The next event in the FRETS calendar is


FRETS – Fri 16th June – The Strathaven Hotel

TICKETS ON SALE AT THIS LINK: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/579569


Fri 16th June, FRETS/ The Strathaven Hotel

Darren McGarvey
Becci Wallace
Raymond MacDonald

David Scott

Darren McGarvey came to public attention through the music he released as Loki, becoming one of Scottish Hip Hop’s most influential artists and contributing to the popularisation of the Scottish accent in rap music. His work as a prize-winning author of best-selling books like Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain’s Underclass from 2018 and The Distance Between Us: How Remote Politics Wrecked Britain published in 2022. Darren will be performing a spoken word and music/rhetoric set. Darren appears regularly on television, his 2022 series Darren McGarvey’s Addiction won the BAFTA Award Scotland for Factual Series whilst his Darren McGarvey’s Common People podcast has attracted large viewing figures.

Becci Wallace’s material has been described by Celtic Connections as consisting of “original, artful alignment of folk and hip-hop elements”. She is an acclaimed singer/songwriter/artist/musician/producer and is a PHD student researching hip hop education. Becci is also the creator of That’s What She Said – a series of podcasts featuring panels and performances from women in the music industry. Becci is an activist for women in the music industry and her most recent release outlines the struggles both personally and as part of the wider industry in Scotland for parents trying to remain relevant. Becci also co-created SongSeeds songwriting retreats/workshops/masterclasses (for people of all abilities).

Raymond MacDonald has been described by The Guardian as “leading contemporary jazz”. He is a saxophonist, composer and psychologist with an extensive career in music, cross-disciplinary arts and academia. Much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. As a saxophonist and composer, MacDonald has released over 60 CDs, toured and broadcast worldwide and has composed music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations. He is currently Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at Edinburgh University and his recent book, The Art of Becoming: How Group Improvisation Works (co-authored with Graeme Wilson) explores the nature of improvisation. MacDonald has also co-edited five texts and published over 80 academic papers and book chapters.

David Scott is a broadcaster who has created programs for BBC Radio Scotland including the well-loved Classic Scottish Albums series. David has also fronted The Pearlfishers and has released 9 albums of his songs by the group since the early 1990s. He is also a renowned music producer working across a multitude of genres, experience he puts to good use through his educational work with University of West of Scotland.

The format for We Could Send Letters at FRETS/The Strathaven Hotel will be David Scott interviewing the musician/authors. The event will start with David interviewing Raymond MacDonald about his books and exploring the links between music and learning. David and Raymond will also discuss the importance of jazz as a soundtrack for civil rights internationally prior to a performance of free-jazz saxophone by the musician.

David will then discuss with Becci her written approach to education and the work she undertakes at her SongSeeds workshops. He will also talk about her published research work on hip hop education processes and her That’s What She Said podcasts relating to women in the music industry. Becci will then perform a set of her folk-influenced hip hop songs.

Finally David will interview Darren about the importance music has played in shaping his life and discuss his award-winning books. Darren will talk about the communication elements of hip hop and rap, followed by his performance which will be a mix of spoken word, music and rhetoric.

The seated audience will be able to enjoy the background music throughout the event, which will exclusively feature jazz and early progenitors of hip hop and rap (including The Last Poets / Gil Scott Heron).

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/575250 Tickets: SOLD OUT! Waiting list only.

FRETS is beyond excited to announce The Scars featuring Tam Dean Burn and Port Sulphur will both be in concert at the Voodoo Rooms on Saturday 17th June – tickets are available from FRETS http://www.fretsconcerts.com

The Scars were born in the first wave of Scotland’s punk explosion and made their mark with the cult classic debut single ‘Adult/ery’ & ‘Horrorshow’on the legendary Fast Product label. Over hundreds of live shows they developed their sound and vision, becoming a favourite of the rock press with the album ‘Author! Author!’ which is still highly regarded.

Today’s lineup features three founding members, now fronted by the spectacular Tam Dean Burn, and together they accelerate from 70s glam pop to dystopian cyberfunk storytelling without a single glance in the rear view mirror.

The Scars’ live show has always been a volatile, theatrical affair, and the audience at 2022’s ‘Hungry Beat’ book launch will testify that the band’s fire is undiminished!


Port Sulphur performed a sold-out concert at the CCA at the end of last year in celebration of the release of their number 1 album ‘Speed Of Life’, which was released on Creeping Bent via Last Night From Glasgow. The group performed live to a screening of Grant McPhee’s ‘Beyond The Speed Of Life’ film as part of the maxi-media event.

Port Sulphur collaborated on their first album (‘Paranoic Critical’) with post-punk heroes Alan Vega (Suicide), Vic Godard (Subway Sect), Gareth Sager (The Pop Group), Davy Henderson (Fire Engines), James Kirk (Orange Juice), however the modus operandi changed with ‘Speed Of Life’, which was an instrumental album that owed more to German experimental rock music of the 1970s.

Tickets on sale 7pm, Monday 22nd May: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/581824

RICHARD JOBSON came to prominence as vocalist with Scottish punk group Skids, garnering plaudits as a unique lyricist through the period. The group developed their sound and released ctritical and commercially successful hit singles and albums.

Recorded in 2022, Destination Dusseldorf, the brand new studio album from was released in March 2023 on an array of Vinyl, CD and DL. The album featured collaborations with incredible artists like Youth, Hugh Cornwall and Martin Metcalfe – all fans of the band. Creativity born from friendship and respect lies at the heart of this new album which is one of Skids’ finest recordings. People change but the heart and the energy that drives the band remains stronger than ever before as Skids look forward to a new chapter in the bands ongoing history.

Richard has also had a successful career as a writer and filmaker.

MARTIN METCALFE is the singer, guitarist and writer in Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. Goodbye Mr. MacKenzie released their first album, Good Deeds and Dirty Rags, in 1989. It entered the UK charts at No.16 and the band quickly attracted a large, loyal support north of the border. Incredible live shows and singles like the top 40 hit ‘The Rattler’, in particular, further cemented a fond place in many a Scottish heart.

A colourful and varied career followed that involved amongstother things, releasing 2 more major label albums, further UK singles chart positions, working and recording with members of the Talking Heads, and touring and playing with bands like Blondie, The Ramones, BAD, Afghan Whigs etc.

FRETS CONCERTS was established by Strathaven musician Douglas MacIntyre. The first concert took place in the Strathaven Hotel on 4th October, 2019, with Lloyd Cole performing an acoustic set accompanied by Commotions guitarist Neil Clark. The ethos at FRETS is very much geared towards a seated and listening audience, with the onus on live performance and songwriting. The artists really appreciate performing to an attentive audience, magic is invariably in the air. Our dream concert would be Neil Young with an acoustic guitar and harmonica performing his On The Beach album, or Bill Callahan performing any of his albums. We look forward to welcoming you to the Strathaven Hotel for an evening at FRETS.

FRETS is a seated venue within the Strathaven Hotel, doors usually open at 7pm with seats taken on a ‘first-come-first-seated’ basis. We usually have two support artists, with live performances commencing shortly after doors open. All tickets are paperless and sold via the Concert Tickets section of this website, you do not need to print your tickets, simply show us your tickets on your phone.

The concerts usually finish by 10.30pm, though the bar in the hotel is open late if you want to have a drink and a chat. Lots of FRETS attendees stay over at the hotel and have a meal in the resturant prior to the concert, more details about the Strathaven Hotel here. https://www.strathavenhotel.com/

If you re not already on the mailing list, go to the Blog section of this website and submit your email address to keep up to date. We have a couple of big announcement forthcoming and will be emailing to our mailing list soon.

In line with other live music promoters and entertainment events we operate a no refunds policy.

https://twitter.com/FRETSCONCERTS / https://www.facebook.com/fretsconcerts


FRETS is supportive of car-sharing as an option to travel to the Strathaven Hotel. If this isn’t possible, Climate Action Strathaven are now operating buses to and from Strathaven. The last bus to run from Glasgow to Strathaven is 6.15pm from North Hanover St (George Square). Please note there are no direct buses running from Strathaven to coincide with FRETS concerts finishing around 10.30pm. There are trains from Hamilton to Glasgow, however a taxi would be required to be booked from the hotel to Hamilton. There are two taxi firms in Strathaven, here are their details:

Stevie’s Taxis / 01357 – 528888

Strathaven Taxis / 01357 – 522522


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