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About

'His beautiful music and extraordinary playing has lifted the film to another level' - Jim Brown/B4 Films - Award winning Film maker

Inspired by classic rock guitar music, Iain started his journey as a rock guitarist in his teens, and his love for music evolved through the years to include many styles such as blues, jazz, country, folk and classical.

In his late teens and playing in rock and pop groups at the time, Iain's first big gig was performing with Rhys Chatham's 100 guitars concert at the Kings Theatre in 1996. Shortly after this the instrumental music of Steve Howe from Yes and guitar master Chet Atkins inspired him to learn solo finger-style guitar where the bass, rhythm, harmony and melody parts are played on the one instrument.

His first recognition as a solo guitarist was in 2003 at the Celtic Connections festival. Iain won a prestigious Danny Kyle award for his solo performance in which he competed with bands and musicians from all over the UK.

Since then Iain has dazzled audiences at many festivals and music venues around the UK with his multi-styled guitar playing. Some notable concert venues he has played include The Royal Concert Hall, The Barrowlands, The SECC and the Fruitmarket in Glasgow. He has played on bills with many world class artists such as Don Powell/Slade, Eddie Reader, Brian Kennedy, Donnie Munro/Runrig, John Renbourn, The James Brown Band, Ally McErlaine/Red Sky July, Horse McDonald, Ricki Lee Jones, Bruce Molsky, Joscho Stephan, John Goldie, Tony McManus, John Doyle, Fraser Speirs, Elliot Randall/Steely Dan, Jerry Donahue/Hellecasters, Carl Verheyen/Supertramp.

Since 2001, he has been actively recording his own music and has 8 albums of his own music released independently.  He has also recorded, produced and guested on other albums too.

Iain plays an annual event for Gibson Guitars every year and was recently given an artist deal by Gibson.  

One of Iain's proudest moments was meeting his guitar hero Tommy Emmanuel.  The Australian guitar wizard invited Iain to join him after Andrew White played Iains CD in the car they were travelling in.  Iain travelled to Southern Ireland where Tommy and Andrew were touring and got to jam with the great man and hang out with him before and after the show.  Tommy gave Iain many words of encouragement including jokingly calling him 'Chet' after Iains rendition of 'cheek to cheek'.  'You're a great player, real nice!' - Tommy Emmanuel

In 2010 Iain became a full-time professional musician focussing his energies and talents on music and teaching. 

In the past few years Iain has found his own voice and started singing too. He formed the melodic-alternative rock group called Iain James & The Sound in 2012 www.facebook.com/iainjamesandthesound

In 2015 he formed The Audiorayz featuring Iain on Lead vocals and guitar and backed by ace musicians. www.facebook.com/theaudiorayz  Maybe you saw Iain playing solo or with The Audiorayz on STV Glasgow's Riverside show on Tuesday 28th April 2015.  They returned to the 'Live at 5 Show' on STV on Thursday 6th April 2017 to perform a song Iain wrote called 'My Old Friend'.  Check out the footage on the video page.  They have just released their debut album of original material written in a classic rock genre. You can buy the album from the MUSIC page on this site.  See the band facebook page or soundcloud page. www.soundcloud.com/the-audiorayz

In the past year Iain has been working with award winning Film maker Jim Brown and B4 Flims providing the music for a 2 part Film and documentary featuring HRH Prince Charles and other members of the Royal Family. This is going to be shown on Fox TV in Austrailia in July 2016 for the world premiere with other countries to follow thereafter.

"Some things are just meant to be, the moment I heard Iain play I knew he was the person I wanted to write and perform the music for our Latest film, The Prince's Vision.  Being a major production featuring the future King I was not short of offers from musicians around the world, but when I heard Iain my mind was made up.  People thought I was crazy, 'you heard this guy in a bar' was the common response, but I knew 'this guy from the bar', would do me proud, and I have not been let down.  His beautiful music and extraordinary playing has lifted the film to another level and I will be for ever grateful that I popped into the Butterfly and Pig for a quick brandy".  - Jim Brown/B4 Films - Award winning Film maker

Iain appeared on National television news stations and newspapers recently alongside Nicola Sturgeon. The 1st minister of Scotland Re-opened The Clutha Bar in Glasgow on the 24th July 2015 and paid respect to families and victims of the tragedy that occured in 2013.  Iain was happy to be in the 1st act to play the venue and play for the families and the 1st minister on this important occasion. 

His most recent accolade was playing guitar for Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet and Vineyard at a Charity Concert in Lytham, St Annes.  They played tribute to Spandau Ballet with a set of their hits and the evening was topped with comedy by Cannon and Ball.

Iain always welcomes opportunities to showcase his passion and musical talent. You can book him for a concert, club or festival appearance or make general enquiries by following the contact link above.

 

Testimonials

"Stunning performance of The Weegie Jig by Iain Forbes" After Live performance on STV Riverside Show

‘Iain forbes is one of the best guitarists to come out of Scotland in a very long time’ - Tom Russell / World renowned Rock DJ.

'His beautiful music and extraordinary playing has lifted the film to another level' - Jim Brown/B4 Films - Award winning Film maker

"Really enjoyed the band when we played together, great album too and he sure plays a cool guitar" Ally McErlaine - Red Sky July / Texas

"Well crafted songs, that's for sure" Janice Forsyth - BBC Radio Scotland

Iain Forbes opened with a breathtaking display of guitar playing, delivered smoothly and confidently with introductions to the pieces littered with his gently, self-deprecating humorous anecdotes” The Glasgow Fringe Festival

One of the best Guitarists I've ever seen, Iain combines an astonishing talent with a huge range of musical tastes - and a refreshing lack of self-importance” The Buteman - Bute live Festival

"Possibly one of the best guitar players of our generation" HosstheBoss.com

"I first discovered Iain at a jazz festival in June 2009 and was absolutely transfixed by his astounding guitar technique, wonderful arrangements of established songs and his welcoming, easy going personality. To see Iain playing is a fantastic opportunity to be entertained and educated into the mysteries of artifical harmonics, finger tapping, walking bass lines and flat picking. A concert experience not to be missed if you appreciate artistry in action" Professor Peter Lovell, Macro 2010.

"He's a skilful and stylish player, but his style and skill are a means to an end rather than the end itself". George Geddes, Pipeline Guitar fanzine