Live Review: Rockness
Dores, Scotland, June 10th-12th
[a]Bombay Bicycle Club[/a] demonstrate later on Saturday, though, that you don’t need to actually be from Scotland to wring out this crowd like a tear-soaked towel. The first taste of their new album comes with [b]‘Bad Timing’[/b], as writ-large grandiose as any [a]Arcade Fire[/a] or National track, Jack Steadman headbanging furiously between feverish confessionals into the mic.
The rolling, almost [a]Wild Beasts[/a]-ish groove of the fluid [b]‘Lights Out, Words Gone’[/b], meanwhile, gets an immediate reaction from the crowd as longtime foil Lucy Rose joins on beautifully light backing vocals. The shoot-for-the-moon [b]‘Leave It’[/b] too is greeted like a new old friend, but most impressive is [b]‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’[/b], which rolls ringing guitar, a hip-shaking rhythm and Steadman’s heartsick voice into something quite enchanting.
It’s not all messy emotion; Scots also love a good bosh, and [a]Katy B[/a] on Friday will not be satisfied until everyone’s peaked too soon, relentlessly and charmingly bullying the crowd into utterly losing their shit to the mighty [b]‘Witches Brew’[/b]. The title of the chest-puffed, strutting, big-beaty [b]‘Velociraptor!’[/b] sums up [a]Kasabian[/a]’s hefty headline slot perfectly: boyishly enthusiastic, fast, fierce, and very silly.
On Sunday, we discover that it’s pretty hard to keep hating [a]The Wombats[/a] when you’re watching Murph sing for his life as his ridiculous mad professor barnet wilts in the rain and Tord flings himself around like a terrier worrying his guitar. Then they play [b]‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’[/b] and suddenly we’d smilingly drown a kennelful of terriers in the loch to make it stop. Just back from their US tour, Glasvegas have played better, but the cascading slow-build of [b]‘Lots Sometimes’[/b] nails the mood perfectly as the sun begins to set over the dark hills.
It’s left to housewives’ favourite [a]Paolo Nutini[/a] to sign off, and he’s not messing around, striding on like a dog with two dicks and a paisley shirt to [b]‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’[/b]. It’s a more riotous, raucous live experience than you might expect, Nutini’s gravelly old-man growl and dirty, skiffling rhythms on the likes of [b]‘New Shoes’[/b] whirling everyone into one last sweaty mess. Israel for the miserable, perhaps, but also a utopia for the euphoric. What a shame there’s always a Monday morning back in the real world.
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