ACCLAIMED 1980's band Hipsway are returning to Ayrshire for what Freckfest organisers hope will be the first of many big shows this year.

Lead singer Grahame Skinner is no stranger to Freckfest, having played a solo show at the HAC a couple of years ago that was jam-packed with Hipsway material.

He has only nice things to say about Freckfest and their mission to bring big names to the area and had always promised he would return one day. Whether or not he thought that would be in a rejuvenated Hipsway or not remains to be seen, but I’m glad he kept his promise.

Hipsway - most famed for their singles The Honeythief, which made the top 20 of the Billboard 100 chart and Tinder - used for a McEwan's Lager advert - are enjoying something of resurgence at present.

With a pair of sold-out shows at Glasgow’s ABC towards the end of last year, they suddenly became the hottest ticket in town. This was confirmed when all 2,200 tickets for their Summer Nights show at the Kelvingrove Bandstand sold out quicker than other shows at the same festival by the likes of Texas, Pixies and Seasick Steve.

Spotting an opportunity, Hipsway were asked to play under the Freckfest banner and, realising that they were now even more popular than they were in their 80s heyday, the band agreed.

Freckfest spokesman Craig McAllister said: "The show is tinged with a bittersweet tang though, as we’ve had no option but to take it to our neighbours in East Ayrshire. We have a motto at Freckfest – ‘Made In Irvine, For Ayrshire’, and we truly believe that we’re playing our own small part in encouraging bands back to our corner of the world, but we always have our hometown of Irvine at the forefront of our minds. It would have been brilliant to bring Hipsway to Irvine, but with the closure of the Magnum and the lack of a decent-sized venue, we had little option."

So, on Friday, August 11, Kilmarnock’s Grand Hall will be absolutely heaving with 1,000 Hipsway fans….and not for the first time.

Thirty years ago, when the band were at their first peak of success, they played an Ayrshire double-header at Ayr Pavilion and the Grand Hall.

These shows went some way to cementing Hipsway’s reputation as one of the best acts around. With a debut album just released – it would go on to sell in excess of 100,000 copies – and a couple of bona fide hit singles with accompanying Top Of The Pops performances under their belts, the world belonged to Hipsway.

Sadly, changes at their record label combined with the fickle nature of music fans meant that the band fell out of favour and inevitably split. Who’d have had their money on them making the comeback of all comebacks?

Now more popular than ever, and with the promise of new material before their summer shows, Hipsway are the band once again that everyone wants to see.

Tickets are flying out the door for this one, but if you act fast you should manage to secure a ticket for what already promises to be the gig of the year.

Hipsway tickets can be bought from


For further information please contact;

Craig McAllister


07584 045482