Aberdeen’s Very Own Music Festival Returned for its Third Year, and Aberdeen Voice’s Craig Chisholm was there to review. Photos by Craig Chisholm.
With no T in The Park planned this year what are Scottish music fans supposed to do for their Summer festival fix?
Well, for residents of the North East, the answer was right on their doorstep as Enjoy Music returned for its third and, arguably, most successful year.
Boasting headliners such and Chase & Status, John Digweed and the legendary Primal Scream the festival moved up a league and proved not only was it here to stay but that it was also ready to expand and become a fixture of the festival circuit.
Unfortunately, however, things do not always go without a hitch.
A minor issue of missing toilets caused the opening of the festival to be delayed a couple of hours.
But times of hardship can bring out the best in people and it’s to the eternal credit of the organisers and their team that they managed to not only get things back on track but also not drop any of the acts from the bill.
Credit must also go to the bands performing on the main stage in the afternoon as they truncated their sets slightly to accommodate all acts and give everyone their time in the limelight.
Kicking things off are Aberdonian rockers The Ruckus who deliver a short set of, as they describe it, “no nonsense guitar driven rock n roll” and as far as descriptions go that’s certainly one that describes things perfectly.
Afternoon slots are also performed by Montrose band Emerald Sunday with their indie and britpop influenced rock and hugely popular local cover band FUBAR who provide some technically impressive renditions of Queen and AC/DC among others.
The hard rock takes a back seat for a while after this and gives way to the more soulful and funk sounds of FaR.
Led by the striking and powerful vocalist Fifi Greasly the band prove the perfect sound to an afternoon in the sun.
The same also applies to the magnificent Ransom FA. Mixing the urban sounds of hip hop, grime and trap the Aberdeen based crew pull of a short but energetic and forward thinking set to an obviously impressed crowd.
But, unfortunately, the sun doesn’t last and, as is customary at music festivals in Scotland, the heavens open.
It rains during sets by The Complete Stone Roses and acclaimed local indie band The Little Kicks.
That doesn’t stop the crowd from enjoying them however – The Complete Stone Roses pull off a pretty good approximation of their Manchester heroes.
The Little Kicks, led by frontman Steve Milne, perform an infectious and memorable set in support of their latest album, Shake Off Your Troubles.
The rain does however provide an unexpected bonus for bands and DJs playing in the tents as a lot of the crowd take shelter.
The Retro and Alternative tent has an eclectic bill that combines acoustic (Mark Buchan, Peterhead’s Marc Culley and others), the melodic Byrds and britpop influenced rock from Keith band The Carousels and hip hop from local rap legends SHY & DRS.
The retro part of the day is provided by a quite compelling performance by Bob Wyper in his guise as Rod Stewart, which goes down a storm in the packed tent as he runs through Rod’s big hits as the actual storm rages outside.
Also performing some covers, albeit in a unique style, are young band Gleadraich.
Hailing from Carnoustie the band perform songs by Blondie and The Undertones and many more with the added attraction of a bagpipe player taking centre stage, mimicking the vocal parts of the songs in most cases. It’s an unusual and entertaining concept that wins them over new fans of all ages.
The night in the tent is rounded off by a set by Ransom FA’s official DJ, Nojan and a set by Aberdonian alternative rockers The Cappolos.
Festivals aren’t just for grown-ups though, and Enjoy has catered for the kids as well – a whole section of the field is set aside for them which has slides, football challenges, colouring in walls, Disney princesses and Marvel Superheroes casually walking past. A family tent provides such entertainment as hip hop dancing for the eager kids.
In the middle of it all is a Wrestling ring manned by Wrestlezone Scotland. There is a constant crowd packed around the ring (not all of them children either!) as the Wrestlezone boys and girls provide action packed entertainment throughout the day.
There must have been a few parents pestered afterwards to get tickets to Wrestlezone’s Aberdeen Anarchy event at the Beach Ballroom on the 10th June once they’d seen this performance.
Back to the music however, and for those that prefer dance beats to electric guitars, two venues are available on site.
The TLF & Rondevue wigwam is steady all day with the crowd appreciating sets by a talented DJs such as Danny Reid, Tim Haux and Flexi.
It’s the perfect place to chill out in the sun and appreciate the day.
The Digital Love & Majestic Tent is the bigger of the dance stages and it proves immensely popular throughout the day to clubbers.
By the time that dance titan John Digweed takes the stage for a two hour set the tent is rammed with the faithful who witness a peerless set from the legendary DJ.
Closing off the Main Stage are the two biggest bands of the night.
Primal Scream are, as usual, a breath-taking live act. Their 75 minute set contains a few choice cuts from their latest album – 2016’s Chaosmosis – such as 100% or Nothing, Where The Light Gets In and Golden Rope as well such classics as the southern fried boogie of Jailbird, the laid back dubby grooves of Star, and the psychedelic dance classic Slip Inside This House.
The band close off their set with four of their absolute classics – Loaded, Country Girl, Rocks and Movin’ On Up before departing the stage to appreciative and ecstatic audience. The bands next Scottish performance is as special guests to The Stone Roses at a sold out Hampden Park in a few weeks so it’s a genuine thrill and a commendable coup to the Enjoy organisers to have them perform in a much more intimate outdoor setting.
In another coup of a booking, Chase & Status take the stage for a DJ set of high energy dance and rap.
Credit to the crowd at this point too.
After over 9 hours of music they are still packed at the front and “giving it large” for their set which the faithful clearly never want to stop.
But eventually it must end, and as the crowd depart after the last acts they must already be looking forward to next year’s event – and possibly making a mental note to take a rain jacket next time, just in case.
How the promoters top this year’s event remains to be seen. But one thing for sure is Enjoy Music is only going to get bigger and better as it goes on.
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