Back of the Moon are one of Scotland's top young bands, whose success includes, 'Best Up and Coming Act' at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2003, and earlier that year: 'Best Celtic Group' at Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival in France. The four-piece line up includes vocals, guitar, piano, fiddle, pipes, flute and whistles. Gillian Frame (fiddle, vocals) is one of Scotland’s finest young musicians having scooped the Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001 award at Glasgow's Celtic Connections Festival. Beside her are Ali Hutton (pipes, whistles) and the Napier brothers, Hamish (piano, whistles, flute, vocals) and Findlay (guitar, vocals). Since forming in 2000, the band has rapidly gained a reputation for their dynamic live performances: an impressive balance of Scottish songs and up beat instrumental sets. Promotion of the bands second album ‘Fortunes Road’ has taken them on several tours abroad, including Western Canada, the US and Europe.
In autumn 2000 the three founder members of Back of the Moon: Gillian, Hamish and Simon McKerrell (the bands original piper) were finalists in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards under the title ‘Frame, McKerrell and Napier’. Findlay later joined the band after he, Gillian and Hamish had played that summer on Margaret Bennett's solo album ‘In The Sunny Long Ago’ produced by Martyn Bennett (released on Footstompin’ records). Their debut album (also released on Footstompin’ Records) was recorded in July 2001, and was part of Gillian’s prize for winning the Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year 2001. ‘Gillian Frame and Back of the Moon’ won ‘Album of the Week’ on BBC Radio Scotland’s Travelling Folk programme. Promotion of the album took them to several large festivals in and around Vancouver in the summers of 2001 and 2002. Their second album ‘Fortunes Road’, was produced by Johnny Hardie (Old Blind Dogs) and was even more well-received by press and fans on its release in Summer 2003. Closer to home the band have performed at several British folk festivals (including Celtic Connections, Cambridge and Sidmouth, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and are touring extensively around the British Folk Clubs. Back of the Moon made their third Lorient International Celtic Festival appearance in summer 2004, and during their second year there lifted the trophy for the ‘Best Celtic Band’ at the festivals prestigious Celtic group competition (won previously by groups such as "Danu" and "Capercaillie"). At the Scots Trad Music Awards 2003, the band won the ‘Best Up and Coming Band’ award. They were filmed by the BBC in May 2004 for Burn’s night 2005, and their live set at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall during Celtic Connections 2003 was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland.
Gillian Frame comes from the Isle of Arran on the West Coast of Scotland. Hailing from a family of musicians she was introduced to traditional Scots and Irish music at an early age.
In January 2001 Gillian won the prestigious Young Scottish Traditional Musician 2001 Award. Since then she has been rapidly gaining experience in all areas of traditional music, using her talents as fiddle player and singer in both performing, recording and teaching contexts, and in 2002 graduated from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with BA (Scottish Music) Hons degree. During the Celtic Connections festival 2002 Gillian debuted her ‘New Voices’ commission, “Kinship Theory”, which consists of all her own compositions and arrangements, and amongst numerous other performances played in the first ever, “Unusual Suspects” a piece put together by Corrina Hewat and Dave Milligan involving over thirty of Scotland’s top Traditional Musicians.
Ali Hutton is from Methven in Perthshire and has been playing the highland bagpipes since the age of 7. He played in the Vale of Atholl pipe band for a number of years, and through this received tuition from the virtuoso piper Gordon Duncan. At 21, he has played with Dougie MacLean, Deaf Shepherd, The Gordon Duncan Band, and Cantrip. He studied Scottish Music at the RSAMD under multi-instrumentalist Brian McNeill and also plays guitar, whistle, bouzouki and bodhran. He also currently plays with Scottish bands Brolum and The Trotters.
Findlay Napier is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama BA(Scottish Music) course where he studied Scots Song under Andy Hunter and Alison MacMorland. With fiddler Gillian Frame and cellist Christine Hanson, Findlay performed at the Juno awards in Calgary, Canada. He has also begun co-writing an album with producerengineer Nick Turner of Watercolour Music which will be due for release in 2005.
As a songwriter his songs have been broadcast on Radio Scotland, recorded by Greentrax records and singer-songwriter Jim Hunter. For Radio Scotland he has performed on the ‘Fred MacAuley Show’, ‘Celtic Connections’ and ‘Traveling Folk’ broadcasts and has appeared on BBC2 as part of the MnE broadcast ‘@ire’. Findlay has sung and accompanied Margaret Bennett at festivals here and abroad and he features on Margaret's album 'In the Sunny Long Ago.' His teaching experience covers a number of different areas. He has taught workshops in Guitar and Scots song at festivals and has been a tutor at various Feisean, at the Aberdeenshire based Gordon Gaetherin’ and at The Sunshine Coast Fiddle Camp in British Colombia, Canada. In the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award 2002 Findlay performed in the final at the Celtic Connections festival. Findlay is the Musical Director of the highly acclaimed 'Master and Apprentice' and the 'Young Tradition' concert series held at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.
Hamish Napier comes from Strathspey, and was steeped in traditional music by his family from an early age. His mother Marie-Louise Napier is a professional singer and Clarsach player and her love of traditional music and song sparked great interest in brother Findlay, and later Hamish. He received private lessons in piano and flute from the age of 10, and played lead flute with both the Highland and Inverness Wind bands. Through the Fčisean movement (the national organization of youth tuition in Gaelic arts) Hamish became one of the many fortunate young highlanders to receive expert teaching on several instruments. He was filmed for MNE Gaelic Television as the front man for Celtic group ‘Skoosh’, who performed twice in Eden Court Theatre and recorded an album with several other Grantown-on-Spey Grammar School Pupils entitled ‘The Music Room’ at Watercolour Recording Studio. At the Scottish Highland Games in Virginia, he performed with his mother and taught Scottish Step Dance, and later performed with the ‘Scottish Step Dance Company’. In October 2000, he performed in the Millennium Dome with Andy Thorburn's orchestra for the McDonald's-sponsored 'Our Town Story' production. In summer 2000, Hamish sang (with his brother Findlay and Gillian Frame) and played accordion on Margaret Bennet's solo album 'The Sunny Long Ago' (produced by Martyn Bennett) and also sang backing vocals on Scots singer Emily Smith’s second solo album. He toured Scotland in Autumn 2004 as an accompanist for the finalists of the Young Scottish traditional Musician of the Year Award 2004. He is also known as a excellent teacher of tin-whistle, piano and Scottish stepdance, having taught at numerous Scottish schools, folk festivals and evening music classes in the last five years. He also gained a degree in physics with honours at Glasgow University during his first four years with the band.
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