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Arts / ‘We’re wanting to be optimistic’ – rock bands schedule June gig

The Stoals' core members Tom Smith, Scott Tomlinson and Callum Anderson (left to right).

IT is a rather unusual sight considering the last 12 months – a live gig scheduled to take place in Shetland.

The new breed of Shetland’s rock scene – The Stoals, The Fiction and Sheer – are teaming up to perform at the Lerwick Legion on Friday 25 June.

The event is being organised by the Stoals and tickets are now on sale.

The emerging indie band, however, are ready to offer refunds on pre-bought tickets should the gig have to be postponed.

Lead guitarist Callum Anderson said the band are keen to hold a ‘normal’ gig without any restrictions and were ready to take the plunge and book something in the diary.

“We’ve always been wanting to be pretty optimistic about when we can do things,” he said.

“If this gig ends up having to be social distanced, or seated or with masks, then we’ll just cancel it and refund everyone, or try and reschedule it.

“We’re wanting to be optimistic, but we also want to take some action and actually book something and see what happens.”

First minister Nicola Sturgeon previously said it is hoped that all of Scotland would move to at least level zero coronavirus restrictions by the end of the June.

There is little information at this stage as to what that could look like, but a timetable for easing restrictions shows that small-scale indoor events could resume in mid-May with limited numbers before capacity is gradually increased over the following weeks.

Anderson, meanwhile, said he is keen to see the local music scene revived following the pandemic.

While some acts, like The Stoals, have released new music over the last year, there has been no opportunity to perform live to an audience.

“I’d just love to see the local music scene making a big comeback this year, because it’s been really tough for musicians,” the guitarist said.

“I think we were kind of getting good in March last year and getting serious about it, and then everything stopped. We came back and said ‘nah, we’ve got to keep doing’. We’re keen to get as many people involved as possible and build a bit of a scene again.”

The Stoals – who are completed by Scott Tomlinson (vocals, guitar) and Tom Smith (bass) alongside stand-in drummer John Gair – released their latest single Heaven Sent last week, with the sound evoking the likes of Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Cinnamon.

Anderson also said the band plans to move south to Glasgow in September to have a crack at the music industry.