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Rockness Sunday reviewed

After a long night of persistent rain we awoke to a light drizzle and a hanging mist over the Loch.

The Big guns were out in force today and so was the weather. After a long night of persistent rain we awoke to a light drizzle and a hanging mist over the Loch.
Although the lineup was diverse there seemed to be universal appeal about the day in general.
The early part of the day was characterized by the rain but for some this actually played to their advantage, especially those who chose to switch from the main Stage to The Clash tent as they basically had a captive audience. For many this meant they ended up listening to a genre of music which they wouldn’t normally experience and for many a pleasant surprise was had. Although the lineup was diverse there seemed to be universal appeal about the day in general.
As is par for the course at Rockness the day saw talent ranging from promising newcomers through to seasoned veterans alike and all were mutually received by an appreciative audience. A couple of the bands in particular for me held great appeal as I have watched these develop over the past couple of years and watched them move up the stages and profiles of events across the country. These being Hadouken and Twin Atlantic. The former you can read about in my interview with James on my satellite site here

The mornings rain meant we were unable to cover a couple of bands notably The Maccabees, although listening from the eaves they still managed to produce a great set. Which was warmly greeted by the appreciative audience..

For the first time Rockness introduced a comedy act to the Clash Stage in the form of Kevin Bridges. Sadly the humour was lost on me as I wasn’t Scottish but the packed audience certainly appreciated him. For some reason he didn’t like people from Edinburgh!!! The whole audience were seated on the floor, but he beckoned them all to stand up so the packed crowd outside could come in from the rain doubling his onlookers.

This was all good for Hadouken who instantly gained a captive audience for their manic set led by James Smith. Having grown steadily as a band in the last few years they are now in their second coming and are being pushed by Radio 1. Joining the set for some reason was a giant mouse halfway through which went down a storm.
Joining the set for some reason was a giant mouse...
The Stage itself though was warmed up initially by a new group on the block called Hoodlum with their strong vocal based songs with double bass strumming throughout to an early 90s influenced pop beat. Highlight of the performance was a cover of MIA Taking My Name which had the audience in raptures. As a new band they certainly had all the moves with monitor standing, mic swinging and interacting with the crowd. They certainly made the sun shine even if it was metaphorically!!! Their new EP will be released on August 6th.

The remainder of the day in the Clash tent saw a full line up of Djs starting with the BloodyBeetroots Deathcrew 77 which bought a spectacular to the stage, which was very entertaining for all present. This was followed by Chase and Status with their simple C and S mirrored DJ booths on either side of the stage while guest singers filled in the missing sections! Dave Clarke closed this stage.
The Main Stage should have been The Strokes Swan Song but a lackluster performance relying on their importance in rock did them no favours whatsoever. Its seemed as they just didn’t think they needed to put in the effort with a simplistic stage set and woeful red lighting during nearly the whole set seemed to just switch everyone well and truly off.
the Main Stage was owned by veteran pop Mistress Debbie Harry
Instead the Main Stage was owned by veteran pop Mistress Debbie Harry the iconic Blondie frontwoman. She drifted effortlessly between her classic sing along tunes and some from her New Album, there were covers of Muse, this, of all things enthralling the crowd as she went. Even the weather agreed that Blondie should rule with the rain making way for the sun the moment Debbie Strode onto the stage!
Gone are the leotards and headbands of yesteryear and instead a dignified multilayered Skirt and jacket combo topped off with sparkly sunglasses. These lured you into her face which too me just hadn’t changed since I lusted after her as a young lad. Even today she was once again capturing the hearts of the young crowd who all seemed to know the words to songs made before they were even born.

The Doves and in particular Vampire Weekend put in sterling performances as well captivating the masses of people now flooding to the stage, with the emotions gradually building towards the culmination of the weekend. Although the Strokes didn’t capture peoples hearts the fireworks lighting up the stage and Loch did, the finale certainly left everyone with a warm heart as they once again climbed the hill towards the upper dance stages where grand Master Flash enthralled with White Lines on the Rizla Stage with the after Burner Stage lighting everyone’s way home.

In all a perfect weekend on the shores of Loch Ness, with only the weather and perhaps slightly larger attendance throwing the slightest of downsides to the weekend.

I for one will be taking the long road back to Dores next year as I felt truly welcomed by the whole ensemble which was Rocknes
In all a perfect weekend on the shores of Loch Ness, I for one will be taking the long road back to Dores next year, see you there...

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Nic B-C/Brian Anderson Images
16th June 2010
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