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Review: RockNess Festival 2012

14th June 2012

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Set on the banks of Loch Ness, RockNess (see what they did there?) claims to be set in 'An idyllic location, with breathtaking views', a statement that seems slightly optimistic, but the place is no doubt idyllic enough to take your breath away. Having the opportunity to trek over to the Loch during the day and enjoy its unspoiled beauty (give or take a temporary rock festival sitting on the banks), is something that few events can boast.

Rockness 2012Day one by the lock saw TNS crammed in quirky little tents watching unique little bands. Forming just 12 other people in the front-row for eccentrics The Correspondents we would have expected an underwhelming performance. But lycra-clad, MC extraordinare, Mr.Bruce set the stage alight with some animated dancing belting out the tunes like a true 1920s dandy. The drew a larger crowd in to the tent, before the front-man joined the gathered throng with a crowd-surfing expedition.

Ed Sheeran's acoustic shenanigans lulled the masses into a sing-along that could have been heard over the border in England.

Friday's headliners, Mumford and Sons however, proved somewhat disappointing. After exciting revellers with one of their biggest hits, 'Little Lion Man' front-man Marcus Mumford announced that the folk-revivalists would be playing new material. Far from being exciting this caused a resounding sigh of disappointment, and awkwardly enough for the band, the crowds gradually dispersed to the warmth of their tents, leaving only the hardcore Mumford fans at the main stage for an underwhelming set.

Saturday was to be the day of dance with techno big-boy Deadmau5 headlining the crowds were buzzing for his performance - he didn't disappoint.

Various stages hosted a range of DJs throughout the day, a drum and bass fans dream. Other guest DJs came in the form of Radio 1's Annie Mac and Zane Lowe.

Beardyman also had a set, playing around with sounds for an hour like someone taking the mick with the keyboard's demo setting in a music lesson. There was a dance platform in the centre of RockNess, that shot bursts of fire into the air every few minutes. Watching raver’s dancing on this podium was entertainment in itself.

In sheer intimidation of the dance platform however, most time was spend in the comedy tent. The event was hosted by Scottish comic Billy Kirkwood, who kept audiences belly-laughing and knee slapping for most of the morning. Next came Australian comic performer Tim Minchin, a large crowd had gathered for his sing-along comic set, and after beginning with Prejudice, "Only a ginger, can call another ginger 'ginger'" the crowds were putty in his hands.  

By far, the highlight of the weekend came in the form of Friendly Fires. Their fron-tman Ed Macfarlane had what can only be described as pendulum hips. His dancing became infectious after one song, and the tiring Sunday crowd began to love life once again. The second he entered the crowd during hit 'Jump in the Pool' he was swarmed by people. The audience thought it funny to beat the singer, and girls fought to try and sing down his mic. 

The closing act of Sunday night were Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro. Crowds gathered to mark the festival's end, and watched as Biffy performed most of their biggest hits. A firework display ended their set and the crowds faded away from the main stage for another year.

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