Zoe is “The Voice of Spring Fling”

Each year Dumfries and Galloway hosts one of most successful open studios event of its kind in Scotland. Spring Fling 2012 takes place from 2 – 5 June and in celebration of its 10th birthday will host a four day event. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get behind the scenes of the studios of artists and makers whose doors are not usually open to the public, try your hand at a new skill or simply hop from studio to studio through some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery.

This year Spring Fling have commissioned a video from the very talented Picto Productions, the company who made Zoë’s video for ‘35 Missed Calls’ and Zoë was asked to write and perform the soundtrack.

Spring Fling were so delighted with the result that they have named Zoe “The Voice of Spring Fling” ~ the video has been played in venues around the region and on Saturday 2nd June to Zoë will herself be doing a ‘mini tour’ to sing in a number of studios and venues on the Spring Fling trail.

Her tour kicks off at 11 am at The Mill on the Fleet in Gatehouse.

You can catch her at 1pm in Kirkcudbright at WASPS – Cannonwalls & Claverhouse Studios

At 3pm she will have the pleasure of singing in The Gallery at Laurieston

The tour culminates with a performance at the Spring Fling Ceilidh in Castle Douglas from 7pm.



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What do Peter Gabriel, The White Stripes and Zoë Bestel all have in common?

BBC Radio 4’s arts correspondent, Mark Coles has interviewed just about every music star going from Nina Simone and Led Zeppelin to the elusive Tom Waits, Neil Young, sonny Rollins, Van Morrison, Brian Eno and James Brown.

His interview on the Today programme with America’s The White Stripes in 2001 helped propel them to global prominence.  Other big name interviewees include: John Updike, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Woody Allen, Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis.

Of late, he’s been presenting for the BBC World Service: a daily global arts and entertainment programme called “The Strand” and a world music programme “World Of Music”, formerly presented by the late great Charlie Gillett.  Both have a global reach of 42 million people and are re-broadcast on public radio stations across the US.

He’s now branched out on his own.  In the summer of 2011, he began a new venture ‘Mark Coles Music’ producing music programmes and features for radio around the world.  His first show “The Shed: A whole New World Of Music” is already on air in Switzerland and also broadcast in the US.

So when I found that he was also doing a show for wonderful Dandelion Radio (who featured Zoë last year) I thought I would approach him and see what he thought of her new single.  This is a man who is highly regarded in the music world and knows his stuff, so I knew I would get an honest opinion.

Whether he liked her work or not, he would tell me the truth.

And guess what?  Not only did he like it – he played her on his show yesterday!  Here’s the link to listen again (she’s at about 35 mins).

Here at Bestel HQ we’re absolutely delighted.  Just think – last week he interviewed Jack White from the White Stripes, next week he’s interviewing Peter Gabriel – but this week he played Zoë’s “35 Missed Calls”

Can’t wait for the day when he interviews her face to face (maybe they’ll bump into each other back stage at Glastonbury, who knows – you’ve got to dream BIG).  Thanks Mark.

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Zoë sings for Matt Baker

Something magical happened in Wigtown last Friday. It was one of those serendipitous moments.

Here’s how the story began . . . .

BBC Country File had come to film and we were all very excited to meet their presenter Matt Baker (also of Strictly, Blue Peter and The One Show fame).

They wanted to re-create the festival atmosphere that would be prevalent throughout the weekend and the producer had phoned us earlier in the week to see if they could film Zoë singing in the background of some of the shots. We were all delighted especially as the filming would be in the early morning and wouldn’t clash with the ‘live’ radio interview Zoë had in the afternoon.

But things rarely go to plan with these things and as the week went on the time slot for Zoë moved from 9.30am to 10.30 am and then 11.00. By the morning of the shoot we had realised that it was improbable that Zoë was going to be filmed, but we went along anyway at our allotted time to wait patiently for the call.

We would have to leave Wigtown by 11am if we were to get to the studio in Dumfries in time for her ‘live’ interview on time. Mid morning, the producer came with the sad news that they wouldn’t be able to do the scene until 12 noon and she was so apologetic – but Zoë took it all in her stride and said she totally understood. I was very cheeky and asked if we could have a quick photo with Matt as a little compensation for not getting on the show. No problem! Yipeeeee.

This is where things got a bit exciting . . . .

Matt had just finished filming in The Book Shop and was waiting around while the crew packed up all the equipment to move onto the next location and he was happy to spend a couple of minutes shaking hands and having pictures taken. He was really lovely with everyone but was especially taken with Zoë. I took a quick picture and was about to leave when he started chatting to Zoë asking her about her ukulele and her new song. I grabbed my wee camera and started filming . . .

What happened next was amazing . . .

He asked Zoë to sing . . . and as she started, Matt and the whole crew seemed more than interested and the camera man went out to the van to get his equipment out so they could catch her on film. It was such a lovely moment and I’m so glad I had my video to hand.

Who knows, they may even use a bit of it in their finished piece. We’ll have to watch CountryFile on Sunday 20th May to find out.



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Launch Week

LAUNCH WEEK or ‘LAUNCH SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK’ – as we’re calling it at Bestel HQ – is finally here and we are gearing up to a very exciting time and I’m sure a week Zoë will remember for the rest of her life.

Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon at The Glenkens Acoustic Sessions where Zoë got some last minute practice in, jamming with her wonderful and supportive musical friends from around the area. Everyone has been wishing her well for her exciting debut.

We’ll be catching all the excitement on film or via pics to share with you all next week. So, even if you can’t be part of it in person, we will keep you in the loop.

This week Zoë’s debut single is on the play list of: Alive Radio, West Sound, KA Radio, Dumfries & Galloway College Radio and many more (please let us know if you hear her on your local station). It will be played daily around the region – how exciting is that!

There are lots of lovely things happening for Zoë this week including:

This wonderful blog post and fantastic picture created by the children’s author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre entitled “One Girl and her Ukulele in South West Scotland”

A very special interview by Ces Creatively who has featured Zoë’s music in her unique interactive novel The Light Direction.

We are keeping our eyes peeled for a wonderful article in The Scotsman this week and another lovely feature on BBC Radio Scotland.

On Tuesday night she is being interviewed for the wonderful new project ‘Talented Teens’ – brainchild of Sarah Newton (hailed as the Super Nanny for Teens by TV Times and author of “Help!- My Teenager is an Alien”)

On Wednesday night you can catch her at the Open Stage event at The Catstrand in New Galloway. And on Relay Radio with Kenny Barr (wow! 2 places at once.  But which is ‘live’ and which is recorded? lol).

Thursday evening sees her performing at the presentation event for the Prince’s Trust at Dumfries & Galloway College. A charity very close to her heart as mum and dad were involved with it back in Liverpool. And a wee interview with Jo McKellar for the College Radio Station.

Friday is LAUNCH DAY ~ Come and join in the celebrations with us at Zoë’s Launch Party: 8pm The Belted Galloway in Newton Stewart, where you’ll be able to get your hands on her 3 track limited edition debut single ’35 Missed Calls’.  Before that – you can catch her being interviewed LIVE on Alive Radio with Cameron Murray on the lunch time show.

Saturday you can catch her on the acoustic stage at Comlongon Rocks music festival.

Sunday sees launch week coming to a close with her performing in concert as part of the Wigtown Book Festival’s Spring Weekend at The Old Bank Bookshop. As well as singing, she will be answering questions and signing CDs.

If you can make it to any of the above, please come and say ‘Hi’ – it’ll be great to see you and make sure you get Zoe to sign your CD.  If you can’t make it or live on the other side of the world, you can still get your hands on her limited edition debut CD ’35 Missed Calls’ by pre-ordering here.

P.S. and if anyone wants an interview with her, let us know and we’ll try to squeeze it into the Launch Week Schedule (or should that be #squeeeeeeedule?)


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Dumfries & Galloway Life ~ Cover Girl

May’s edition of Dumfries & Galloway Life see’s Zoë  on the cover looking stunning.

“Dumfries & Galloway Life is the award-winning monthly glossy magazine for south-west Scotland. From stunning photography to insightful features, the magazine celebrates the best of this beautiful and vibrant area. Its readers are proud of where they live and enjoy the mix of articles about towns and villages, the natural beauty of the area, and local history as well the focus on the best of modern life, from food and drink, to the arts, shopping and fashion.”

It was such a treat to have pictures taken by lifestyle photographer Louise Llewellyn.  The article was written by Carol Hogarth entitled “A Star is Born”.  The magazine is out in shops throughout Dumfries & Galloway from 18th May and available on subscription here ….

And she’s in good company! Other people who’ve graced the cover include: David Coulthard, Neil Oliver and Ashley Jensen.

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35 Missed Calls Launch Party

The long awaited Launch Party for Zoë’s first single ’35 Missed Calls’ is finally here.

The excitement is building here at Bestel HQ ~ we’ve heard the CD, we’ve seen the video ~ everything is in place to launch Zoë on her way.

Come and join in the celebration with us ~ here are all the details:

ZOË BESTEL debut single – 35 Missed Calls – LAUNCH PARTY!

Friday 4 May 8:00 pm until 11:30 pm

At The Belted Galloway
Newton Stewart


Zoë Bestel

accompanied by Sean McCole 

Special Guests
Steve Dowling & The Obliviates
Calum Gilligan

Zoë said, “I’m so excited about this CD and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.  Thanks to Huey for making me sound so amazing and to Steve for giving me the opportunity to share my songs with the world ~ it’s a dream come true!”

35 Missed Calls is Zoë’s first ever single.  It includes 3 tracks and will be available on CD and Download.  CDs will be available to purchase and Zoë can sign them for you on the night.

The launch party is free entry and there is a bar.  Any under 18s must be with an adult.

Looking forward to seeing you all there and making it a night that Zoë will never forget.


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