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Homecoming hero singer/songwriter Tamzene set for Cromarty music gig at The Stables ahead of Leeds uni graduation

By Kyle Walker

TO say that Tamzene’s next few months are stuffed would be an understatement.

On top of the tour dates announced this week as part of the inaugural Belladrum on the Road showcase, the singer/songwriter is gearing up to graduate from the music degree that she has spent the last three years studying in Leeds for.

But before that there’s the slight matter of a hometown gig, as Tamzene returns to Cromarty for a concert at the Black Isle town’s Stables venue.

A visit home and a paid gig? “I know, it doesn’t get much better than that!” Tamzene laughs.

“I’m so excited, oh my goodness! I used to play there, we did these fundraising concerts when I was a teenager and I was trying to do some cool stuff with school. My parents helped me and I put flyers through every letterbox in Cromarty to get people to come.

“It’s pretty awesome to be coming back with my show essentially – the show that we’ll be playing at Latitude and Belladrum. It’s pretty special, I’m pretty excited.”

"I’m excited to be free and be able to put all of my energy into the music I want to do I guess."

Tamzene will be doing two sets on the night – one solo and one with the backing of bandmate Brandon – “I suppose it’s a band, but band being more like an electronic duo!”

Returning home after so long away is always special. Getting to headline a hometown show is doubly so. “I always want to be able to perform, to come back to Cromarty and see people that came to my shows when I was a young girl. I think that’s such a special thing to be able to do.

“I’m just glad that Cromarty Arts want me to come and play for them! It’s a real privilege!”

It’s the perfect way to warm up for an even bigger show – but one that doesn’t involve music, when Tamzene graduates next month. “It’s been such a good three years, I’m just ready to be a bit freer.

“Obviously being a student you’re kind of tied in one place, so I’m excited to be free and be able to put all of my energy into the music I want to do I guess.”

There have been a lot of lessons learned in those three years – in terms of songwriting craft and discipline. But there have been lessons beyond that.

“I think the one thing I’m going to take away is just how important it is to find people you want to do it with,” Tamzene says. “I think my early years as a musician were quite solo. I mean they were because I was playing on my own up in the Highlands – there weren’t loads of people my age writing pop music.

“So I think it’s like basically what’s been invaluable is realising is how important your friends are in music, and finding that team of people you want to make it with and perform with, and how important that is to get right.”

Beyond graduation, the rest of the year is opening up – with more gigs and more festivals on the horizon. “To be honest with you I’m going to be free – I’m going to go wherever I need to go.

“Obviously I have festivals throughout summer and just plans to make more music so just wherever that takes me. Wherever life takes me is where I’m going to go.

“But I’m definitely going to be based from Scotland because I miss home!”

Tamzene plays The Stables, Cromarty on Saturday night. Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost £13 (£11 concession, £5 under-16s). Go to https://www.tamzene.com

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