We look at Raman Ritual, Spoke Too Soon and more, at the Black Isle Brewery.

“MIGHT BE THE BEST FRIDAY NIGHT CROWD YET!” Jocktoberfest is a great little festival and I’ve been to it as a performer and festival goer a number of times over the last few years. 

First impressions this year was that changes had been made, changes for the better. The Dutch barn area has been refurbished: enclosed except for one side open, concrete floor and sparkling fairy lights hung from the roof and sides to create an even prettier aesthetic look. 

This year’s theme of ‘Under the Sea’ was taken seriously by the festival goers as I spotted a variety of fish and divers. The bars were open, the pizza was cooking and the music started. 

First singer on was Dylan Tierney who fitted in perfectly with the first arrivals who chilled in the barn with their pizza and beers.  He stood on the newly upgraded stage with his guitar in hand and drew an ever growing audience into the main stage area.

Second band on was the duo The Sign who are from Tazmania. Their sound was strong and I was caught quite unawares by their dark country style.  Their music went from gentle to rock very quickly as they made use of a variety of effects, including a strong rock vibe on an acoustic guitar.  Highlight for me was a dark ‘California Dreaming’.

Next was Ramanan Ritual.  I was really looking forward to hearing this band who I had heard so much about since they won Inverness Battle of the Bands very early on in their playing together.  They set the scene with incense sticks whose smell floated around the Dutch barn. This band drew in the crowds with their psychedelic world music influences and people started to sway and dance.  This band had a strong sound and are certainly one to watch.

Spoke Too Soon were in party mode.  Their energy is infectious and the party was moved up another notch.  It was non stop from start to end with the band’s followers leading the way and crouching on the floor before we were all given the signal to jump up.  A great set from this band, a set that reminded me of a Jamie and Shoony performance a couple of years ago.

It wouldn’t be fair of me to write the review for Gordon James and the Power as I was on stage.  However, from my vantage point, the audience conga looked impressive. Purely for research, I asked some of the audience for their favourite performances with ‘Help’ and our soon to be released single…

Love this festival but, for me, it was time to go and leave everyone else partying into the small hours.  It just gets better every year!

WHAT HAVE YOU MISSED?  All our other Jocktoberfest content can be found here.

Photos of the evening below;