A ‘folking‘ good time was had by all at a SOLD OUT Montrose Town Hall for the launch of Calum Campbell’s latest album ‘Rovin’.

📸 Chris Simpson – The Capturist

Calum Campbell launched his third studio album on the 2nd of May and celebrated in style with a huge launch night party with some of his closest musician pals to help him. The night was incredibly special and it was evident that it meant a lot to Calum. Selling out Montrose Town Hall is no mean feat and as said in the gig preview, it is a real testiment to his hard graft and wonderful musicianship over the years.

Rovin‘ is unlike anything Calum has ever released before. He goes back to his Scottish roots with this release. It is a beautifully dynamic and modern folk album from start to finish. Calum undeniably has a unique voice and this hasn’t been lost. His signature sound is very much still present, just accompanied by a team of talented musicians. Calum and his circle of friends have managed to capture something special in the creative process which, to me, is reflected well in the mastering of the album.

Mad Ferrett Band

What a fun and talented duo and ridiculously impressive beard! Mad Ferrett Band filled the dance floor with their fun and fast paced set. With just a guitar, mandalin and a cajon these guys manage to make it sound like more is going on. ‘Nancy Whiskey’ seemed to be a favourite of the night.

📸 Chris Simpson – The Capturist

Craic Inn

Bringing a more traditional irish folk into the mix this talented duo opened with ‘Dirty Old Town‘ and had the whole of Montrose singing along. They sang some superb harmonies that caught my attention during their set. I thoroughly enjoyed their rendition of Irish ballad ‘Whiskey in The Jar’ and Sit Down by James. Keeping the dance floor filled and a room full of new listeners well engaged.

📸 Chris Simpson – The Capturist

Calum MacPhail & Sean Cousins

Calum and Sean really brought the stomp and hollar down from Inverness. They had the dance floor filled from their first song, doing both originals and covers. They pulled off one of the most fun medleys I’ve seen live, leaving even a keen music enthusiast left guessing about what is coming next; Country roads/American pie/Coming round the mountain,/Belle of Belfast city/Cotton eye joe/Hey baby. It was super clever and a definite crowd pleaser.

📸 Chris Simpson – The Capturist

Calum Campbell Circle

A 10 piece band left it all on stage and played their heart out, celebrating all the hard work that has gone in to Rovin. There was accordian, fiddle, drums, guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, bagpipes and whistle throughout the set which displayed the versitility of the music that Calum has created. Having known some of the band for the past 15 years or so, it brought me real joy to see them share a stage together during such a memorable evening.

Calum and his band opened up the show with Mormond Braes. the opening track to the album. A great choice as the track layers instruments throughout. It was aesthetically pleasing and gave each musician on the stage a moment of recognition and introduction to what was to come. I’m unsure I’m yet to see a live band perform with six vocalists and I’m sure I counted 4 harmonies at one point, the singing was flawless throughout the set yet still very raw.

I feel as though the set list was expansive of Calum’s work and provided a good range of all three albums, playing many songs from Rovin; Yellow on the broom, Rovin and The Law. Dundee 1885 is my favourite from the album and seeing it live was perfect. The bagpipes in the tune are well placed and not over powering. The chemistry between Calum and Meghan is undeniable on stage and it is a true joy to watch.

Of course old favourites such as Rush, Skally, Where did I go wrong and , Fallin had to be brought out for everyone to get a proper sing song. I genuinly closed my eyes and coud have been anywhere but Montrose Town Hall. The sound and production on the night were seriously impressive, having heard these songs in pubs for years, it just meant a lot more to see it all come together in such a big way, the songs certainly hit different.

Fallin' - Calum Campbell Album Launch

Absolutely lovely to see Calum “Boydie” MacLeod in to support Calum’s album launch, a fantastic example of musicians supporting musicians which I personally feel is so important in this industry. He joined Calum and his band at the end of the night to sing Flower of Scotland which was just a really great ending to a night of such exceptional live music.

Montrose Town Hall was buzzing, you could feel the energy and the love the audience has for Calum and his music was profound throughout the entire evening. I don’t think the dance floor emptied at all and I won’t be the only one to feel as though I could have happily watched another set… I was captivated. It was just a genuinely lovely atmosphere and didn’t feel like a typical gig.. it felt intimate regardless of it being a sell out show and the size of the venue.

About Bonnie Ross 53 Articles
I'm a musician who's always had a passion for discovering new music. I now write about it...