Earlier in the year I was saying to some of my friends that I was planning to go to a few festivals this year (hasn’t quite worked out) and they said “ah, but are you going to the BEST festival?”. “What ones that?”. “Jocktoberfest”. “Shut the front door”. Or words similar to that anyway. So I checked it out when I got home, and sure enough it’s a thing. And the best thing apparently. So what is Joctoberfest?
Well, it’s a one day music festival hosted by the Black Isle Brewery with craft beers, good music, bratwursts and excellent craic. So I’m told, I’ll know for sure in a month. It was free in the past but due to new entertainment laws (boo!) they have to charge this year. It’s only 20 quid (and a fiver for camping) though so no complaints. You’ll pay more than that for some gigs. So go buy a ticket. Well, finish reading this first as I’m not done yet.
They’ve announced some of the beers but I can’t speak to that as I’m not an ale expert. In fact that’s the one thing I’m worried about as I’m not an ale guy. I like some IPAs though. My favourites that I’m aware of are Punk IPA and 5AM Saint so if someone out there can point me in the direction of something I should probably like then let me know, I’ll buy you a tipple in return. So have a look at the site for beers if you ARE an ale person.
Bands though, bands I can do. In the no particular order that the festival put them out in:
Hoodja, a couple of fiddles, a guitar and a drum kit. Playing that good jumpy ceilidh type music to jump and heeuch along to. Unfortunately their site appears to be down so can’t get a full picture for myself, haven’t seen them live before, but the tune on the Facebook page makes me happy enough.
We See Lights from the capital are an indie folk band. Definitely my kinda thing. A bunch of guitars, a xylophone and some interesting percussion in addition to normal drums. I’d make band comparisons but they’d be at a similar level and you might not know them. Heartfelt lyrics, nice harmonising, quite bouncy.
Miniature Dinosaurs from Stirling, near Tillicoutry furniture fans. A poppy indie rock band. Interesting sounding singer, kind of like the guy from The Divine Comedy, the standard rock instruments and a bit of synth. Damned fine stuff.
The Merrylees, in their own words Psychedelic Western Pop. A little bit country, occasional big band drum riffs, a little bit blues rock, all twisted around a wee bit. Wouldn’t be out of place in a Tarantino sound track, or a Burton one at times. Twisty fiddle bits. New to me, very interesting.
The Galipaygos, just saw them at the showcase the other day. Your bound to have seen them at some point, melodic americana type music. Very passionate singer, and if you HAVEN’T seen them then you should as they’re rather good they are.
Esperi, now how to describe Esperi. Well it’s a music project by Chris Lee-Marr who plays a host of instruments, and occasionally some friends. He doesn’t PLAY his friends, he sometimes has friend playing with him. On instruments… move on Dave. A range of sounds, mellow relaxing tunes… The best comparison I can come up with is RM Hubbert really, and he’s recorded with him so that fits. Perfect thing to listen to with a nice beer or after a hard day.
Easy Tigers, a band coming up from Leith. Mellow folk rock music with twiddly electric and accoustic guitar motifs. Little americana-y too. That almost sounds like I know what I’m talking about so it’s probably way off base.
If you haven’t heard The Whisky River Band yet then I’m shocked. Go get a copy of their album, you have enough time to listen to it a couple of thousand times before the fest. Local folk rock gods fronted by the best beard in the Inverness music scene. Worth the ticket price alone. I might be a bit of a fan.
Todd Cook, a bluesy fella with a guitar, chunks of moothy and some other instruments if he has people with him. Very chilled. There’s a bit of Ben Howard about his voice too.
And finally, though this isn’t in any kind of order so that doesn’t mean anything, Toby Michaels Rolling Damned, fronted by another “best beard” competitor. Somewhat epic rock right from these parts. I say these parts as they’re all dotted around a bit. Well worth a listen.
You can have a look at some pretty pictures from last years fest, taken by Houdi right here. Yes I do link to other, arguably probably better, blogs. Why the hell not?
NOW go buy a ticket. Cause….well how could you not, that’s a lot of bang for your buck.
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