Having walked through the centre of town on a Saturday afternoon in Inverness, you can’t help but notice during tourist season the pipers on the corner – and as cliché as they are when thinking of anything stereotypically Scottish – you can’t help but be proud of the rich diversity of the musical culture expressed here in the Capital of the Highlands!
Admittedly the bagpipes have been a set-piece of Scottish history and musically expected in the Highlands from as early as the 1700s, with everyone being aware of the traditional Great Highland bagpipes. So much so that they are embraced in a variety of ceremonial and traditional occasions throughout, not only Scotland, but also within the British army and in pockets of Europe.
But Scottish music is so much more than the bagpipes, and never before has this been showcased or expressed as openly as it is today. The home-grown musical talent of the Scots is no secret with the likes of Mark Knopfler, born in Glasgow, Annie Lenox from Aberdeenshire, Lulu brought up in Glasgow, and more recently KT Tunstall of St. Andrews, all having been embraced by the national public throughout the UK from the 1960s right through to today!
And not only through the popular music of the day, but within Classical circles too, most notable today the inclusion of the percussionist Evelyn Glennie in the Olympic opening ceremony, shows that the UK are recognising Scottish musicians as having significant influence over the country’s music scene. And many extraordinary musicians are excitingly within easy reach of Inverness this summer with the Highland Chamber Orchestra playing at Strathpeffer Pavilion on Sunday 2nd September.
And likewise Scotland has always been embracing of musicians and the popular music of the day, engaging as much as any of the major English cities with touring concert dates of popular artists. But notably Inverness, being in the Highlands has until recently been missed from these tours, I guess deemed too remote to pull a crowd. As of Rod Stewarts concert date here in 2010 though, this has finally been dispelled, and this year Inverness embraces more well known bands than ever before with an exciting final weekend in August.
Concerts from Status Quo, Jools Holland, and the extremely popular youth sensation JLS are all being held in Inverness this month (tickets for the JLS concert are currently available to win as detailed by Mi Inverness, Entertainment and are expected to be, if are not already, sell out events, showing undoubtedly that the appetite of the people of Inverness and the Highlands for a wider, more accessible array of music up until recently has been massively underestimated to say the least.
So let’s embrace a new found musical freedom of expression. Regardless of age, style or musical taste, Inverness has something for everyone this Summer, there’s a cacophony of concerts on the horizon! Why not join us?
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