Smoke and dreams – Hipsway to play Oban

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In 1987 a young band from Scotland seemingly had the world at their feet. With a hit single (Honeythief) in both the UK and America, 500,000 albums (Gold in UK) sold worldwide and successful tours of Europe and the States, their future path was surely one to glory.

Two years later they disbanded before their second album had even been released; bass player Johnny McElhone formed Texas, while drummer Harry Travers left to pursue his studies.

This left singer Grahame Skinner and guitarist Pim Jones with an album they no longer cared about and a record company that no longer cared about them.

These stories are legion in the music business but every now and again redemption pops its unlikely head above the parapet.

Cut to 2016 and to celebrate the deluxe 30th anniversary re-release of the HIPSWAY debut album, Skinner and Jones decided to play a one-off show in Glasgow, which quickly sold out as did two further gigs – to date the band has now sold more than 10,000 tickets in Scotland.

This caused the ‘boys’ to reason that it might be worth making a new record which brings us to Smoke and Dreams, the new release from HIPSWAY.

The band are taking the new album on the road and will play the Corran Halls, Oban tonight (Thursday December 15).

Speaking ahead of the gig, Grahame Skinner (vocals) said: ‘We’ve been playing some less well travelled places recently and the reception has been great. We are looking forward to hitting Oban for the first time.’

And broadcaster Mark Ellen said of the new material: ‘It’s refreshing to hear this kind of music right now as it doesn’t feel processed or machine-driven. And it sparks a nostalgia for both the 70s and 80s. I love the crisp guitar and the slightly Steely Dan vocal harmonies.’

Supporting the band on their seven-day tour will be singer Stephanie Cheape.

The flame-haired, fiery singer is the current holder of the hotly contested Capital FM Best Unsigned Act title, having blown away a panel of judges and wowed the Scottish music industry at the Scottish Music Awards for Nordoff Robbins late last year.

Since then she’s been tearing it up at festivals including TRNSMT, Belladrum and Party At The Palace, headlining the legendary King Tut’s in Glasgow and supporting the likes of Bryan Ferry in front of thousands at Glasgow’s iconic Kelvingrove Bandstand at Regular’s Summer Nights, where the Roxy Music legend said on stage he was blown away by her performance.

There’s even more going on behind the scenes, where she’s transformed from a girl with a guitar to a dark pop vixen, backed by her electrifying band Jonny Queen, Garry Aird and Don Wilson.

Tickets for all shows available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Hipsway-tickets/artist/745641 or telephone 0844 844 0444.