Chemical Brothers hit the Main Stage

The always unpredictable Scottish weather has a major say in the success of any festival.

Draped in sunshine for the bulk of Friday, RockNess opens on Saturday to overcast skies but the drop in temperature is matched by an insatiable energy from the Dores crowd.
Ms Dynamite already has a Mercury under her belt but her performance on the main Stage tossed aside any accusations of resting on her laurels. Sure, the always dynamic singer relied on her hits to warm up the crowd, but fresh material indicated a thirst for new styles. UK Funky inspired beats soared across the Highland valley, with Ms Dynamite leaving to a massive ovation from the RockNess audience.

Chapel Club’s debut album demonstrated a rare gift for atmospherics, with their music seeming to sit somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division. Live, the added muscle supplied by the system pushes the guitars to the fore with their sweeping glamour enveloping the GoldenVoice Arena. Obviously appreciative of the crowd’s reaction, the band depart in a fog of dry ice and echo laden feedback.

The Goldenvoice Arena provides a home for the Clash team, with a fantastic run of bands. Broken Records kept us entertained earlier in the afternoon, with compatriots Frightened Rabbit on typically blistering form.

Sure, the Fat Cat signed outfit may lack the intimacy of yore but with songs as assured as these, the public simply could not ignore them. ‘Winter Of Mixed Drinks’ was their most successful effort yet, with the RockNess crowd singing along to every word.

Jamie Woon may be Brit schooled, but his attention to bass marks him out from contemporaries. Sadly underwhelming on record, the singer’s live show is a more natural forum for his talents. Looping his voice to craft a choral effect, ‘Night Air’ is a triumphant moment for the singer.

Now stripped down to a three piece, The Cribs are on buoyant form. Working on their new album sans Marr, the band have re-gained their nasty vigour of old. Sure, the Smiths icon added much to the Wakefield band, but the trio now seem re-energised after working alone.?Throwing in a few B-sides along with the more traditional festival fare, the Jarmans satisfy man’s needs, women’s needs and RockNess needs.

Sadly, the excellent weather could not last with heavy rain beginning to fall on the Dores site. Stood in front of the Main Stage, the backdrop of a Highland valley glistening with silver water is genuinely breathtaking.

Festival veterans, The Chemical Brothers have mastered the art of moving forward without losing their identity. Tom ‘n’ Ed have a rapport with Scottish crowds, and the duo pull out all the stops in an epic headline set. Festival battle weapons, each track is pulled out, pushed to ever higher levels of energy. A massive crowd descends on the Main Stage, as Chemical Brothers depart to frenzied cheers from the RockNess audience.

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