ELECTRIC FIELDS RETURNS FOR 2017 WITH HEADLINERS 'DIZZEE RASCAL', 'THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN', 'GLASS ANIMALS', 'FATHERSON' AND MANY MORE...
With the weather being just as beautiful on the second and last day of the festival, I had a good feeling that today was just going to be a continuation of the day before, which was nothing to complain about at all.
A highlight of the entire festival for me was seeing the fearless, feisty and effervescent young man Declan Welsh take over the Tenement TV stage. His attitude and care towards the topics he sings about is very apparent within his presence on stage.
His lyrics highlight important topics such as diversity, anti-conformity, and cherishing special moments. Towards the end of the set, he lost the guitar and swaggered across the stage during a song about expressing yourself. His dancing was contagious with the crowd as they all joined in and watched the band control the tent with their refreshing music.
The last song was a moving and emotional tribute to the much loved and admired, late Gary Watson from Glasgow band The Lapelles, who unfortunately lost his life around this time last year. The crowd chanted his name as the band performed an excellent and fitting end to their highly enjoyable set. Declan Welsh & The Decadent West are a breath of fresh air in the music scene and showed just why they are a force to be reckoned with.
On Vic Galloway's BBC Scotland Stage, an Edinburgh based 4-piece called Skjor took to the stage. They were welcomed on with a huge applause along with some praise from Galloway himself. Their dreamy, reverberated guitar riffs mixed with the funky, pounding bass and drum section created a joyous atmosphere for the whole crowd.
Dressed in a white, angelic-like dress, the singer's stunning vocals and somewhat theatrical presence added to their excellent live performance, not to mention how incredibly tight and well co-ordinated the bassist and drummer were with each other. Their singles 'Self Control' and 'Living without you' had the crowd dancing and singing along as this young band displayed a mature and brilliant performance, cementing themselves as a band to keep an eye on.
Grime music has been growing more and more in the music industry recently, pulling in fans from across the globe, and Shogun is Scotland's answer for it. As this young rapper vents his anger and emotion on stage with his crew and DJ behind him, the audience watch on and relish in this man's "don't care" attitude.
The energy he had was incredible, and it was consistent throughout the half hour set. He electrified the crowd and had the whole tent shaking as he commanded the audience to move and jump about, screaming for noise and enthusiasm from his fans. Spotting what he believed to be his 'youngest fan ever' at the back of the tent, Shogun enthralled in the audience's joy to watch this young man's passion unveiled throughout his set.
Although he seemed to be lacking some sort of hook that people could chant back, Shogun's talent was outstanding and he seemed just as proud to be up there as on-lookers were to be watching him.
Fatherson were in top form as they darted onto the main stage at Electric Fields. Watching this band develop over the past few years has been something incredibly exciting to watch and their performance today showed why they've been attracting so much attention recently.
Playing an array of songs from their two albums such as 'I Like Not Knowing', 'Open Book' and 'Forest' (including a brand-new song to treat the fans), their crunching guitar tones and expansive harmonies are enough to get this crowd nodding and bouncing all the way through their packed set.
Although frontman Ross' guitar encountered some difficulties, he didn't let that sway his or the rest of the band's exuberant performance. Ross' vocal melodies have always been something to admire, with such range in his vocal ability it's no wonder these guys can put on such a star-studded performance. Finishing with their hit 'Lost Little Boys' the lines in the song "Cause we're just lost little boys, making a name for ourselves" seemed to have even more meaning and passion behind it on this sunny day in Dumfries.
Taking over the main stage with a giant rotating Pineapple disco ball, Oxford band Glass Animals brought their hip-hop infused distinctive sound to the Dumfries crowd. The singer Dave complimented the fans on the amount of pineapples they had brought, ranging from blow-up pineapples, LED pineapples and even half eaten pineapples as they were chucked around the crowd. Their ability to entertain a crowd shone through as everyone was dancing the whole way through their hour-long set.
Playing the majority of songs from their latest album such as 'Life Itself', 'Agnes' and finishing on 'Pork Soda', the band's incredible energy and talent pleased the viewers as the sun glared down. Their feel-good vibe kept the crowd on their feet and was extremely enjoyable to watch the enthusiasm the band portrayed.
Having released a brand-new album this year, exactly 10 years since the band regrouped, The Jesus and Mary Chain showed the crowd watching the main stage just why they have such a status as rock legends. The chugging bass riffs and decorative guitar solos created such a huge sound, at times it was hard to hear Reid’s crushing vocals. Having lived such long careers in the music industry, these guys displayed their talent and showed they still had a lot of life left in them.
Without much in-between song talking apart from a couple of ‘thank you’ nods to the crowd, also including a little bit of a ‘diva’ moment from Jim Reid as he demanded they restart a song after fumbling his words up, the Scottish rockers still managed to put on a real rock ‘n’ roll show. Playing songs from the new album like ‘Amputation’ and ‘Always Sad’, they showcased their messy, noisy sound well.
Finishing on the edgy and moody ‘I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll’, Reid gave the crowd one last moment of gratefulness before turning back into his rockstar persona, dropping the microphone and walking off stage, leaving the crowd wanting just that little bit more.
Closing up the main stage with his grimey, bass-ridden sound, Dizzee Rascal bounced out to an ecstatic and applauding Electric Fields crowd. The genius behind the hit song ‘Bonkers’ released his brand new album ‘Raskit’ just a few months back. After shying away from the pop industry and mainstream chart music, the English rapper went back to his grime roots and created an album based solely on that. He presented a collection of songs from his new album which had the whole arena bouncing up and down, using what ever energy they had left from the weekend.
Dizzee Rascal’s enthusiasm and movement as he spun around the stage, gave off such a good vibe to the audience it was hard not to let out a smile and move to the beat after seeing how much he himself was enjoying the set. Although some lighting failures were encountered during hit song ‘Baseline Junkie’, he thanked the fans for not letting it affect their energy and continued the show.
Ending on his three biggest hits ‘Holiday’, ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and ‘Bonkers, two of which were written alongside DJ Calvin Harris who resides from Dumfries himself, Dizzee Rascal used every last bit of the crowd’s adrenaline to create a memorable performance for himself and the rest of the festival.
After such an incredible lineup and a whole array of talent across the weekend, I can’t help but feel Electric Fields is going to be a festival that sticks around for a while. Situated in such a scenic location, having great weather all weekend added to such a joyous occasion. As it enters it’s fifth year, I can’t wait to see what the team behind the festival have in store for 2018.