What’s on at Hootananny and Mad Hatters

For 17 years, Hootananny has been promoting the best grass roots music in Scotland. Mumford and Sons, Sam Fender, Little Boots, Dougie Mclean and Skerryvore have all played the venue. The building is a lovely traditional Victorian Inverness old sweety shop with traditional and fusion Scottish ceilidh and celtic rock downstairs. Emerging original artists, indy, hiphop, heavy metal, ska and rock upstairs on the Madhatters stage. Djs in the Glow bar on the top floor. The family run business has been awarded Scotland’s Best Live Music Venue 2019 by Scottish Bar and Pub Awards and Best Inverness Pub of the Year, 8 years running, by Inverness City Advertiser. Open daily for pub drinkers, we have a delicious Scottish menu of traditional dishes cooked to perfection from 5-10pm daily

Since March 2020 Hootananny has been unable to promote live music or background music. We hope to bring back the best live music soon! Click on the Keeping Safe tab for details about safety.

Aug
3
Sat
Ted Christopher @ Hootananny
Aug 3 @ 9:30 pm

Ted Christopher

Ted Christopher is one of Scotland’s finest performers. He is a well-travelled and extremely versatile singer songwriter. He is equally at home whether singing heart-felt originals to a concert audience, belting out Scottish favourites to the Tartan Army or playing some of his huge pop/rock repertoire to a packed dance floor.

Unfazed by any size of audience, he played to 750,000 people on The Mall in Washinton DC. A week later there were 12 in Cowie Miners Welfare. How’s that for a quick reality check? And they were both great gigs!

Ted has been involved in the Scottish live music scene since he was fifteen. He is proud to be a native of The Royal and Ancient Burgh of Stirling (Stirling is now a city but he much prefers the previous description of his hometown) and was born and raised a mere claymore’s length from Stirling Castle and The National Wallace Monument.

Ted performs many solo gigs, sometimes uses a couple of musicians as “The Ted Christopher Band” and of course fronts “Bannockburn”

Swampcandy
Aug 3 @ 10:15 pm – Aug 4 @ 12:00 am

swampcandy2

 

With 270-225 shows a year since 2011 including multiple tours of the eastern US, UK and Ireland, 4 full length releases, 2 Ep’s, 1 studio release and 1 live full length video release on the way Swampcandy is not sure what sleep is.
A band that has a crowd pounding their fists through tables one minute and sitting silently on the edge of their seat the next, Swampcandy is dirty and sweet, brash and thoughtful, simple and complex. It’s true stories that are made up just for you. It’s pig drinkin’, whiskey eatin’, foot clapping’, hand stompin’, american music. Their roots are fermented in American mud, primitive blues, pre war folk sounds, field hollers, gypsy jazz, and ragtime. Steeped in influences from Robert Johnson to Radiohead. Their sound is distilled in a boiler of mercurial energy that swirls with tempo changes and dynamic peaks and valleys, holding the ear and refusing to let go.
But that’s not all folks….. Ruben Dobbs is the guitarist/vocalist and the creative force of this 10 year old project and has no allegiance to any genre. Performing in best interest of the song is always his objective. His pallet is vast and augmented by the skills of full/part time members and other creative partners behind the scenes. Joey Mitchell is the full time upright bass/kick drum/percussionist and has played the lions share of the last 1600 plus gigs with Dobbs as a duo. All who witness a show say the the same thing “They sound like a 4 or 5 piece band”. He is a disciplined disciple of jazz, classical, and punk rock. He has the objective ear that leads to the less than typical arrangements of their tunes. He has also revolutionized the percussive possibilities of the upright bass as an instrument. Gina Cottey brings a stiking feminine element that is both strong and welcoming with her featured lead vocals and harmonies. Her ability to nail multiple harmonies in a series of single passes have left recording engineers stunned. Percussionist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Dominic Fragman can hardly be described… no really just look him up HE.IS.A.FREAK.
The sharpest tools in the shed are rarely seen but they include: Ahren Buchheister with a skill set that eclipses most other musicians he is responsible for pedal steel and string/horn arrangements. He is an indispensable creative aspect of the Swampcandy sound. Writing partner James Von Lens is the Gram Parsons to Dobbs’ Kieth Richards. Steven Wright, Alex de Turk and Jeremy Reichwein have been integral in capturing and producing the live and studio recordings for the last 5 years. They bring yet another set of objective ears to these songs and are not afraid to share insights that have sculpted the shape and sound of their recorded material. Alison Harbaugh’s Sugarfarm Productions provides most of the video content of the band going so far as to produce a full length documentary based around the unusual locations and people that contributed to the 2013 recording of Midnight Creep. Then there is Joseph Karr, Dobbs’ longest creative relationship, they have worked together in some respect or another for 24 years. He’s given Swampcandy an ascetic of dark mystery and playfulness, silhouettes, black birds, drunken bunnies, blind folded monkeys, and abstract projections during live shows and video shoots that disturb/delight the imagination have come to distinctively brand the band.This group of creatives give the songs a sense of inevitability… like these songs have always been here but because you took the blue pill you are just now seeing them. Now light a candle and drink some O.J. because you are in for a wild ride.Here’s a little history:

Their 2013 double album, Midnight Creep/Noonday Stomp, which placed in NBT Music Radio’s Top 150 Albums of 2014, and the track “1000 Miles” placed in the Top Singles category, their 2015 release, Land, garnered substantial airplay from blues stations and syndicated radio shows across the US, UK and Europe.

2015 proved to be productive and rewarding as they set a new high bar for themselves, playing a staggering 268 live dates at venues and festivals across the US and UK, including four performances to capacity crowds at the 2015 Floydfest. (The band won the 2014 Floydfest ‘On The Rise’ competition, coming in first place out of 37 bands competing at the festival. They also outsold the headliners in merch both years) they also won that year’s Radio Flag award.

2016 Swampcandy saw the band expand sonically with auxiliary members Dominic Fragman and Gina Cottey for festivals and special shows. Fragman on drums, rhythm and/or lead guitar and vocals – SIMULTANEOUSLY, add new dimensions to the sound. Gina’s harmonies and lead vocals create a ever changing landscape of a show. The collective goal is to leave the audience with the feeling they have experienced a short festival rather than seeing a band play a great show.

2017 Was the year of organization and process for Swampcandy. Two full length albums got underway, one of them live one of them studio. Also a large pool of videos were produced to accompany those releases. They cut their gigging schedule down to 225 gigs to be able to concentrate on these releases.

2018 has the band firing on all pistons doing two tours of the UK and Ireland and increasing their touring presence on the eastern seaboard of the US. Mid Summer will see the release of their new album MINE in several formats: CD, Digitally and vinyl. Also a repressing of Midnight Creep and a first pressing of LAND is on the horizon. An explosive combination, LAND and MINE together create Swampcandy LAND-MINE. These albums will have gatefolds with the game they created “Swampcandy Land” halved horizontaly onto each album so when put together it creates the full game that will come with playing pieces, special dice, special instruction cards and the “Flask of Question” Trickling out through out the year will be live digital releases and live videos to appease the rabid ones.

But why???

The band was founded by Dobbs in 2007 and functioned with various lineups until he teamed up with Joey Mitchell in 2010 and the permanent die was cast. After only a few months together, the duo began to tour aggressively and have not slowed down since.
Dobbs is a volatile creative force while Mitchell is a pragmatic technician. They balance each other out like the two hemispheres of one brain. Growing up they both enjoyed and played the music of their respective generations and found a deep affection for the music of the past; Ruben with Delta blues and Joey with jazz and classical. Dobbs has studied music on a need-to-know basis from an early age, becoming enamored with classic rock while still in grade school. Always careful not to destroy the sonic mystery music has represented to him, his curiosity led him down music’s family tree to rock’s roots in Mississippi Delta Blues and the greats who played it. Mitchell’s musical journey began upon hearing the opening bass line to Alice in Chains’ “Would.” The song inspired him to work it out on an old guitar he found in the attic, eventually leading him to pick up the bass at the relatively late age of 16. Focusing his attention on learning all he could to become the master of his craft, he has become a university schooled academician with degrees in performance and music education. Dobbs aural home-schooling has encompassed listening to thousands of hours of field recordings of early American music, developing a rare level of knowledge about the true roots of multiple genres. In distilling the essence of nearly undecipherable songs and incorporating that authenticity into his own compositions he’s writing new chapters in the history of roots music that inextricably link the past, present and future. Mitchell has spent thousands of hours studying complex music theory and composition, practicing the ins and outs of his double bass while reinventing the percussive aspects that can be delivered between his primary instrument and his kick drum. These juxtapositions are the key to their success.

Aug
9
Fri
Calum MacPhail Trio
Aug 9 @ 9:30 pm

 

 

calum macphail

Calum is a warm, down-to-earth, young man from the West Coast of Scotland who fell in love with the accordion at a tender age of 7. As a young boy with the desire to learn more, he spent more years learning the rudiments from the best accordionists in the Highlands until he eventually created his unique style. Though he hailed from Fort William, Calum moved to Inverness in 2007 where he strived to focus on his technique.

Calum is an energetic musician who has performed in Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany. Now he is coming to Hootananny for a night that can not be missed!

Free entry.

Ramanan Ritual with support from the Open Plan
Aug 9 @ 10:30 pm – Aug 10 @ 12:30 am

Ramanan

Ramanan Ritual a truly eclectic group of individuals making their return to Mad Hatters with support from the Open Plan.

Aug
10
Sat
Schiehallion
Aug 10 @ 9:30 pm

Shiehallion

Hailing from Inverness the capital city of the Scottish Highlands Schiehallion are a Scottish Folk/Ceilidh band who have spent the last number of years both at home and further afield building an impressive ardent fan base, this has culminated in them being deserving of their widely held reputation as a fiery and passionate must see live music act. 

Consisting of founding member Kenny Jamieson Vocals – Guitar & Bodhran, Stuart Mackintosh Accordion, Cy Mutch Cajon & when required Calum MacGillivary on Bag Pipes, Schiehallion are ever present on the live music venue and festival scene.  

Immersed in Scotland’s culture and music traditions Schiehallion’s ability to engage and transfix their audience time after time has justifiably led to their richly deserved status as one of Scotland’s top bands in their musical category and genre.    

Dougie Burns and the Cadilacs
Aug 10 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 11 @ 12:30 am

dougie burns 2

Original Bluesy Rock n Roll. A good time band with fun attitude. Album “Keep Your Mad Hat On” available on Spotify, Amazon , Apple and ITunes and at gigs.

Aug
16
Fri
CAMERON & SONS
Aug 16 @ 9:30 pm – 11:45 pm
Chango Munks
Aug 16 @ 9:30 pm

DC449F36-4EFF-4A2B-90D3-83205C82D3A8

The 6 piece band, Chango Munks, based in Edinburgh perform a combination of fast paced, high energy Ska/Punk/Rock.
The group represent a number of nationalities including: Flemish, Basque, Italian/Colombian/Sri Lankan (and Scottish).

Having released their first 4 track E.P. [Live Session] in November of 2018, their first full length, “Something Else Is Coming”, was released in early June of 2019.

Following a successful tour around the Basque Country in July, the band are looking forward to the rest of 2019.

You know when you’ve been Chango’d!

Aug
17
Sat
Tartan Paint
Aug 17 @ 9:30 pm – Aug 18 @ 12:15 am

Tartan Paint

West Coast Ceilidh Band not to be missed!

Other Humans
Aug 17 @ 10:30 pm – Aug 18 @ 12:30 am

other humans

Other Humans began at the very beginning of 2015 through a shared interest in 80’s synth pop music.

They began to write and record demo versions of songs at PaulsHalls Studios. Following those sessions, Other Humans recorded and released their debut track “Valley” which is available as a free download via soundcloud. This was followed with their debut show in Broadcast, Glasgow where over 100 people crammed in to the basement venue.

Table For Four
Aug 17 @ 10:30 pm – Aug 18 @ 12:30 am

table for four 3

Table For Four are a band hailing from the Highlands of Scotland offering high energy pop punk/metal music, catering to the inner rockstar of us all!

Aug
23
Fri
North Sea Gas @ Hootananny
Aug 23 @ 9:30 pm

Founded in 1979, North Sea Gas have been performing their own brand of Scottish music all over the world ever since.

18 albums, literally 1000s of venues, more miles than anyone wants to think about, and a lot of fun and music.

Their most recent album, The Fire and The Passion of Scotland, won the 2013 Album of the Year Award on Celtic Radio in Boston (USA) and the set of tunes from the same album won first place in the Jigs and Reels category.

Bad Actress
Aug 23 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 24 @ 12:00 am

bad actress

 

Bad Actress began forming in 2016. Guitarist Struan McFarlane (15 at the time) and Thomas Bell (then 19) had previously worked together when Struan stood in as drummer in Thomas’s former band, Far From Devils, for their final gig. Having decided to start a new venture, they promptly recruited former FFD bassist, Fearghas Lyall (then 17). They asked Struan’s younger brother, Lewis, to fill in on drums until they could find a full timer.

Lewis, then just 12, had been gigging for over two years with Struan and their older brother Ross, as hard core power trio, Civil Punk. He set the bar high and was ultimately confirmed as the full time drummer. They then focussed on finding a vocalist. After a number of try outs, former FFD singer, Grant Clark, joined but later decided it wasn’t for him. It was at this point that the older McFarlane, Ross (then 17), offered his services and was invited to try out. It worked, the line up was set and they settled on the name Airrade.

Struan and Thomas had set down a few songs by this time, with solid riffs influenced by the likes of ACDC, ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Motorhead. The band played their first gig in July 2017 at the Audio Club in Glasgow, with Struan and Ross sharing centre stage and bringing a touch of glam to the show.

Happy with the results, the gig was followed by shows in other Glasgow venues and in Inverness and the McFarlanes’ home town of Forres. In February 2018 their performance at the Inverness Ironworks venue captured the attention of social media site, Inverness Gigs, who described them as musically melding ACDC, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue and that they ‘visually go straight down the road of late eighties Glam Rock’. The site called them ‘brash, young and utterly without irony and perform with a tremendous amount of self belief’ . . . ‘these chaps are living and breathing their music and it really does work for them’ . . . ‘They are utterly ridiculous and brilliant with it. It’s a real pleasure to see a young band grab rock music by the bollocks and give it a proper shake.’

This review also criticised the band’s name, which prompted them to change it. Bad Actress released a live video of ‘Whiteline Adrenaline’ shot at the Ironworks show, and have recorded their first single, ‘Acting like an Animal’, due out later in 2018.

Aug
24
Sat
North Sea Gas @ Hootananny
Aug 24 @ 9:30 pm

Founded in 1979, North Sea Gas have been performing their own brand of Scottish music all over the world ever since.

18 albums, literally 1000s of venues, more miles than anyone wants to think about, and a lot of fun and music.

Their most recent album, The Fire and The Passion of Scotland, won the 2013 Album of the Year Award on Celtic Radio in Boston (USA) and the set of tunes from the same album won first place in the Jigs and Reels category.

Acid Ultras
Aug 24 @ 10:30 pm – Aug 25 @ 12:30 am

acid ultras

Acid Ultras are live Acid House act from Scotland.
They don’t use computers. Everything played live.

Aug
30
Fri
Nick Firth and Friends
Aug 30 @ 9:30 pm – Aug 31 @ 12:15 am

trad band

 

Traditional songs of all types of tempos. A great night of music.