Get the Latest News from Perthshire here:

 The Grahams. Photo supplied by Horsecross Arts. 

The Grahams. Photo supplied by Horsecross Arts. 

Southern Fried Festival

Steve Earle & the Dukes, Rodney Crowell, Iris DeMent, Graham Nash and Gretchen Peters headline Perth’s Southern Fried Festival of American roots music from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 July. 

As well as these main stage gigs in Perth Concert Hall, there are afternoon gigs in Perth Theatre with Blue Rose Code, The Bevvy Sisters, Darrell Scott, Amythyst Kiah and more. The Salutation Hotel once again hosts late shows after the main stage gigs on Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July.

With 25% discount when buying five shows or more, tickets are selling fast!

Even without buying tickets, there are still several ways to enjoy the Southern Fried Festival atmosphere with free outdoor and acoustic stages and a series of fringe events at venues across the city over the weekend.  

Compered by Bruce Fummey, the Southern Fried Outdoor Stage shines a light on the vast spread of American roots music, showcasing the best acts from home and abroad. It opens on Perth Concert Hall Plaza at 5pm on Friday 27 July with 50’s and 60’s inspired country music and bluegrass from Lewis’s The Tumbling Souls. Dancing fiddler Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys mix up country, bluegrass and the traditions of Scotland filtered through their home of Prince Edward Island in Canada at 6pm. 

Outdoor Stage openers on Saturday 28 July at 1pm are the young musicians, singers and songwriters from Southern Fried Rock Shop. Perthshire institution, electric blues band Wolftrain take to the stage at 2pm and Bobby King & The Kingfishers get the party started with some sizzling rock’n’roll and rockabilly at 3pm. Perth’s own The Revivals, fronted by Ian Hutchison combine classic rock with a rootsy undercurrent at 4pm. At 5pm, one of the Scottish music scene’s hidden treasures, The Strange Blue Dreams perform dramatic pop, gypsy swing, skiffle, doo-wop and ballads from the music hall to the jet-age. Featuring some of Perthshire’s very finest acoustic musicians, Rancho Rebop & the Full Moon Howlers close the stage at 6pm with their own infectious blend of good-time bluegrass, country, blues and western swing.

More talented young people from the Southern Fried Rock Shop open the Outdoor Stage on Sunday 29 July at 1pm. Dundee’s Boogalusa deliver their uptempo, get-up-and-dance take on rootsy swampland swing inspired by Louisiana Cajun and zydeco, seasoned with reggae, African, Irish and Ska at 2pm. Influenced by folk singer-songwriters like Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan as well as alternative country artists such as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, The Felice Brothers and Ryan Adams, Glasgow sextet James Edwyn & the Borrowed Band take to the stage at 3pm. At 4pm, local heroes Bohemian Monk Machine, a fiercely talented five-piece band drawing inspiration from funk, soul, psychedelia, fusion and other genres perform. Anton & The Colts combine the pristine vocal harmonies of country and bluegrass, raucous bluesy guitars and the tight swinging rhythms of classic soul and funk topped with singer Anton’s sweet smoky growl at 5pm. At 6pm The Daddy Naggins unite five powerful voices for rip-roaring instrumentals, traditional bluegrass classics, folk songs and well-known modern covers. 

This year the Southern Fried Festival’s John Ross HiFi Acoustic Stage moves to Perth Theatre’s brand-new Joan Knight Studio. Compered by Roberto Cassani, it opens at 1.30pm on Saturday 28 July with one of the UK’s most talked about Americana acts, talented duo Worry Dolls. Perth-born Mackie Mackintosh aka Son of the Chief, whose debut solo album is one of the best Americana records of the year so far is on stage at 2.30pm. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Eli West combines old and new, folk and jazz and vocal and instrumental in a spell binding set at 3.30pm. Seamless vocal harmonies from The Wandering Hearts are at 4.30pm. Closing the Acoustic Stage at 5.30pm, multi-award-winning Americana artist, Meaghan Blanchard is widely regarded as one of Canada’s finest songwriters. 

Sunday’s Acoustic Stage opens at 1.30pm in Perth Theatre with dynamic folk, soul and Americana from Fife’s The Coaltown Daisies. Glasgow songwriter Martha L Healy mixes old time country with modern influences at 2.30pm. Lucas & King, two massively talented musicians who pull influences from 60's pop, blues and country roots flavours perform at 3.30pm. Wesley Randolph Eader embraces a broad range of American roots music including country ballads, bluegrass stompers, talking blues and old-time gospel camp tunes at 4.30pm. The Grahams close the stage at 5.30pm.

Southern Fried favourite Daniel Meade is joined by The Tumbling Souls for a free evening gig in the Twa Tams on Friday 27 July. Americana folk-rock group The Grahams play a free evening gig in The Green Room on Sunday 29 July along with Lucas & King and Wesley Randolph Eader.

Now a festival tradition, the retro all-dayer Rock’N’Roll Rendezvous moves to a new home at The Green Room and will run from 2pm til late on Saturday 28 July. It features four great live bands – The Shiverin’ Sheiks, Bobby King & The Kingfishers, The Diablos and The Groove Diggers – alongside some of the top DJ’s from Scotlands rockin’ scene – Gordon Koolsville, Tojo and Neil Flipsville.

Festival director Andy Shearer said:

“The overall line-up for Southern Fried once again demonstrates the rude health of the UK’s own homegrown Americana scene and we’re delighted to partner with the fast-growing Americana Music Association UK to offer places to five of their member acts: Lucas & King, Son of the Chief, James Edwyn & The Borrowed Band, Anton & The Colts and The Coaltown Daisies.”

Music fans can play their part in the Southern Fried Festival by joining the Southern Fried Voices choir. Following regular rehearsals throughout July, Southern Fried Voices will join Blue Rose Code and The Bevvy Sisters in an afternoon performance at Perth Theatre. Young musicians can sign up to the Southern Fried Rockshop, a week of music-making and workshops with top songwriters and performers for ages 13 – 17. Red Pine Timber Co.’s Gav Munro hosts the Southern Fried Open Mic from 2pm on Sunday 29 July. 

Three Southern Fried stars present their favourite Classic Americana albums in John Ross Hi-Fi at 3pm, on Friday 27 July and 11am on Saturday and Sunday 28 and 29 July. 

An increasingly popular part of the programme Yola Carter, Gretchen Peters and Amythyst Kiah will talk about their chosen record before it’s played on vinyl through a state-of-the-art sound system.

As always, festival-goers can fuel up with a lip-smacking selection of genuine Southern Fried soul food with highlights from this year’s menu including the festival’s traditional special recipe for fried chicken, pecan crusted catfish, country baked ham with "red eye" gravy, key lime pie and red velvet cake.


Southern Fried – Perth’s annual Festival of American Roots Music is organised by Horsecross Arts. Listings are available at

BKCA for press release.jpg


Perth Festival of Yarn Shortlisted For Prestigious Award

Perth Festival of Yarn – which returns for it's third annual celebration on 8 and 9 September at Dewars Centre, Perth – has been shortlisted for the Best Knitting Show Event 2017/18 category at the British Knitting and Crochet Awards.

The awards, organised by Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting magazines, span 25 categories and those who have been shortlisted have been chosen by members of the knitting and crochet public. The final public vote has now opened and Perth Festival of Yarn are delighted to have been recognised in what are the most prestigious awards in their industry.

Voting can be made through the website and tickets for Perth Festival of Yarn can be purchased at


Image and article provided by Eva Christie, Director, Perth Festival of Yarn

 Distillers Tim Cain and Simon Fairclough

Distillers Tim Cain and Simon Fairclough


This week Perthshire business Persie Distillery was awarded brown sign status, assuring its position as one of the few craft gins to be publicly recognised on Scotland’s tourist trail.

Criteria for the sought-after tourist signage are strict. Applicants must go through Visit Scotland’s rigorous Quality Assurance Scheme, where a mystery shopper judges the premises on its hospitality and friendliness, service and efficiency, accessibility to the public, and the range and standard of its products. An experienced Quality & Tourism Advisor then advises the business on whether or not it has achieved a star rating and qualifies for the coveted brown sign. 

Simon Fairclough, Distiller and Managing Director of Persie Distillery, was thrilled at the outcome: “We were in danger of becoming one of Perthshire’s best-kept secrets, but that is about to change! Having a brown sign is a tremendous eye-opener for tourists and local people alike – and a fundamental part of providing a warm welcome for our visitors.”

He adds: “The timing couldn’t be better. Hard on the heels of the launch of the dramatic Snow Roads adventure through Cairngorms National Park, we are brilliantly signposted at the southern point of the 90-mile journey.”

The number of visitors at the distillery has already doubled since the signs went up less than one week ago.


Article and photo provided by Simon Fairclough

 Image supplied by Horsecross Arts Ltd.

Image supplied by Horsecross Arts Ltd.

Young people to take over Perth Theatre!

Young people aged 8 to 26 will take over Perth Theatre as part of Perth’s Diverse CiTay Festival for the Year of Young People 2018.

The newly restored and redeveloped venue will be opening its doors for a day of free workshops and activities, organised by young people for young people on Saturday 23 June. 

Noëlle Cobden, head of creative learning for Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, has been working with young creative assistants (aged 16-18) and two interns to plan the event. 

Highlights include rap music, technical theatre and stage make up workshops, Let’s Dance sessions for young people with disabilities and a series of workshops and performances by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Local bands will perform on an acoustic stage, there will be chill out and gaming zones, craft tables and workshops and Sprog Rock interactive music shows. The day will culminate in an After-Party for under 18s in Perth Theatre’s Joan Knight Studio with a silent disco and music by local bands.

Horsecross Diverse CiTay Festival intern Ava Broughton-Stuart said:

“It’s an amazing opportunity. We get to create the event that we want and we know we’ll enjoy.”

Perth Theatre Youth Takeover Day forms part of the Diverse CiTay Festival, Perth's signature event for YOYP2018, an exciting mix of music, theatre, art, culture, sport, health and wellbeing, and a platform for young entrepreneurs. The Diverse CiTay Festival has been co-produced by local young people with support from local bodies and organisations.

Perth Concert Hall will be hosting Dance Move Groove, a high impact, energetic, must see dance show from the talented students from JGN Dance Attic. 

For more information about the Perth Theatre Youth Takeover Day visit or call Horsecross Arts Box Office on 01738 621031. For more information about the Diverse CiTay Festival, visit

 Richard (JosephArkley), photo by Tommy Ga-KenWan

Richard (JosephArkley), photo by Tommy Ga-KenWan

Perth Theatre’s first season recognised in prestigious CATS theatre awards

Perth Theatre has received 6 nominations in the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) it was revealed today, Thursday 10 May 2018. The nominations cover three different productions in the first season following the theatre’s major refurbishment

Knives in Hens is shortlisted in four categories. Jessica Hardwick is shortlisted in the Best Female Performance award, Lu Kemp is shortlisted for the Best Director Award, Jamie Vartan and Simon Wilkinson are shortlisted for Best Design, and the performance is also shortlisted for the supreme award, Best Production. Meanwhile, Joseph Arkley is nominated in the Best Male Performance award for the title role in Richard III, and acclaimed composer, Gareth Williams, is shortlisted for the Best Music and Sound award for The 306: Day.

Elsewhere in the region Peter Arnott has been nominated in the Best New Play Award for The Monarch of The Glen, a new production based on the 1941 Compton Mackenzie novel which was produced by Pitlochry Festival Theatre; and the Dundee Rep is nominated in the Best Ensemble category for August: Osage County.

“It’s a huge pleasure to see Perth Theatre firing on all cylinders again, after its three-year rebuilding programme,” says CATS co-onvenor, Joyce McMillan. “We are especially pleased to be holding the Awards Ceremony at Perth this year, to celebrate the tremendous work that’s been done to make that much-loved theatre into a brilliant 21st century resource for the Perth area, and for the whole of Scottish theatre.” 

 “We are delighted to have so many CATS nominations in our first season back in the newly reopened Perth Theatre,” says  Mike Griffiths, interim chief executive for Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre. “Lu and the team have produced theatre of a consistently high quality for our audiences here in Perth this season, and our productions have been met positively by audiences and press alike.”

“We are looking forward to hosting CATS 2018 in our beautifully restored and redeveloped theatre, it is a fantastic event both for the theatre community and for theatre lovers, and we would like to pass on our very best wishes to our fellow nominees!”

The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh topped the shortlists for the 2018 CATS receiving 12 nominations across four different productions with Rhinoceros – a Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh International Festival, DOT Theatre, Istanbul co-production - being most recognised production (nominated in 7 of the 10 categories). Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre meanwhile received 5 nominations across three different productions, including a Best Male Performance nomination for George Costigan for Long Day’s Journey into Night. 

In the Best New Play category Peter Arnott’s new version of Compton MacKenzie’s The Monarch of The Glen was joined by Alan Bissett’s (More) Moira Monologues, Zinnie Harris’s Meet Me at Dawn, and Nursery Crymes, by street theatre specialists Mischief La-Bas.

jam 2.jpg

Berry Town’s Honey Farm Announced as Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award Finalist


Heather Hills Farm, Blairgowrie’s award-winning honey farm nestled in Bridge of Cally in the Perthshire Highlands, has been named a finalist in the prestigious Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2018.

The awards recognise Scottish businesses and individuals who are leading the way with innovation, enterprise and quality. The farm’s multi-award winning Scottish Raspberry Jam – presented in their trademark beehive jar – is one of only four products shortlisted for the Retail Product Savouries & Accompaniments Category, out of a record number of 273 entries across all 26 categories. Winners will be announced on 07 June 2018 at the awards’ ceremony held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

The Scottish Great Taste Producer has been working extensively with local Perthshire berry growers for over 60 years. They depend on their 52 million worker bees to carry out the necessary pollination required for optimum crop yields and the perfect berry – both in size, shape, colour and flavour. In turn, their bees gather the nectar that produces their outstanding Scottish Blossom Honey whilst keeping their colonies strong. It’s a natural synergy and one that was formative in their jam making. 

“The Perthshire raspberry is iconic and an indispensable part of our local community and economy”, says Mark Noonan, Managing Director. “With a reputation for being the best in the world, it has secured the viability of our local farming community and heritage for over a century. It has brought employment opportunities and skills to a small rural area and created strong social bonds with many a story passed through generations. There used to be enough fields here to employ the whole of Glasgow but, with the market forced down by cheap EU imports, local berry growers are giving up the struggle to secure a fair price for their raspberries and are now digging out canes to make way for more profitable alternatives.”

Fearing the loss of the Perthshire raspberry, the farm started working with local farmers by offering them a fair price for their raspberries to lovingly handcraft an artisan preserve that allows the singular flavour of Scotland’s signature fruit to shine. 

“It has taken time to perfect our artisan recipe, but after winning the Berry Best Raspberry Jam in the Scottish Artisan Category at the World Jampionships in 2011 and Gold in 2012, we were honoured when we were asked to join the panel of judges the following year.”  

In 2016, the preserve also won a Great Taste Award being described by the judging panel as “a very natural soft set jam full of fresh, honest raspberry flavour with nothing to detract from the summery lightness of the fruit”.

“We ensure as much fruit goes into each and every jar and use whole local Perthshire Glen Ample raspberries pollinated by our own bees – not pulp or concentrate”, says Mark. “We gently handcraft in small batches in traditional open pans using minimal, 100% natural ingredients – no artificial flavours or preservatives – and then bottle and label by hand. It’s certainly not the easiest method, but the best way to guarantee the quality and excellence of each jar.” 

Each sale partakes in a very special relationship between their honey bees and the many foods they help produce. This not only prevents the decline of the honey bee – a truly great natural pollinator – but also supports the continued production of the best soft fruit in the world.

“Our Scottish Raspberry Jam is signatory of our local cultural and natural heritage. It represents our dedication to our craft as beekeepers and those of our local fruit farmers, the sustainability of our community, the honey bee and its essential work in pollination. To be shortlisted for a Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Award is testament to that and recognises our community’s commitment in producing the best in Scottish provenance and doing the best for nature for over a century.”

Recognised internationally, the farm supplies both premium retail and food service. 

“We encourage partnerships that not only seek the best of Scottish provenance, full traceability and the integrity of our supply chain, but also support the survival of the honey bee and the conservation of its natural environment both here in Scotland and abroad.”

James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “This year we’ve had such a diverse range of businesses entering the awards and a record-breaking number of entries, which really is fantastic to see. There were some really competitively fought categories and our panel of expert judges have had the hard task creating a shortlist from over 270 entries. It’s set to be a great event and I am delighted to see some fantastic businesses, products and people as finalists. Congratulations and good luck to all those shortlisted.” 

Heather Hills Farm’s Scottish Raspberry Jam is available in the brand’s distinctive 340g beehive jar with an RRP of £3.30 in all 7 Waitrose Scotland stores, Dobbies, selected independent retailers and online at Catering pails are also available for food service direct or through selected distributors. For more information call 01250 886 252, email info@heather-hills.comor visit

 Mint Aero Flavour Cheesecake

Mint Aero Flavour Cheesecake

The Pitlochry Cheesecake Co Launch

The Pitlochry Cheesecake Company has launched! In a fabulous event at Hettie’s Tearoom, Pitlochry - which unsurprisingly involved lots of cheesecake - it was announced that you can now order large, whole cheesecakes to collect from the store, in any flavour! Though there are 12 official types available if you’re not the recipe inventing kind. All Hettie’s needs is 24 hours notice before you want to wow your family or guests with an amazing dessert. 

The Perthshire Magazine personally recommends the Malteser flavour cheesecake, but the Gin and Tonic flavour also proved incredibly popular on the night. Other flavours available are:  Mango, Strawberry, Lemon, Mars Bar, Crunchie, Oreo, Caramac, Jaffa Cake, Chocolate Orange and Mint Aero. Maybe we’ll just have to try them all… 

It was also announced that, in addition to tea blends for which Hettie’s is justly famous all over the world, they will soon be roasting their own coffee fresh every day too! To complement this initiative, Hettie’s will soon be offering a brand new breakfast menu, and will be opening from 8:00am onwards. We can’t wait! 

Keep updated at 


Thanks to Clare at Hettie's Tearoom for providing the photo.