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Letters / Thank you for the music

Thank you for your article on The Bop Shop’s first one-day music festival, Boppapalooza.

All-day music bonanza well underway

Writing in a personal capacity, I think the extravaganza of electric musical genres met, if nor surpassed, many a south multi-day music festival.

Shetland, and clearly The Bop Shop, have greatly helped and supported music development here. And with the music comes so much more through it.

The goodwill of musicians was all to evident in supporting this small charitable community enterprise of a relatively small group of volunteers.

The word ‘community’ is often bandied about in Shetland in other contexts. Shetlanders are highly clubbable, it not cliqueable and occasionally claustrophobic, but this community of joy is truly celebratory of the immense pool of talented people in Shetland, far surpassing any comparable population elsewhere.

As a relatively new returnee to Shetland, searching to re-assimilate and integrate in these isles, only this festival and the Pride celebration festival truly seem to have creatively captured the meaning of inclusivity of diversity, and seemingly effortlessly.

As one of the older people at the event I was intrigued and delighted by the number of flashbacks to the 80s, with cover versions of The Jam, The Cure, The Specials, a violin led version of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, captured in one of the photos in your article, the gyratory genius of Issac Webb Trio, Odesa giving us tunes from the Star Wars Bar and Pulp Fiction.

No shortage of home grown composition either. A number of singers raised the hairs on the back of the neck with beautiful voices and I was very taken by Arthur Nicholson’s solo spot having not heard him on his own before.

By contrast some forms of music not personally popular to me demonstrated superlative musicianship nevertheless, so hats off to all involved including a hugely appreciative and very special set of audiences across the three venues.

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In closing a huge thank you to the merry band at The Bop Shop, where leadership, collectivity, friendship and sheer effort collided in favour of a community cacophony that really does make these islands a remarkable place and I say that as one not at all quickly reaching for saccharine self-congratulation as a Shetlander.

Thank you for the music and the joy it’s bringing. Met some very old dear friends and acquaintances and some delightful new ones. Here’s to next year.

James J Paton

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