Scots music stars band together for dementia benefit concert

Big names from Scotland’s music scene are joining forces for an intimate concert to benefit ground-breaking research into dementia.

Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross will join Del Amitri’s Justin Currie, with former Danny Wilson singer Gary Clark completing the all-star line-up.

The one-off performance, entitled Songs in the Round, will take place on 29 April at the University of Edinburgh’s St Cecilia’s Hall – Scotland’s oldest purpose-built music venue.

The event will be hosted by broadcaster Sally Magnusson, who founded the music and dementia charity, Playlist for Life.

The charity has teamed-up with the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Dementia Prevention to research the relationship between music and brain health. Proceeds from the gig will go towards supporting this project.

News anchor and author Sally Magnusson set up Playlist for Life in 2013 in memory of her late mother, Mamie Baird Magnusson. The charity promotes the use of music for those with dementia, by delivering personalised playlists to those in care homes.

Although dementia has no cure, many caregivers report that music can be a powerful tool to improve well-being and unlock memories.

Dementia affects memory, thinking skills and the ability to carry out everyday activities. It is now the biggest killer in the UK, affecting 90,000 people in Scotland.

Ricky Ross, Deacon Blue’s singer-songwriter, who is leading the concert, said: “This will be a chance to hear three singer songwriters perform songs they’ve written, exploring the theme of memory.

“Performing in the round – in the style of the Nashville Bluebird Café – gives the singers time to tell stories and swap ideas around. It also gives the audience a chance to experience, close up, the intimacy of the singer and the song. I’m delighted to be performing songs with great fellow Scottish singer-songwriters who have massive back-catalogues of songs to choose from.”

Sally Magnusson said: “The concert will celebrate the immense power of music in enabling people with dementia to feel more themselves. We are so grateful to Ricky Ross and his fellow musicians and our partners at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Dementia Prevention for helping to create what promises to be a unique evening of song and memory.”

Craig Ritchie, Professor at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Dementia Prevention, said: “We have been working closely with Playlist for Life to understand how music can help people living with dementia as well as even prevent its onset. This concert is not only a reflection of our collaboration but to have Ricky Ross and friends commit their time, effort and enthusiasm to this cause is a massive endorsement of how the public share our vision.”

Tickets go on sale on Friday 15 December at 10:00am and are available at

For further information, please contact:

Kate McAllister, Press and PR Office, Tel 0131 650 6357, Email