Gatehouse of Fleet’s Midsummer Music Festival line-up is now fully confirmed, with a consistently high quality but hugely varied line-up, which covers a wide range of styles to suit all tastes.  The festival, now into its second decade, takes place over the weekend 22-24 June.  It continues to punch well above its weight in attracting acts of the highest standard to Gatehouse, wowing locals and visitors alike.


As ever, the main event is the Saturday night concert which takes place in the town’s primary school.  Starting the evening off is festival veteran Rory McLeod.  A musical Gypsy, his eccentric melodies are infused with influences from Flamenco to Country blues, through to Celtic, East European and Calypso rhythms creating a style of music and song-writing that has been described as “Intimate, revealing, political and powerful.”


Rory is followed on-stage by Alex Rex, formed by Trembling Bells drummer Alex Nielsen, which gained massive critical kudos on the release of the “Vermilion” album in 2017.  Alex’s band puts together influences ranging from the Velvet Underground to Gregorian chant to Dylan, and Captain Beefheart to the Incredible String Band, to form a whole which is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes funny, and always thought-provoking.


Edinburgh based folktronic party starters Yoko Pwno are delighted to be playing Midsummer Music. Formed in 2014, the band have built up a sizeable buzz, blowing audiences away with a live show described as ‘trippy, diverse, innovative, unique and oozing raw natural talent and creativity’. The mixture of Lewis’s’ traditional melodies and fiddle playing, Lissa Robertson’s jaw-dropping vocal and Ali and Calum’s innovative spacey electro-funk makes for a show as exciting as it is unique.


Finally on the Saturday night, comes Bristol-based ska-punk outfit The Chronic Mishaps.  If you’re not struggling for oxygen and drowning in your own sweat by the end of the gig then you’re not dancing hard enough! The Chronic Mishaps use their punk-tinged ska to poke fun at the establishment and to reflect on the smaller and more annoying things in life. With an irreverent attitude, the Chronics aim to entertain – if you can’t dance to it then they won’t play it.


Chair of the Festival Committee Michelle McClure said: “Of the four acts, it’s impossible to name a headliner, they all have such a great pedigree.  We know we’ve put together a line-up which will guarantee an increasingly lively night from start to finish.  We’ve set ourselves high standards over the last couple of years, but 2018 should top anything we’ve done before!”


As well as the Saturday night concert, there are plenty of local acts on display, with Dumfries’s Tiderays playing in the Bank of Fleet hotel on Friday evening, supported by north-east of England guitarist Andy Allinson.  Saturday afternoon sees  Gatehouse folk-rockers The Razorbills playing in the garden of the Ship Inn, and singer-songwriter Susi Briggs, also from the town, supporting Rory McLeod in a further gig at the Masonic Arms.  There is a busking stage outside Franca Bruno’s shop, at which the Ukaladies will be appearing.  Young local talent has its chance to shine at a Youth Showcase on Saturday morning, whilst the Bakehouse is hosting a return performance of songs inspired by the local landscape and people “Fleet Reflections”, which wowed audiences in April.  On Sunday, Edinburgh-based singer David Behrens plays in the Mill on the Fleet, whilst the festival draws to a close with the customary session in the Masonic Arms.


Michelle added: “There’s so much on offer in Gatehouse during the festival, that it’s always terrific to see people enjoying acts, whether from the area or those with national and even international reputations.  What really inspires the Committee is seeing people coming back year after year, and appreciating the music we’re able to put on, and the unique atmosphere we can generate in our wee town.”


Full details of the festival can be found at its website www.musicgatehouse.com, or at its Facebook page.



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