IT WAS Glasgow’s newest ‘supergroup’, made up of three singer-songwriters who had never performed together before – and it was a runaway, sell-out hit of this year’s Celtic Connections festival.

Now, Blake, Butler and Grant – Norman Blake, of Teenage Fanclub; Bernard Butler, of Suede; and James Grant, of Love and Money – are coming to FRETS Concerts at the Strathaven Hotel, the popular ‘off-the-beaten-track’ gig series dreamt up by musician and record producer Douglas MacIntyre.

Glasgow Times: Bernard Butler Pic: Wesley Cameron

They will be performing on March 4 (tickets go on sale tomorrow), supported by Monica Queen and The Kingfishers.

It was Douglas who came up with the idea for putting the trio – all successful solo artists in their own right, in addition to their careers with assorted well-known bands – together.

He explains: “When I was first approached by Celtic Connections my concern was finding a concert environment that would be as sympathetic as the Strathaven Hotel.

“The festival suggested a couple of churches, now repurposed as venues - St. Luke’s and the Mackintosh – and they were both perfect for the seated listening experience we promote at FRETS.”

Glasgow Times: Norman Blake Pic: Wesley Cameron

Douglas knew Norman and James, and had admired Bernard from afar for many years, and thought they would all complement each other well. He admits it was a risky format.

“Putting all three of them on the stage together was the plan, but I didn’t really know exactly what would happen,” he explains.

“Norman and James didn’t really know each other apart from being on nodding terms, and when it came to deciding on a third performer I remembered how much I admired Bernard’s guitar playing.

“Bernard is also a great singer/songwriter, so although he had never met James (and only knew Norman from the 90s when both were signed to Creation Records), I instinctively felt the three of them would work well together.”

Glasgow Times: James Grant. Pic: Wesley Cameron

Douglas smiles: “Both concerts were sold out, and really quite magical. The audience reaction was massively positive.

“They performed as a trio and played a set of songs from their solo back catalogues and groups they were members of - Teenage Fanclub, Suede, Friends Again, Love and Money.

“I’m really excited Norman, Bernard and James will be performing again at FRETS.”

Norman Blake has been a centrifugal force in Teenage Fanclub for the past 30 years, since the band released its debut album, A Catholic Education, in 1990. It was on signing to Creation Records and releasing Bandwagonesque in 1991 that the group really connected. The album was released on the Geffen label in the US and quickly became a favourite on college radio, which helped build a devoted audience for the group that still exists.

Teenage Fanclub has released ten albums to date, the most recent being Endless Arcade, and Norman has collaborated with other writers, perhaps most prominently with Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s Euros Childs in an album project called Jonny.

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Bernard was guitarist and co-writer with Suede on their era-defining albums Suede and Dog Man Star. After leaving the group he teamed up with David McAlmont and released the classic single Yes under the name McAlmont & Butler, along with an album collection The Sound of McAlmont & Butler, followed by two successful solo albums on Creation Records. Bernard has written, produced and played alongside many artists including Bert Jansch, Duffy, The Libertines, Texas and Bryan Ferry. His debut solo album, People Move On, has just been reissued.

James Grant first started making records and touring with Glasgow group Friends Again, during which time several singles and a critically acclaimed album, Trapped and Unwrapped, were released. On the demise of Friends Again, Grant formed a new group, Love and Money, as a platform for his songwriting, with James having developed into an impressive vocalist, guitarist and group leader. Love and Money released five albums in total, working with an array of legendary producers and musicians including Tom Dowd, Gary Katz and Steve Nye. James launched his solo career in 1998 with his debut album, Sawdust In My Veins, and has released five solo albums so far, the last being Strange Flowers in 2009.

Tickets are available here - for more information visit the FRETS Concerts website or Facebook page.