Inverness fans take singer-songwriter, Callum Beattie to their hearts.

Concert Review. Words and Pictures by  Alan Cruickshank 

Dylan Tierney was on the typically difficult “first up” slot at the Callum Beattie gig at The Inverness Ice Centre and despite only getting a ten minute sound check (technical issues) and have his slot moved back 15 minutes he totally smashed his set. Dylan is a well-known, well-loved local singer/songwriter performing all around Inverness and beyond and tonight played to a proper “up for it” crowd and treated them to superb set of his own music which was rightfully lapped up by the said crowd.

I have watched Dylan develop his writing and performing skills over the last few years and it has been a delight to see him progress so well, his slot supporting Callum Beattie has been earned and deserved as is his slot at Woodzstock and Belladrum this year. There is no doubt in my mind that Dylan will continue to go from strength to strength due to has genuine hard work and excellent song-writing and performing. His album “Old Misty road” is well worth a good listen.

Next up was Calum MacPhail and his band that took to the stage to a perfectly warmed up crowd ready and waiting to be further entertained and duly were. I initially thought this was a slightly odd choice of support band given who was coming on next but delighted to say my concerns were soon and rightfully proven unfounded. The “up for it” crowd once again showed they were in the mood to be entertained and really enjoyed their set of a mix of Scottish traditional music with a bit of Bellamy brothers to encourage a bit of a sing song with the crowd. Calum’s single (Oh My Darling) came out on April and you can catch him and his band at Belladrum this year.

I have always said that if the “Highlanders” take you to their hearts then you have a friend for life! Callum Beattie has a huge amount of Highlander friends and they all turned out at the Ice centre Inverness to truly give him a friend’s welcome he will not forget in a hurry. A few minutes before Callum came on he had all of the back stage people blowing up huge balloons to later belt in to the crowd during his set, an indication that he was intending to have a great party and oh boy did he! I was pacing along the photo pit a couple of minutes before he was due on and you could genuinely feel the atmosphere and expectation build and build, when he did come on the roar and screams from the crowd actually gave me a start and made me jump, I knew then we were in for something special.

Callum does not have backing singers; he doesn’t need them due to all the front of house singers that knew his songs word for word and they sang along with all the gusto they could muster.

With about 3 or 4 songs left in his brilliant set Callum stopped the concert due to a medical emergency in the crowd, Callum left the stage and went to the what was happening, he came back on a few minutes later to say that an ambulance was on the way and to ask that people make some room and allow the man that was in trouble be attended too, he said nothing like this has happened before and he would come back on stage once the emergency was resolved, I have to give huge kudos to Highland Security and the Ice Centre staff for the way they handled everything. It would appear that the gentlemen that collapsed had an issue with his Pacemaker, the paramedics attended and whisked him to hospital, Callum promised the man and his family free tickets for life which I am certain he will honour.

Callum then came back on stage with his band to announce that the man was doing great and they were going to continue with the concert.  Despite the drama the party re-started with the excitement and fervour from earlier, and with just 2 songs left to go Callum decided to climb in with the audience much to the fear of the security people and sing from the crowd, many selfies were taken and hugs given from the crowd, eventually he managed to get back to the stage with his clothing still intact….mostly.

As mentioned earlier the Highlanders really have taken Callum to their hearts, he said that this was the best concert experience he has had to date, I believe him.