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Russell Crowe picked Inverness as the only Scottish date on his band’s tour – here’s why

The Gladiator star tells the P&J about what the Inverness audience can expect from his Indoor Garden Party gig.

Russell Crowe sings into the microphone as he performs on stage with the Gentlemen Barbers
Oscar winner Russell Crowe and his band will perform at Eden Court in Inverness this summer: Photo by Terenghi/Pool Sanremo/

“It’s not too bad, is it?” says Russell Crowe, looking over his shoulder at the frankly stunning vista through the window behind him.

“Roma. Bella Roma! That’s the Trinità dei Monti here, at the top of the Spanish Steps.

In the background you can see St Peter’s, and over there’s the Pantheon.”

Crowe’s taken to the Italian capital, and Italy has taken to him.

He was at the heart of one of the world’s most beautiful cities’ definitive cinema appearances in Gladiator in 2000.

And it’s no surprise to discover he’s an official ambassador for the city.

At the moment he’s enjoying a bit of down-time there during filming, and taking to Zoom to promote the upcoming music tour with his band, the Gentlemen Barbers, which calls in Inverness in July.

While we’re here, though, it’s a pleasure to take his ten-second tour of the city.

Russell Crowe performing with his band The Gentlemen Barbers
Russell Crowe performing with his band. Supplied by David Pollock.

The film star who’ll be ‘yodelling around the world’

“I’m actually shooting in Budapest at the moment, and it’s a heavy role,” says Crowe.

“I’m playing Hermann Goering in Nuremberg with Rami Malik and Michael Shannon, and there are a few days where I wasn’t required on set, so I thought I would change my environment.”

Nuremberg is the debut film by James Vanderbilt, writer of David Fincher’s Zodiac.

Telling the story of the attempt to bring Nazi war criminals to trial, it also stars Richard E Grant, One Day’s Leo Woodall and Mad Men’s John Slattery.

It sounds great, but for Crowe his other career playing music is a release valve.

I’m really excited, it feels like a great place for us to go.”

Russell Crowe on his upcoming Inverness gig

“When I’m doing a job like this one, it’s very heavy and the character is quite punishing mentally,” he says.

“When it’s difficult to find the humanity in them, even just the thought of knowing I’m going to be on tour soon actually gets me through the days.

“Let me just be clear, I’m enjoying the hell out of this shoot. I’m surrounded by gunfire actors, I get on well with the director, we’re doing really good work every day – but still, I’m playing a character who it’s very hard to find the redeeming features of, and that starts to weigh on you.

“So the idea that soon I’ll be clearing my head and yodelling around the world is great for me.”

Russell Crowe’s Scottish connections

He laughs warmly and heartily when he mentions ‘yodelling’, but he clearly takes his music seriously.

It’s how he started out in New Zealand (where he was born) and Australia, and his bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, The Ordinary Fear of God and now the Gentlemen Barbers have been ever-present throughout his acting career.

Why, though, is his tour missing out cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow to make Inverness its only Scottish stop?

Scottish Jacobite, Simon Fraser 11th Baron Lovat.
Crowe is related to the Frasers, and Scottish Jacobite, Simon Fraser 11th Lord Lovat, who was the last man in Britain to be beheaded for treason, is an ancestor.

“It was pointed out to me by a distant cousin that we’re directly related to a guy called Fraser, who came to New Zealand in 1841 on a boat called the Whitby,” he says.

“Whether legitimately or illegitimately he’s related to the Lovat family, who were mates of Robert the Bruce’s.

“I’d known of Scottish connections through my mother’s side of the family, but this connection comes through my father’s mother.

“When we were talking about where to play, obviously Edinburgh and Glasgow came up, but based on this information I wanted to visit my relatives up in Inverness.

“I’m really excited, it feels like a great place for us to go.”

What can Inverness audience expect from Russell Crowe and his band?

What can the city expect from the Indoor Garden Party experience? “That name is like an umbrella,” says Crowe.

“It’s really about whatever I happen to be pursuing at the time, so instead of changing names every couple of years, what I do with the band is now just called Indoor Garden Party.

“The current single is called Let Your Light Shine, which is like a gospel-blues number.”

Russell Crowe on stage.
Crowe said Inverness feels like a “really great place” for his band to go to. Supplied by David Pollock.

It sounds great, not least because Crowe’s own voice is so distinctively powerful.

Let’s not forget he starred in the 2012 film version of Les Misérables, or that artists including Michael Bublé, Rita Ora, Sting and Hugh Jackman have guest-starred at his gigs.

“My band all started as my mates, but they’re all great musicians,” he says.

“Some of the relationships in this band go back 30 years, but these guys are monsters, they’ve toured the world with people like Silverchair or Natalie Imbruglia or the Corrs.

“That’s something the audience really appreciates, when the solos just set the room on fire.

“What people can expect is that we’re a band who absolutely understands it’s our responsibility to break them away from the stuff that might be on their minds when they walk into the theatre or the pub or wherever, and it’s our aim that everybody’s on their feet screaming and yelling by the end of the show.”

‘Live performance is that reset’

The tour is getting bigger. Last year the band did 23 dates in Australia, four in Italy and a couple in Malta and the Czech Republic.

This year they have 15 Italian dates, including the Colosseum in Rome, the Amphitheatre in Pompeii and the steps of Sicily’s Noto Cathedral, “but we’re also playing the Parr Hall in Warrington.”

As well as the Scottish, English and Irish dates, there’s interest from the USA and Brazil.

Crowe pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2016.
Crowe pictured at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2016. Photo by Sebastien Nogier/EPA/Shutterstock.

“It’s going to be a big, big tour in front of us,” Crowe says with excitement.

“Being a feature film actor is an exacting task, you have wave after wave of responsibility.

“The other day I shot a 17-page scene, just me and Michael Shannon talking.

“I’ve never done anything like that in 60-plus feature films, and between you and me, I wasn’t 100  percent sure if the facility was still going to still be there for me at the age of 59.

“It was fine and dandy, though. Compare that level of exactitude to the anarchy when you walk onstage.

Russell Crowe at the premiere of NOAH at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Russell Crowe at the premiere of NOAH at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.

“Back in the day, Anthony Hopkins told me he was off to do a season of King Lear to reset himself after Silence of the Lambs.

“For me, the live performance is that reset, it takes me into an environment where whatever is going to happen is going to happen.

“You never know what will take place in a rock and roll show, you just grab its coattails and ride it, and for me that’s very exciting.

“It’s my roots, it’s what filled me in the first place.”

When is Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden party in Inverness?

With that, he’s off back to enjoy Rome. “My aim when I was a kid was to have the most creative life that I could construct,” he smiles.

“Whereas maybe 25 or 30 years ago it was tougher for people to think you can do more than two things, as I’ve gotten older, people are far more willing to accept it.

“I also love to tell a story, that’s all part of the show as well.”

  • Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party, featuring the Gentlemen Barbers and Lorraine O’Reilly, plays Eden Court, Inverness, on Friday July 26. For tickets go to or