13 June 2012

Rockness Festival 2012 - Review

Rockness Festival 2012

Rockness Festival 2012 - Review

Last weekend saw Rockness festival return to the beautiful surroundings of Loch Ness in Scotland. You definitely can't fault these surroundings, even if the sun decided not to make much of an appearance. Where else can you see the mist rolling in off the hills and Loch, while listening to some of the biggest names in UK music. This was especially true for Friday night headliners, Mumford and Sons, who came onto an amber lit stage, which seemed to glow against the dusk creating a truly unique atmosphere and seemed to make their folk influenced songs come even more alive and there wasn't a single toe not tapping during their set. Friday also saw, king of the sampling, Wretch 32 giving a high energy set, and being joined on stage by Ed Sheeren for an impromptu performance of "Hush Little Baby" and crowd favourites, "Traktor" and "Don't Go". Set of the day though had to go to Ed Sheeren, who even before he hit the stage had a few girls squealing at the top of their lungs, that only the high pitched feedback from the sound check matched their range. With a packed out Golden Voice tent overflowing Ed Sheeren performed a wide range of songs including "A Team", "Lego House" and "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" to name a few, and he had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy from the on set and they were all singing along with enthusiasm to everything. With a massive personality and on stage presence as well as fantastically mellow crystal clear vocals, you can see why he has such a huge following and is a festival must for 2012.

Saturday saw the main stage filled with a dance theme as all things rock were confined to much smaller tents and a whole lot of people not being able to see acts like The Pigeon Detectives, who gave a totally rocked out performance and The View because of it,which did result in The View being given the Golden Voice tent on Sunday to try to accommodate their legion of fans, next time just give them the main stage guys, it's a lot easier. Although Tim Minchin went down a storm with his blend of classical piano playing and witty lyrics, all while taking the piss out of all things ginger, including himself, the crowd and anything else he fancied taking a pop at. On the main stage, Beardyman was up to his usual tricks again of entertaining yet educating us in the ways he creates his unique style, it would have been nice of the sound guys to turn up the volume a bit as you could only hear him clearly when you got right up to the main stage. They did however sort it out for Dead Mau5, who was hidden in a box on stage, and got a total soaking when he emerged and bent to pick his big old mouse head up. Visually, the show was eye catching to say the least, well it had to be as he was hidden behind 4 massive black cubes that changed from rubix cubes, to waves to cheese and a lot of other patterns, all pulsating to the beats that Dead Mau5 was mixing up, but I was at the festival for my beloved rock, and I found it in Sound of Guns earlier on. These guys never disappoint and gave one hell of a performance. The crowd may have been small to start off with, but by the end of the 1st song, that tent was packed. With lead singer, Andrew Metcalfe's vocals displaying fantastically rounded rock tones way beyond his years, and his love crowd interaction, including the odd bit of surfing along the way all while performing little rock goodies like  " Whites of Your Eyes" and the truly amazing "Architects", this is one band who are firm favourites on any festival circuit and need to be checked out if you find them on the programme.

The last day was soon upon us and after hearing a bit of folk and a whole lot of dance on the main stage and everywhere else, we were looking forward to a little bit of rock today, and with Biffy Clyro headlining the Sunday, we were ready for it all. Starting the day off for us was Daily Record competition winners, aggressive pop band, So Many Animal Calls, who given their age and fact they'd never played a festival before looked so nervous, I found myself waiting with baited breath to see if they would be able to perform. They did and did themselves proud. Once they relaxed and got into it, they gave a fab 30 minute slot and looked like they loved every second of it, so well done guys and enjoy your 4 Greggs sausage rolls!!

Other highlights was a set from indie rock veterans, Ash, who still give a great performance after 20 years and the favourite, "Girl from Mars" went down a storm with their fans, The View's larger gig of the weekend, which drew in a massive crowd and still saw people spilling out of the tent to hear and see them and Zane Lowe who played a blistering set, getting the crowd super-hyped for  the festivals final, much anticipated headliners, Biffy Clyro. Biffy played to an eager crowd who were singing and jumping to every track and they played all the hits and more finally going off to a blaze of fireworks lighting up and signalling the end of a great weekend.

All Rockness festival Pics can be seen here ROCKNESS 2012

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