ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - FRIDAY // DRUMLANRIG CASTLE, THORNHILL

ELECTRIC FIELDS RETURNS FOR 2017 WITH HEADLINERS 'FRIGHTENED RABBIT', 'BANDS OF HORSES', 'PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT', 'BRITISH SEA POWER' AND MANY MORE...

DRUMLANRIG CASTLE, THORNHILL

★★★★☆

Taking place in the beautiful grounds of Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries, Electric Fields festival has been gaining much attention over its past four-year course for being an inviting end of summer festival to bow out with. The sun was to be shining all weekend and along with a star-studded lineup featuring Frightened Rabbit, Dizzee Rascal, Band of Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain and many, many more it’s clear why this festival is attracting such a large quantity of friends and family from across the country.

TIDERAYS PERFORMING AT DAY ONE AT ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - 01/09/2017
PICTURE BY: PRODUCT OF GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY

As the families and crowds were making their way into the first day of the festival, first up on the main stage and getting things running were local band Tiderays. With a few of their fans sporting the band's merch, the crowd seemed to very much enjoy this opening act. They gave off a calming vibe mixed with some groove to get the audience moving about. The singer's strong Scottish accent resonated through the arena, along with a tight drum and bass section and some all-encompassing lead guitar melodies, these guys put on a good show for the Electric Fields crowd.

Opening up the Redeemer stage were Nieves, giving off a sort of 90's rock vibe these guys brought in a good crowd for themselves. Amidst some heckles and shouts from the crowd, the band put on a fast-paced rocking show that had the audience cheering and head-banging all the way through. Their energy and enthusiasm made them a great band to watch.

I made my way to the Tenement TV Discover Stage and watched a band called Starcrawler completely own the stage. The singer's eccentric stage outfit was matched by her incredible presence on stage as the band dazzled the crowd.

STARCRAWLER PERFORMING AT DAY ONE AT ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - 01/09/2017
PICTURE BY: PRODUCT OF GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY

The electrifying guitar solos ripped through the tent as both the guitarist and singer really let themselves loose on the stage. I had never heard of this band before but their live performance was definitely one of the best throughout the day and they certainly made a name for themselves. 

RASCALTON PERFORMING AT DAY ONE AT ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - 01/09/2017
PICTURE BY: PRODUCT BY GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY

Next up on the Redeemer Stage were a band I'd heard lots of good things about but never managed to see until now. Rascalton have been making a name themselves recently in the Scottish music scene and after today I can see why. 

Their fast paced, punky style instantly sent the crowd into a frenzy straight from the get go. The crowd were jumping around, creating pits and throwing themselves around as the band's angsty attitude and grungy sound filled the tent. Their hits 'Alone' and 'This is it' sat very well with the viewers as they all screamed the hooks out along with the band. 

As they entered their final song, the singer ditched the guitar and threw himself into the audience and crowd surfed his way around which capped off an excellent performance. Proclaiming it was their very first festival performance, these guys pulled out all the stops to make it a truly memorable debut.

From the guy who brought you Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook took his own band to the main stage with their new wave sound. By this time the main stage crowd was filling up and the band managed to get everyone on their feet and dancing around.

The final two songs 'Temptation' and cult classic 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' had the whole audience singing along and there was a feeling of mutual joy between the band and the crowd. Hook's humbleness was clear as he constantly thanked the crowd for cheering them on and singing back. The chorus of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' was continued on by the crowd as the band finished and looked out into the audience to share the special moment. They put on a good show which was enjoyable for everyone, including those adults reminiscing about the bands of their childhood.

Residing all the way from Seattle, Car Seat Headrest did a great job at bringing in a crowd to their performance in the Tenement TV tent. As they took to the stage, what striked me most was the difference between this band's look and the level of maturity their music displayed. Looking like a group of US college dropouts, they performed a very unique and unpredictable set to the Electric Fields crowd.

Their quirky ideas and lyrics are complimented well by catchy riffs and melodies that everyone can sing along to, and that's exactly what the crowd did. They rocked the tent and were certain to make sure that anyone who hadn't heard of them would know them by the end of the night. Although the lyrics displayed a theme of loneliness and depression, the band danced and rocked on stage putting on a powerful show full of energy and emotion.

BAND OF HORSES PERFORMING AT DAY ONE AT ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - 01/09/2017
PICTURE BY: PRODUCT OF GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY

As another American band took to the stage, the crowd were ecstatic to watch Band of Horses perform at the Electric Fields festival. Although what seemed like a slow start, once this band got into the swing of things, it was almost impossible to take your eye off them. They paraded the stage, rocking and swinging themselves about as they showed off their buckets of talent, and huge beards. Their tight, anthemic sound takes shape in the form of straight rock ‘n’ roll with some obvious nods to country roots.

Smashing out their admired songs like ‘Is There a Ghost’ and ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’, their crunching guitar tones and heart-felt vocals gave the Dumfries crowd something to nod their heads to. Finishing on ‘The Funeral’, these American rockers thanked the audience endlessly and bowed out with gratitude and respect. Band of Horses stuck to their guns and delighted fans as they showed why they’re still such a loved band after being in the business for nearly fifteen years.

After much anticipation, headlining the main stage on the Friday night were local legends Frightened Rabbit. Coming out to a collection of screams, chants and applause, the band put on an exceptional show for their hometown crowd. With their tour and album last year being received extremely well by fans and critics, this whole bands humble attitude was apparent as Scott thanked the cheering crowd after almost every song. He even spotted an argument between a pair in the crowd during one of their songs, urging them both to “get over it” and encouraging the rest of the crowd to drink up and enjoy themselves.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT HEADLINING DAY ONE AT ELECTRIC FIELDS FESTIVAL 2017 - 01/09/2017
PICTURE BY: PRODUCT OF GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY

The thing I like most about Frightened Rabbit is how genuine and relatable their music and lyrics are, with no need to hide behind extravagant pyrotechnics or stage productions, just five men on stage giving it their all. Going through their hits such as 'Get Out', 'The Woodpile' and 'Holy', as well as old favourites like 'Old Old Fashioned' and 'The Modern Leper' these Scottish rockers were proving that they deserved to be headlining festivals much more often. As Scott spoke about how much being up there meant to them all and how much hard work they've put in over the past twelve years or so, they played a rare treat of 'Square 9' from the first album for the dedicated fans. 

Coming back on for the encore and finishing with fan favourite 'Keep Yourself Warm', the band used any last remaining energy they had left to finish big. With such a well-balanced set featuring songs from every album, it didn’t surprise me to see how much enjoyment the band took from every second that they were on stage. They capped off a brilliant day, and in great Scottish fashion.

PHOTOS BY: PRODUCT BY GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY
REVIEW BY: CALVIN SMITH

The Modern Record