Review of Luke Friend on the Crabbies Hothouse  Stage at Belladrum, 8 th of August, 2014.

X Factor finalist of last year Luke Friend was as much remembered for his hair as his voice but he still commands a faithful Facebook following. This was reflected in the full house in the Hothouse tent for his appearance.

"his original material is punchy and deserves a little more attention"
“his original material is punchy and deserves a little more attention”
Opening with one of his own songs there was a suggestion that he would be looking to covers on the set and fans weren’t disappointed. Elbow, The 1975, Katy Perry were all covered to overwhelming applause. A mid set broken string, and a second shortly after, did little to dampen the crowd’s spirit. During one of these breaks he asked what the crowd wanted him to play. In a way he is saddled by the X Factor covers. However, without those he would not have filled the tent, in fact he wouldn’t have been here.

It’s a double edged sword. He wants to carve out his own career but at present can only pepper his set with his original material. I remember Matt Cardle at the Ironworks short after his X Factor success leaving a crowd disappointed for similar reasons.

Overall Luke is a likeable performer; his original material is punchy and deserves a little more attention but at the end of the day the X Factor wins through. They wanted Bob Marley mid set and they got it at the end.

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Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy.A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre.Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy.You can contact Frank direct via