Celebration of Scottish pop music among highlights as True North festival line-up revealed

© DC ThomsonClaire Grogan
Claire Grogan

A specially-curated concert celebrating the very best of Scottish pop music is among the highlights of this year’s True North festival line-up.

Rip it Up Live – A Celebration of Scottish Pop is a one-off performance and will be held at the Music Hall on Sunday, September 22.

It has been commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts for True North and will be curated and hosted by BBC broadcaster Vic Galloway.

Guest singers will include Claire Grogan of Altered Images, King Creosote, Emma Pollock from The Delgados, Richard Jobson of The Skids, Fay Fyfe and Eugene Reynolds of The Rezillos, Aberdeen’s own Kathryn Joseph, Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, C Duncan, and Ross Leighton (Fatherson) performing some of their favourite songs from seven decades of Scottish pop.


Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Cultural Programme Manager Steven Milne said: “The Rip it Up exhibition was widely recognised as a triumphant celebration of Scotland’s contemporary musical landscape, showing how a country as small as Scotland has managed to produce a constant stream of great musicians over the last seven decades.

“We felt this was an ideal platform for True North to create a unique showcase of the musical culture of the nation over more than half a century, from influential indie pioneers to global superstars. When it comes to the Scottish music scene there’s no one better qualified than Vic Galloway to pull this together so he is the perfect curator for the event; he has created an amazing line up.”

Ninth Wave

“Being involved in the ‘Rip It Up – The Story of Scottish Pop’ exhibition, book, TV and Radio Series was such a pleasure and an honour for me in 2018,” Mr Galloway added.

“The reaction at home and abroad was astonishing, and just showed how many talented musicians this country has created over the years. Taking the concept onstage as a live concert at True North adds a whole new dimension.


“With names from the past, present and future of Scottish Pop, it’s going to be a unique, one-off event celebrating seven decades of homegrown music at the festival. I cannot wait to share it all with festival goers from both near and far!”

The remainder of the weekend will feature performances from some of the most exciting and talented artists in the country with gigs taking place at the Music Hall, Lemon Tree, and Tivoli, as well as Fringe events in various locations across the city.

Bill Ryder Jones

Scottish indie rockers The Twilight Sad will be taking to the Music Hall stage as Saturday headliners, joined by special guests Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert.

Tickets are already on sale for a band riding high off the back of support slots with The Cure, who namecheck The Twilight Sad as one of their favourite bands.

True North will open on Thursday, September 19 at the Lemon Tree with critically acclaimed London punk band Shame.

The historic surroundings of Aberdeen’s Tivoli Theatre will again host a festival gig this year.

BC Camplight

Friday night’s headline event will feature former guitarist and co-founder of The Coral, Bill Ryder-Jones – now a singer-songwriter, producer and composer in his own right.

Also on the bill at the Tivoli on Friday night are Caithness-band Neon Waltz, who were favourites when they performed at True North in 2017 and return off the back of a huge UK tour in 2018, and supporting Noel Gallagher at an open air gig in Inverness earlier this month. Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Martha Ffion completes the Friday night Tivoli line-up.

And if that wasn’t enough, there will also be three special informal performances in the new Big Sky Studio at the Music Hall.


Ben Torrie, Aberdeen Performing Arts’ director of programming and creative projects added: “In just four years, True North has evolved from a simple idea to celebrate great song-writing into an award-winning music festival which is locally and nationally recognised as a first-class example of a city-centre, multi-venue event.

“With this year’s line-up, we have presented a snapshot of some of the most electrifying musicians on the contemporary music scene, a celebration of our nation’s pop music past and future, and will bring the city to life with great music.

“It’s going to be an amazing weekend for music fans from far and near, and a great excuse to travel to the city for the weekend and explore all it has to offer.”

Further details of the True North Fringe and a special programme of family and children’s events will be announced in the coming weeks, including the hugely popular ‘My First Gig’.

Ticket Information 

Tickets for all shows go on sale today to APA friends, and general sale tomorrow.

Festival passes are also available at a cost of £30 for a day pass (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), or £95 for the whole weekend which includes tickets for all the concerts mentioned above.

For tickets or further information visit www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, phone (01224) 641122 or visit the box office at the Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre or the Lemon Tree.