RockNess 2011 - Friday

Scotland's wildest party?
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For once, the weather forecast was gratefully cast aside.

RockNess was bathed in sunshine upon Friday’s arrival, with fields rapidly filling up with revellers. Light rain tumbled out of an empty sky, but the party atmosphere was not dampened as music fans arrived in force for the sixth instalment of RockNess.
Mark Ronson first made his name as a DJ, and the producer returned to the decks for a special performance. Demonstrating his knowledge of hip hop – Ronson’s first love apparently – the DJ chose an upbeat set which married classics to a few dancefloor friendly unknowns.

The Main Stage soon gathered a massive crowd, with Bangor boys Two Door Cinema Club breezing through their debut album. The electro rockers are building a follow up to ‘Tourist History’ and if their new material can match the appeal of their live show then the Northern Irish tykes could be onto a winner.

An expert turntablist, DJ Shadow proved to also be a very nice man. The Californian hip hop legend dropped a few old classics into his set, which drew mainly on his as yet unreleased new album. Pulling back the volume, the DJ even took to the microphone to explain his decision to play new material. Upping the tempo, DJ Shadow appeared to take his influence from the white heat of jungle, ripping those Amen breaks to the clear delight of the crowd.

Kasabian need no introduction, with the Leicester band eager to seize the throne vacated by Oasis. Sure, they can talk a good game but as ever the proof lies in the live show. Near constant touring has turned the band into a powerful concert machine, with their set becoming a near ‘Greatest Hits’ statement. Opening with ‘Club Foot’ the Rockness crowd went wild as the Leicester band tossed hit after hit towards the Main Stage audience.

Bathed in moonlight, the infamous loch shimmered behind Serge Pizzorno as the guitarist added his voice to Tom Meighan’s exhortations. Drawing the crowd to ever higher levels of frenzy, the new material did not sound out of place next to their better known counterparts.

Fourth album ‘Velociraptor!’ is close to being finished, with the title track already a stand out from the live set. Refusing to draw breath, Kasabian disappeared for a few seconds before rushing back onstage for the encore. Dropping out entirely, a triggered sample ushered in a version of disco classic ‘I Feel Love’ before the band broke into ‘Fire’. With the sweltering temperatures, perhaps this was an appropriate moment to end the first day of RockNess.

Check out our exclusive photo galleries HERE.

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