It’s only a few short days until Perth celebrates the Year of Young People 2018 with Diverse Citay Festival this Saturday, and it looks like we are in store for a real treat. The festival is taking place in the city centre, kicking off with a vibrant carnival parade leaving the South Inch car park at 12.30pm. It continues with a youth market on Mill Street and a youth takeover at Perth Theatre. There will also be an abundance of great music to suit all tastes and ages at the North Inch and on Mill Street.
Kids and adults alike are guaranteed to love the wonderfully monikered Sprog Rock. They will be putting on an amazing interactive gig suitable for all but especially tots from the ages of 0-5. The reason that Sprog Rock go down so well with kids, is they know exactly what type of music they love. How do they know that? Simple, they ask them. All of Sprog Rock’s original songs are workshopped with the audience they are intended for, and the kids contribute ideas and even jokes that end up in the finished songs. So, if you have a sprog that loves to rock, then you are going to want to get them down to Perth Theatre on Saturday!
From 1pm to 4.30pm the North Inch will become the beating musical heart of the festival as the legendary Ministry of Sound take control of the music stage. There will be eclectic and energetic music from performers such as Be Charlotte, Jack Maynard, Karen Harding, Eliza and the Bears and songwriter Mikey. The ace up the Ministry of Sound’s sleeve though is the House and Garage Orchestra which will feature special guests Kele Le Roc, Sweet Female Attitude and Polly Pierce.
As well as being a singer Leanne Brown from Sweet Female also has an academic and professional background working with creative young people. “I get a great deal of inspiration from seeing youngsters thrive and create. The Arts is such an important part of youth culture. It provides youngsters with a focus and sense of fulfilment. Having a hobby or a passion within The Arts can also be a form of therapy or an outlet for anyone battling with any form of mental or physical issues. It’s such a positive message to celebrate the achievements of our youngsters and the festival is putting Perth on the map for endorsing diversity and investing in its youth. We may well see some future stars yield from Perth’s music scene.”
Judging from the quality of local bands I’ve seen since I started working as a music reviewer for Small City, we may not have to wait too long. Among the acts playing when the musical action switches to Mill Street will be up and coming Perth Band, Stop the Rain. I remember being impressed when I saw them play in The Green Room in March (read my review here). The youth market will be showcasing young entrepreneurs aged 8 to 26. They will be selling a diverse range of products from handmade chocolates, leather goods, pottery and jewellery to summer festival wear, toys, soaps and bath bombs and locally-produced food and drink. Alongside the market, some great young Scottish acts will be laying out their musical wares. Diverse Citay is a great opportunity for them to showcase their musical talents and they will be keen to impress.
Having a hobby or a passion within The Arts can also be a form of therapy or an outlet for anyone battling with any form of mental or physical issues. The guys from Stop the Rain told me, “after hearing about the festival we knew straight away that we wanted to be a part of it. It’s great for Perth bands to be able to just get together in the one location and play.” They also hope that the festival isn’t just a one-off, “It would be great for the Perth music scene if it could become an annual event. It would be a great platform for bands to benchmark their development and for younger musicians to get some experience in playing in front of a crowd.”
A DJ collective from Perth College called Wize will be filling the slots between acts with a selection of top house music that is close to their hearts. They are really looking forward to the event and will ensure help ensure there are no gaps in a non-stop day of entertainment.
Another young Perth band that are fighting fit for Saturday is Parliamo. Formed two years ago, all members of Parliamo are still under 18, yet they have already had airtime on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Wales amongst others. Their influences include The Clash, Talking Heads and The Stone Roses and they’ve promised an extremely energetic performance on Saturday. “We’re going to tear through our first two singles before giving a sneak preview of our upcoming debut EP ‘Thrill of the Chase’ when we play it in its entirety. It’s gonna be great to play it live for hundreds of people”
It was Jack Dailly from Parliamo who suggested the band Sahara to the organisers of Diverse Citay, and I reckon he made a good call. The indie four-piece have been described as ‘Dundee’s new indie wonderkids’ and their headline Perth set at The Green Room saw them go down a storm. They told us, “although we’re a Dundee band, we’ve seen a rise in the great acts coming out of and playing in Perth. With events like BBC2’s Biggest Weekend, Perth Music Expo and City of Vultures there is a real sense of momentum building up. It’s good that Diverse Citay is in place to make these events more accessible to those who are either too young or can’t afford ticket prices.”
Headlining the Mill Street Stage on Saturday 23rd June are the Americana/Rock n Roll band from Perthshire, The Carloways.
In their relatively short time as a band, they have performed at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival three years in a row, the Montrose Music Festival, Thunder in the Glen and in 2017 the boys joined Alex Salmond, Former First Minister for Scotland, at his show 'Unleashed' as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they also performed 14 sold out shows.
When asked if they would like to perform at Perth's Diverse CiTay Festival on Saturday the 23rd June 2018, the boys jumped at the chance to play to a home crowd. When we caught up with Charlie Haggart who plays guitar for the band, he told us, "Well it’s always good to play locally. As much as we enjoy playing in different locations throughout the country, it’s great to play so close to home. It was a perfectly timed opportunity for us to tighten up the screws and make sure we are on an upward trajectory the week before our EP launch at the Twa Tams on the 30th June. I’m sure the Diverse CiTay Festival will go down a treat in Perth and hopefully we can put on a good performance for everybody who is coming along!"
The boys will also be heading to the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival again this August where you can catch them on the grassroots stage and watch out for the release of their debut EP next week!
Check out The Carloways doing what they do best on the Diverse CiTay Mill Street Stage at 9pm this Saturday 23rd June.
Getting to Diverse CiTay is really easy and there are free shuttle buses on hand to ferry young people and their families from all around Perth and Kinross into the city centre.
You can find further information about the Diverse CiTay Festival including the full free shuttle bus schedule on the Perth City Centre website.
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