An Angus piper has called on his star connections to bring a host of big names to next week’s inaugural Scottish Variety Gala Performance.
Craig Weir, from Newbigging, will also perform at the charity event on October 17 at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow with his Celtic rock band Gleadhraich.
The 23-year-old, who played with Queen at the SSE Hydro last year, was contacted by organiser Ross Gunning to ask if he and his bandmates would support the event.
Craig immediately agreed and offered to ask some of the VIP acts he and his band have played with over the years to see if they would also take part.
A few calls and emails later, Bay City Rollers founder Alan Longmuir had agreed to play Shang-A-Lang with Gleadhraich and the cast of And I Ran With The Gang — the musical of how he created the legendary band.
Donnie Munro, who Gleadhraich supported in February last year, also said yes to headlining the show and singers the Highland Divas offered to fly in from the USA to give their first Scottish performance at the show.
They’ve played with Craig at the last two New York Tartan Weeks, where he’s represented the World Peace Tartan.
Speaking about his role in helping put together the bill, which also includes George Bowie, the Glasgow Philharmonia, Cat Harvey and River City actor Tom Urie, Craig said: “Me and the other lads in Gleadhraich are really looking forward to playing the first Scottish Variety Gala Performance.
“It was great to be able to use my music connections to help Ross create such a great bill.
“Donnie Munro is a big crowd-pleaser with a big heart and Alan Longmuir is the same.
“Gleadhraich are delighted to be playing some of the tracks from our new EP Definition as well as on Shang-A-Lang with Alan, Loch Lomond with Donnie and The Skye Boat Song with The Highland Divas.
“It’s going to be a great night with a fantastic line-up of acts.”
At just 23 Craig is already an internationally-recognised piper and in 2014 won a Young Scot award for promoting the pipes to young people.
After taking up the instrument at just eight, he became a member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland (NYPB) and in 2012 was asked to write and play a tune to the Dalai Lama on his visit to Dundee.
Since then his VIP dates have included starting the encore of We Will Rock You for Queen at the SSE Hydro last year, touring and playing T in the Park with the Bay City Rollers, joining Babyshambles and The Libertines on stage as well as playing for Andy Murray, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Connolly, Lorraine Kelly, Jimmy Fallon, Calvin Harris, Arun Gandhi and the VIPs at the 2013 MOBOs in Glasgow.
His band Gleadhraich were Angus Cultural Ambassadors for 2014 and their celebrity fans include Scots music legend Dougie Maclean and Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall.
Organiser Ross Gunning said: “The event is really going to showcase the best of Scottish talent and Craig’s help and support is much appreciated.”
Next month the band starts a four-date UK tour at the Hard Rock Café in Glasgow on November 4.
Tickets for the Scottish Variety Gala Performance are available from www.secc.co.uk.