Butefest: So much to see, hear and do

We Are Scientists
band
We Are Scientists band

Three days of live music get under way around lunchtime on Friday at Butefest 2017.

It’s a massive logistical operation with one main stage and two marquees each hosting a rolling programme of performers.

Butefest 2016 - festival scenes  (Pic: Cath Ruane)

Butefest 2016 - festival scenes (Pic: Cath Ruane)

While the headliners always catch the eye, and get the biggest crowds, there is much to explore, discover, and enjoy, amid the line-ups.

Butefest celebrates the very best in Scottish music with bands and singers travelling from across the country to take part.

Friday is headlined by The Wedding Present, fabled British indie rockers still going strong three decades after the release of their George Best album – which they’ve just re-recorded – and still fronted by founder David Gedge. They arrive on the island on the back of some sold-out gigs down south.

Drill down the line-up and you will find some serious ‘must see’ bands.

A few jump out immediately. Manran’s live sets are brim full of energy and excitement, while Fife-based The Youth and The Young were stand outs in 2016, and Heron Valley’s glorious Scottish/Irish sounds should have light up the festival.

Check out the opening day line-ups in Minstrels’ Marquee and Harlequins Den too.

The Afro-dub sounds of Samson Sounds headline a marquee packed with scottish talent, while Brian Jamieson and the Hainhill heretic top the den bill.

There is local talent too across the weekend – look out for Rothesay’s very own red Hearted Bibes on the main stage early on Saturday; while Sunday’s line-up includes Beth Swan, Douglas Zavaroni and Layla La templeton.

Saturday’s headliners, The Chair, will bring the very best in Orcadian music to the island, while Gerry Cinammon, who has been around the circuit for a good while, has a solo set just after the Countess of Fife … or, Fay Fife, leader of the legendary Rezillos, as you may know her!

Fay brought her punk rockers to Butefest last year, and returns with this new collaboration with

Allan Mcdowall of post punk country outfit So You Think You’re A Cowboy.

In the marquee, don’t miss Harry And The Hendersons, a smashing seven-piece pop-meets-punk Glasgow band, or the Coaltown Daisies, from Fife, who set the bar when it comes to acoustic music.

On Sunday, Butefest goes international with a real coup – the only Scottish date from We Are Scientists.

There’s huge interest in the arrival of Keith Murray and Chris Cain.

The New York city duo have released six albums and played the Letterman show – to name but one highlight – since their breakthrough debut album, With Love And Squalor.

There is a strong look to the closing day of Butefest with The Elephant sessions and Colonel Mustard both set for the main stage.

The Sessions were named live act of the year at the Trad Music awards and should easily be one of the festival’s stand-outs.

Mind you, they do have to follow Colonel Mustard and The Dijon Five – the yellow clad band who blew the stage apart 12 months ago.

Elsewhere. look out for The Begbies, Have Mercy Las Vegas and the bagpipe led sound of The Dangleberries when you plan your schedule.