Good music with a good view. RockNess day 3 review.

Waking up and starting off Sunday at RockNess like many others – with a handful of after sun. Although, looking around most people could probably do with a few paracetamol and a pint of water.

Fatherson, a Scottish Alt Rock band kicked everything off on the main stage with a slightly smaller but committed crowd. Soothing vocals from Ross Leighton causing girls in the front row to fan girl (actual fanning movements of the hand were seen and squealing was heard). My personal attention was split between the music and the beards but the music eventually prevailed. If you're interested, their music can be heard via their Bandcamp page here (without the distractions of well groomed beards) http://fathersonuk.bandcamp.com/album/fatherson my personal favourite is "43"but for a more upbeat feel give "Hometown" a listen.

Having been nominated for the BBC's "sound of 2012" poll and her debut album awarded "iTunes Album of The Year 2012", Lianne La Havas has been very busy since she came on to the commercial music scene in 2011, and it's no wonder why. Lianne has such a captivating, gentle voice she was able to tame a tent full of rowdy drunken Scots. When performing she seems to loose herself in the lyrics which only draws the crowd in more. With thought provoking lyrics, spine tingling vocals and a quirky wardrobe, Lianne La Havas is definitely one to keep your eye on this year.

Walking in to the tent Ben Howard was playing in, I was positive I had walked in to a tent of hyperventilating One Direction fans. Filled to the brim of teary eyed, fidgeting females of all ages, actions that were magnified when he came on stage. Ben Howard had a haunting stage set up, hiding amongst shadows on stage, showing everyone he can hold a show with his voice alone and doesn't need a fancy light show or backing dancers.

Coming out of the tent of Ben Howard and wandering around the main arena the crowd has almost tripled in size since Friday and I have a rough idea as to why. I've seen Madness live before and they put on a better show to artists to half their age and yes, there is the whole "experience over age" argument but WHERE do they get their energy from? They know exactly how to please a crowd, using the whole stage, not only interacting with the crowd but interacting with one another for the crowds amusement. They definitely haven't lost anything over the years (they even still have hairlines to be proud of!). The perfect band for a sunny day at a festival, providing sing along opportunities with their hits such as "Our House" and "Baggy Trousers" suitable for all ages present at the festival, Madness were a joy to photograph and watch live.

It's now where I get rather emotional and start to evaluate my life choices. At the age of 19 and only a mere month younger than me Madeon took to the stage, blew everyone away while mixing AND controlling his own light show. Having played at major music festivals in New York, California and Miami, playing at Radio 1's Big Weekend AND supporting Swedish House Mafia, I feel like I need to get off my bum and join him in world domination. Now don't think because of his age you should expect less from his live sets than other DJ's on the scene at the moment, if anything, he's exceeding a lot of them.

Plan B @ Rockness

The headlining act and final act of Sunday was Plan B, someone I wouldn't personally go see live in concert but someone I definitely would pay money to see again. The soulful voice you hear on his songs is just as good as live but sang with so much more character. Plan B put so much energy in to his performance, shifting his voice from soft and soothing to painfully aggressive, he brings something to his live music which I haven't seen in any of the other acts over the weekend. I was so surprised with this live performance, nothing was half hearted, the band, vocals, lights, the entire energy of the show has definitely left an impression on me. Plan B unquestionably finished RockNess 2013 with a bang.

Buy your tickets for RockNess 2014 now and don't miss out on the most beautiful festival in the world.

Good music with a good view. Rockness Day 1 Review.

Having never been to Rockness, I didn't have any idea of what to expect, putting aside the fact I'm positive I drove through The Shire on the way here and the 2 hour wait just to pick up my parking ticket from the box office (handsome boy but only capable of serving one customer every 20 minutes) you walk through the entrance to a beautiful landscape. It's magical, breathtaking, no other words can describe it. You have the main stage lit up with lights and lasers from every direction, an explosion of light and in the background sits the Loch Ness, still, untouched by the noise and a complete contrast to the foreground (I'm now talking about the couple that walked in front of me groping one another and slowly destroying any innocence I once had).

Ellie Goulding, she has such control over her voice it doesn't differ that much from her recordings. Although something you don't get to see listening to her songs on the radio/television etc is this awkward bopping thing she does, with a foot stomp here and there. It gives us mere mortal girls a hope that maybe, if we too embrace our inner awkward we can roll about a bed with Calvin Harris like she does in her latest video for "I Need Your Love".

I've never been a huge fan of the Vaccines, I've never really given much time to listen to their music but their live performance did sway me, or maybe it was the drunken Loch Ness monster jumping up and down with his cider next to me that changed my mind, I really don't know BUT I did enjoy their performance thoroughly.

My main highlight of Friday has to be Basement Jaxx, although slightly envious that I will never be able to pull off such colourful hair as the two women who joined them on stage to sing or the fact I'll never be able to dance like them (I did attempt. Unfortunate to all standing behind me.) I could easily say after seeing Basement Jaxx live I would much rather pay to see one of their concerts than ANY big DJ at the moment. Nobody has the groove that these guys have. I said groove, my Mum doesn't even say groove. I apologise. I can't even find an appropriate word I'm still in such a trance. Please go see these guys live and you'll understand.

The atmosphere at Rockness goes from chilled out (or passed out if you're next to the Jagermeister van), to people climbing on sweaty, soggy shoulders and screaming as loud as they possibly can. There are people of all different ages, older couples lounging on the grass hill with their Ice Cream taking in the breathtaking view of the Loch Ness then groups of young friends bouncing around and singing with sheer joy. The site isn't too large, so you can't loose anyone for more than five minutes but it's big enough you can go to one stage without the other stage's music interfering. This festival has the perfect balance. If the thought of coming to Rockness, tomorrow (Saturday 8th) or Sunday has crossed your mind then you need to stop thinking and GET HERE NOW! The weather forecast for the next two days is meant to be phenomenal. See the link.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/iv2

 

Example, Basement Jaxx and more lead Rockness 2013 lineup announcement

RockNess 2013 launches today with an announcement of quality and depth, and in keeping with the eclectic signature synonymous with the festival, a tantalising flavour of 2013’s hottest rising stars.

First up, with a knack for dispensing ridiculously catchy chart toppers, EXAMPLE’s live shows, complete Examplewith full band, are back-to-back, energy packed affairs. Drawing on a four album strong catalogue, including multiple number one successes, it’ll be a hits-a-thon come June with the likes of ‘Kickstarts,‘Changed the Way You Kissed Me’, ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ and ’Stay Awake’.  EXAMPLE’s brand of dance-rap, flavoured with input from the likes of Benga, Calvin, Skream, Zane Lowe and Blur’s Graham Coxon, will be the RockNess soundtrack impossible not to bounce to with reckless abandon.

Few live acts shout “party” more than chief shindig instigators BASEMENT JAXX, and we are delighted to announce the ringleaders are back and heading to Dores this June. Last time the unstoppable duo and their merry band of singers, dancers and MCs landed at Dores, the brilliantly wild, main stage pandemonium never moved below fourth gear. Now the JAXX experience is returning, and with new material recently being teased across airwaves, igniting strong rumours of a new album, it’ll soon be party time again.

Having now attained national treasure status, MADNESS bring their inimitable nutty magic to The Highlands. ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘House of Fun’, ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘Our House’, ‘It Must Be Love’… in now signature RockNess style, this promises to be the festival’s mass sing-along moment of 2013.

Predicted to “help usher in a new era for guitar music” with a sound described as “fantastic, exhilarating and exciting”, THE VACCINES are fast track sealing their status as rock ‘n’ roll icons. Debut demo “If You Wanna” exploded as Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’ in 2010, and an instant sell out UK tour played to rapturous media acclaim, and audiences including Alex Kapranos, Marcus Mumford and members of White Lies and The Maccabees.  Second album ‘Come of Age’ rocketed straight into number one in September 2012, certifying gold status less than 3 weeks after release, and this summer, in what will be an electrifying assault, THE VACCINES will play RockNess.

Bombay Bicycle ClubWinners of the Best New Band award at 2010’s NME Awards, and Ivor Novello-nominated for second album ‘Flaws’ in 2011, BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB have arrived proper style with third album ‘A Different Kind of Fix’, a lesson in how to work a groove to glorious genre slicing effect. Witness the remarkable evolution this June,

Extolling the finest virtues of a modern day troubadour, singer songwriter BEN HOWARD is one of the brightest talents to emerge in recent times. The lush musicianship of debut album ‘Every Kingdom’ oozes quality, earning him a Mercury Prize nomination in 2012, and recent follow up EP ‘The Burgh Island’ continues his ascent. Relentless gigging has honed BEN HOWARD’s live shows like few others. Soulful, emotive and one of many unmissables set for RockNess 2013.

Since bagging the BRIT Awards’ Critics Choice in 2010, ELLIE GOULDING has shape shifted from the sparkly pop of debut album ‘Lights’ to the more bombastic but equally magical follow up of ‘Halycon’, released late 2012. Live, her sound, and especially her voice – folky, primal, soaring when it needs to – stands GOULDING apart as an original. Pop music in sublime effect.

THE MACCABEES posses the kind of heroic force that heavy touring has beefed them up for. Gutsy and honest, the band’s latest album ‘Given to the Wild’ was Mercury nominated in 2012. Check them out and see why for yourself.

Next up, RockNess is absolutely delighted to announce the stunning sound of JESSIE WARE will be gracing Dores.  Since emerging on to the scene in 2010, the London songstress has been laying impressive foundations with a sound that oozes soulful quality, reminiscent of the 80’s most seductive divas.  Guest production duties assumed by the likes of Julio Bashmore, SBTRKT and Joker edge her gorgeous sound on the credibility stakes too. JESSIE WARE.  Here, now, and utterly authentic.

Jessie Ware

CAMERA OBSCURA epitomise the spirit of indie. Coming on to the scene around the same time as the likes of Belle & Sebastian (debut album ‘Biggest Bluest Hi Fi’ was produced by Stuart Murdoch), the Glaswegian band’s output has never strayed far from their intoxicating brand of golden pop, building up a loyal cult following in the process.

Last but by no means least, as one of the original torchbearers to break through for the nu folk / acoustic movement of the noughties, NEWTON FAUKLNER’s distinct sound was prophetically ahead of its time.  Since then the dreadlocked one has refused the temptation to kowtow to any fleeting trends, sticking to what he does best – essentially tight, rhythmic guitars, nimble finger picking, uncommon tunings and inventive chord changes. NEWTON FAULKNER is not just an artist but an entertainer definitely worth checking out live.

With heaps more exciting announcements and arena details coming soon, including line ups for the mighty SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM and SOMA RECORDS, the countdown has officially commenced!

Speaking about this year’s launch announcement, Festival Director Jim King saidI'm delighted to announce the first names we're bringing to the party at Loch Ness this summer. We've been working hard behind the scenes to bring you an eclectic line up of the highest calibre acts for which RockNess is synonymous. To top it all, we’ve reduced the price of our Weekend Camping tickets by £20 so you can join us at RockNess for less than most other major UK festivals at an amazing value price of £139. We’ve introduced a new Inverness Discount ticket, which is inclusive of all fees to support local businesses in Inverness if you buy over the counter; more details can be found on our website.

If you haven't joined us at RockNess before, I promise you it is the best way to kickstart your summer, a completely electric atmosphere, partying in what is probably the most beautiful festival site in the world. If you have been to RockNess before then as always I’d like to thank you for your continued support in making it the best festival in Scotland.  We've got many more bands and DJ's still to announce, plus another very special headliner, so stay tuned…!”

Want to see how much fun RockNess really is? Check out the video from last year!  

http://vimeo.com/54136241

Rockness announce Plan B as headliner + Temper Trap and more

First up, one of the most important British artists of his generation, PLAN B is heading to Dores for what will be an explosive headline performance. Steadfastly refusing to be pigeonholed, PLAN B is a bonafide 21st century original.  From the critically acclaimed debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Word, the oozing-with-soul breakthrough The Defamation of Strickland Banks, to last year’s soundtrack and film of the same name Ill Manors, PLAN B’s powerful and totally unique social commentary and musical narrative marks his return to RockNess as unmissable.

Plan B

Following a tour of sold out headline shows across the globe in 2012, Australian indie rockers THE TEMPER TRAP will play RockNess as part of only a handful of festivals this year. Meticulous arrangements and unashamedly catchy tracks highlight why they closed the year supporting Coldplay and are destined for greatness in 2013.

Notable for their fusion of styles, irony-laden lyrics, humorous personas and outrageous live performances, RockNess is delighted to welcome back ALABAMA 3. Get set for another tasty serving of psychedelic, technobilly rave ‘n’ roll underpinned with quality songwriting and accomplished playing.

Never limited solely to the dancefloor, JORIS VOORN creates soundscapes as much for the listener as for those seeking a full on club experience. As a DJ and live performer VOORN has joined an elite group of international DJs with global appeal. As a producer his work straddles the spectrum of electronica from atmospheric interludes to broken beats, house to deep soulful techno, the results of which can be found in the possession of Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier, Pete Tong and Sven Vath amongst many others.

LEN FAKI exploded into earspaces with his masterful Rainbow Delta / Mekong Delta EP, a perfectly wrought piece of ‘big’ techno with an unmistakable voice. FAKI has retained this unique voice ever since at both the packed out gigs he plays as well as across the management of two highly acclaimed techno labels Len Series and Podium.

CARL CRAIG is one of the most important names in the Detroit second generation of techno producers and DJs, with a formidable output inspired by the genres of jazz and soul.  His unique style, along with the reputation of his Planet E Communications label which serves as a vanguard for the art of techno, has played a pivotal role in sparking a new movement of electronic music and generating a die hard fanbase across the world.

A critically and commercially acclaimed, Grammy nominated producer, the UK’s NIC FANCIULLI has worked with artists as diverse as Kylie Minogue, Underworld, U.N.K.L.E., Tracy Thorn and JOSH WINK (also announced for RockNess 13). Responsible for a sleek, intelligent yet driving strain of house and techno, FANCIULLI’s own Saved Records has become an important purveyor of the electronic discipline.

Arguably the hottest property on Hospital Records, the UK’s most prolific drum and bass label,NETSKY burst on to the scene in 2009 with his eponymous debut album of liquid funk.  Pretension-free and mainstream-appealing, the Belgian’s follow up is a 15-track shot in the arm laden with trademark hooks and creative flair. No surprise his remixing magic is in high demand too, including for RockNess artists PLAN B, MADEON and SKREAM. Check out NETSKY LIVE! this June at the festival.

Netsky

THE FUTUREHEADS are true innovators, completely distinctive and occasionally mad. What other band could follow a four album-strong repertoire of exhilarating post punk garage rock with a wonderfully wacky collection of acapella songs spanning the likes of Kelis, Sparks and The Black Eyed Peas, as they have on recent fifth album Rant. This is what continues to set THE FUTUREHEADS apart and why their RockNess appearance is much anticipated.

London’s MARK HENNING has risen up as one of the international underground’s leading players and is signed to Glasgow’s SOMA RECORDS. Inspired by a diverse breadth of music from Dinosaur Jr to Dan Bell, HENNING’s sound sits somewhere between house and techno with futuristic bleeps, outright funk, darkness, deepness and straight up grooves.   

An artist’s artist, ALEX METRIC started out as a nuskoolbreaks producer, succeeding this with numerous awards, highly successful collaborations and a Radio 1 show. His remixing magic has been applied to the work of many high profile bands including U2, Depeche Mode, Gorillaz and La Roux, and more recently METRIC, along with Steve Angello collaborated with Ian Brown. A favourite at clubs and festivals around the world, we are very pleased to welcome ALEX METRIC.

Keeping on the new, fresh trance direction of this year’s RockNess, MAT ZO brings an experimental tour de force to his sets which are fast gaining repute to all who behold. Hailed as ‘one to watch’ by the mighty ABOVE & BEYOND, MAT ZO’s Radio 1 Essential Mix sessions give an insight to the tasty treats lined up for June.   

Bristol Drum & Bass composer REDLIGHT is another exciting new addition to this year’s proposition. With a number of dancefloor destroyers to his credit, as well as collaborations with Chase & Status, Ms Dynamite and Ceelo Green executed to devastating effect, the sound of the REDLIGHT imprint is spreading fast.  

Joining this array of quality is young Russian maverick PROXY. Signed to Tiga’s Turbo Recordings,PROXY produces massive techno with an unmistakable Russian industrial aura. Check out the huge blistering kick of ‘Vibrate’ and ‘Raven’ to hear what he is capable of.

Soma’s HARVEY MCKAY has emerged from Glasgow’s underground scene to become one of the hottest electronic prospects around, with a reputation for one-off originals, killer remixes, deep driving house and powerful techno always with a dark energetic signature party mood. Slam, Adam Beyer, Green Velvet and Luke Slater are fans of HARVEY MCKAY, and his set is highly recommended.

Rounding off this latest RockNess slam dunk, ANIMAL FARM aka Daren Quail, Chris Lamb and Charles Turtle, return to the festival to deliver more outstanding underground techno party vibes for which they are renowned. These are exciting times for ANIMAL FARM with a new eponymous label soon to be launched, releasing the debut from producer Bleak.

Speaking about programming this year’s Arcadia Afterburner, SOMA RECORDS boss Dave Clarke said “We always look forward to inviting DJs to RockNess. It’s the best boutique festival in the UK. Set in beautiful surroundings and attracting a great audience of fun loving music fans who like to dance!”  

Fatboy Slim, Above & Beyond and more set for Rockness

Hot on the heels of the first acts being revealed for RockNess 2013, the next heaving-with-quality announcement of artists heading to Dores this summer is here, including the first acts landing with devastating effect on the SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM and SOMA RECORDS on the ARCADIA AFTERBURNER.

First up, and we couldn’t be happier, FATBOY SLIM is heading back to his spiritual home as Very Special Guest!  There at the birth, and checking in to Dores as often as his in-demand globetrotting allows, no other artist in the festival’s history feels the RockNess love – or drops such monster levels of raveability – as FATBOY SLIM.  For those yet to experience the quite frankly outrageous party euphoria induced by Norman…get ready!

Fatboy Slim

Sending this message to Rocknessers ahead of June, he has this to say…Comin’ home to baby on the shores of Dores…RockNess I’ve missed you…feels so good to be heading back to see how my wayward child has grown. Roll on June, roll on The Scottish Highlands, roll on the party”  We’ve missed you too Norman. See you soon!

With the tightest productions and finely crafted, vocal-laced gems, released across 3 genre-defining albums on their Anjunabeats label, ABOVE & BEYOND are setting the trance bar very high indeed. Playing to packed out crowds at the biggest dance events on the planet, the trio’s relentless stadia touring schedule, which includes playing to 1 million people on Barra Beach in Rio, as well as soundtracking Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two and taking their TATW radio show to the Twitter top spot across the world, RockNess is very pleased to be welcoming ABOVE & BEYOND to Scotland this summer.

MADEON is one of the most electrifying artists to have burst on to the scene in recent times. Having delivered a set of outstanding quality when he made his debut Scottish appearance at RockNess last year as part of an all-French assault headed up by Justice, the 18 year old megastar is back for more demolition!  Mind boggling numbers of youtube views, production credits for the likes of Pendulum and Deadmau5, appearances at top festivals including Coachella…MADEON is on fire. Standby for a litany of sounds spanning nu-disco, house classics and full on electro bangers!

JULIO BASHMORE is leading the charge and cultivating house music like no one else right now. Which goes some way to explaining the level of excitement and stratospheric rise surrounding this Bristolian.  Having garnered a devoted following based on the slew of singles and EPs he has put out since 2009, electrifying club sets, plus production on the incredible JESSIE WARE’s Mercury-nominated Devotion (another RockNess must-see artist!), JULIO BASHMORE is delivering on the hype.

If anyone knows how to throw a banging party, STEVE AOKI does. The Dim Mak Records founder’s style is totally unique. A bit of dub step, bit of house, little bit of pop intricacy too, AOKI’s hardcore LA roots underpin his propulsive energy and raw punk attitude. STEVE AOKI rocks a crowd, and he’ll most definitely rock Dores!

Steve Aoki

As a member of dubstep pioneers Magnetic Man, BENGA is co-responsible for an output of undisputable quality, punctuated with junglist tendencies, tech-laced soulfullness and guest vocals from the likes of Katy B and Miss Dynamite. Along with Magnetic Man comrade SKREAM, one of the genre’s first and most prominent producers (La Roux, Bat For Lashes, Goldie and Toddla T), the two are forging the freshest musical directions, heard in its glory every Friday on their BBC Radio 1 ‘In New Music We Trust’ show.

German house duo BOOKA SHADE channel the spirit of the underground but reach out to festival-sized audiences. Having leapt to the forefront of dance with a clutch of hit tracks, as well as lending production magic to artists including The Knife, Moby, Roxy Music and Hot Chip, and garnering a string of awards along the way, fans can look forward to hearing new material off EP ‘Haleshop’, released on the highly acclaimed Get Physical Music label which they co-founded.

Philadelphia’s JOSH WINK  is one of the most prominent exponents of the tribal forms of techno and house.  Resting on the laurels of his huge success in the 90s has never been an option for WINK, who instead has consistently forged new directions in the underground scene, as well as enjoying the highest respect for his remixing of artists including Radiohead, Gorillaz and Nine Inch Nails.  

To hear PAN-POT’s simply colossal sound is to hear techno as it is intended. Tagging themselves as “the dark side of the force”, PAN-POT plumb the deep uncharted depths of pitch black techno, turning convention on its head with an unorthodox kinetic sound that stands them as one of the genre’s most dominant forces. The reverberations are still being felt from the last time our SOMA RECORDS friends brought PAN-POT to Scotland…so we are beyond excited to confirm they return in 2013, this time to RockNess.

A genuine homegrown hero, Glaswegian JACKMASTER’s rise to fame is about as storybook perfect as it gets.  Co-founder of the city’s long running NUMBERS collective, which played to packed out crowds at the legendary SUB CLUB and swiftly spread to dancefloors across the world, the element of glorious surprise underpins his sets every time.  Few can hype a crowd quite like JACKMASTER – as his global DJ’ing schedule in 2013 bears testament – and we are extremely pleased to be welcoming him back to RockNess for an unmissable set of sheer quality.

Regarded as one of the most forward thinking club nights in the world, the SUB CLUB’s weekly SUBCULTURE residency is an institution that reigns supreme. HARRI and DOMENIC are revered by the electronic music fraternity the world over, and week in week out bodies are jacked at this inspirational residency. Last year we were spoiled rotten at RockNess as we celebrated the start of the SUB CLUB’s 25 Years birthday party, Twelve months down the line and come June there will be no finer exponents of house music to bring the year-long birthday party to a close than HARRI & DOMENIC. And to toast the prospect of another 25 years of treats!

GARY BECK is one of the most prolific and inventive producers on the scene. A unique sound, and in high demand at the world’s most respected clubs and festivals, his style can be heard on electro’s most pioneering labels, notably SOMA RECORDS and his own imprint Bek Audio.  Now on its 12th release, Bek Audio features a raft of top notch artists such as Slam, Mr G, Mark Broom and Speedy J.

HANS BOUFFMYHRE began his career in Glasgow with a night called 'Sleaze' where he booked and played alongside the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Funk D' Void, Chloe and Radio Slave.. Fast forward and his Sleaze Records is trailblazing as one of the UK’s most impressive techno labels. HANS’ tracks enjoy the support from luminaries including Richie Hawtin, Dubfire and Adam Beyer. Check him out this June and witness why.

JAGUAR SKILLS is a British DJ who has gained notoriety for his eclectic multi-genre, cut-n-paste style mixes. He has released hundreds of mixtapes, including across BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and plays out to the nation with a weekly mix on the Trevor Nelson show. JAGUAR SKILLS has also dropped vocals on Grand Theft Auto, occupied a residency at Jade Jagger’s Jezebel night at Pacha in Ibiza, then latterly at Jezebel happenings in Europe, Russia and Hong Kong, and retains his mystique by famously wearing a balaclava during performances.

These latest electronic acts join EXAMPLE, BASEMENT JAXX, MADNESS, THE VACCINES, BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB, BEN HOWARD, ELLIE GOULDING, THE MACABEES, JESSIE WARE, CAMERA OBSCURA and NEWTON FAULKNER.

Red Bull Studios takeover at RockNess

On Sunday 9 June, London’s Red Bull Studios will be travelling up north to Scotland where they will be taking over a stage at the eponymous RockNess festival, Loch Ness, Scotland. Featuring some of the hottest talent from the electronic scene as well as Red Bull Studios regulars – many of whom take to the RockNess stage for the first time.

The Red Bull Studios takeover stage features an array of exciting talent from the world of electronic music, with veteran German house duo Booka Shade headlining, with support from Belgian drum’n’bass pioneer and Hospital Records stalwart Netsky, Radio 1s mixtape educator Jaguar Skills, plus Russian bass moulder Proxy and nu-garage upstart Friend Within.  In addition, the stage will host very special guest appearances from Red Bull Studios regulars Bobby Tank and Karma Kid both of whom have recently swung by to record sessions for the Introducing series. 

Netsky

Bobby Tank says: “It’s amazing to be given the opportunity to play alongside huge artists like Netsky and Booka Shade. I can’t wait to get up to Scotland again – the crowds really go in”.

Kicking off proceedings for the day will be a very special set from RockNess DJ Competition winner Aaron Russell (https://soundcloud.com/aaronrussell-1/aaron_russell_ness_jam_2013) who will perform the first set of the day having been chosen from 100s of hopefuls by festival director Jim King and Soma Records boss Dave Clarke. The prize also includes VIP tickets to the festival and entry for a five-friend entourage

Festival director Jim King commented: “The quality of entries was really high, Dave and I have loved listening to all of the mixes. Aaron truly stood out as a DJ who can get the crowds going in true RockNess style, I can’t wait to see Aaron playing his eclectic mix of underground house, live.”

Red Bull Studios are giving away a pair tickets plus travel to the iconic RockNess Festival, head to www.redbullstudios.com/london for your chance to win. Head to the site to check out mixes from last year’s Red Bull Studios stage at RockNess from the likes of Mystery Jets, Olugbenaa (Metronomy), Eats Everything and Auntie Flo & Esa.

Red Bull Studios takeover stage line up:

BOOKA SHADE // Netsky Live! // Jaguar Skills // Proxy // Bobby Tank // Karma Kid // Friend Within // Aaron Russell

RockNess Monsters & Aliens Fancy Dress announced + amazing competition

 

So if the prospect of feeling the awesome energy of MUMFORD & SONS’ unmissable Friday Main Stage performance up close, or joining ED SHEERAN in what will be one massive sing-along of all his brilliant hits, or being completely blown away by the mighty BIFFY CLYRO as they bring RockNess 2012 to a thunderous close on the Sunday, then this is one competition you do not want to miss entering.

Mumford & Sons

If you’ve already got your weekend ticket then to be in with a chance of winning it couldn’t be easier, simply go to http://rockness.us2.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=847210feaa3e8fa7d0ff3ce85&id=ee1f63ee0a.

And for those day ticket holders thinking about upgrading to a weekend ticket – and be in with a chance of walking off with this once in a lifetime prize – now’s the time to do it. Simply go to WWW.ROCKNESS.CO.UK/BUY-TICKETS  then get entering!  Entries have to be completed by midnight on Thursday May 31st with the draw happening on Friday June 1st so you must have bought your ticket prior to this date to qualify. Good luck everyone and watch this space for the winners!

In another new announcement, and as if popping up by magic, the incredible MAGICAL BONES will make a Special Guest appearances in the VIP Arena. Starting out his career as a professional hip-hop dancer, MAGICAL BONES has worked with some of the biggest names including Madonna, Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys, and was the star of the Mint Royale number 1 hit single ‘Singing In the Rain’. An exceptionally skilled breakdancer and gifted showman, he has gone on to establish himself as one of the most respected and prominent figures within the UK hip hop scene. Now focusing primarily as a magician, which he has uniquely combined with his love of hip hop culture, his passion for the art of magic is as he describes, an experience of “soulful astonishment”.

MAGICAL BONES has to be seen to be believed…and even then you won’t believe what you’re seeing! 

Finally those legendary RockNess feel good vibes are set to get a big new injection of fun this year as fans are encouraged to get their fancy dress glad rags on for their big Saturday night out with the launch of MONSTERS & ALIENS Fancy Dress. There’s nothing at stake other than how creative you can be…and how much FUN you can have in the process!.

Commenting on these latest fun filled announcements and the once in a lifetime competition, Festival Director Jim King said ”I always like to catch my favourite bands for at least some of their set from the side of stage. There's nothing more exciting than seeing one of your idols walk past you and take their position on stage. When the lights go up and you look out across a sea of 35,000 people and then the music kicks in, the hairs on the back of my neck always reach levels I never knew existed.  This really is a must enter competition.

RockNess stage lineup + more acts announced

Getting the party started on day one of the Most Beautiful Festival In The World – is the quite excellent MUMFORD & SONS who along with NOAH & THE WHALETHE DRUMSMYSTERY JETS and ADMIRAL FALLOWcharge the MAIN STAGE, whilst Breakthrough Star ED SHEERAN, WRETCH 32 and ETIENNE DE CRECY head up the GOLDEN VOICE ARENA. The first class electro for which RockNess is famed commences in awesome form with EATS EVERYTHING and HUDSON MOHAWKE headlining the mighty CLASH presents SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM, with Baron of Techno DAVE CLARKE and CLAUDE VONSTROKE assuming control of the new ARCADIA UFO presented by SOMA RECORDS. The HOWARDS END ARENA in association with SOUND CITY presents the finest new music including THEOPHILUS LONDON and STARBOY NATHAN, topped with the much lovedROCKNESS CEILIDH ALL STARS.

Day two of RockNess – NME award winning ‘Best Small Festival’ for two consecutive years running – promises to be a moment of quite simply epic proportions as two of the world’s biggest names in dance head to Scotland.  With what is arguably the most spectacular show out of all the major electronic headliners right now, Californian superstar DJ and producer DEADMAU5 on the MAIN STAGE precluded by ANNIE MAC and DJ FRESHwill be truly unmissable.  And in a double whammy, there is no bigger act to headline the GOLDEN VOICE ARENA on Saturday night than French electro Gods JUSTICE!  Not since Daft Punk played RockNess – a moment so iconic and mind bogglingly awesome that it is now widely acknowledged as one of the most seminal moments in Scottish music history – has there been an act that so frequently tops the wishlist of fans. With an all-French support of BUSY PJACQUES LU CONT and MADEON, the GOLDEN VOICE roof will without any shadow of doubt be blown off.

International comedy superstar TIM MINCHIN heads up a first class comedy proposition at this year’s festival and is guaranteed a full house in Saturday afternoon’s GOLDEN VOICE ARENA with fast rising Scottish star DANIEL SLOSS and a host of other supremely talented funnymen (and ladies!) on the weekend bill too.  Saturday’s CLASH ARENA welcomes Special Guests THE VIEW to what is sure to be an ecstatic home crowd welcome. THE PIGEON DETECTIVES and GUILLEMOTS precede the Dundee rockers in the CLASH ARENA.  And as day becomes night, the CLASH ARENA transforms into the hedonistic clubbing utopia of the SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM with HARRI & DOMENIC headlining alongside LEVON VINCENTIVAN SMAGGHE and SENSU. Over on the ARCADIA UFO, in a techno treat of cosmic proportions, BEN SIMSJAMES HOLDEN and SILICONE SOUL are joined by ANDREW WEATHERALL and SEAN JOHNSTON who present ‘A Love From Outer Space’.

New music is well represented in Saturday’s HOWARDS END ARENA with BASTILLESAINT SAVIOUR and others, plus fun and games from BEARDED KITTEN (who also get the RockNess Express party antics going!).

RockNess lineup

From start to finish, day three of RockNess 2012 is simply heaving with quality.  Last time they played, the response was thunderous. This time they’re back and bringing the festival to an almighty close on the Sunday. Get set for the biggest finale you’ve ever seen as Scotland’s rock superstars BIFFY CLYRO bring the MAIN STAGE to a close!  Joining BIFFY CLYRO on Sunday’s MAIN STAGE is ZANE LOWE whipping the crowd into a frenzy as only he does best, the brilliant FRIENDLY FIRES, and the legend that is NILE RODGERS who along with CHIC will deliver a set of back to back all time disco classics.

Sunday’s GOLDEN VOICE ARENA is a stormer as THE KNIFEMETRONOMY and ROB DA BANK get the party well and truly rocking, while the CLASH ARENA sees ASH headline with a very special 20th Anniversary set alongside RIFLES and ERRORS.  Changing over into the SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM once dusk falls over Loch Ness, the arena goes into full effect with an exclusive 3 hour set from Detroit legend JEFF MILLS.  Over on the ARCADIA UFO, MYLO brings his famed EPP Party to Dores in another amazing exclusive with YUKSEK and TIGER and WOODS joining the Skye born maestro. Sunday’s new music proposition includes FOXESCHARLOTTE O’CONNOR and STEALING SHEEP.

Plus there’s more! As one of Scotland’s premier destinations for DJs and clubbers, RockNess is delighted to welcome back Aberdeen’s CLUB SNAFU for more exemplary beats and good times to the new intimate Kopparberg Kube. Epitomising the sublime music policy of CLUB SNAFU, the boutique space will be headlined by Hot Creation’s funk and disco groovemeisters WiLDKATS, with the outstanding BIGFOOT’S TEA PARTY back to tear up the dancefloor again after last year’s exhilarating performance. CLUB SNAFU resident (and inaugural RockNess DJ Competition Winner) FUAD is one of the most hotly tipped producers on the scene, packing out the club on a Saturday night and we’re really happy to say he too is Dores bound along with fellow CLUB SNAFU resident KRAZZY MARTIN. A key member of Aberdeen’s clubbing community, KRAZZY MARTIN has staged some of the North’s most legendary parties in recent years. So he’ll be right at home at RockNess!  

It is with much excitement we can announce our friends at the sublime LUCKY ME collective will take control of the decks in the Kopparberg Kube on Sunday. Firmly at the fore of new hip hop, RnB, house and all things musically experimental, besides releasing vinyl and clothing, LUCKY ME direct in music and fashion. Founded in Glasgow by Mike Slott, Dominic Sum Flannigan, Martyn Flyn, and Ross Birchard (aka previously announced Sub Club Sound System penultimate headliner HUDSON MOHAWKE), LUCKY ME present a triple whammy of outstanding talent with S-TYPETHE BLESSINGS and DEMA.  

Endorsed by Paul Weller, cult cockney mods THE RIFLES are packing out venues across the land and scooping rave reviews as they go with their no nonsense, no frills approach. Recently released album ‘Freedom Run’, the Chingford band’s third, offers tracks that burst into life with the brightest of harmonies. Catch them at RockNess for as good a guitar pop set as you’re likely to hear in 2012.
 
Multi-national, multi-instrumentalist and multi-talented. GUILLEMOTS don’t do understatement. Mercury Prize and Brit nominated, their music is a lesson in modern brilliance. Ambitious arrangements, expansive beauty and some seriously large-scale emotion, the quartet make music that is, according to charismatic frontman Fyfe Dangerfield “to be heard across the night sky". And where more seductive than Loch Ness. Unmissable.
 
The most recent spinoff of the Wu Tang-like Odd Future collective, THE INTERNET is a hip hop soul duo consisting of female DJ, singer and producer SYD THA KYD and producer MATT MARTIANS of LA skateboarding hip hop collective OFWGKTA (Wolf Gang Kill Them All).  The brilliant young duo’s skeletal beats and smoothed out cooing hit the internet a few months back and RockNess is extremely pleased to be welcoming THE INTERNET to Scotland for the first time.
 
Arriving with her Neon Gold Records debut ‘Youth’ late last year, the resplendent synths, industrial percussion and soaring vocals of FOXES (Louisa Rose Allen) were the talk of the town.  Now the 22 year old from Southampton returns with eagerly awaited follow up EP, ‘Warrior’ on 1st July, with RockNess the perfect precursor to showcase the new material live.
 
The exquisite STEALING SHEEP have had an impressive rise over the last twelve months. Show stealing performances across the UK and a nod from Sir Paul McCartney has seen the all-female Liverpool trio gain a growing audience. Far from just another folk clone, the influence of 60's psychedelic rock and pop can be clearly heard across their beautifully crafted songs and unusual instrumentation.
 
Folky and soulful, CHARLOTTE O’CONNOR admits her musical influences are far reaching. Growing up in Blackburn with a half-Malawian/half-Indian mum and an Irish father, she was exposed to all kinds of sounds. And for that we should be thankful. Debut album ‘For Kenny’ released in March was “romantic and fun with a lot of energy” and is set to be swiftly followed up with an as yet untitled EP late summer.
 
Last but certainly by no means least, Inverness’ KOBI aka Steve Robertson, Gary Thain and Dave Smith have a big vision for 2012. Having spent several years honing their multifaceted, voyeuristic sound on the live circuit, which most notably included a support slot to Shaun Ryder, the recording of the trio’s debut album is soon to commence in Spain.  Catch them this summer at Dores and hear the new material in full effect.

Summer Festival Guide’s preview of this years RockNess

Very few festivals offer such a diverse selection of bands in a setting as breath taking as RockNess. Now in its seventh year the festival returns the weekend after jubilee bank holiday weekend in the stunning surroundings of Clune Farm on the banks of Loch Ness.

With a little over three weeks to go and the e-mail confirming my attendance fresh in my inbox it’s certainly something to get excited about and to kick start the UK festival season.
 
Rockness will be the first big festival I’ll be photographing and reporting on, several artists within the massive line-up have already caught my eye and will be a definite must to photograph over the weekend.
 
I will have the opportunity to experience new artists and bands alongside those already seen, on top of interacting with the crowd on a whole new level; Working a festival with this different perspective & atmosphere will make it one to remember.
 
DeadMau5
 
RockNess 2012 promises to be a success once again after winning the NME Awards Best Small Festival for the second consecutive year. The eclectic line-up sees English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran headline on Friday, Canadian Electro house producer Joel Thomas Zimmerman AKA Deadmau5 lead the bill on Saturday and Scottish rock sensation Biffy Clyro brining the festival to a close on Sunday. Other live acts appearing across the weekend include Wretch 32, Noah & the Whale, Mumford & Sons, Annie Mac, Justice, The Pigeon Detectives, DJ Fresh, Friendly Fires, Knife Party, Madeon & Beardyman while the Comedy stage is host once again to Scottish Comedian of the Year, Ro Campbel along-side Daniel Sloss with many more also appearing.
 
 
Written by Dan Wheatley

RockNess adds Jeff Mills, Rob Da Bank and more!

 

As one of the biggest names in techno, it is impossible to love the genre and not be familiar with the name JEFF MILLS. And if there wasn’t a word like “Wizard” to describe him it would be necessary to invent one. A founding member of the noted Detroit techno collective Underground Resistance, along with “Mad” Mike Banks and Robert “Noise” Hood, as well as past resident of New York’s legendary Limelight, signed artist on Berlin’s acclaimed Tresor label and creator of Chicago’s Axis Recordings, plus countless other groundbreaking achievements of note, JEFF MILLS is revered as a demi-God by electro purists the world over.

Jeff Mills

Now in a very special appearance, an absolute must for techno connoisseurs, RockNess is thoroughly delighted to announce the maestro will join the exceptional line up of this year’s SUB CLUB SOUND SYSTEM 25 Years celebrations. Expect an unforgettable set as JEFF MILLS, under the moniker of ‘The Wizard’, whips up a storm of unparalleled ferocious intensity playing a set of funk, soul and extremely rare early electro classics.
 
Inspired at the outset by the likes of Nirvana, Mudhoney and The Pixies, Irish rock group ASH have notched up five studio albums (and a mini album) and countless top 40 hits. ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Burn Baby Burn’…ASH make great pop songs. Heralded as the ultimate singles band, the 3-piece turned their back on the traditional route of recording an album every couple of years and set up their own studio and label, Atomic Heart Records. This newfound freedom enabled the band to record and release songs at will. Thus was born the A-Z Series – a collection of 26 songs released fortnightly for an entire year. 2011 saw Charlotte Hatherley return to join the band for a one-off tour to much acclaim. 2012 sees the 20th anniversary of ASH with an appropriate celebration stop off at Dores.
 
RockNess favourite ROB DA BANK is Highlands-bound again this year too, back to thrill as always no doubt with a big heaving box of stupendously tasty audio delights. ROB DA BANK’s shows are a colourful corner of the musical universe where you're as likely to stumble into stripped down techno as you are woozy weird folk, bootleg covers, brand new dubstep to oddball electronic so expect the unexpected!

The rise of Yorkshire indie rockers THE PIGEON DETECTIVES is one based on strength of tunes – launched with hit drenched debut Wait For Me, and a relentless approach to touring. Feted by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Jo Wiley, three albums in and with a fourth scheduled for an autumn 2012 release, the platinum selling five piece are set to bring their sound of sculpting guitars and scudding choruses to the festival following a highly successful European tour.

Pigeon Detectives

ERRORS is a four piece band from Glasgow with a unique take on dance music. Signed to the brilliant Mogwai’s Rock Action label, they have to date released a series of singles, EPs and their debut album “It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever” and these releases have brought them acclaim across the board from MTV, Zane Lowe and Vic Galloway along with sessions at Maida Vale for Mary Anne Hobbs, Rob Da Bank and Huw Stephens, magazines such as NME, Dazed and Confused and Rock Sound as well as tours and live dates with bands as varied as Underworld, Franz Ferdinand, Explosions In The Sky, Gary Numan and Mogwai. NME has hailed them as “one of the most interesting bands in the country”. Don’t miss ERRORS at RockNess this June.
 
SOUND OF GUNS return to RockNess once again with their sure-fire power and raw energy. Hailing from Liverpool, SOUND OF GUNS have blazed a trail since they formed in 2008 cementing their deserved reputation for delivering searing rock with their second album, Angels and Enemies picking up support  from Zane Low and Xfm along the way.
 
THE CORRESPONDENTS take a large helping a swing, jazz, cha-cha-cha and much more from the history of music and add a large helping of fat drum and bass and electro beats to create something that’s unique in the current musical landscape. And with frontman Mr Bruce’s high voltage performance depicting the trials and errors of love, lust and loss they have consistently destroyed crowds on the festival circuit marking them out as a must see act.
 
A plethora of exciting new breakthrough talent is announced for the line up too. Young Scottish singer songwriter NINA NESBITT has been generating much interest after being spotted by ED SHEERAN and Example (both of whom she subsequently supported on tour). With comparisons to Laura Marling and Kate Nash, check out her set to see just why all the fuss.
 
Former Groove Armada collaborator Becky Jones AKA SAINT SAVIOUR has a captivating vocal style that has seen her compared to Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor. Having recently toured with Hurts, she has her debut album ‘Union’ due for release a fortnight after her appearance at RockNess.
 
ALL THE YOUNG are Britrock revivalists whose sounds ooze the feel good factor of classic 90s indie. Mixing brains and brawn the band have come to smash 2012 into a brave new frontier of indie rock n roll, honing their craft with a series of support slots for the likes of Morrissey, Kaiser Chiefs, The Courteneers, The Wombats, Hard-Fi and The Pigeon Detectives.
 
Brooklyn rapper THEOPHILUS LONDON built his reputation with a series of must-have mixtapes making him one of the biggest buzz acts on the planet.  His debut album Timez Are Weird These Days was critically acclaimed when it was released last summer and Theophilus is sure to rock the crowds with his take an alternative hip-hop.
 
Commenting on these latest announcements, Festival Director Jim King said: “We're delighted with this announcement. Jeff Mills closing his stage on the Sunday night is going to be something special”