KT Tunstall wows Scottish crowds on Saturday at Wickerman

The Wickerman 2008 review

published: Wed 6th Aug 2008

KT Tunstall

Friday 25th to Saturday 26th July 2008
Kirkcarswell Farm nr. Kirkcudbright, Galloway, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£75 w/e incl camping; £50 for just Saturday; campervans £20
last updated: Wed 23rd Jul 2008

Day two of Wickerman was accompanied with the same grey skies which ushered out Friday night, although the slight drizzle was welcome in place of the torrential downpours of the night before. Thankfully, due to the low number of people on site the ground stayed solid, and the scene was set for the second half of this superb festival to be played out in style.

Black Arrows

Having dipped in and out of the Capitol Scooter tent yesterday, it was apparent that their quality control was a little hit and miss, to say the least. Thankfully, Black Arrows were one of the better choices on the bill, and they delivered a very enjoyable set, which sadly was viewed by only a handful of people, and a very bored team of bar staff. Regardless, the Glaswegian five piece soldiered on, and delivered a set which was typified by the tremendous 'Magpie'.

Having seen and enjoyed The Stranglers at T in the Park recently, I was interested to see what their former frontman Hugh Cornwell could bring to the table. Delivering a mush more stripped down set than his former band, Cornwell was moving and scathing in equal measure, and although it was the classic 'No More Heroes' that received the most favourable reception, it was clear that his current leanings are towards country tinged rock and roll, typified by 'Within You Or Without You', from his forthcoming album 'Hooverdam'. All in all, his was a very well received set, which was interesting even if just to see what can happen when an artist is free to follow his own path, rather than that of a band.

Luva Anna

Without beating around the bush, it has to be said that Luva Anna are one of the best feel-good bands you will encounter, ever. Prior to them coming onstage, the tiny Solus tent was packed with those who knew and those who had been told just how good this band were, and Drewboy Gray and company lived up to all those expectations, and promptly tore the house down. 'Coma Girl' is a riotous classic in the making, whilst 'Wooden Shoe' is mesmerising in both its absurdity and danceability. Luva Anna are definitely a band to see while you can still get a ticket.

The emotive melodies created by Attic Lights were the perfect way to usher in the final acts of Wickerman 2008. Falling somewhere between Grandaddy, Elbow and the Beach Boys, they carried the Dundrennan crowd away on a wave of sunshine as the temperature dropped outside. 'Bring You Down' and 'Never Get Sick Of The Sea' both soared inside the busy tent, and with 'Late Night Sunshine' the band could not have been more apt if they had tried.

It would have been impossible for KT Tunstall to fail tonight, playing the closing set to a partisan crowd on the main stage. She could have just turned up, played and left, and she would have gone down a storm. Thankfully, however, she put a little more into it than that.

KT Tunstall

The highlight of the storming set was a superb take on 'Black Horse and Cherry Tree', which segued into a rousing rendition of 'Seven Nation Army which delighted the huge crowd and ensured that their dancing shoes were firmly in place for the rest of the show. Other standout tracks included trademark number 'Suddenly I See' and touching new single 'Saving My Face', both of which delighted Tunstall fans both old and new.

Of course, the Wickerman festival would not be complete without the burning of the centrepiece, and despite a heavy fog settling across the site, the show did not disappoint. As fire-jugglers and flaming baton twirlers ushered in the midnight hour accompanied by a tribalistic beat, the crowds jostled for prime viewing space. Finally the Wickerman was alight, and as flames licked up the sides of the immense wooden structure, the feeling of community within this close knit festival was palpable.

The burning was symbolic of everything Wickerman stands for - togetherness, spectacle, and a community spirit pulling everyone is the same hedonistic direction. This was my first time at this festival, and it certainly won't be my last. As I walked away from the dying embers of the burned edifice, it was a genuinely emotional moment. You can forget your lager branded, sugar coated mega-fests, this is what true festivals are about, and this is what they should strive to be.

around the site
review by: Tommy Jackson

photos by: Tommy Jackson

Friday 25th to Saturday 26th July 2008
Kirkcarswell Farm nr. Kirkcudbright, Galloway, Scotland, Scotland MAP
£75 w/e incl camping; £50 for just Saturday; campervans £20
last updated: Wed 23rd Jul 2008


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