2007 - 2021

Saturday Night at the Howff with Mairi Campbell, Dowally and Lucia & the Best Boys

howff /haʊf/. A favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub.

The Howff is Bella’s Boozer, your virtual lounge for the lockdown. Every week we bring you new releases and recommendations for your listening pleasure. This week we bring you new tracks from Mairi Campbell, Dowally and Lucia & the Best Boys.

Pioneering folk musician and winner of an impressive six Scots Trad Music Awards, Mairi Campbell has just released ‘I Come From The Sea’, the second release from her forthcoming album ‘Storm’. Storm is the latest in a series of works made with long-time collaborator Dave Gray, inspired by Vision Mechanics’ ten-metre tall puppet and goddess of the sea of the same name, who walks the streets of Scotland with a grave warning of looming climate disaster. The theatrical nature of the source material is very apparent in ‘I Come From The Sea’, it is a truly chilling and beautiful song with a lamenting melody that sticks to you.

You can hear more from Mairi and support her work at her bandcamp here.

Staying on the folk music theme, Edinburgh-based duo Dowally have just released their third studio album, ‘Early Bird // Night Owl’. A mix of traditional songs and new compositions, this album has a lovely storybook feel to it which is why it is great to see this intimate live session filmed within the warm embrace of the Pianodrome. Come to think of it, both of my recommendations thus far have beautiful layers of music, story and theatre, and both make me miss the conviviality of live performance ever so. In the meantime, Dowally’s output is getting me through.

You can hear more from Dowally and support their work at their website here.

So then, to finish, let’s do another live performance. Glasgow’s own Lucia & the Best Boys were included in BBC Radio 1’s ‘Ones to Watch in 2020’, and while the last year might not have panned out as planned, their output has remained prolific and polished. This latest live session, ‘Forever Forget’, filmed by the inimitable Tenement TV is no exception. Always stylish, always creative, always a belter. I’m going to cut in my fringe again.

You can hear more from Lucia & the Best Boys and support their work at their website here.


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