Groove Festival, Dores, 22/8/2015. A review.
“One night, one stage, one helluva party” was the message in the build up to Groove, a dance music festival to be held at the iconic Loch Ness in Dores.
The site is no stranger to dance music, it has previously been host to genuine world class acts over the years. Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada, The Prodigy, Leftfield, 2 Many DJ’s, Aphex Twin and many others have visited Dores for Rockness, which unfortunately ended in 2013.
When there was word of a new one day dance event to take place in this very location, there were a lot of mixed feelings. Excitement, intrigue and the obvious comparison to Rockness. It is maybe unfair of me to have kept doing that, I wasn’t the only one, but in my opinion, Rockness was a far better event than the likes of T in the Park. It was friendly, laid back and quite simply, the location was stunning. There were a lot of disappointed festival goers when Rockness cancelled in 2014 and also 2015. So when Groove finally announced itself as being this one day event, there were a lot of interested dance heads.
To the actual day itself. The main stage consisted of Scottish club nights & established acts. Opening the stage and marking the start of the first ever Groove was Inverness night Fugazy, who are Mark Mackenzie & Jordan Cooper (You can read what Mark thought of the event). They were followed by another Highlander, resident of Edinburgh’s Hectors House, Khalid Hussain. Popular Aberdeen night Let It Bleed were represented by residents Djamba & Giles Walker and local lads Filth continued to warm up the incoming revellers.
As well as the main stage, there was the Red Bull truck tent which played host to DJ’s from Scotland who were selected to play that included Ally Ridgers, Ciaran Donaghy, Vault95 (Ross Calder), Lewis Lowe, Clyde Rouge & many more. At points the tiny tent was packed and had people dancing all outside & around the tent, these guys could easily have packed a bigger tent.
Sub Club legends Harri & Domenic are famous for their weekly ‘Subby’ residency in Glasgow and they provided the Groove audience with a lovely House set with tracks old & new.
Eli & Fur are relative newcomers to the music scene but they kept up the tempo brilliantly throughout their set and proved to be the ideal warm-up for what was to come later in the evening.
Radio 1 DJ B.Traits was next up to entertain the Dores crowd with a set which had a bit more intensity to it. Darker House tracks, Bass music and breaks were provided and it seemed liked B.Traits was really up for making her mark. This was evident in the masses who were now all up for a party!
The skies were becoming more atmospheric and darker at this point and the stage visuals were now starting to play a massive part in Groove.
Tensnake took over the decks from B.Traits and got straight down to business with a melodic House set which had the crowd bouncing and you could certainly say that this was like the older Rockness crowds! Tensnake finished off his brilliant set with a couple of classics, Liquids – “Sweet Harmony” & New Order – “Blue Monday”.
Next up was the Belgian duo 2 Many DJ’s. These guys don’t need an introduction, you know what you get with the act also known as Soulwax.
Anything goes in a 2 Many DJ’s set and that was shown in the wide range that was getting played at Groove. Green Velvet to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Erol Alkan & Boys Noize to Supergrass and the brothers very own MGMT “Kids” anthemic remix are just a few examples.
The Dewaele brothers range is as eclectic as it is popular and the Dores crowd loved every single minute of it. Some were saying they should have been finishing the night but I’m sure Groove Armada fans would disagree.
With the crowd whipped into a Belgian frenzy, it was Groove Armada’s task to finish the night. Andy Cato & Tom Findlay are now regarded as legends of the dance scene having been around for almost two decades.
They took over from 2 Many DJ’s and kicked off with a remix of recent anthem “Paper Romance”. The crowd were still clearly up for it and made that vocally clear when the opening lyrics of “Superstylin’” were belted out later in the set. The rain which is a regular at festivals around the UK finally made an appearance towards the end but that didn’t dampen spirits and several thousand revellers were sent home happy.
14 hours after Groove started, it was all done and dusted. There were plenty of happy people and feedback was positive from people I spoke to. Many folk were just happy that there was a dance music festival back in the North of Scotland, especially with Loch Ness as the backdrop.
You can’t not be stunned by that view complimented by music. They also hoped that Groove returns next year with more variety and possibly going into a two day event.
At the moment though, if Groove returns in 2016 (and there is already word of it) then I reckon those happy faces from Saturday will be returning as loyal attendees!
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