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 frankieboyfin@gmail.com