Hello and welcome to another instalment of ‘why the fuck am I reading this pish?!’ with your loyal and just-a-bit-too-salty host, Chips & Gravy! You might also ask yourself what shite I’m spouting this week, and that would be a fair question. This short ‘n’ spicy number is a spattering of my stream of questionable consciousness through this year’s Jocktoberfest! Exciting stuff, boys.
This was a strange year for myself; I arrived late due to having a steady job (I know, I don’t get it either) and one of our other Nettlers was otherwise incapacitated due to temporary disablement and heavy duty painkillers. Nevertheless, we persisted.
Due to my holding down of employment I missed all of Friday’s shenanigans, which is brand new ground for me. Generally speaking – Friday is when I drink all my weekend supply alcohol (and oftentimes other people’s supplies too, I never suggested I was a good person) and spend three hours trying to look myself in the eye the next morning. WELL, NOT THIS TIME! This time I got stuck into Saturday, and burgers.
Upon arrival, I realised I needed emergency burgers. The food at this year’s Jocktoberfest was incredible as always, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a round wee soul, and I like my meals. Equipped with fourteen dinners in hand, I wandered to the Hayloft Stage to be greeted by Coca Tenorio. I did not expect ethereal woman belting out strange Spanish folk beats, but I had no problem with it.
The first act I saw that really stuck out to me was Colin Cannon on the Hayloft Stage. He played some lovely, melodic tunes with some very skilled finger picking of his acoustic guitar. Colin has a warm, comforting voice, the kind you’d want to take home to sing to your granny. A bit like Paolo Nutini – but with slightly less whisky. Unfortunately I was unable to get any photos of Colin performing, but that’s because there was a bloody great crowd that I couldn’t get past. I’m at average nipple height, which is too small for normal-heighted people to see, but too tall to slip between their legs. Probably for the best, that last bit. My only issue with his set was that once The Dihydro came on the Barn Stage it became impossible to hear Colin. Clearly a scheduling oversight, but a shame. Especially because I’m not a Dihydro fan, but that’s another pish article for another pish day.
Being not-a-Dihydro fan, I stayed in the Hayloft for a while waiting for Sophie Bonadea, who was also waiting for the aforementioned to finish so people could hear her set. Sophie was very personable – funny, relaxed and cracking jokes about being pregnant and playing her set as a duet with the other half in-utero. Her sound was a laid back Americana style, with a gorgeous voice and lovely acoustic guitar strumming. She really suited the Americana vibe, and I absolutely loved her set (and her skirt, feel free to donate me it). I did notice at this point that the mixing desk is an iPad which was WEIRD. I also noticed at this point that I’m fucking ancient, and of course technology such as this exists in 2019. Moving swiftly on to the Barn Stage…
It appeared it was time to observe Be like Pablo – a band I’d heard about at various points and knew I should see. My first thought was “Weezer with a woman” – until I realised the singer was in fact a man. No biggie, just totally invalidates my insightful review. During their set, I realised the sound was terrible in the barn this year. It was really difficult to make out any of the lyrics, I couldn’t tell if the vocals were flat or the reverb made it sound that way, and the bass drowned out much of the other instruments. Previous years sound has been MUCH better, which is likely due to the new walls, concrete floor and decorative barrels backing the Barn Stage. Visually it was very appealing, however I can’t help but surmise that it affected the sound more than was originally anticipated. I felt bad for the band, but hey, at least they were having fun. Their second song sounded much better – the vocals and rhythm had a bit of a bit Fall Out Boy vibe – but it was still heavily impacted by the sound quality. It’s a shame as the band’s energy was great and I feel that in a different setting their gig would have been brilliant.
Overall, Jocktoberfest 2019 was fantastic – even though I had to miss half of it. The musicians were all high quality, talented and professional. What I personally enjoyed this year was that there were a few more artists from further afield. I’m of the opinion that local bands should be showcased first and foremost, but lately I’ve been finding that the same acts play the same places over and over, and the Inverness music scene is becoming a little samey for my liking. I really enjoyed the opportunity to see different artists than I usually would on any given Inverness weekend.
I also enjoyed the beer, but that’s to be expected.Follow us on social media