Woodzstock 2024 – Review

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A review of the music and vibe of Woodzstock 2024 held on the 15th of June.

Woodzstock has battled through many adversities since it’s first festival in 2017, but it has found the perfect mix of a family-friendly environment, local musicians, and decent beer, that has rewarded it’s tenacity.

A slight disclaimer: this was my first time visiting the festival since mini gigs (just turning one) joined the team, and the family-friendly credentials of the festival were tested to the fullest. Woodzstock lived up to its family-friendly tag with flying colors, from clean toilets and changing areas to the general feel and space of the event.

It’s impossible to argue with the festival’s support for local music. As we entered the gates, we caught the last few minutes of the Iodynes. Although it wasn’t long enough to gauge the impact of recent personnel changes, it was certainly a strong start to the day. We managed to catch more of Kenna Ross and her band; the final song ‘Northbound’ was described by Kenna as a more upbeat tune. It’s a luscious track, and we look forward to catching more as they formally launches her album at Under the Canvas on the 14th of July.

Wee James had just recently been announced as support for Callum Beattie at the Usher Hall later in the month. Today, he played an eclectic mix of covers ranging from KT Tunstall to a more family-friendly version of Gerry Cinnamon’s ‘Belter’. While these were certainly crowd-pleasers, finishing on his own tune ‘Clear Blue Sky’ left us looking forward to hearing more of his own material.

Catching up with Daniel of HJEM after the gig, he mentioned the band relished the challenge of playing in a more acoustic form. Despite a slightly different approach for the trio, it was an impressive set, and the music translated well to the different delivery. The guys are heading to the studio soon, so expect new recordings shortly.

Bella favourites, the ukulele-wielding Fair Trickit, entertained their audience with a mixture of covers and original material. One cover, ‘Stick Season’, was performed with some hesitation as Wee James had “smashed it earlier.” However, comparing both was like comparing oranges and lemons. We definitely had a preference for their original material more, especially ‘TinnyTime’, ‘Take Me Back’, and the angsty, funny new track ‘Girlfriend’.

Whether you enjoy Mac/DC, the Highland tribute to AC/DC, really depends on how much you like the Australian veteran rockers. Judging by the head rocking and singing along, there were quite a few fans. You cannot deny that the band enjoyed every second of the performance, especially Jim Kennedy, the band’s version of Angus Young, who seemed to have the most fun.

Algorithm garnered perhaps the biggest crowd of the day at the Haybarn stage, and deservedly so. The band recently acquired a drummer, Sven MacAlpine, which added to the anticipation. Led by Amy Mullen’s vocals, Algorithm crossed genres with unnerving ease, with a playfulness in the tunes emphasised by Bev Fraser’s masterful sax playing. Algorithm’s vibe is very certainly upbeat and fun, no surprise that there was plenty dancing too .

clairescott  15 06 24 Tuesday accord  woodstock DSC 1038 530x374 - Woodzstock 2024 - Review

The Tuesday Accord provided a definite change of pace and a mellow respite from the high-energy, cover-heavy preceding acts. Frontman Graeme Gilchrist’s voice had been causing him difficulty, but he managed to keep going throughout the set. The Tuesday Accord are a talented group that deserves attention, and despite vocal issues, their tunes shone through.

Our last trip to the Haybarn saw us catch The Dazed Digital Age, stalwarts of the local scene, who benefited from the more intimate surroundings. Their tunes always feel best served bouncing off the walls of venues. They debuted the perfectly named ‘Paradisco’ and it is a typically intense set, managed with ease by Gordon McKerrow

The start of the triple headliners saw The Laurettes enter the fray. This was the second of three festival slots in the Highlands for the trio this year. It’s easy to see why they are in such demand, with covers and mash-ups. Their original material fits in well too, covering subjects such as a night out in Fort William, Guinness, festivals, and even a tribute to witches of the past. It is a contagious, high-energy set.

The Supernaturals are perhaps best known for one epic hit featured in various TV programs and adverts. The Glasgow band has been on the go for over 30 years, and it shows in the most positive way. They are a tight unit that impresses from beginning with ‘The Submarine Song’ to the inevitable, smile-inducing finish.

At this point, the rain, which had been promised all day, started. With a baby in tow, it was time to make a quick exit. On our way home, we pondered our day. The time had flown by, and the two stages complemented each other well, with the Haybarn hosting new/emerging music and the main stage hosting acts aimed at getting and keeping the party going.The decision to keep Woodenspoonz at 2023 prices was much appreciated, as was the effort to keep better quality beers and ciders. The food vendors complemented each other well, with the chicken burger and beef dripping fried chips being particular standouts.

In a climate where numerous festivals struggle to stay afloat, Woodzstock has done well to create a family-friendly environment with local and contemporary music. Another year and another success which couldn’t help making us Smile.

Photos from the Woodzstock can be seen HERE.

A notefrom the editor

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Chris Lemon
Chris Lemon
A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.If you want get in touch you can contact me direct at invernessgigs@gmail.com

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