteworks appear at Groove CairnGorm on Saturday.

GROOVE CAIRNGORM MUSIC LINE-UP

FRIDAY

Clyde Rouge

Elephant Sessions

Spring Break

The LaFontaines

Monki

Cuban Brothers

DJ set

Hot Chip

SATURDAY

Munroso & Aly McFly

Lional

Niteworks

Prides

Eton Messy

DJ Yoda

Grandmaster Flash

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