• Grahame Skinner

    HAC 8th May

    The year is 1983 and teenage vocalist Grahame Skinner came to prominence when he joined the Jazzateers, who had just left Postcard Records to sign to Rough Trade. A debut single was recorded (Show Me the Door) which received the thumbs up by the NME, this was swiftly followed by the eponymously titled ‘Jazzateers’, which also received considerable critical acclaim. Contrary to the last, the Jazzateers abruptly stopped proceedings and reconfigured as Bourgie Bourgie (with Paul Quinn on vocals).

    Skinner then joined Hipsway, and they duly signed a major record deal with Mercury. This proved to be an intoxicating experience, one that would see their debut album become a big international hit, selling over 500,000 copies. The album contained the US / UK hit single,  ‘Honeythief’ and the group toured internationally in support of the album.

    Upon the demise of Hipsway, Skinner licked his wounds vowing to return to working with an independent to recapture the artistic freedom he enjoyed with the Jazzateers on Rough Trade. He signed to Hamburg based independent label Marina Records and made a couple of low-key downbeat albums ‘Life as a Dog’ (1995) and ‘Love is Dead’ (1996), under the moniker Cowboy Mouth.  Despite these albums receiving favourable reviews, Skinner ‘retired’ from the music industry shortly afterwards.   

    However, he was asked if he’d be interested in appearing as special guest of the Phantom Band at a small music festival in Ayrshire, and duly assembled a group of former Postcard period musicians and appeared at the Darvel Music Festival in May 2011. Enjoying the experience, Skinner started writing and recording operating under the project name THE SKINNER GROUP. An album has now been recorded (Back On The Horse) available digitally on iTunes Amazon etc…and in CD form from


    The year is 1983
  • Howard Jones

    Magnum Theatre 4th June

    It was in 1983 that Howard Jones first burst upon the contemporary music scene, pioneering synthesizers and thought provoking lyrics. He set out his manifesto in his very first single ‘New Song’. The lyrics called on the listener to challenge their preconceived ideas, to see both sides and ‘throw off your mental chains’. New Song was recently used in a pivotal scene in ‘Breaking Bad’ where Aaron Paul’s character Jessie Pinkman questions if he wants to ‘play by the rules’. New Song peaked at number 3 in the UK singles charts. Along with, ‘New Song’, The first two albums, ‘Humans Lib’ and ‘Dream into Action’, brought Howard a host of hits including ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, ‘What is Love?’, ‘Pearl In The Shell’, ‘Like to Get To know You Well’, ‘Hide And Seek’ (performed at Live Aid), ‘Look Mama’ and ‘No One Is To Blame’, which reached No.1 in the US. Howard has sold over 8 million albums across the globe and is one of a select group of British artists who have comprehensively ‘broken America’.


    Howard’s Synthesiser driven debut influenced a new generation of electronic and dance musicians. Widely regarded as a pioneer of synths such as the Roland Juno 60, Jupiter 8 and Moog Prodigy he has worked with contemporary electronic artists such as Ferry Corsten, Eric Prydz and most recently Cedric Gervais. Howard enjoyed 14 weeks in the billboard dance chart top 40 in 2013 with his collaboration with Cedric on a new version of ‘Things Can Only Get Better’.


    Howard continues to operate at the forefront of music technology in both his live shows and productions. Howard Jones has earned a reputation within the music industry for pioneering the ‘independent artist DIY’ approach, developing the essential connection between artist and fans. Howard was the first artist to make a recording of that nights gig available on CD to purchase. The CD would even feature digital artwork of photos taken during the gig.


    Howard continues to tour across the world every year performing to many hundreds of thousands of music fans. 2015 will see Howard perform his new multi media show ‘Engage’ at The indigo at the 02 in London and The Saban Theatre in LA. The show incorporates specially commissioned  visuals, projected both in front and behind the band and invites the audience to participate through smart phone apps, customised clothing, and  fluorescent makeup. Howard follows the ENGAGE shows with a US tour and then festival appearances in the UK Summer 2015 but has made time for two very special ‘Audience with’ shows in Scotland at Airdrie Town Hall (nr Glasgow) and The Magnum Theatre in Irvine.

    It was in 1983
  • Twin Heart

    HAC 7th August

    Blistering alt.rock formed from the ashes of Mechanical Smile.

    Drummer Murray is one of the Ayrshire music scene's good guys. Get down and show him some love.

    For fans of guitars, loudness and guitars played loudly.

    This is a Freckfest Fiver event!

    Blistering alt.rock formed from
  • James Grant

    HAC 6th November

    Since originally parting the ways with his band Love and Money in the early 1990s, singer, songwriter and guitarist James Grant has

    released five acclaimed solo albums, most recently 2010’s Strange Flowers, with his first best-of collection released in spring 2012.

    Drawing from a broad palette of pop, folk, soul, country and blues influences, and interweaving his solo compositions with Love and Money

    favourites, James twins darkly literate, melodically lush songcraft with his richly potent vocals and virtuoso guitar work, leavening his

    performances with dashes of wickedly acerbic humour.


    With Love and Money also back on the road and in the studio, Grant sounds like an artist now in his prime.


    'Get down to the HAC and see this wonderful artist in the most intimate of settings'



    A ballsier Gram Parsons but with whisky-tinged Scottish poetry for lyrics

    The Word


    One of Scotland’s most gifted songwriters...and what a marvellous singer he is, too,

    spanning darkly burnished baritone depths and searing soulful intensity


    Since originally parting the

San Fran & the Siscos - I'm Waitin'

  • How to Support

    Freckfest is run by a group of dedicated music enthusiasts who aim to bring back a thriving music scene to
  • Tickets

    Freckfest tickets can be purchased at the Harbour Arts Centre box office in Irvine or through the Ticketweb website.

Bringing Music Back To Irvine And Beyond

Freckfest is a charitable organisation, voluntarily run by a small group of music enthusiasts. Named in honour of Willie Freckleton (browse these pages to find out all about him) our main aim is to revive a flagging local music scene.

Whether it's one of our monthly Freckfest Fridays in the intimate settings of the Harbour Arts Centre, a night of feel-good music in the Magnum Theatre with the top tribute bands around or a raucous night of ska in Troon Concert Hall, we aim to put on something for everyone. You really should get along to one of our gigs...

To join our mailing list, please send your details to freckfest@gmail.com and we'll make sure you're kept up to date with all of Freckfest's goings on.