With all eyes looking west for the finale to the festival season we asked our man in Ullapool, well for that weekend, Jim Kennedy of Rhythmnreel to give us his lowdown on what will be going down! Over to you Jim…

by Lori Williams


It’s the end of the summer so it must be time for Loopallu! The festival that shouldn’t work is sold out… yet again! Ullapool will once again be taken over lock, stock and barrel by music lovers with high expectations of another great festival.

After the established Pipe band opening, Friday proper starts with indie bands, and this year’s Belladrum attendees: Brown Bear and the Bandits and Anderson, McGinty, Ward, Webster and Fisher. Sandwiched in between are The Blindfolds taking us back to that era of cool, 50s America. For the lovers of more traditional Manran will do the entertaining. Taking us up to what will likely be another fantastic night in the big tent are “Kassidy” and “The Fratellis”. If you haven’t seen Kassidy this summer, well you haven’t been to a festival in the north of Scotland. With two albums under their belts their repertoire continues to grow. Having taken a little time out with solo and side projects, Jon Fratelli is back with the rest of the gang. They have been four years away, but it won’t seem like yesterday once they strike up! Appetites are already whetted for this one.

It’s a Scottish and Indie start to Day 2 with Ullapool’s own Naked Strangers kicking off proceedings with their sweaty hairy uberdance sound, swiftly followed by Stirling powerhouses Miniature Dinosaurs. Then there’s a pretty unusual deviation with Lilygreen and McGuire’s smooth pop sound and Public Service Broadcasting’s mix of archive propaganda footage and modern electronica. PSB are sure to be the hit of the festival – miss them at your peril! Rachel Sermanni’s interweaving stories and The Staves’ harmonies will surely keep the more thoughtful festival goer contented. Unfortunately they bookend The Dangleberries the antithesis of their melodic and carefully crafted music – but hey the Dangleberries are crowd pleasers, second to none. The last two acts on Saturday are the ones most likely to court controversy – is Jake Bugg “better than Dylan” and can he translate his songs to the big stage? The jury’s out. And finally, Scouting for Girls will no doubt play wall to wall hit singles and yet, there is a general sense of underwhelmedness at their Saturday headline slot.

Taken over the piece there is a broad range of music from straight ahead rocksters to feminine wiles to electronica to 3 minute pop classics – what’s not to like? Just don’t forget to bring the sun with you.

Well that’s Jim’s take on what he expects, a lean towards Saturday I think. Everyone has their own opinion even before a festival kicks off. Do you agree with Jim? We look forward to your comments below

You can also read our review of Loopallu 2011.

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Irn Bru, AC/DC and the Glasgow Apollo. That’s me. What does that tell you? That I’m an elderly classic rock lover with a rubbish diet.I’ve lived in the Highlands for last 20 years and am a music fan – anything with a chorus; everything from Taylor Swift and Girls Aloud to the aforementioned AC/DC and Biffy Clyro. I’ve played guitar and sung in bands most of my adult life, including everything from punk to ceilidh to rock. It’s all a joy. I’ve got to say I really like working for Inverness Gigs – I’ll be the one at the Ironworks drinking the Irn Bru!

You can contact Jim directly at Jim@Invernessgigs.co.uk