Faultline Aftershock, at Ironworks Venue, Inverness on the 4th of November, 2016. Review.
Having been only 4 years old when the first Faultline Festival was held and only 10 years old when the last one was run in 1992 I had never had the chance to experience Faultline. Having heard stories over the years about the festival and some of it performers like the Proclaimers, I was intrigued as to what it was all about.
So when I strolled in to a half full Ironworks on Friday night I admit I thought that I was at the wrong event. On the stage were three performers, with a very 80’s indie sound coming out of them, The band were The White House Tapes. First impression was that my parents had decided that day to start a band and somehow had managed to get a slot on stage at the Ironworks.
As they band played I was hopeful that they would improve as they had a very harsh bass and poor vocals. They played one of their tracks called Sun, which for a moment make the band sound and look like an older version of The Smashing Pumpkins, with a feel that they were getting in to their stride, only for it to go back to the way it was straight after the track was done. The guitars were so loud at one point that you couldn’t make out the vocals, which in truth was a blessing in disguise.
The next act announced to appear were The Lush Rollers who came on to the stage to a good response and as the hall was starting to fill up. As soon as the band started to play there was movement in the crowd as people moved closed to the stage and started to dance. They played new track Hands and Knees, to which they said they had only ever played 4 or 5 times together in rehearsals. That track along with Fade Out Tonight brought a nice mixture of rock and a twinge of country. For a band that have a tendency to go on hiatus for periods of time, it was a sharp performance and one that the crowd really got in to.
Next act to grace the Faultline stage was Sara Bills and the Has-Beens and they got straight in to it with Yellowfield, a fast paced number which outlined their intentions from the off. They followed this up with The Morning, a song with a slower start but a really nice build up. The one that stuck with me though was the brilliant Underdog, a great punk riff that pulls you in by the scruff of the neck and refuses to slacken its grip.
Iain McLaughlin and The Outsiders proclaimed that “We are The Outsiders, this is going to be loud and we are going to get sweaty!” A truer statement had not been said all night as they played tracks from their debut album Wearealloutsiders and EP Falling through the dark. The performance that the band processed here was nothing short of excellent, with one person in the crowd stating that they reminded him of Biffy but with balls.
The one act on the bill that I had seen previously and was looking forward to catching again was local lad James Mackenzie and he didn’t disappoint. The previous times I had caught James he was playing solo but tonight he had the full backing band with him and that inclusion paid dividends as it brought a fuller sound to the Ironworks. James played a selection of songs from his 2 released EP’s Winter and Curtain Road as the crowd called out for more.
Stetsonhead, alt country rockers take to the stage as the last act of the night, just as the party mode hits its peak within the crowd. The band who are regulars in the Market Bar, include members who had been involved with the original Faultline festival, went out to make the Ironworks stage their own and from the response of the crowd, that goal was achieved. A great band with a performance worthy of finishing off a great event.
After near 25 years in the wilderness the Faultline festival was brought back with the purpose to showcase some of the talent that is in the local area and big tick has to go on to the check list as the variety of the acts on display was the perfect way of doing this. With more events to happen across Inverness over the coming days, we can but hope that this event will return soon and not take another 14 years to grace the Highland capital.