A total of 16 shows over 21 days, 31-plus artists (it keeps growing) welcome to the Anywhere But the Cities tour. Appearing in some unlikely but wonderful places throughout Scotland, this is no ordinary tour.
Created by Neu! Reekie! in association with the band FOUND and Dewar’s whisky, the tour began in Anstruther on July 4 and continues to 16 regional venues around Scotland until July 25.
The team behind Neu! Reekie! Michael Pedderson and Kevin Williamson have gained a reputation at the heart of Scotland’s cultural pulse.
They are taking musicians, poets and artists around Scotland, pioneering their own cultural map of the country. I joined them in the lush whisky bar of the Craigellachie Hotel in Moray on their fourth tour stop.
The mix of each event is a dram and a performance, which was rather apt in the heart of whisky country.
First up was an Aberfeldy 25-year-old to go alongside Eugene Kelly (from Glasgow indie band the Vaselines) playing a selection of solo material a treat to hear this Scottish indie icon in such an intimate venue.
After some personality-packed poetry from Michael Pedderson, next I was tasting a 17-year-old Craigellachie dram listening to Ziggy from FOUND’s gorgeous guitar rhythms and mesmerising voice.
Lastly we were served Aultmore 25-year-old to accompany Scottish Album of the Year winner RM Hubbert, who demonstrated his performing prowess clearly a guitarist of prodigious talent.
For many of the places the Neu! Reekie! tour is visiting, locals often don’t get the chance to hear artists like this on their doorsteps as promoters usually go for bigger money-making venues, making this a unique opportunity for the artists involved to play in beautiful venues off the beaten track.
This is artistic curation with a conscience made with loving attention, focused on community and the experience, before profit.
It was a wonderful assault on all the senses and I would urge you to drop by one of the tour dates even more as it’s free!
Find out more at www.neureekie.tumblr.com.