Songwriters festival returns with stellar line-up of talented musicians

Former Speedway front woman Jill Jackson is Saturday night's headline act.
Former Speedway front woman Jill Jackson is Saturday night's headline act.

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After a two-year hiatus, the Kintyre Songwriters Festival returns in 2022 with a stellar line-up featuring some of the best Scottish and local talent.

Held over July 1-3, the weekend kicks off on the Friday with a free show in the Commercial Inn with performances from local bands including festival favourites The Gilchristians, psychedelic rockers The Twisted Melons and The Dubious Blues Band, plus a host of great solo artists.

On the following two evenings, the musical showcases move to the more intimate setting of Campbeltown Town Hall.

Saturday headliner Jill Jackson is one of Scotland’s leading singer songwriters and an acclaimed artist within the thriving international Americana music scene.

Her sensitive and sympathetic storytelling, heart-rending vocals, and sheer love of Americana music have earned her a loyal fan base around the world and, unsurprisingly, drawn comparisons to the likes of Brandi Carlile and Joni Mitchell.

A natural-born storyteller and award-winning artist, Jill effortlessly marries swinging American charm with Scottish heart.

As former front woman of noughties pop-rock group Speedway, she has enjoyed an illustrious 20-year career – from signing to major record label Virgin EMI and hitting the UK top 10 to performing on Top of the Pops and stages around the world, including at T In The Park, Party In The Park, Glastonbury and Wembley Arena, writing for Mel C and touring with the likes of Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart.

Jill will be performing tracks from her brand new album Yours Aye.

Also on Saturday are superb Edinburgh duo The Jellyman’s Daughter. Singing with an affinity and closeness that can often have audiences puzzling over who is singing which harmony line, Emily’s honeyed voice and Graham’s soft introspective tone have an almost matching vocal range, like a fantasy collaboration between Norah Jones and Elliott Smith.

Edinburgh duo The Jellyman's Daughter incorporate cello, guitar and mandolin in their performances.
Edinburgh duo The Jellyman’s Daughter incorporate cello, guitar and mandolin in their performances.

In their songs, they incorporate cello, guitar and mandolin, and are often accompanied by long-time pal Jamie Francis with his multi-style five-string banjo-playing.

Their songs can range from a simple plaintive wisp of a feeling to complex musical endeavours.

A central belt resident with local connections and a long-time supporter of the festival, Stephen ‘Stevie Shoes’ Kelly brings his Britpop-influenced guitar pop to the town hall alongside up and coming band The Exhales, who also have local connections and recently sold out their debut show at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.

The Saturday line-up is completed by incredible local talent, including Adam Fortune, who will be performing tracks from his recent debut album, and piano pop from Chris Annetts.

The evening will also feature rock from Ross MacInnes and blues from The Dubious Blues Band, complimenting more laid back acoustic sounds from the likes of Dave Bisset, Thomas Jordan, Swanfactory and Hope and Alan.

Sunday headliner Nova, also known as Nova Scotia the Truth, is a rap artist and singer unafraid to challenge stereotypes and annihilate assumptions.

She experiments with solo and collaborative works to create tracks with an independent sound spanning grime, trap, Afrobeats, dubstep and frosty electronica in collaboration with some of Scotland’s fastest-rising producers.

Sunday's headliner, rap artist and singer Nova, is unafraid to challenge stereotypes.
Sunday’s headliner, rap artist and singer Nova, is unafraid to challenge stereotypes.

Nova’s coolly confident, lyrically deft debut album Re-Up was a deserving winner of the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2020, making Nova the youngest ever winner of the prestigious award.

Joining Nova is Glaswegian singer/songwriter Kitti, who is quickly establishing herself as one to watch, having been added to the bill of this year’s TRNSMT festival.

Her soaring vocals and unique lyrics demand attention and make it easy to see why fans are making comparisons to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith and Alicia Keys.

As well as Kintyre Songwriters Festival, Glaswegian singer/songwriter Kitti will perform at this year's TRNSMT festival.
As well as Kintyre Songwriters Festival, Glaswegian singer/songwriter Kitti will perform at this year’s TRNSMT festival.

Top Kintyre musician Alex Wotherspoon will be taking time out from her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to perform her tribute to local hero and great friend of the festival Robert Black.

Other local acts on Sunday include Dylan-esque troubadour Che Martin celebrating his recent single releases, up and coming local band Nations, folk balladry from Anne Leith and Les Oman, Americana from Craig Bedson, acoustic grunge vibes from Iain MacIntyre, psychedelic sounds from newcomer Phil Royal and a set from local legends Gullion.

Tickets for Saturday and Sunday – both individual and reduced-rate combined tickets – are available from local outlets including the Campbeltown Town Hall office and Studio 26 Tattoos, both on Main Street, and online from Ticketweb.

There will also be free open stage event across the weekend.

Visit www.kintyresongwritersfestival.co.uk for more information about this year’s festival.