Photo of Small Town Sounds reviewers and photographers
The Small Town Sounds Team and Contributors! (l-r Melissa Gunn, Liam Russell, Martin Mckeown, Ricky Henderson)

STS’s Highlights Of 2018 – #6: Collaborations

Small Town Sounds2018 has been a fantastic year for Small Town Sounds!

On this website, we’ve published 60 news articles, 12 reviews (including gigs, festivals and music releases), 3 photo features and added 9 new local Band Profiles. In the past year, it has attracted nearly 31,000 hits from all over the world (although mainly UK!). That’s almost double compared to the previous year. We’re well pleased about this!

We’ve also promoted the Dumfries & Galloway music scene via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels very actively throughout the year. We’ve welcomed nearly 400 new followers to our Facebook page since the start of 2018 alone. We average around 40 posts a month from this page ranging from gig recommendations, band/solo acts news, gig opportunities, surveys, jobs, funding opportunities, and local music festival updates.

New reviewers

This year we welcomed Liam Russell to the team after mentoring him through a programme with CatStrand. He published his first review with us in June has since reviewed Electric Fields and the Enigma Sessions for us. He is planning to review some new music releases soon in between his studies at University. 

Big thank you also to Sam Solley for his review of the Off Axis gig featuring The Lutras, Be Like Pablo and Kasama, and to our mystery contributor who has written a couple of news stories for us (he knows who he is!). 

We must also say a massive thank you to Peter Jamieson who allows us to use the gig calendar from his Facebook group on our website too. It’s a fantastic resource for everyone! And to BDS Digital who have helped us out by making sure our website is online 24/7 without any issues.

Super talented photographers

We have a couple of incredibly talented photographers who have helped us bring our reviews and news stories to life. They let us use their photos for free, and sometimes go to gigs to take photos on our behalf. Ricky Henderson has had a break for a few years, so we were delighted when he decided to start taking photographs of live gigs again this year. Martin McKeown is always on hand to take photos too, and loves going to gigs so he’s always useful for when we need photos! They’re both quite shy, but we wanted to include their wee faces with us on our header photo above because their contribution has been invaluable. We are also hugely appreciative of photographer Ruari Barber Fleming, who has let us use his photos for our reviews too.


As well as collaborating with Catstrand this year, we worked with some students at the University of the West of Scotland. They created some social media content as part of their Advanced Digital Marketing Practice module coursework. We’ve also loved hearing from loads of different music artists, venues and promoters who have contacted us directly asking for help either with promotion or to find information.

Collaboration is a really important thing for Small Town Sounds. The people I’ve mentioned above have really helped take the pressure off me a bit, which has been great. We all do this unpaid and manage to fit it in around our full time jobs and studies, but we all do it because we want to help make the Dumfries & Galloway music scene bigger and better known. And we all genuinely get a buzz out of it. If anyone out there fancies doing a wee review for us, or a gig photo feature, do get in touch!

Thank you!

Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who follows us on our social media channels, likes/loves/RTs our posts, and visits this website. I smile every time one of you likes and shares one of our posts! You’re helping us get the word out, and we think you’re amazing for that. Small Town Sounds wouldn’t be anything without you folks (well it would be, but it just wouldn’t be as good!).

Wishing you all the most amazing 2019, from everyone at Small Town Sounds!



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