Live Review

RockNess 2012

RockNess is a festival famed for its beauty and mix of dance and guitar music.


Photo Credit: Paul Campbell

RockNess is a festival famed for its beauty and mix of dance and guitar music but on a grim Friday night with a grey torpor of cloud enveloping the site any beauty is in short supply. Mystery Jets and The Drums deliver admirably rousing sets on the main stage; however, a general soporific air blights the rest of the evening’s proceedings. Noah & The Whale and headliners Mumford & Sons rarely sparkle and both suffer from a nagging listlessness. Maybe it’s the portentous weather conditions, but neither band transfer terribly well to the main stage. Far better are the supercharged performances from Wretch 32 in the Goldenvoice arena and a skull crushing set from Hudson Mowhake that is both extremely fun and outrageously good.

Saturday is all about dance music but before we get to the behemoths of Deadmau5 and Justice there are well-received sets from Sound Of Guns and Lucy Rose whose ever more compelling gentle storytelling grows in stature with every show. Deadmau5’s set is accompanied by a stunning mesmerising mix of visuals, but the night’s real stars are Justice who deliver a headline dance set of masterful control and skill. They are treated like returning electro kings.

Sunday is all about dancing and lots of it, with Chic bringing the retro disco party with a seemingly endless array of hits. Friendly Fires keep up the party vibe with their brand of hi-energy dance pop with Ed McFarlane at his booty shaking best. Biffy Clyro may not be a party band but their headline set is the highlight of the weekend. An unbelievably powerful mix of dynamic rock with some of the best hooks imaginable they have truly stepped up to headline status and appear entirely at home as the send the crowd home with a stirring sing-a-long rendition of ‘The Captain’. A fitting end to a weekend that got better and better.

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