The last time Yorkshire guitarist Turnbull Smith played for a Granite City crowd, he was 18 years old and supporting a teen heartthrob with some completely mismatched indie rock.
Nevertheless, he says: “The atmosphere at the gig in Aberdeen was the best I’ve ever experienced – and I’ve played all over the country.”
Now 36, he’s preparing to make his return to the city with his new band Skylights, and, with the help of a Dons legend, the February gig is already looking like a sell-out.
The memory of that first trip north to the Lemon Tree in 2004 was enough to ensure that when Skylights grew big enough to tour around the country, Turnbull put Aberdeen at the top of the list.
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He said: “It was my first band, we were called Sixty6.
“Basically, our manager said, ‘How do you fancy supporting Mark Owen from Take That on a couple of shows?’
“Obviously, it wasn’t really our style, but we were like, why not? And it was cram-packed full of girls that wanted to party!
He added: “We get a great reception in Leeds, but that’s our home place – for gigs away, I’ve never had a better atmosphere than in Scotland. I absolutely loved it there.
“When [Skylights] started thinking about doing gigs away, they were talking about London, and I said I’m not going to London.
“Then they brought up Aberdeen, and I said definitely. That is number one on the list.”
So, it felt like fate was dropping things in place when Aberdeen FC’s Jim Fraser got in touch with Turnbull after hearing Skylights play on Soccer AM, telling him he enjoyed his music.
Turnbull said: “After speaking to Jim a bit I thought I’d love to get up to Aberdeen again.
“Then I started speaking to (Gothenburg Great) Neil Simpson, Simmy, who’s a great guy, and I sent him our music, and Jim and Neil started spreading it about a bit, and I started getting followed by quite a few Aberdeen people.
“I followed them back, and we were having a good chat over social media, and when we announced the gig loads of people seemed really interested and it’s done really well.
“We’re so happy.”
The Dons were such fans of the band, they sent a gold away top down to Yorkshire, with ‘SKYLIGHTS’ emblazoned on the back.
Aberdonians themselves made it clear how they felt too – buying 200 tickets for the gig the day they went on sale.
Skylights are set to appear at Cafe Drummonds on February 13 2021, with tickets available on Ticketmaster.