Hogmanay hooleys are set to break out across the region as locals across the region raise a glass and toast the end of the old year and the beginning of 2018 – and nowhere is this more obvious than the Highland capital itself.
This year sees Inverness playing host to a full smorgasbord of celebrations across the fields and pubs of the city to help it bring in the New Year in typically-raucous style.
And with this being the perfect time to take a moment to reflect, I sat down with some of the artists performing across the city. Below, they told him what their ideal Hogmanay would be, as well as their favourite celebration thus far.
Sean Cousins, Hò-rò guitarist
Red Hot Highland Fling, Northern Meeting Park (8pm, free entry)
“Our ideal Hogmanay celebration would be as close to home as possible. It’s always good when we get to bring in the bells with out friends and family.
“The best Hogmanay yet was probably last year in Oban. We played over the bells and a few hours later we boarded a speed boat to get to our next gig on the Isle of Mull.”
Bruce MacGregor, Blazin’ Fiddles founder
Bogmanay, Bogbain Farm (max/lite options available: 7pm/9pm, £69.50/£27.50)
“My ideal Hogmanay is very much a musical one. It’s the one time of year that the whole of Scotland celebrates its musical traditions.
“When it comes to my best Hogmanay I’m working every one to be honest, so the first is normally my day to chill out! This year we’re hosting a music session for local musicians and singers at MacGregor’s. It’ll be more like a big house party than just going to the pub!”
The Ironworks (9pm, £14)
Andy Murray (Guitar/Vox): “My ideal Hogmanay is being in Australia in a mobile spa at a party in a friend’s garden, playing loud music late in to the night under the stars of a warm summer Australian evening – which happened about 20 years ago!”
Catriona Anderson (Pipes/Accordion): “Probably my best Hogmanay – bar the many great ones playing with the band – is having my daughter (Emma) on Hogmanay two years ago. After all the morphine that is!”
Butterscotch, Spring Break MC
The Beaufort Hotel (8pm, £15)
“My ideal Hogmanay celebration would be spent in complete isolation from the human race in a luminous pink bubble floating ethereally through a milky turquoise sea, in extreme slow motion with chemically sedated whales singing delicate lullabies at a barely audible volume as I slip into a peanut butter induced coma.
“My best Hogmanay definitely wasn’t the year 2000 when people sang ‘Millennium’ to the tune of the Muppet’s Mahnamahna. It was probably the Dingwall street party in 1997 when my mate Paul first played me Pete Rock and CL Smooth on his Sony Walkman.”
Jamie B, DJ
The Market Bar (10.30pm, free entry)
“As a DJ, my ideal Hogmanay celebration is playing they decks. I almost always had a gig on New Years Eve and for me, dropping vinyl bombs on an ‘up for it’ audience is the best way to bring in the New Year.
“My best New Year was when I was DJ support for ‘The Twang’ (remember them?) in the Ironworks a few years ago. It was my job to supply the tunes at the bells and on the stroke of midnight I played Louis Armstrong’s All the Time in the World. A beautiful moment for me, anyway.”
Dickie Bills, Mystic Shoes drummer
Hootananny/Mad Hatters (8pm, £12)
“Right off the top of my head, my ideal Hogmanay celebration would be to be supporting The Clash at The Paradiso in Amsterdam with all our friends and family as special guests, followed by drinks of choice in a cool jazz bar listening to The Oscar Peterson trio tinkling the ivories into the small hours. Bliss.
“As for my best Hogmanay? When we were younger a good friend of our’s would invite us to his mum’s house. The parties there were epic. Nothing outrageous – just good friendly folk planning, dreaming, and putting the world to rights. Great stuff. Oh and drinking too!”
Craig Kelly, Cobalt vocalist
New Year's Eve Rockamany, The Tooth and Claw (8pm, £11.25)
“Personally, I just love spending time with friends and family. Typically it is with way too many drinks and whatever food we can throw together. It’s not rock and roll but it’s always a good time.
“I have way too many good Hogmanay memories to choose from so I’m going to take the high road and say that my best one is still to come. Either way I’m really looking forward to this year’s events and seeing how 2018 plays out.”
John Somerville, Croft No 5 accordionist
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool (January 1, 8.30pm, £30)
“My ideal Hogmanay has to be a good old house party with family and friends. Plenty of good food, drams and a few tunes/session to see in the new year. Having spent the last fifteen years working and hanging around portakabins and freezing outdoor stages the thought of some warmth goes a long way! I’m getting old I think!
“My best Hogmanay up till now is a difficult one. I remember one particular Hogmanay we supported Wolfstone at Bught Park. They were huge in my eyes and it was a real experience to finally share a stage. That really signalled the beginning of my career in music. I came off stage and was buzzing with excitement.”