IT’S going to be an exciting weekend for up-and-coming young Golspie musician Heather Shelley, whose band has been invited to entertain the crowds at Olympic Park in London.
Heather and her fellow band members will be playing a 40-45 minute slot on Saturday at the spectacular-looking bandstand.
The 20-year-old is a third-year Scottish music student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, in Glasgow.
A piano player, she formed the band CherryGrove a year ago with fellow students.
They have since been making a name for themselves on the Scottish music circuit, playing at the Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections and supporting Scottish band Manran at a gig in Fort William. But it still came as a huge surprise when they were contacted out of the blue and invited to play at Olympic Park by somewhereto – a company that helps young musicians find places to perform.
Says Heather: "They just emailed us and asked us if we would be interested in playing at Olympic Park. We were all shocked but very excited at the same time."
Heather believes well known Scottish double base player and music producer Duncan Lyall was responsible for recommending CherryGrove to somewhereto.
The band, which specialises in contemporary Scottish music, also includes fiddle player Mhairi Mackinnon from Perth, harpist Sarah MacNeil from Falkirk, guitar player and vocalist Marianne Fraser of Spean Bridge and accordionist Grant MacFarlane from Paisley. "We’ve definitely got our own sound," says Heather. "We do a lot of our own compositions and Marianne writes and performs her own songs."
Heather, whose parents are Bruce and Rose Shelley of Sutherland Stonework, will travel to the capital today (Friday), play on Saturday and return home on Sunday. She is currently working as a summer guide at Clynelish Distillery.
Although CherryGrove have as yet produced no hard copies of their music, recordings of their performances have been posted on Soundcloud and are also available on the band’s website and Facebook.
However, they have just finished recording a four-track CD for which they are taking pre-orders.
And you don’t need to travel to London to hear CherryGrove. The band have signed up to perform at the Loch Ness marathon on Friday and Saturday, 28th–29th September.
They will also be playing at Bogbain Farm, Inverness, on the evening of the 28th.
For further information visit www.cherrygrovemusic.com; www.facebook.com/cherrygrovemusic; www.twitter.come/cherrygroveband; and www.soundcloud.com/cherrygrove