After too much darting between stages at Wickerman Festival Still Burning decided to spend a bit more time actually taking in the music at Belladrum as opposed to photographing as much as he could. Still managed to enjoy a decent part of over ten artists performances though, which is not bad for a days work I think!
Highlights for me were the LA based band that is Vintage Trouble, a mash up of funk, soul, blues and even rock n roll sewn into the seams of their material, seriously these guys are excellent live, lets hope they come back to Scotland sooner rather than later. Love With Me and Pelvis Pusher are just ace tracks to experience in the flesh. I like a good frontman and Ty Taylor is the absolute business. Also a heads up to the Easy Star All Stars whom I’ve known for some time who chilled you on a lazy afternoon with their laid back reggae style and the stunningly beautiful (both music and otherwise) Anna Calvi who also played to a pretty full Grassroots stage before the main headliners were to play. Not many people left before she’d finished her set either, having charmed the crowd with her feminine tones. In the same tent, Saint Saviour were to give us quite an enchanting performance which was animatedly (new word) interesting as well as pure sounding. I want to see SS again sometime.
Aberdeen’s own artists The Xcerts had a surprisingly early kick off time of 2.30pm but still got a decent crowd down to the Hot House Stage but I can’t help but think they’d have been suited to a later time in the day. The indie kids enjoyed it as usual though. This also applied to the Fridge Magnets who played on the Jock the Reaper Stage (a black painted combine harvester with a trio of bagpipe pipes at the top of it, good work Bella!) early in the evening. Next time I’d put them in one of the tents late on, when the crowd needs a wee bounce, the electronicy goodness with their up for it front man would generate just that. Just my opinion of course, it must be tremendously hard work getting the timings at a festival just right, and to suit the arrival and departure times of the artists as well as I’d noticed a number of them were playing England and even Ireland the next day.
The Phantom Band got a good-sized crowd although a couple of times I thought they lacked a bit if zip on the night but that’s probably just me. Excellent musicians though, and not afraid to try something different it seems.
Frank Turner was on the main stage with his folky-punky offerings and again I just wasn’t overly impressed, the sound just isn’t `full` enough for me. Plenty were enjoying his performance though, and a number of people were singing along. I like to see that for some reason, it makes for a good atmosphere.
Sharleen Spiteri’s Texas finished up the main stage for the day and well, they were just as you’d expect them to be, playing songs that people were (once?) familiar with and Sharleen herself and the large crowd clearly enjoying it. Unlike someone who said to me that they thought she was looking `well past her best` I thought she looked damn great.
Have to add that because I caught so many acts at other festivals and indeed throughout the last year or so I didn’t spend much time in the goNorth tent today which I’m probably regretting a bit but well, you can’t be in two places at once can you? A busy day but I had less `planned` for the Saturday so we’ll see where that took me.
The Phantom Band
Easy Star All Stars
Words and pics by Still Burning.
Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2011 – The Music – Saturday
Tartan Heart Festival – Official Website