A Review, of Rock 4 Ross held at Boat of Garten Community Hall on the 6th of July, by Frank Finlayson.

The local music scene in the Highlands has always been known to be strong supporters of charitable events. Many are organised well in advance and are for causes close to the hearts of those that organise them. However, Rock 4 Ross was put together by band members of The Lost following a road traffic accident that happened early on the morning of 16 May which left three people with very serious injuries. So serious in the case of Ross Elder, that he needed to be taken by air ambulance to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. The quick response of the air ambulance was instrumental in Ross making the recovery that he has. As a mark of their appreciation they organised the charity gig for the Air Ambulance charity.

The setting for the gig was Boat of Garten Community Hall, a fine modern facility built in 2007, which had equally fine stewards in attendance ensuring a very friendly welcome to all the bands and attendees. In its short history the venue is no stranger to hosting musical events as Michelle McManus entertained the village, as did some lot called Mumford and Sons a wee while back. What ever happened to them….

The night was very ably compared by The Lost’s Daniel King, who along with many others sported their I Rock 4 Ross t-shirts. I only caught the very tail end of openers, Don’t Forget Riley, as they were rattling a out a Britney Spears cover. Not the first time I’ve heard a band finish on a Britney cover this year, and the other band The Halton Quartet, also rounded their set of with Toxic! Is there something going on that I’m not being told about?

Second on with a short but sweet couple of numbers was Amy Taylor. A new name to me, but I’m sure that we will be hearing a lot more from her in the future. This I believe was her first time appearing before an audience; hopefully this will give her the confidence to expand on her set.

Picking up the baton were Last Summer Effect, who revved up the crowd as frontman Chris Fox played up to his audience who in turn appreciated his enthusiasm and the particularly driven set that the band produce. Another good night’s work for the boys.

The first half was closed off by Inverness three piece, Purple Divide, who can know a thing or two about knocking out some catchy tunes. For a young band they are setting high standards, and are as likely as anybody to get noticed further afield. With a band member called Shagger you really can’t go wrong…

Following the break, assured former Grantown lad Graham Brown accompanied by guitarist Ewan Cruickshank and Kyle Campbell on drums, confirmed the large steps that his band have taken since his early solo days. There is a real composure to his sets now, no doubt helped by having so many Russian fans on YouTube!

The penultimate act of the night was Toby Michaels Rolling Damned. The Toby experience was kicked off with a solo rendition of Bat Out Of Hell, which turned a fair few heads and set up the addition of the other members of the band to give the full Rolling Damned effect. For those used to hearing the solo work of Toby, the addition of his Rolling Damned gives those added layers that both enhances and rounds the performance.

It was then fitting that the night would be rounded off by The Lost. I had to make my excuses before the end but not before I saw enough of The Lost to know that they were rocking the hall to its foundations. A full on way to finish a great night of music for a great cause.

As I understand, a sum of around £2000 was raised. It takes time and dedication to organise such events and without the boys from the Lost for the idea, the bands for giving their time, the stewards and helpers at the hall, the sound and lighting guys, everyone that turned up, and to MacPherson Electrical who sponsored the event, these events cannot happen.

I am already hearing that some people are wondering if this fundraiser will become an annual event….

You can see more of the pictures taken of the night here and keep track of any more Rock 4 Ross news here.