Mull of Kintyre to Major Tom

Slainte Davaar Allstars recorded their set on the former top-secret RAF base runway at Machrihanish.

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Campbeltown super-group Slainte Davaar Allstars are hoping that their take on a classic David Bowie song will be heard by astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) this week.

Mull of Kintyre music festival (MOK Fest) is aiming to make history by beaming the unique Scottish rendition of Space Oddity to the station which sits in low Earth orbit.

The annual music festival has teamed up with Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC), currently in the running to become the UK’s first spaceport, to record the unique set.

With the annual music festival moving online this year, organisers, keen to try something new and showcase the traditional and contemporary artists to a new virtual audience, came up with the idea of partnering with the base and its unconventional location for the exclusive gig.

As the MACC base continues to develop its plans for spaceflight related activities, the set was performed on the former top-secret RAF base runway – nearly two miles long and one of the longest in Europe – for current Commander of the ISS Chris Cassidy and Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as they orbit the Earth at 17,000mph and pass the Mull of Kintyre.

The performance was transmitted through the MOK Fest Facebook page on Saturday night and will now be sent to the ISS through NASA.

Event manager Iain Johnston of JIG Events said: ‘We are overwhelmed with the response to Saturday night’s broadcast.

‘To see Slainte Davaar Allstars perform their unique cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity was quite something else, and already has had nearly 7,000 views from people all over the world.

‘We know that the International Space Station crew are tuning in this week ahead of MOK Fest kicking off, and we can’t wait to hear what they think of our rendition.’

New recordings and footage from the past three years feature in the Virtual MOK Fest, which started yesterday, August 19, and runs through to Sunday, August 23.

Tonight’s Virtual Young Folk night promises a great mix of new recorded and past footage of some of the best young musicians from Kintyre and will be broadcast on the MOK Fest Facebook page from 7.30pm.

Tomorrow, Friday, night is Ceilidh Night. The MOK Fest Virtual Kilkerran Ceilidh gets under way from 8pm with a performance from Ceolta from Northern Ireland, plus great sets and footage from Kintyre Schools Pipe Band, Ross Conner, Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band and Grouse Ceilidh Band.

On Saturday (8pm), it’s the MOK Fest Virtual Glen Scotia West Coast Rocks Concert with specially recorded sets from The Wee Toon Tellers, Claire Hastings and Rhuvaal at Davaar Island Lighthouse.

The Virtual Survivors Night on Sunday (8pm) has more than 10 specially-recorded sets from Slainte Davaar Allstars, FLING, Twisted Melons, Iain McIntyre, None the Wiser, Adam Fortune, FLW, Charles Martin and Hope Strang.

This year’s festival is part of a new marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Kintyre 66 route which showcases the stunning peninsula.