Saturday's dance music party climaxes with Deadmau5 at Rock Ness

Rock Ness 2012 review

published: Thu 14th Jun 2012

Deadmau5

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June 2012
Loch Ness, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£159 for a weekend camping, or £149 weekend non-camping
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Fri 25th May 2012

Tim Minchin
Saturday would normally have a subdued start to the day, but RockNess organisers had billed the day well giving campers good reason to rise as early as they could to get the most out of the afternoon’s entertainment. Recently the organisers have experimented with a comedy bill as part of the line-up, and this year they had secured gold with Tim Minchin appearing in the GoldenVoice arena in the early afternoon. He is undoubtedly the reason masses of people were already in the arena, making their way down to the tent early, to ensure a good view of the Australian-British born comedian. And rightly so – Minchin's comedy is placed well for a festival – predominantly comedic songs, many of which about his own failed rock legend dreams – the tone of his act worked well. 'Prejudice' was the unparalleled favourite, as was 'Woody Allen Jesus', previously cut from the Jonathan Ross show but played in full for the Highland festival. He even handled the rare heckles well, from those who were already well on their way to being drunk (or just hadn't stopped drinking from the night before). And carrying the theme of unusual bills on the programme in the day, later in the afternoon the Olympic Torch was brought to the Rock Ness main stage. It has to be said, there wasn't a particularly large audience for that particular segment, and mutterings from passers-by that it was a bit of a let-down indicate it wasn't the most anticipated act over the weekend.

Yet there was one unexpected highlight of the weekend working the decks in the GoldenVoice arena, just as the Olympic Torch went on its way. Madeon – real name Hugo Pierre Leciercq – is an 18 year old French DJ, about to explode onto the music scene. Recently featured on Pete Tong's fifteen minutes of fame on Radio 1, the youngster although small in stature commands an imposing presence as he remixes his own singles such as 'Icarus' with his hugely popular mix of Deadmau5's 'Raise Your Weapon'. His live mix called 'Pop Culture' went viral on You Tube and the relatively unknown DJ looks set to become a huge name in the dance scene in the near future. He expertly segued Daft Punk with Blur's 'Song 2', and even threw in a remix of Ellie Goulding's 'Starry Eyed' leaving the crowd wanting more. After Madeon leaves the arena with a fist in the air, there's time to explore the smaller areas of the festival more. Heading up to the small, inflatable walled Kopparberg Kube is Krazzy Martin. The Aberdonian played a string of pop and R'n'B hits, giving the small but perfectly formed audience some respite from some of the heavier bass lines, keeping spirits high as the weather cooled into the evening.

DJ Fresh
Back over at the main stage, DJ Fresh/LIVE drew in a healthy crowd, blasting out well known tunes such as 'Golddust' with its bouncing rhythms. New track 'The Power' had everyone singing along, and dancing to DJ Fresh's distinctive drum'n'bass style. The live band he performed with brought energy to the evening, readying the main stage for the excellent dance line-up to follow. Annie Mac was the one to follow the energetic group, and it will always be difficult for a long DJ with no bells and whistles, to have the same kind of stage presence as a live group. Unfortunately, Annie Mac's set, although playing a series of dance hits proved forgettable, and she was overshadowed by the groups before, and preceding her.

Deadmau5
Deadmau5 played a long 2 hour set – climbing out of a box at the start of the performance, before donning his trademark mouse mask, and climbing upon a visually stunning set. However, for many it seemed Deadmau5 was style over substance this year. Many of the crowd lost interest throughout the set, declaring he played too long and too chilled a set, and there was disappointment in the faces of many. An act like Deadmau5 always tends to do better in a tent – some dance acts excel in the tightly packed environment, the atmosphere thick in the air. And true to form, where Deadmau5 failed to excite many, Levon Vincent in the Clash presents Sub Club Sound System tent proved just what they needed. His mixing ensured that those who joined him were kept dancing for hours on end.

Saturday was undoubtedly the big party day for many, and any festival-goer can testify that one of the best things about a festival are the characters you meet. There were many a sight to be seen; from the DIY Deadmau5 masks, to the group of men wandering around in matching afro wigs, hair bobbing in time with each other as they walked around the site.

around the festival site (2)
review by: Clare Sinclair

photos by: Clare Sinclair

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th June 2012
Loch Ness, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£159 for a weekend camping, or £149 weekend non-camping
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Fri 25th May 2012


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