The cynics could and probably would say oh no another festival to add to the list of hundreds but in this case the cynics would be wrong……

Nestled in the hills of south west Scotland sits Drumlanrig Castle with its idyllic tree lined avenues and gorgeous green fields some would say an ideal site for a festival with a difference…The organisers of Scotland’s newest one day festivals ‘Electric Fields’ deserve a huge pat on the back for choosing the location and must surely be onto a winner.

Approx.1500 lucky punters were treated to some of the best music provided by some of the best emerging talent Scotland has to offer today, 40 bands spread over 4 stages. The two main stages hosted alternate acts which worked a treat as it was possible to catch all the main acts and provided a continuous stream of great music.

With no massive names on the bill to draw in the punters this might have been a gamble for co-founders Chay Goodman and Alex Roberts but hats off to these pioneering spirited duo who decided to book a completely Scottish bill some exciting emerging names like Vigo Thieves, Fatherson and fresh from their amazing commonwealth games appearance ‘Prides’

Kicking off at 11:30am a modest crowd of hardy punters welcomed ‘Barstow Bats’ with the highly entertaining ‘More From Jim’ in quick fire succession and who were boosting the ‘Yes’ campaign at every opportunity. Local lad ‘Cammy Black’ pulled at the heart srtings of the local lasses with his rugged good looks and Springsteen influenced set.

‘Vukovi’ are a band who’s name is being banded about the Glasgow music scene at the moment and boy they didn’t disappoint….energetic lead singer Janine Shilstone made use of the whole stage giving an excellent performance and making full use of the plethora of photographers flocking at stage front …. The afternoon sun shone as the revelers danced away the afternoon with The Amphetameanies, Woodenbox and Anderson, McGinty, Ward & Fisher with a change in music style provided by the excellent ‘United Fruit” who turned up the heat on an already hot afternoon and played an excellent set. Despite their lack in years ‘Miaoux Miaoux’ are fairly well established in the Scottish Music scene obvious by the large crowd large crowd of younger fans congregated at the front of the stage and who obviously love their brand of electro pop music. ‘Prides’ are red hot property at moment and after their appearance at the Commonwealth Game closing ceremony alongside ‘Kylie Minogue’ the promoter played an ace by booking them as the place was jumping during their brilliant set. What can be said about Bombskare other than that they are the best Ska band around… I challenge anybody not to dance whilst these guys burn up the stage, a real highlight of the festival. Despite initial technical difficulties girl duo ‘Honeyblood’ play a blinder and I’m sure increasing their fan.base by doing so.

Vigo Thieves done what they do best …delivered their style of anthemic melodic music to an excited crowd of Vigo daft fans who simply adore these guys and everything they do and who can blame them…not long now before the whole country are Vigo daft. Brilliant as usual.

For the uninitiated ‘Stanley Odd’ are Scottish Political HIP HOP band fronted by the extremely talented wordsmith ‘Solareye’ perhaps a bit too provincial to have mainstream success but they are good…very good!!! Hard hitting lyrics set against brilliant music….superb and yet another highlight.

As ‘Stanley Odd’ finished their set the crowds were already gathering for Scotland’s most unique and talented emerging band ‘The LaFontaines ‘ Their infectious style of music ..a fuson of indy rock and rap has them riding on the crest of a wave to mainstream success is a real crowd pleaser and by far earns them the largest crowd of the festival so far… ‘The Fonts’ as they are known to their fans introduce some excellent new material as well as the old crowd favorites in a powerful amazing set.

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to catch ‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’ and the darlings of the Scottish music scene ‘Fatherson’ who by all accounts were simply superb with just about every act of the day joining them on stage to close the day.

The thing that really sets this festival apart from the plethora of other micro festivals was its focus on emerging talent…for me that was a real winner, all the bands were welcomed with equal enthusiasm and not just there to fill time before the big names appeared. Another great point was the vibe of the festival …. relaxed but professional, well organized without the overwhelming security of other small festivals. It would be great to see this happen every year but I’d imagine due to the successes first Electric Fields demand will increase making it hard for the organisers to maintain the relaxed small festival feel…

Ah…’Electric Fields’…yeah I was at the first one, brilliant…I remember saying that about ‘T In The Park”

Pix © Westy