RockNess 2011 - Sunday

The festival draws to a close...
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Forget four seasons in one day, if Crowded House wanted to observe some bizarre weather conditions then perhaps they should have visited RockNess. A thick fog wrapped itself around the Dores site as the third day began, before blistering sunshine began to force its way through.

A spot of rain, some gusty gales and you have a recipe for a Scottish outdoor event. The music opens on the Main Stage with a spot of powerful R&B (of the original variety) from Vintage Trouble. Curious onlookers were rewarded with a gritty performance, which wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Chicago club during the 50s. A stripped down set up, the band take their inspiration from early James Brown, Joe Tex and more. A recent performance on ‘Later…’ has no doubt helped to swell the crowd, as Sunday begins with a bang.

Scotland's own Twilight Sad were up next, cast on the Main Stage. While the band's music often demands intimacy the Kilsyth lads rose to the occasion, with their dense soundscapes sweeping across the Highland valley. Apparently working with Andrew Weatherall on their upcoming third album the band delved into new material which sounded typically promising.

Beardyman is almost a summer institution, with his live sets on a par with unsettled weather and an early exit from Wimbledon. Almost impossible to classify, his beatboxing skills really are sublime. Looping his voice to craft some unusual re-workings, Beardyman throws in a few party favourites. The refrain from MGMT's 'Kids' sails above a packed GoldenVoice Arena, but it was his take on Coldcut's 'Pain In Full' remix which stood out artistically. Dropping into the bassline to ‘Seven Nation Army’ Beardyman accidentally created one of the weekend’s more enduring trends. Heard everywhere from merch stalls to burger vans, the Main Stage to the camp site Jack White’s thundering riff helped soundtrack this year’s RockNess.

Returning to the Main Stage, American newcomer Lissie charmed the RockNess crowd with a set which drew heavily on last year's debut album 'Catching A Tiger'. Completely at ease onstage, her tasteful Americana seemed to find a few new fans as the crowds began to migrate towards the stage. Later appearing at the signing tent, Lissie was gracious and took the time to speak to everyone who approached her. Well mannered, talented and quite, quite beautiful ClashMusic may just be in love…

With the sun pouring down across the site, Sunday enters its final stage with a set from Glasgow beat merchants Optimo. Although the night itself has ended in the Sub Club, Twitch and Wilkes remain an imposing team. Leafing through their collection, Optimo spin a fantastic late afternoon set which includes a few techno classics. Booked to play Sub Club Sound System, the duo head up a terrific bill featuring a few unknown quantities.

The newly expanded Afterburner attracts a massive crowd, with its mixture of pyrotechnics and an eclectic bill. Andrew Weatherall is clearly in a mood to party, and the dapper DJ helps inject some energy into a tiring crowd. Just one of a number of high profile Djs to enter the Afterburner, the area really comes alive at night as the flames pirouette into the blackened sky.

Simian Mobile Disco have toughened up their live, and the London duo play to a packed GoldenVoice Arena. Far harder live than on record, Jas Shaw and James Ford are backed by typically exquisite visuals.

Techno boffin Matthew Dear plays the Sub Club Soundsystem, as the crowds begin to gather. A wide ranging - at times challenging - set, the producer manages to match a cerebral temperament with a dancefloor nous. Dressed in an immaculate white suit, the Michigan based producer is clearly having the time of his life as the brass laden techno oscillations spiral out of the tent.

With fans cramming every corner of the Sub Club Soundsystem, the arrival of Jamie xx is one of the weekend's most anticipated events. Coming a long way in a relatively short time, much was demanded of the talented young producer. However fans needn't have worried. Jamie xx responds by raising his game, pushing the crowd to ever further levels of euphoria. A poignant ‘New York Is Killing Me’ gets the moshing started, with the simple visuals allowing fans to focus on his productions. Ending with a polite wave to the crowd, Jamie xx departs as fans make their way to the Main Stage.

Paolo Nutini brings down the curtain on RockNess 2011, with the Paisley lad on exuberant form. Opening with that old chestnut ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ Paolo is clearly enjoying himself. An always extrovert personality, the Scottish singer is totally at ease with the Dores audience. An enormous crowd descends on the Main Stage, and as the fireworks explode overhead its clear that plenty of them will be back next year.

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