San Diego Scottish Highland Games

2024 Highland Games June 22-23

2024 Highland Games June 22-23

Oh, so Scottish Music..

We recently did a fun poll on our Facebook page, asking members who their favourite Scottish singers or bands were. We got an amazing contribution of comments (over 160!). Some were a little better known than others, while some slightly more niche, and some more recent, while others timeless classics.

Here is a list of some of the top contributions from our survey. See the full post, and survey comments below.

In no particular order……

Sheena Easton

Most prominent in the late 1970’s-1980’s, and from the Scottish town of Bellshill, Easton is probably best remembered in America for her collaborations with Prince. However, she already had quite a career started in the UK, including performing the song “For Your Eyes Only”, for the same-titled James Bond film.


Calvin Harris

Actually named, Adam Wiles, this Dumfries-native, electronic music producer and DJ, has worked with everyone from Taylor Swift, to Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, to  Sam Smith.


The Bay City Rollers

Often called the “Pride of the Tartan”, this Edinburgh group rose to fame in the 1970’s. Some notable hits you may recognize, “I only want to be with you”, “Bye Bye Baby”, and “Saturday Night” (which had a comical reference in So I Married an Axe Murder).



Despite forming in the 1990s, this Glaswegian band didn’t rise to prominence until the early 2000’s. With a blend of folk, often with the sounds of a banjo, mixed with contemporary alternative, this group put out singles like “Sing”, “Why Does it Always Rain on Me”, and “Flowers in the Window”.


Highland Way

A wonderful addition to the San Diego Scottish Highland Games’ entertainment set (hint hint– 2019 as well!), this fantastic San Diego-based group, has Glasgow origins. With originals, as well as wonderful renditions of old Celtic favourites, this is one band not to miss if you have the chance.


Though they were formed while living in Sydney, Australia, this group of legendary rockers were formed from Glaswegian origins (Angus and Malcom Young).  With countless singles throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s– “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “T.N.T.”, and “Thunderstruck” to name a few, I’m not sure if there was a Scottish-based group that played a bigger arena than this!


Rod Stewart

Transcending decades, SIR (as in he’s been knighted by THE QUEEN) Roderick David Stewart has been putting out singles since the 1960’s, and is still beloved by Scots, and general music lovers alike.


Big Country

Based out of Fife, this 1980’s group incorporated traditional Scottish Folk and bagpipe sounds, with contemporary trends.


Simple Minds

Another Glaswegian phenom (I’m sensing a trend here) with multiple hits throughout the 1980’s, but most notable, “Don’t You”, which featured in The Breakfast Club.


Annie Lennox (& The Eurythmics)

With Aberdeen origins, Lennox has been awarded a total of eight Brit Awards, which includes being named Best British Female Artist a record six times; she has since been named, the  “Brits Champion of Champions”.


Franz Ferdinand

Another fantastic group out of Glasgow, this indie rock band, with vintage references, rose to fame in the early 2000’s, but luckily is still active.



Bursting into the 1990’s, and leading the way with the “girl power” movement, Edinburgh-native, and feminist, Shirley Manson helped plunge Garbage into global success, including the contributions to two major Hollywood soundtracks– that being Romeo + Juliet (2006, #1 Crush), and the 1999 James Bond,  The World Is Not Enough,



Founded in the late 1990’s, out of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and still active today, this group features sounds of a traditional cèilidh house band.


The Proclaimers

Originally from Edinburgh, and known for singing with their thick brogue, but with the band actually based out of Fife, The Proclaimers are probably best known for their international hit, “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)”, which was featured in the movie, Benny and Joon.


(Pronounced Churches), students who met at uni in Glasgow, who have gone on to become big Indie/synthpop sensations.


Lastly, quite possibly the most mentioned band on our Facebook post – Runrig! Formed on the isle of Skye, this folk-rock group has spanned four decades! Finishing things up, here is their rendition of “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”, or simply “Loch Lomond” for short– a fantastic, and quintessential Scottish folk song, originally dating back to the 1800s. (This particular performance, was done AT the actual Loch Lomond……it’s worth the wait, to get to 3:00 min in!!)

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