Aberfeldy Festival – 2nd-3rd November 2012

Due to (Ross / Syd / Pancho / Omar / Fellani’s, Puyol’s (delete as appropriate)) absence, I recently had the pleasure of attending a festival off my usual radar. Building upon my usual photography role I was tasked with providing the review as well. Preferring warmer climes and summer escapades I was (at first) hesitant to attend a festival in November in the town of Aberfeldy. Not long into planning the trip it was clear that I had grossly underestimated what was in store for me. With a line-up heralding sets from among others : Star Wheel Press, Withered Hand, Meursault, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat , The Phantom Band, Gummi Bako, Pictish Trail, Rozi Plain, Found and King Creosote it was sure to be an accomplished range of music on show.

This fantastic event combined great music, a boisterous yet friendly atmosphere and top class libations courtesy of Dewar’s. The antics gleefully fuelled by the whisky cocktails on offer for the thawing masses. The dimly lit town hall provided the perfect setting for a showcase of music from throughout Scotland. First up (for us) came Meursault, a band I was greatly looking forward to. The powerful voiced hooded chanter did not let us down with a fine performance brandishing an electric guitar with great authority. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat were next on stage and gave a show that topped the last time I seen them (Doune The Rabbit Hole) that may have been due to the mud-free whisky infused environment.

Closing the night were The Phantom Band and Rick Redbeard and co provided a typically raucous, stomping, lively finish to an excellent first day of music.

Friday complete it was just a short walk back to our digs in the cottages of the Moness Resort.

Saturday afternoon – We made it to the chilly but bright square for Withered Hand’s set which included Love Over Desire, Love In The Time Of Ecstasy and closed with a rousing rendition of Heart Heart. The crowd ended up standing just a few meters away after being called from across the road only for Dan to remark that he slightly regretted this call.

Saturday Night – I was very impressed with Found and they provided the perfect start to the evening after an afternoon in the brisk sunshine of the square (this was partially the reason for our late arrival to the hall due to there being so much to see an take in elsewhere). Kenny Anderson’s King Creosote were nothing short of excellent on the Saturday and played a set fitting of bringing any festival to a close. I will certainly be going over and revisiting the music of all of the brilliant artists I was treated to over the weekend.

Festival after parties are always worth a gander but not many can boast the stunning backdrop of Castle Menzies. We had the chance to chat with some of the musicians in the same place Bonnie Prince Charlie rested on his way to the battle of Culloden. In summary it was an absolute belter of a weekend and I’ll be looking forward to another fine trip next year. I’d like to offer a special mention to the organisers, Suzanne (Press), the guys from Dewar’s and Moness Resort for making it a weekend that’ll be hard to beat so close to home.

Pics and Words – Colin Urquhart