A look around Thursday night at Belladrum 2016

I always forget how long it takes just to get organised, finding tents, sleeping bags, picking out favourite colours and sparkly things before finally getting out the door. And even though I was not leaving till tea time, I still find myself realising one last item as the car is being packed or grabbing something off the washing line but these final adjustments are key as packing right can help make a festival, especially when rain doesn’t ever seem to be far away right now. Although we were very lucky all evening!

With Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival now most definitely being a three festival with acts on from midday I was sad not to be going out sooner but even with clear roads we still managed to miss Mother Ruin with the lovely Emma Mitchell at the Potting Shed. Must pack sooner and plan to get out earlier next year cause by Sunday I am most definitely wishing there was another day.

Tokens bought and to my total delight they had a beautiful Scrumpy cider available at the Black Isle Brewery Bar this year, great addition for those who can’t drink beer (me) or like a decent cider (me).

First drink in hand and The Leonard Jones Potential were starting on the Grassroots stage. Great to see and hear Michelle Newell with the band; looking stunning in a tartan dress and floral crown from Wild Gorse Studio, her powerful soulful voice combined with the funk and soul rhythm of this big smiling band, tick all of my musical desire boxes and those of the crowd who many of which had chosen the local band over headliners The Darkness. The band were joined for a song by Michelle’s two beautiful girls who danced beside her and looked like they loved being up in the bright lights.

The evening quickly got lively as they brought on ‘the mother funk’, the crowd most definitely had their funky wiggle on with amazing sounds from the brass section. Unfortunately but understandably there are practically never encores at Bella otherwise I think they would have played and we would have danced for much longer than the 45 hominute set.

Sadly my friends didn’t have the three day tickets so they couldn’t pop down to catch the last of The Darkness instead we headed to high left to see what we could see, and promptly climbed part of a yew tree. Hanging in the branches I had expected more of a stage show but the crowd looked big however many moved off early as they finished on a slower, more self indulgent, less crowd pleasing song. The Darkness followed there set with the standard track ‘Time of my Life’ from Dirty Dancing which seemed odd to me, but the crowd happily bubbled out of the Garden Stage area to this non glam rock classic.

Seeing enough we headed back to the buzzing Black Isle Grassroots stage where Rhythm N Reel had the tent of warm bodies twirling to their combination of Scottish ceilidh sounds and well know covers, including Phil Collins – Against All Odds and ACDC – Thunder. They were not alone, local police enforcement weren’t there to ask for the noise to be turned down but instead a first officer joined on base guitar and then after another on the bagpipes. This is truly an example of how Belladrum brings together people and the perfect finale of day one.

Make sure you check out our Belladrum 2016 page for all the news and reviews of what’s happening at the festival.

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I can’t promise you intellectual chat about structure or comparisons to other bands but I am going to try and put the feelings I have into text. That being said you might hear the word tingle more than occasionally and other words like fantastic, amazing and delighted are favourites! Honestly I am only learning about instruments and how music goes together, possibly as most of my 20’s I was reaching for lazers. Live music baffles, intrigues and delights me!! However I have not a musical making bone in my body but I love to dance and make the occasional badge for talented musical folks. ;-) If you enjoy excited ramblings about music tickling my senses as I learn and fall more in love with it, then you might like things I try to write.