Skypark supported six up and coming Scottish musicians return o performing post lockdown helping boost the recovery of live music after the pandemic. The sets were filmed in vacant office space and streamed free to fans over four days in 2021. For the first time in over a year bands were able to play live and perform again. Scottish Stars Blue Rose Code, The Wild Places, Rebekah Kirk, Mt. Doubt, Findlay Napier and Daniel Meade all recorded new material for the project.
A long-standing supporter of Scottish arts programmes, including Glasgow International, Arts and Business and the Skypark Curatorial Fellowship 2019 in partnership with the GSA – Skypark Sessions was curated in partnership with Mildred’s Dairy Promotions.
Skypark’s strategic lettings advisor Angela Higgins of Resonance Capital said: “The Sessions gave new music exposure and promotional collateral at a time when live music was trying to get back to normality after the pandemic. It was a privilege to present music from these hugely talented performers and stream it free for fans to enjoy. It is free for anyone to watch the gigs on our Youtube channel.”
The Sessions featured new songs by Blue Rose Code, The Wild Places, Rebekah Kirk, Mt. Doubt, Findlay Napier and Daniel Meade.
Blue Rose Code is Edinburgh-born songwriter Ross Wilson. At the edge of contemporary alt-folk, Wilson’s music evokes a meeting of Van Morrison and a young John Martyn, both shipwrecked with a bunch of Motown records. Ross Wilson said: “It’s an electrifying gift to be able to be able to sing, play and share these moments again.”
Up and coming singer and songwriter, Rebekah Kirk from Cambuslang, Glasgow is Songwriter of the Year 2021 at the University of West of Scotland. She wrote her first song age 10 when she began gigging. In 2018, Rebekah worked with Stormzy and Florence + The Machine’s backing vocalists in a London studio, recording her first few singles and in 2019, she worked with BAFTA Award winning director Tim Courtney on the stunning music video to her debut single Haunted. She said: “It was great to get this opportunity as due to the pandemic I was unable to play live. Thanks to the Sessions more people will hopefully get the chance to get to know me and my songs. I was excited to be a part of the Skypark sessions as it was great to showcase acoustic versions of some of the songs I hope to release as singles in the near future.”
Formed in 2014, Glasgow band The Wild Places performed new material from their debut album ‘Wires’ released in February 2020. The trio are multi-instrumentalist Ewan Fergus, Neil Plews on bass and Tim Berridge on drums. The album was recorded entirely at home during the pandemic. Singer-songwriter Ewan Fergus said of the experience “Thanks to our very patient families, we basically did everything ourselves. Even Tim’s massive drum sound was recorded in my living room with a full drum kit, which my very kind family and cat were good enough to put up with. Chaos… but it worked. It was gutting to do all that work and not be able to play the songs live to anyone. We were thrilled to be doing a Skypark Session and get back to what we do best: playing live.”
Founded in 2015, Edinburgh’s Mt. Doubt has released three albums and three EPs, performing alongside the likes of Idlewild, White Lie and Admiral Fallow. Leo Bargery of Mt. Doubt said: “The tracks we played are from our most recent album ‘Doubtlands’, which came out in October 2020. We performed ‘Caravans on a Hill’, ‘Dark Slopes Away’ and ‘Waiting Rooms’. Being involved in the sessions benefitted us as a band in an array of ways not least just being able to be back together. Our record also came out during lockdown, so no-one saw us perform these songs. That will be exciting and a good test for us ahead of upcoming shows towards the end of the year. Hopefully, new people will see the sessions, like the songs and grab a record too!”
Described as Micheal Marra meets Elvis Costello, Scottish singer, songwriter and performer Findlay Napier played songs from his latest album ‘It is What it is’. He said: “I was really excited to be able to take part in this filming. It was the first time I got to play some of these songs from my new album live. It’s even the first time I get to play my new Fylde guitar live… it arrived, ready to hit the road, on the first week of lockdown in March 2020!”
Steeped in the tradition of bluegrass, honky tonk, roots and country blues, Glaswegian songwriter and multi instrumentalist Daniel Meade also joined the Sessions and said: “Thanks for having us on, I was grateful for the opportunity to play a few songs from my various lockdown projects live for the first time, with Lloyd Reid on guitar… it’s been way too long.”
Bobby Motherwell, founder of Mildred’s Dairy Promotions, who partnered with Skypark in the creation of the event said: “We jumped at the chance to be involved in this great initiative to help Scottish artists get their new music heard during what was a very testing time for musicians and the live music scene in Scotland. We think this is a great idea and a great way to bring musicians, artists and music fans together.”