The day that Leftfield played their first set in 10 years
Rockness takes a somewhat relaxed stance to the day and literally nothing opens till midday. This obviously allows for excess to take place in the evening so the crowds obviously oblige…we are in Scotland after all!
Following on from monster sets from Both Fatboy Slim and Pendulum, today had a lot to live up to and the lineup certainly wasn’t to disappoint. However the initial acts on the Main Stage ended up getting cancelled. This led to the main emphasis at the start of the day now reverting to the Clash tent that was now presenting Goldenvoice Arena!a
South Central kicked off a great bouncy set which set the crowd in a bouyant mood for the day
South Central kicked off the day with a stunning set bringing in keyboard guitar into a DJ set which at least made things far more visual for the awaiting throng. This was a great bouncy set which set the crowd up into a buoyant mood despite the weather being ever threatening.
Next up was Killa Kella who is an amazing live act literally hurling himself around the stage in a devilish frenzy. There was a lot of interaction with the crowd and indeed the awaiting cameramen in the pit. Certainly an act to watch as you won't be disappointed. I'd heard much about him but was enthralled by the energy he laid out for this performance.
By this time the Cuban Brothers had graced the main stage with Kengo San, Miguel and Archerio warming to the crowd in their Annual pilgrimage to Rockness to delight the crowds. Clad in a pink suit red wig and tartan hat Kengo related to the crowd with his parentage being part Scottish and even bought his mum onto stage. Bringing on party time to the audience certainly warmed the place up even if the sun was unable to. This was the first band of the weekend to grace the pit to interact with the front row and boy did they interact!
Cuban Brothers...boy did they interact!
Back in the Clash tent Dan Le Sac and Scrubious PIP bought yet more energy to their performance and had the audience bouncing the tent to pieces with their poignant lyrics throwing out a mass of messages. This performance was well above expectations for me and set the scene for the day where the artistes put a lot of energy into putting a smile on people’s faces.
On the Main stage Alabama 3 bought their full entourage to the stage dressed in camouflage to depict their rousing tunes. With alcohol a flowing their anthemic and bluesy form of church music really hit a chord with the masses and rallied them into a dancing mass all the way up the hill. I was lucky after this performance to get an interview with Larry Love and Seggs and we explored the changing face of the Festival goers and talked about their routes in the old time party raves of twenty odd years ago.
Next to grace the Main Stage was Plan B and from the start it was evident from the tightness of his trousers how he was hitting all those high notes! Bedecked in smart Suits his large band filled the stage with tight backing to the singing. It’s exactly what the crowd wanted with hit after hit allowing a mass sing along. Ben Drew has certainly come a long way in four years changing from foul rapper to smooth retro soul of a romantic hue. This was truly one of the class acts of the weekend.
Plan B was truly one of the class acts of the weekend.
Following on from this were more dance acts with 2 many Djs, Zane Lowe and Aphex Twins. The latter being almost impossible to see behind a very high staging and being enveloped in smoke although as he said “ it was about the music”. The crowd were up for a dance and the main Stage and Clash tent were soon filled.
The biggies were left for last on Main Stage with Ian Brown and leftfield. For me as per last time I saw Ian Brown his legend spoke more than the performance which I felt was lackluster, however the audience seemed enthralled in the man, the myth, the legend. I personally didn’t feel a single note was hit and even some words were forgotten, but when the crowd are singing them en masse for you does it really matter.
Leftfield on the other hand were playing for the first time in 10 years and their long awaited set was stunning although not as upbeat as many people wanted to close the evening. They bought on three different groups of singers to cover their repertoire and each bought their own diverse style to the event.
Walking back up the hill whilst they still played was a site to behold set inside the stunning valley of the Loch. Once again The Afterburner stage provided more after hours entertainment on the walk back to the camping.