INTERVIEW: The Winter Tradition

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Written by A Ballantyne on in Lothian, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway

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Even if you’re not a resident of Edinburgh, you’ll almost definitely be aware that it’s Fringe time here! The city is alive and – whether you love it or hate it – brimming with tourists and locals looking to see the best (and worst) in comedy, theatre, music and dance.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an unjuried festival, so with no selection committee it can be a showcase for any type of performance, regardless of experience or reputation. Exploring what’s on offer can be exciting, rewarding and tiring. It is a massive platform for young talent to get noticed by critics, other artists and to build an audience.

As part of the Fringe, I’ve decided to speak to young people involved in the performing arts, and find out their views on perceptions of and attitudes towards young people, particularly those that are portrayed in the media, and how this affects them and their performance.


I spoke to Mark Morrow from the band, ‘The Winter Tradition’, an alternative rock quartet from Edinburgh. Self described as ‘woolly jumpers, catchy choruses and the tightest live show around’, I can vouch for their incredible live performance having seen them perform live at the launch for their debut album – ‘Gradients’ – at The Liquid Room in Edinburgh, where I used to work.

I’ve seen some amazing bands play at The Liquid Room, and nothing is more satisfying than seeing young home-grown talent making a name for themselves, like The Winter Tradition. With huge slots supporting bands like Idlewild, Enter Shikari and The Dykeenies, the band play their biggest headline slot yet as part of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe at The Liquid Room on the 23rd August.

Can you introduce yourself and your band?

My name is Mark and I play guitar in The Winter Tradition, an alternative rock band from Edinburgh.

What made you decide to get involved in music & start a band?

We first started playing music together back when we were at high school – we were only 13/14 years old. From then on we started writing our own music and booking our own gigs. I always loved going to see my favourite bands on stage performing. From a very young age, I was always interested in what equipment they were using and how everything worked together. I still go to gigs now and spend more time looking at the equipment and analysing everything rather than enjoy the music!

Do issues affecting you and others inspire or influence your song writing? And if so, do you find music a good way to address these things?

I think everyone writes songs about things that affect them to a certain extent – whether it’s through lyrics or the music itself. We all get together with song ideas and craft them in to something we can work with. Music is a great way to release steam and make you feel good!

What is your opinion on the media’s portrayal of young people?

I think there’s a lot of bad press on young people these days, especially in the music industry. A lot of people don’t take the music industry seriously with young people – this could almost stop a lot of people doing it and taking it any further.

How do you find being a young band – do you find the media and other people take you less or more seriously?

When we were growing up, and you said you were in a band, I think many people using think it means that you just mess around and don’t have a ‘proper job’. It wasn’t until recently that people took us really seriously with what we do. There’s A LOT more to being in a band than just playing music on stage in front of people. Being in a band is like being in a four way, very confusing and strange relationship. It’s about people management, time management, planning, booking, running your own merch business, writing songs, recording songs, funding, driving for hours, hours of preparation and LOTS more.

Do you think it’s important for young people to get involved in music & the arts, and why?

Of course. Young people should be fully involved in the music industry. I remember when I was younger, we used to go to all the local shows in Edinburgh and support up and coming bands. I think a lot of young people are missing out on this. There’s so much good music right on your doorstep!

What does the band have coming up over the next few months?

We have a big headline show at The Liquid Room in Edinburgh as part of The Fringe this year (23 Aug). We have a couple of tours planned for later on in the year and more writing!


Make sure to check out the band at The Liquid Room on the 23rd August!

We want to continue championing the positive achievements of Scotland’s young people. Are you a young musician or involved in the arts? If so, we’d love to hear from you and help to get your voice heard.

 Like us on Facebook and give us a follow on Twitter – @TAYScotland!

For more information on The Winter Tradition, visit

Follow them on Twitter - @thewintertrad


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