Bands back by popular demand to The Links

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THE MONTROSE Music Festival committee has lined up two big dates for your diary.

On August 19 Montrose welcomes back The Fortunate Sons (now known as The Big Figure) and Jill Jackson to an exclusive one-night only gig in The Links Hotel.

Both acts have performed at the festival with The Fortunate Sons being old favourites, and Jill being one of the new acts to the festival circuit.

So impressed was the audience with Jill’s performance when she supported Skerryvore recently that she is back by popular demand.

Jill is a Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist and ex-front woman for Speedway. She has supported the likes of Runrig, The Red Hot Chili Pipers and Glasvegas. Locals will all know the background of The Big Figure – an acoustic blues rock band who hail from Glasgow, They are the new project from Glasgow school friends Sam West and Calum McCann who have spent the last few years touring the world as blues band The Fortunate Sons.

After writing new material they realised the new songs had taken a change in direction from their previous work and they decided to build a studio and record under a new name. Their debut single ‘Cherry Blossom’ was written, performed and produced by the band and mixed by legendary producer Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile).

It was released on July 18 and has been very well received at radio stations across the UK. Their debut album ‘Laugh Like Clowns’ is due for release on August 29. The songs set dramatic and dynamic vocals against chiming and jangling guitars built on a thumping, urgent rhythm section.

Sam West’s classically trained baritone provides a sense of drama and power akin to the late Jeff Buckley, while the backdrop is supplied by Calum McCann’s swirling guitar lines. Whenever they have played in Montrose, they have thrilled the audiences who always end up on the dance floor.

Tickets for the event are on sale from the Park and Links hotels, and Montrose Rope and Sail for just £12.

The MMF committee have also scooped another fantastic band for September 3 in Montrose Town Hall.

The Average White Band is back for a follow-up gig to the one they performed for the first music festival. AWB are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music.

Though perhaps best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’, the band’s strength actually lies in their consistently accomplished song writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records. Somewhat incongruously, given their Scottish roots, the six piece took the influences of their R&B heroes – people like Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Donny Hathaway and others – and developed their own ‘authentic’ sound . AWB will be supported by the powerhouse rhythm and blues band Lights Out By Nine. The MMF website gives news about upcoming events, as well as lots of pictures from this year’s festival http://www.montrosemusicfestival.co.uk/wp/.

A spokeswoman for the festival committee said: “It is a real pleasure to be able to bring acts of this calibre to the town.

“And even more so that the acts all want to come back!

“It says something about the warm welcome the Montrose audience always gives!”