Sunday at Doune and we’ve found a touch of familiarity about the site, only today it seems to be filled with yellow as Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 closing things tonight and their fans seem to engulf the festival site in what could resemble a cult if you weren’t aware a silly, fun-times band were at the centre of it.
Still our day starts with food, and the food at Doune is the best you’ll eat at any festival; I opt for the French toast with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, while Jess turns up with the most colourful breakfast roll I’ve ever witnessed containing; egg, smoked salmon and avocado.
Indeed today is full of indulgence in the food department, from barbeque salmon, to beer roasted brisket and plenty of veggie alternatives too it’s a joy to have this many options at a festival of this size.
For the music my day starts in the Baino tent, as The Shithawks deliver a loud, fast rock ‘n’ roll assault on the those that have hit the darkened tent in the blissful early afternoon sunshine.
When the Dundee act hit their groove it’s powerfully engaging stuff, if a bit overwhelming for those trying to ease themselves out of a Sunday morning hangover.
Still, there’s plenty to dance as The Shithawks’ funk enthused basslines and infectious garage punk vocals, along with a never giving rhythm get things moving early on; it’s powerful stuff; could maybe have done with being a couple of bevvy’s down the line though and I don’t remember them having Aussie accents last time I saw them.
Following the riotous start we find a nice spot to the side of the Jabberwocky stage in preparation for Prehistoric Friends.
Even through the majority of the crowd remain seated (except an the young woman performing yoga with her daughter near the front of the stage – you wouldn’t see this at any other festival) it’s clear they’re enjoying not only the beautiful weather, but also the atmospheric dream-pop coming from the stage.
Originally a duo Liam Chapman and Nichola Kerr are joined by a full band, allowing Chapman to showcase his enchanting vocals.
Prehistoric Friends’ lush synth based tones on a sunny day are the perfect remedy for a hangover and a highlight of the weekend.
Moving back to the Baino tent for something extremely different – Halfrican pack a punch as their powerhouse guitar pop shakes you awake.
Their performance is high pace, energetic and intense, but much like The Shithawks feels like it’s in too early a slot.
Nevertheless, it is clear the trio are enjoying themselves as they bounce around the stage in their matching outfits and the crowd clearly share the feeling as the beat drives the performance forward, allowing Sancho Buna’s cheeky sneered vocals to shine, a few even decide to go ‘taps aff’.
Back at the Jabberwocky stage is Tuff Love, whose soft harmonies soaring over fuzzy guitars are as effortlessly vibrant as ever.
Their set is minimalistic, but mind-blowing and even through Suse Bear and Julie Eisenstein come as slightly shy, their music speaks for them gripping your attention and not letting it go.
Tuff Love are an extremely tight live band and deliver 45 minutes of grunged up pop goodness, which draws even the weariest of punters down to the front for a little dance.
Next on the Jabberwocky stage is the much talked about C Duncan and this was my first chance to catch him in a live setting and I’m not disappointed as his set seems perfectly suited for the early evening sunshine, as each track seems to seeks out the disappearing rays with fresh and lovely harmonies.
The general comparison Duncan seems to be receiving is to that of early Fleet Foxes, and it’s easy to see why as the gentle builds and lulling vocal style do posses an endearing campfire quality; a truly charming way to spend the sun’s descent.
I’ve heard good things about Be Charlotte over the last couple months and with Hector Bizerk’s own Audrey Tait on board I’m extremely excited to see what young Charlotte Brimner has to offer.
Brimner breaks the boundaries of what it means to be a singer-songwriter as not only does she sing, but also shows her true musicianship as she raps and plays while still managing to ooze bags of swagger, however Brimner’s voice is what really strikes you, as not only is it completely stunning, but utilised to its full potential, showcasing her unique tone and technical ability.
Then it’s the cheery fun festival finale back at the Jabberwocky stage as Them Beatles pull out their best psychedelia era Beatles attire, hit character and transport you back to the 60s for a set of sing-along fun.
It’s charming stuff, as they delivery an array of favourites in the most convincing fashion you’ll see; tribute acts might not be for everyone, but if you’re going to see one it may as well be Them Beatles.
Before the drive back to Glasgow for the ever-daunting Monday morning in work, I manage to catch a few minutes of the experimental, avant-garde, free jazz stylings of Death Shanties from under the big tree, and while their music takes some accustoming to it deservedly pulls a crowd.
Saxophonist Sybren Renema is situated in the tree with drummer Alex Neilson powering out franticly engrossing drums from the floor below, it’s attention grasping stuff and the ideally bizarre way to end a very special festival.
Words: Iain Dawson/Jess Lavin
Photos: Bill Gray