A review of Friday night at Northern Roots Festival 2012 by Frank Finlayson.


All eyes may be looking Loch Ness way at the moment, or so you would think. Perched up above Drumossie at Bogbain another little festival is taking shape this weekend, and our roving reporter, Frank Finlayson, popped along to see what Bruce MacGregor’s Northern Roots Festival is all about.

The festival kicked off on Friday night with two acts, Kathleen MacInnes followed by Blazin’ Fiddles.The barn was packed out to a very attentive and appreciative audience. And, unlike previous events such as Brew at the Bog, the venue was fully seated. The height of the stage ensured that everyone had a good view. Also, unlike Brew at the Bog, it was warm in the barn! It’s also hard to believe since May’s chilly event we’ve had our summer!


My fashionably late arrival meant I had unfortunately missed Kathleen’s performance, but was able to catch the bulk of the Blazin’ Fiddles set. As fiddle music goes, this is as driven as it gets. Playing with the four out front of Henderson, Reid, MacGregor and MacFarlane they weaved a mazy concoction to delight their supporters. With neat interplay and intricate combinations they played off one another and kept the crowd on their toes, or at least tapping their toes with gusto.

Anchored at the back by new keyboard player Ingrid Henderson and guitarist, Anna Massie they build from a solid base. Anna also showed her versatility on the fiddle with a mid set face-off with Iain MacFarlane. The craic wasn’t half bad either, if a little corny, but it was a family audience. I will though always treat a bag of peanuts with suspicion from now on! However, the crowd, young and old, got what they came for tonight, there was no doubt about that.


The festival still has another couple of days to run with the weekend line-up as follows:

2.00pm – Tapas Lunch available
2.30pm – Strings Attached with Anna Massie | Edwina Hayes | Bruce MacGregor | Christine Hanson and other guests
7.30pm – Halton Quartet | Groanbox | Le Vent du Nord
Late – Mainline North | Jock the Box

2.00pm – Tapas Lunch Available
2.30pm – Accordion Heaven with Sandy Brechin | Angus Lyon| Jock the Box | Cameron Kellow | Roya Maclean.
7.30pm – Wizz Jones | Edwina Hayes | Furnace Mountain

And remember, Sunday night isn’t a school night, so there is no excuse!

Tickets are available on the door.

For further information go to http://www.northernrootsfestival.co.uk/