Aug 5 2008 By Chris Clements
DESPITE the hideous weather and oceans of mud, everyone who attended Live At Loch Lomond were more than pleased with the two-day extravaganza.
Struggling my way through the mud of the campsite and the arena itself, I managed to catch some of the best performances of this year’s festival season, including punk-rock legends the Sex Pistols, ‘90s favourites Ocean Colour Scene and Babyshambles star Pete Doherty, who performed a solo acoustic set by the bonnie banks.
Along with the big names, music fans were also treated to a two hour set from DJ Carl Cox in the venue’s huge dance tent, which attracted many visitors who seemed to spend the entire weekend there.
The party atmosphere got everyone in the mood, especially three lads from Fraserburgh, who appeared dressed as the Three Amigos, complete with shades to cover their bleary, drunken eyes.
On the Saturday, former Moloko vocalist Roisin Murphy delighted fans with her brand of dance-pop and a multitude of hasty costume changes, which didn’t stop there being howls among the crowd when she wore sweater that proved to be too tight, giving the packed arena a bit of an eyeful.
Later, headliners Groove Armada wowed those watching at the main stage with some electronic beats and a spectacular light show.
Of course, the main draw for many of the festival-goers was the appearance of Pete Doherty, who filled the top spot at the Good Vibrations stage with only his guitar for company.
The former Libertines singer was greeted with such rapturous applause upon arrival that I felt he could have done anything – eat a banana, or polish his shoes, or lie in a drunken mess – and the fans still would call it a great gig.
I for one found it dreadfully dull, except when Pete dodged a lump of mud that was hurled his way by an ecstatic fan.
He left a happy audience, only to later sink on Loch Lomond after commandeering a rowing boat.
On Sunday, revellers braved the heavy rain to watch a great list of acts, including the Complete Stone Roses and Idlewild, before singing along to some of (an older-looking) Ocean Colour Scene’s anthemic hits.
Sex Pistols certainly pleased their fans at the end of the night. Johnny Rotten showed everyone that he still has the ability to shock after his tongue-in-cheek mockery of Islam and the Scots’ way of "wanting their money’s worth".
However, the veterans played a fantastic set, with many die-hard fans singing along the whole time.
Meanwhile, on the Good Vibrations stage, the Happy Mondays treated their lot with an equally triumphant gig.
Yet despite the big names on show, I can safely say the best band I saw all weekend was a blues/acid house collective Alabama 3, most famous for the opening tune on classic TV show The Sopranos. The group were truly on-form, providing the crowd with a flawless performance, all delivered in a droll, world-weary manner.
However, I received a shock upon meeting them backstage when I discovered that they are not actually American (despite the accents and the Southern-Gothic imagery) but hail from the exotic climes of Possil in Glasgow and various parts of England and Wales.
Another special mention should go to Motherwell-based band, The La Fontaines, who travelled through the campsite to treat drunken fans to their own unusual brand of hip-hop/indie-pop, complete with hand drum and acoustic guitars.
All in all, Live At Loch Lomond was a resounding success, even if the warm weather swiftly made way for a heavy down-pour. I certainly left the event feeling tired but happy to have been there.