Saturday at Rockness got off to a soggy start, but all was soon forgotten when comedy took centre stage for a while. 21-year-old Fifer Daniel Sloss had the whole of the golden voice arena laughing before introducing Tim Minchin. Minchin entered the stage – barefoot, trademark birds nest hair and eyeliner. It was clear to both see and hear that he was a much anticipated performer at Rockness 2012. The main stage saw Edinburgh-based lads Discopolis perform their electro-indie set.
Following Discopolis, one of the highlights of Rockness 2012, The Rapture. Their sound is influenced by post punk, disco, indie and dance and lead singer Luke Jenner’s voice is so unique, sounding just like he does on record. The smallest of the two tents, the clash/sub club presents, hosted The Guillemots on Saturday afternoon. It took the band a while to get their set-up right, but when they began their set it was loud and perfectly levelled. Given the often gentle nature of their music, it was great to see their songs transferred to a live setting with a much louder, more raw sound and the track Made-Up Love Song is a set highlight.
While The Guillemots were playing, Rockness played host to a surprise visit from the Olympic Torch. The torch was brought by boat over Loch Ness, then taken to the main stage for all to see. After the excitement of this, Beardyman had a lot to live up to on the main stage and he didn’t disappoint. All of his instruments are home-made and he makes his music single-handedly live in front of his audience. His set is an audio/visual treat that has to be seen to be believed.
The clash/sub club presents tent was the venue for The Pigeon Detectives, who pulled a massive crowd. The set was energetic, with lead singer Matt Bowman particularly in party mode, constantly jumping around, spitting water over everyone and swinging his mic as hard and fast as he can. DJ Fresh was next on the main stage, bringing his live show to Rockness. The crowd lapped it up and the sun came out for most of the performance, adding to the already fun party vibe on site.
Back in the clash/sub club presents tent, there was a big crowd gathering for the arrival of The View on stage. The tent got fuller and fuller and was at its 2500 capacity long before the boys hit the stage. When they did the place erupted, chants of “The View, The View, The View are on fire” echoing around the tent. The band only make it 4 songs into a scheduled hour and a half set before the show had to be stopped due to health and safety fears.
Annie Mac was then next on the main stage, Annie is a Rockness regular and this later time slot was perfect for her fun, bouncy set. Acting as the perfect warm-up for Deadmau5, she got the crowd up, excited and moving. Just as Annie was finishing her set, French dance legends Justice were starting their set in the golden voice arena. They were another highly-anticipated act, which resulted in the tent reaching capacity. Their music is perfect for a Saturday night at Rockness and the whole tent danced in unison as they played songs from Cross and Audio, Video, Disco.
Main stage headliner Deadmau5 clearly had a large number of fans in the Rockness contingent, as person after person was sporting a Deadmau5 t-shirt on Saturday. By the time it is time for his set to start, the crowd have reached fever pitch. Deadmau5 is brought on stage in a box before leaving it, putting his mau5 head on and taking his place on his built up stage. In addition, a few impressive home-made mau5 heads are in the audience. Deadmau5′ set is over 2 hours long, the lights that compliment his show are extraordinary, and his set is a highlight of Rockness 2012.
Photos © Nuala Swan and must not be reproduced without prior consent