|Main stage acts. Making good use of the barn.|
Saturday 5th May came and brought with it Brew at the Bog, Scotland's newest festival held at Bogbain Farm, a few miles from Inverness. As you can see, the line up looked amazing, and that wasn't all of it. 12 hours; 3 stages; 33 bands. Brew at the Bog brought together the most talented acts from Scotland and beyond- the most exciting line up seen for a long time, maybe ever! As well as all of the Scots, we experienced a couple of Welsh artists as well as Woody Pines- an Nashville band, with a style/ sound similar to that of Johnny Cash (although that's a huge insult because the band weren't exactly lyrical genius').
Tickets were £45 for the whole day, which was maybe a bit steep in some eyes, but with the amount of talent on show, I thought it was well worth my money. We were greeted with Dundee band Lost City Soul on the main stage,whilst local band He Slept On 57 were making a huge noise with songs like The Tearaway in the barn-come-music venue. We were impressed with the layout of the mini festival which had the outdoor mainstage, while inside, the barn was taken over by the folk from GoNorth and hosted by Jamie from Netsounds. There was also 'The Bothy' which allowed the acoustic artists the chance to play in the warmth. Many people were crammed into the cosy room- which was probably due to the weather more than the music- but I believe the weather benefited the artists in their because everyone appeared to enjoy their music.
|Marc didn't stop smiling! Photo- M. Rowley|
|The voice at the forefront of Fatherson.|
Some of the many highlights from the festival definitely came from Fatherson. The Kilmarnock band are doing well for themselves, being played regularly on Radio1 and just off the back of their headline tour. They certainly didn't disappoint. The crowd got involved properly for the first time as they sang and jumped away to Gone Fission, Sailor's Son and the likes. The energetic Seventeenth Century were second on the mainstage and played a rousing set, full of heart and violin. However, the makeshift 3 piece Open Swimmer turned out an excellent performance with songs like Sugar Bowl and Nineteen which have been stuck in my head ever since. I briefly spoke to Ben afterwards while watching Fatherson and he was genuinely a nice guy. You will be seeing more of Open Swimmer on the blog soon I'm sure.
|Aussie frontman of Open Swimmer, Ben|
Inside on the goNorth stage, we enjoyed Aberdonians, The Little Kicks, and then were suitably surprised by Welshman Jonathon Powell- boyfriend of Charlotte Church- who just about sang his heart out to a decent sized crowd. He then generously gave away 2 albums free of charge to anyone who wanted it.
Beerjacket (which we all wished we had) attracted a good wee crowd, again on the GoNorth stage which provided great acoustic sounds. He played a lot of older songs but also a few off The White Feather Trail which went down well. However, even though there was a decent number of people there, he remarked that there was only one person singing - which I must add, was oneself- so I recommend you to buy his album and learn the words, just to make him happy!
|Endor. Photo- J.Rowley|
Three Blind Wolves were definite crowd pleasers on as the darkness loomed. They played with all the talent they could summon with a bit of an eclectic set with almost hard rock at times mixed in with their usual folky sound. I haven't heard a bad word about this band and that continued after they played.
Back inside, Jamie from Netsounds came on the stage to introduce Over the Wall. I was more than excited to see them live after listening to the song Thurso countless times. They struggled to play due to their amp or guitar playing up, but they soldiered on and improvised with heavier drum machine and of course, trumpet. The carnival feel inside the barn continued as the trumpet noise at the end of Thurso echoed through the crowd.
Last to grace the Brew at the Bog stage was Washington Irving. Throughout the whole day I'd been looking forward to seeing them for the first time the most. They killed it. They stole the show. They were head and shoulders above the rest of the bands, and I'm not being biased by any means. The energy in the crowd played through the band as they performed most songs from their up coming album as well as Sisi- though the flute was missing in action. After the end of their set, the crowd began the 'one more tune' chant, and, to everyone's delight, they came back to do another couple of songs. After that, the band went of stage. The crowd began the 'one more tune' chant- again. Back out came the heroic Washington Irving to sing Tom Pains Bones. However, just before starting the second song of the second encore, the power was cut by the sound engineers.
Brew at the Bog was a well organised out and out success. The charm of the Bothy and barn definitely appealed to the festival goers. We can only hope for the same next time round (but trying to beat that line-up will be a mammoth task).