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Dundee Summer Sessions: Meet the support acts – from Jake Bugg to Bono’s son

Jake Bugg and Inhaler, who will be playing Dundee Summer Sessions.
Jake Bugg and Inhaler, who will be playing Dundee Summer Sessions.

Dundee hosts its first-ever Summer Sessions festival in June.

And on top of big names like Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Stereophonics, four other acts – including two chart-toppers – are set to wow the crowds at Slessor Gardens.

Some are more familiar to Dundee music fans than others, but all will be keen to put on a show at the inaugural Summer Sessions on June 11-12.

The Courier has been looking at what fans can expect – and chatting to the stars of the show.


DYLAN JOHN THOMAS: The next Gerry Cinnamon?

Saturday June 11

The Glaswegian will open Dundee Summer Sessions when he appears alongside Noel Gallagher.

But that is unlikely to faze the curly-haired singer/songwriter.

He has already supported Gallagher’s brother Liam, sold out the world-famous Barrowlands in Glasgow in April, plays the main stage at Trnsmt in July and has been touted as the next Gerry Cinnamon.

Dylan John Thomas.
Dylan John Thomas.

And he has revealed to The Courier how he has already been visualising his Dundee Waterfront show.

“I was in Dundee the other week and I was eating ice-cream, standing in Slessor Gardens, and I’m going, ‘This is where we’re playing’,” he said.

“It’s just bizarre, the way that they’re going to build up a stage there.

“Dundee is class. Dundee has got a good buzz. I’ve played there a few times.

“I supported Gerry at Caird Hall which was a good buzz and played at Church which was bouncing.

“I’m buzzing for [the gig]. We’ve got an EP out which makes these kinds of things a lot more comfortable.

“People who don’t know us can come to the show then go away and find the tunes.

“It’s a bit bonkers though, especially when it’s Noel Gallagher. I don’t know how you even comprehend that.”

INHALER: Bono’s son follows in dad’s iconic footsteps

Saturday June 11

In 1983, U2 – led by singer Bono, otherwise known as Paul Hewson – played a gig at the Caird Hall that has gone down in local musical folklore.

Nearly 40 years on, Hewson’s son Elijah will follow in his dad’s footsteps by performing in Dundee.

But Inhaler come with their own pedigree, having hit the top of the charts with their debut album It Won’t Always Be Like This last year.

Elijah Hewson of Inhaler.
Elijah Hewson of Inhaler. Photo by Andy Von Pip/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (12531709g).

The Dundee gig will be the furthest north the band have played in the UK.

Hewson told The Courier: “We’ve never been to Dundee before but we’ve heard amazing things about it.

“All our crew are English and they’ve done gigs up there before, and they’re always just saying that it’s going to be a good one, so we’ve got it on our radar for sure.

We might just play Oasis covers to be honest”

“Noel Gallagher is one of our heroes and Oasis were a huge part of our forming as a band, and that sort of ‘come on, let’s have it’ kind of feeling.

“It’s going to be mega.

“We’ll be playing some new songs at the gig and will definitely play songs from our new album.”

And he joked: “We might just play Oasis covers to be honest.”

Drummer Ryan McMahon says fans can “expect four lads making a fool of themselves to some rock and roll music”.

Meanwhile, bassist Robert Keating hopes the Dundee crowd can match their Irish counterparts.

He said: “I think we like buzz off the Scottish crowd because we’re Irish – it’s kind of a similar buzz – but they definitely bring it up a lot more than we do.”

VOODOOS: Fresh from selling out King Tut’s

Sunday June 12

Glasgow-based four-piece Voodoos will open the Sunday show as the latest addition to the Summer Sessions line-up.

The band head to Dundee off the back of two sell-out shows at the legendary King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.

They also recently toured with The Lathums.

CIRCA WAVES: T-shirt weather for Slessor Gardens?

Sunday June 12

They are perhaps the least well-known of all the acts but Circa Waves are among the most prolific when it comes to releasing music.

The indie four-piece formed in Liverpool in 2013 but have already released four albums, including their most recent record Sad Happy, which charted at number four.

The group’s summer-friendly 2015 hit T-Shirt Weather will be how many fans know them best.

Singer Kieran Shudall told The Courier he has plans to indulge in a favourite hobby while in Dundee.

He said: “Recently I’ve got really into golf, like I’m quite obsessed, and obviously Scotland is the home of golf, so maybe I’ll see if there’s like a driving place or something about.

“I might get a taxi across to St Andrews as well.

By the end of every show our fingers are bleeding – we’re not the kind of band that just stands around”

“Golf is just such a massive thing up there so it would be cool to try and see something like that.”

He added: “It’ll be nice to play Dundee. We’ve played Scotland more than England so it’s nice to keep going back there.

“I’m quite northern – I’m from Liverpool – but when you go up there you feel a bit more northern pride.

Circa Waves.
Circa Waves.

“We’ve just always gone down well in Scotland. We have some sort of strange affinity with the Scots, which I’m all for.

“We pride ourselves on playing every show like it is our last, really pushing to our limits.

“By the end of every show our fingers are bleeding – we’re not the kind of band that just stands around.”

JAKE BUGG: Fire alarms and Clark’s Bakery visits

Sunday June 12

The most familiar of the acts for local fans, Bugg returns to the city he has fond memories of.

During his 10-year career he has performed at the Reading Rooms, Fat Sam’s and the Caird Hall – and is now taking on his biggest show in Dundee yet.

Bugg – whose debut album shot to number one a decade ago – told The Courier: “I think the Reading Rooms was my first time in Dundee and we had a great night.

“I remember we got very drunk afterwards and I think we ended up at Clark’s Bakery, which is usually the case.

“I’ve played in Dundee a few times now and I remember that every time we have played there, the crowds are always absolutely brilliant.”

It is his 2014 show at the Caird Hall which stands out most in his memory – with the Big Yin, Billy Connolly, among those in the crowd.

Jake Bugg at T in the Park at Balado in 2014
Jake Bugg at T in the Park at Balado in 2014. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire.

“We were about to go on and I think someone had been smoking and the alarms went off so we had to delay the show,” Bugg said.

“I think maybe because of the delay I’d had a wine too many when I got on stage but I enjoyed the show.

“When you have those little things, I suppose that’s what makes it memorable.

It’s about the audience having a great time, so we’ll hopefully play all the songs that everybody wants to hear”

“I’m really privileged to have the opportunity [to play Dundee Summer Sessions] – going from playing in the smaller rooms to the much bigger crowds – especially after 10 years of doing it and you’re not the new artist any more.

“It’s nice to still be able to play in front of those audiences again.

“It’s about the audience having a great time, so we’ll hopefully play all the songs that everybody wants to hear and I can’t wait.”

Slessor Gardens: Does Dundee City Council make any money from Waterfront concerts?

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