Summer 2016 is well underway and that can only mean one thing; festival time. In the UK, we’re lucky to have a huge number of music festivals to choose from; whether it’s the big, famous names like Glastonbury and Reading & Leeds, or if it’s the smaller, more boutique events in idyllic locations.
One such festival which has been growing in reputation over the past couple of years is Brew at the Bog in Inverness. Held between June 3rd-4th, the weekend-long event is one of the first festivals of the summer, and boasts a stellar lineup of homegrown talent and hotly tipped artists. This is a festival which champions the best of Scotland’s alternative scene, and is one for the true music fans who want to hear the best new talent around.
Held at Bogbain Farm in Inverness, the festival has a truly unique setting, as seen when it won ‘Most Unusual Venue’ at the Scottish Event Awards in 2012. Meanwhile, it extended to a two-day event last year; proof of its growing popularity. It may not have the big names or huge crowds of your standard, mainstream festival, but it certainly makes up for it with atmosphere, new talent, location and brew.
This year, Brew at the Bog is headlined by Scottish favourites The Lafontaines, who will appear on Friday, and Idlewild, who will appear on Saturday. Aside from these, the lineup boasts an eclectic mix of indie, folk and electronic music.
To make things a little easier, GIGsoup have picked out a few acts who you shouldn’t miss:
THE VAN T’S
Quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most exciting emerging acts, The Van T’s have a heavy 90s inspired grunge-pop vibe that’s impossible not to love. Their amped-up, grungy guitar riffs hit you with a wall of huge sonic proportions, while the joint vocal delivery from the van Thompson twins is captivating and energising. Heavy with reverb, they have a sound which raw and layered with genres, as they bring together a number of disparate influences to great effect. Verging on surf-rock, shoe-gaze and grunge-pop, this band ache to be heard in the sunshine (fingers crossed). They play the Friday of the Brew at the Bog.
WHITE are a hard band to pin down genre-wise, but they’ve been deservedly gaining a lot of attention over the past year. Their name has an ironic contrast to their colourful sound as they bring together so many eclectic influences to great effect; it’s as if eighties art-pop meets post-punk with a modern spin. One thing is for sure though; there is an immediacy and infectiousness about their music that makes them a hugely exciting live prospect. These guys will have the fields of Bogbain Farm dancing on Saturday.
A former student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Christopher Duncan is a singer-songwriter from Glasgow whose debut album ‘Architects’ was nominated for the 2015 Mercury Prize. Recorded in his Glasgow home studio, the album was one of the most well-crafted and sophisticated releases of last year, combining his classical and modern influences to create beautiful choral harmonies and acoustic instrumentation. This will be a brilliant chance to catch his set with a very busy summer ahead, including an appearance at Glastonbury. His hypnotic, dream-pop sound should make lovely listening on the Saturday evening in Bogbain Farm.
Be Charlotte is one of the most innovative acts to emerge from Scotland in some time. The 18 year old from Dundee has been the talk among the tastemakers and bloggers for a while now; she sings, she raps, she beatboxes, she produces and even helps to make her own instruments. A very skilled musician and performer, Charlotte is breaking the boundaries of pop music and what it means to be a singer-songwriter with her exciting fusion of dance, pop and hip-hop. Having performed at T in the Park last year, and made waves at SXSW in the US, it surely won’t be long until the Dundonian hits the big time. Originally a solo artist, she now performs with a band, making her live show all the more captivating. A must-see on the Saturday at Brew at the Bog.
This Glasgow band will be representing good old fashioned rock’n’roll at Brew at the Bog this year. With their distinctive blues rock sound, the four-piece are influenced by the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alabama 3 and The Black Keys. With frantic, dirty guitar riffs, punchy bass lines and deep vocals, there is something raw and gritty about Tijuana Bibles that makes them a captivating live outfit. These guys will be playing the Saturday of the festival.
At only 19, KLOE is another rising Scottish newcomer who has been making a name for herself over the past year with some epic electro-pop tunes. Hailing from Clydebank in Glasgow, the singer has already signed a record deal with Columbia Records, and has notched up some pretty impressive support slots with the likes of Marina & the Diamonds and Charlie Puth. Her ‘Teenage Craze’ EP, released earlier this year, showed off her deft songwriting skills, so wonderfully refreshing and honest, with her electro-pop sound influenced by the likes of Chvrches and Lorde. She will be playing a set on the Saturday of the festival.
This Brew at the Bog article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor.