This time next week Doune The Rabbit Hole will be well under way, catering to the boutique festival market with it's own brand of DIY, carefree, and creative vibes.
The festival moves this year to the Cardross Estate near Port Of Monteith in Stirlingshire, and features a pretty impressive line up. Weekend camping tickets are available on the gate, costing £95, or available in advance here costing £88 and saving you a couple of quid. Day tickets will set you back £30 and kids under 12 go free!
For the past two years Scottish Fiction have been along (you can check last years review here, here and here) and we will also be along this year too. You can check out the full line up and stage splits on the Doune The Rabbit Hole website, although be wary of last minute changes in acts appearing or stage times etc. I'd recommend keeping an eye on stage times when you get there.
So over the days of the festival here's the Scottish Fiction picks:
Let's look at the head liners first because there's a plethora of talent on offer for you to decide who will close your Friday night. There's going to be a tough call between PAWS and Rick Redbeard. On the one hand you have the fast paced, emotion laden, grunge tinged alt-rock of PAWS who take to the Baino stage, and in the other hand you have the equally emotive, stunningly raw fol-rock sounds of Rick Redbeard on the Fruit Stand. Redbeard played the festival last year with his cronies The Phantom Band who were excellent, while PAWS in their live incarnation are unstoppable. I can't pick between them, so you'll have to.
Elsewhere on Friday you'll find Garden Of Elks opening up proceedings on the Jabberwocky stage for fans alt-rock, in particularly the Pixies. When Julian Corrie a.k.a. Miaoux Miaoux plays live special things happen. The music contained on his SAY Award long-listed album, 'Light Of The North' invokes emphatic feelings of joy, and when watching his Duracell bunny style performance one can't help but be impressed. Go see his set in the Baino stage or miss out.
We Are The Physics are playing early on on the Jabberwocky stage, and their tracks 'Napoleon Loves Josephine' and 'Goran Ivanisevic' will excite and fire up the audience. Never ones to take themselves seriously, except in matters of making fantastic music, the band are worth checking out. Also I cannot recommend Hector Bizerk highly enough. They have been one of my favourite bands of the festival season, frontman Louie rightly grows in stature and confidence with each performance, delivering fantastically witty and insightful lyrics, and drummer Audrey is one of Scotland's finest, throwing out tightly worked beats like they are going out of fashion. Lastly for some singer songwriter action of the highest variety check out Esperi on the Inspire stage.
On Saturday the festival is blessed by the presence of the Neu Reekie Takeover, the avant-garde spoken word, film and music collective. They bring with them a whole heap of acts including Edinburgh's krautrockers Birdhead, and fellow capital dwellers The Machine Room, girl pop-group TeenCanteen who will appeal to fans of The Beach Boys and The Ronettes alike, and lastly head-liners Nevada Base who on recent single 'Foresight' displayed that LCD Soundsystem have not died and are well and alive in our fair shores.
Displaying the same good judgement as ourselves the festival have paired Shambles Miller and Beerjacket, both singer songwriters of prominence who played the Scottish Fiction Presents: Aye Tunes vs, Peenko gig back in February, together on the Fruit Stand stage. Shambles plays guitar and sings witty socially conscious songs, while Beerjacket also plays guitars and espouses beautiful songs of love, life and death.
Over in the Baino stage electro alt-rockers Machines In Heaven march on in their conquering of Scottish festivals. When the band get into full swing live they combine guitars, synths and bass to bombastic effect. Fans of post rock and electronica can combine both loves here.
Turning attention to the Jabberwocky stage, Panda Su is definitely one to catch playing in the late afternoon her sultry voice dripped over sumptuous electronica. And The Pastels' feel good breezy vibes will match the ethos and feel of the festival. Expect tracks from their album 'Slow Summits', released earlier this year after a 16 year wait.
There's an Olive Grove Records double header up for grabs in the afternoon on the Jabberwocky stage. With a unthinkable array of musical instruments, songstress Jo Mango excels in delighting audiences. Each times I've enjoyed her set, it's been in an small and intimate setting, so I'm excited to see how her on stage chat, always a lovely factor in her sets, and her delightful songs translate to a bigger stage. Following her are Olive Grove friends Randolph's Leap, their cheerful brand of indie-pop the tonic for propelling you forward into the final day of the festival.
I leave you on this preview finally with two very talented female singer songwriters. Firstly playing on the Fruit Stand stage is Siobhan Wilson. Five years living in France plus bags of natural talent combine in Siobhan's delicate vocals and spell binding melodies. Miss her at your peril. And lastly closing proceedings on the same stage is Rachel Sermanni, creator of the album 'Under Mountains' which still enthralls me. Folk music with a modern face, make sure you catch her set for the perfect end to your weekend.