09 June 2007 (gig)
14 June 2007
What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Actually it was Music-News.com descending on the highlands of Scotland to check out the second year of Rock Ness. No prizes for guessing its location! Last year was a one dayer with Fat Boy Slim as the main party piece. This year, festival lust has gripped the nation and increased its length to two days, with Chemical Brothers, Manic Street Preachers, The Charlatans and Daft Punk among the big hitters. The Automatic, Sunday night entertainers, had the chorus of their flagship single, Monster, ringing out between acts on the main stage throughout the weekend.
For scenery alone, and the backdrop from the top of the hill to the main stage, the event is untouchable. Loch Ness, blue and sparkling in the gorgeous Saturday lunchtime sun held a corny beauty. It was almost a shame not be on a walking holiday instead of 3 crusty nights in a tent, but after 3 pints (and the rest), festival mode proved impossible to shift.
Saturday took in a smattering of Liverpool’s Wombats, all angular and quirky guitars; a pinch of El Presidente and the Alabama 3 – both whetting the appetite for more of their respective shows; and Make Model, Guillemots wannabees in the new bands tent. The Charlatans are unlikely to disappoint and were true to form as the final main stagers before the Chemicals, while Oppenheimer, a glorious two piece electro pop act from Belfast, closed the new bands stage. The Chemical Brothers were spellbinding as ever with lasers, lights, hypno images and all measure of bleeps, whoops and beats. The vast crowd, by all accounts were in anticipation of Sunday nights dance tent headliners, Daft Punk.
The Sunday sky was far greyer than the day before, but strong performances from the incredibly promising Pull Tiger Tail, The Levellers, and the Manics, bang on top form, kept the sun from being stolen from our hearts. The Welsh rockers did however have stiff competition from the French dance act Daft Punk for the Scottish affection. The dance tent was the better environment to show off their impressive laser show, and, to be honest, I’ve never seen a tent so packed and overspilling wide at every angle.
A one dayer in 2006, a two dayer in 2007. Next year I hazard a guess may go for the magic number (somebody call Mensa!). The vibe is perfect, and the feeling is spacious and vast, unless you were cramped in the camping area (and I don't mean at the front of the stage for The Feeling!). Next year would, however, benefit from more toilets, Guinness, and for the festival proper to be open each day earlier than 12 noon. It’s early days. And the early feeling is the event will get bigger and better. It couldn’t be much friendlier. And who could deny it’s the best festival title on the calendar.
What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? No, it’s a whopping great new legendary festival on the horizon. Same time next year – I think so Nessie!