Monday, August 21, 2006

Belladrum Festival - Part 2

Saturday 12th August

With Friday being a great 1st day of the festival looking at the Saturday line up I wasn't really sure about who to watch and decided to just wander about taking in as many different bands I could.

After hearing the buzz surrounding a new band from Dundee called The View they were top of the list. They had to move to a later slot after driving through the night from Liverpool due to the terrorism threats on the airlines. This didn't seem to faze them one little bit as they took the Hothouse Stage by storm and had the crowd bouncing along to great songs like 'Wasted Little D.J's' and 'Posh Boys', and the mellower 'Same jeans' had everyone realising they were witnessing the next big thing. With a 49 date countrywide tour now under way (I'll be at the Raigmore, Inverness 26th Sept & possibly Loopallu Festival, Ullapool 23rd Sept) they are a band that you should make sure you see at the smaller venues and after this blistering set I was looking down the rest of the line up to see which other band could deliver the goods.

Next up on the same stage were a Sheffield band called Tiny Dancers whom I had heard little about except they were a blues/folk/rock style band due to support Richard Ashcroft and Bob Dylan. I think this is another new band due for bigger things in the near future. A great set that had the crowd tapping along to every song and one band I will be keeping an eye open for.

The Automatic on the Garden Stage were always going to be a big crowd puller here because of the What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster! factor and they had the biggest crowd barring the two headlining bands. They gave an energetic performence which included Kanye West cover version 'Golddigga', new single 'Recover', 'Raoul' and 'The Monster' which had the whole festival rocking.
(see photos at

A walk over to the Grassroots Stage was like walking back through time when I watched The Puppini Sisters. With their reworkings of classics like 'Wuthering Heights' - (Kate Bush), 'Panic' - (The Smiths), 'I Will Survive' - (Gloria Gaynor) and classics like 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy' it was a collision between the Andrews Sisters, The Smiths and Hollywood musicals of the 1940s. And it looks great, too!
(see photos at

After making my way back to the Hothouse Stage in my musical T.A.R.D.I.S I promptly returned to the 90's via The Wonderstuff who are in my view still one of the great live bands to see. With two of the original band members sadly no longer with us Miles Hunt and Malcom Treece have found a new 'Bass Thing' in Milo's step brother Mark McCarthy. For me they were a perfect band to be playing at that stage of the festival with all the classics getting an airing before they take them all on tour again. The early favourites like 'Wish Away', 'It's Yer money I'm After Baby' and 'Give Give Give Me More More More' led us through to the likes of 'Golden Green', 'CircleSquare' and 'Don't Let Me Down, Gently' finishing up with an encore of 'Poison'.
(see photos at

Last band up to close the festival is always supposed to be the best and the rest is purely a warm up to this great climax of a live show. So the question with me remains would Embrace have been this band if Echo & the Bunnymen hadn't been playing another festival this night in Ireland?.
Embrace to me are a dull and monotone sounding band live with a wobbly voiced singer who doesn't seem to be able to hold a note, yet they still seem to pull a big entusiastic crowd. Granted they did play some of their better known songs like 'Ashes', 'The Good Will Out', 'Nature's Law', and 'All You Good Good People', but this failed to lift me and left me slightly dissapointed with the ending to a great weekend.

No doubt on the whole the festival has started to build up and is attracting the bigger and better bands which is what we want, but let's try and keep this our festival, nice and easy going, friendly atmosphere and most of all not a ned's day out!


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At 8:04 PM , Anonymous Jim Bowen said...

Super Site!, Smashing Content, Great Colors!


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