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Luke La Volpe on how West Lothian is taking over music scene

The Bathgate singer is preparing for his biggest gig to date with friend Lewis Capaldi.

"I think there must be something in the water here," laughs Luke Gibson as he cradles a cappuccino in a cafe in his hometown of Bathgate.

The musician is fresh from the stage at St Luke's in Glasgow the week before, his band Luke La Volpe supporting Tom Grennan at the intimate venue.

The gig was something of a celebration of emerging Scottish talent - rising star Be Charlotte from Dundee also played at the gig and spoke of how the music scene is evolving north of the border.

"It's good, I think it's getting attention which is good," she said.

But perhaps none so more than in West Lothian. Where once Bathgate was known for producing Britain's Got Talent superstar Susan Boyle, it now has another star in its midst.

Luke's childhood friend Lewis Capaldi.

"Me and Lewis Capaldi grew up at the same time together," explains Luke.

"He obviously shot off like an absolute rocket ship and he gave me a few gigs down in England and slowly I've adapted and turned it into a band instead of an acoustic act.

"I was just plodding away until something big like the Tom Grennan gig came along. Now things have got a bit crazy for us."

'The Tom Greenan gig was huge but doing it with Lewis Capaldi in Princes Street Gardens with 6000 people is just mind blowing. That's the stuff you've been dreaming of since you were nine years old.'
Luke Gibson

Developing his musical style, Luke La Volpe have been described as a mix of Frank Sinatra and Led Zeppelin, which Luke himself laughs is a "bizarre combo, but it works well".

His love of 50s and 60s rock n roll developed into a deeper sound and now his band, comprising of Luke on vocals and guitar, Ben MacDonald on guitar, Ewan Butler on bass and Colm Boyle on drums, have gone from strength to strength.

With nine gigs under their belts in the month of August alone, Luke La Volpe are feeling the so-called West Lothian effect of late, following in the footsteps of The Snuts and Lewis Capaldi himself.

As their upcoming gigs zig-zag from King Tuts in Glasgow to Bathgate Golf Club, Luke La Volpe's appeal hits the right notes for a variety of audiences.

Yet Luke appreciates their biggest gig to date is thanks to a promise he made to a young Lewis Capaldi as a teenager.

Luke La Volpe will join Lewis Capaldi at Summer Sessions.
Luke La Volpe will join Lewis Capaldi at Summer Sessions.

"I remember a day, I don't know if the video is still up on YouTube, it might be taken down, but it was me and Lewis in my bedroom at 13-years-old playing guitar together.

"I remember that day saying to each other if one of us got famous - like wee boys talking - that we would help the other one out.

"Obviously that has happened for Lewis and now I'll be playing with him in Princes Street Gardens. That's pretty pretty bizarre."

"The Tom Greenan gig was huge but doing it with Lewis Capaldi in Princes Street Gardens with 6000 people is just mind blowing. That's the stuff you've been dreaming of since you were nine years old."

'You can't get tired of the music around here just now. They're all eager to get on a bit and try a bit harder and they all see the likes of Luke coming up and they are all inspired.'
Scott Horsburgh

While Luke is living the dream, he adds his ultimate gig would be to play iconic festival Glastonbury and a collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age or Arctic Monkeys would be a career highlight.

Yet with big dreams, he still helps to nurture up and coming talent in his hometown, teaching children to play guitar at his local music store.

Scott Horsburgh, who co-owns AMP Music Store and music venue Purple Orange, recalls that just a few years ago, they had a young Lewis Capaldi on the tiny stage before he hit the big time.

"Lewis was here at New Year two years ago and we got him for £50. You're not going to get that any more," he laughs.

He agrees with Luke that nurturing musical talent in the area is key and seeing bands like Luke La Volpe and The Snuts succeed is the inspiration budding artists in Bathgate needs.

"You can't get tired of the music around here just now. They're all eager to get on a bit and try a bit harder and they all see the likes of Luke coming up and they are all inspired."

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