Day two of Electric Fields sees glorious sunshine hit Drumlanrig Castle as even bigger crowds gather for another jam-packed day of quality music.
Most of the day, it has to be said, is spent switching between the Stewart Cruikshank tent and Main Stage; both have ridiculously good lineups which showcase a good mix of upcoming talent and more well-known, established acts. Luckily, the set times are organised in such a way that leads to very few clashes, which means darting back and forth without missing much of the action.
For those smart enough to get down early, The Van T’s kick things off brilliantly on the Main Stage. The four-piece have been making waves around Scotland for a while and they certainly have the songs to back up the surrounding buzz. Blazing through their set with material from both EPs ‘Laguna Babe’ and ‘A Coming of Age’, they put in an impressive display full of heavy riffs, infectious melodies and glittery vibes. Their grunge-pop anthems are made for good weather as they look more than comfortable on the biggest stage. They end their set with a moving performance of ‘Seventeen’ by The Lapelles as a tribute to the late Gary Watson, which is suitably given a wonderful reception from the crowd.
Throughout the day, the Main Stage hosts a variety of acts of different genres, with Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 proving a real highlight with their colourful mash of ska, reggae, funk and pop. As the ultimate festival band, their set sees the Colonel orchestrate mass singalongs and lead a participatory lesson in road safety before a crowd-surfing inflatable is let loose. Having appeared at a number of festivals up and down the country, the outfit have gained a reputation for their live performances and therefore draw an impressive crowd of all ages. Exuding positivity from the get-go, it’s impossible not to leave their set without a smile on your face.
Later on, Glasgow punk rock duo Honeyblood bring totally different vibes but are equally as enjoyable. Blasting through a ferocious set full of favourites such as ‘Super Rat’, they sound refreshed and ready to make their return; their second album ‘Babes Never Die’ is due for release soon. New track ‘Ready for the Magic’ sounds even better live than on record, receiving a suitably rousing reaction.
Meanwhile, the Stewart Cruikshank/TTV sees a stellar lineup of Scottish talent on show on Saturday with impressive sets from the likes of Be Charlotte, The Ninth Wave, Model Aeroplanes and WHITE. With much hype surrounding her, Be Charlotte draws a sizeable audience for a short but sweet performance. A staple part of the festival circuit this summer, Charlotte and her two-piece band make use of loops, spoken word and multiple instruments to great effect, giving her set impressive range and depth. Particular highlights include new single ‘Machines that Breathe’ and an acapella ballad that sees her hush the audience with her immaculate vocals.
Following this, The Ninth Wave crank things up a notch with a heavier set, winning the tent over with their addictive melodies and synth-heavy sound. Moving from the upbeat and catchy ‘Upstairs People’ to the hypnotising ‘Only the Young’, they give their eighties new wave influences a modern spin. Both tracks from forthcoming double A side ‘Human’ and ‘Nothing is Certain’ are given outings, indicating that this four-piece have a lot more exciting things to come.
Later in the afternoon, WHITE play the same stage and put in one of the best performances of the weekend. The five-piece have become absolute pros at playing live, releasing balloons into the crowd and generating chaos from the moment they walk on stage. Leo Condie commands from the front with a typically energetic performance, filling the tent with his imposing and distinctive vocal delivery. For a band who have yet to release an EP, they have an impressive list of material to their name already with songs such as ‘Blush’, ‘Living Fiction’ and the most recent ‘I Liked You Better When You Needed Me’ receiving rapturous reactions.
Of course, the more established acts do their best to keep up. Embodying all that is rock n roll, there’s a typically raucous performance from Fat White Family who bring a whole different kind of dark, punk energy to the festival. With frontman Lias Saoudi as captivating as ever, they incite a mass of crowd-surfing and fist-punching in the air. Their second LP ‘Songs for Our Mothers’ sounds even better live than on record, posing a thrilling new kind of menace.
Meanwhile, over on the Main Stage, Everything Everything are having the opposite effect. With Jonathan Higgs’ falsetto in full swing, they have the crowd dancing along to their syncopated rhythms and quirky melodies. With has an emphasis on the upbeat material, there’s plenty of infectious hooks for singing along.
With the crowd suitably warmed up, it’s time for the legendary Primal Scream to close the festival. Much like The Charlatans the previous night, they provide a headline set worthy of any festival with a range of material spanning decades from their long, illustrious career. Opening with the classic ‘Movin On Up’, other highlights include the synth-heavy ‘When the Light Gets In’, the head-spinning ‘Swastika Eyes’, ‘Rocks’ and of course, the hedonistic throwback ‘Loaded’. Unlike Fat White Family who were performing earlier in the day, Primal Scream no longer hold the same sense of unpredictability that they did back in the day, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Charm and coolness personified, Bobby Gillespie is still one of the best frontmen around and is able to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand from start to finish. It’s the perfect way to end an excellent weekend.
This Electric Fields article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor. All photo’s from official Electric Fields source