Party At The Palace 2015 Review Part 2
So, Day 2 of PATP15 and once again we had a pretty damned impressive array of talent waiting their turn to rock the Palace. And following on from Day 1, three more emerging artists had the opportunity to shine on the big stage.
First up was singer songwriter Ryan Alexander, and I have to say that I really like this fella. He’s got the voice, the moves and has charisma to burn. He’s currently being produced by Jud Mahoney who has himself worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Usher and Boys2Men. He delivered a really impressive set to kick the day off in style. And Ryan could show a certain Kanye West a thing or two about how a pro is SUPPOSED to react to having a duff mic!
Next we had another impressive singer songwriter in Scarlet Baxter. And I think I’ll just repeat my 3 word description I posted on decibel ROGUE’s Twitter feed during her performance: ‘What a voice!’ The one thing that stood out for me from Scarlet’s set was, well, absolutely everything! Great songs, great voice, tremendous stage presence. I could go on, but instead just click here to check out Scarlet’s video to ‘Backsliding’ to see for yourself.
Lucia Fontaine and The Dead Transmissions kicked things up a gear with a set that really pushed the right buttons for anyone with anything resembling a passing interest in the Ramones, or post-punk music in general. Their set was a mix of original work and cool interpretations of classics such as Be My Baby which had just the right amount of snarly guitars and attitude.
I have a fundamental disadvantage when it comes to describing the performance of multi-award winning, world-renowned Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. Namely that I don’t speak a word of Gaelic! However, I can spot a stunning vocalist when I hear one and Julie is certainly one of those. She has an utterly beautiful voice, and despite my lack of Gaelic, that didn’t lessen my appreciation. The highlight of Julie’s set for me was her Gaelic version of The Beatles classic ‘Blackbird’. Sublime is a word I don’t tend to use much, but it’s the best one I can think of to describe her version.
So, having chilled out to Julie Fowlis for a while, the audience was clearly in need of something to jump up and down to. So it was just as well that Jamie and Shoony were on hand to encourage everyone to do just that. They appeared at last years PATP as winners of the battle of the bands and returned this year, much higher up the running order, with a much bigger audience to play with. So did they get the party started? With catchy songs like ‘Anyway’ in their locker, coupled with vocalist Jamie’s boundless energy and enthusiasm, there was never any doubt! Great to have them back!
And then it got REALLY loud…
Pipe bands are great things. Rock bands are great things too. So, what do you get if you mix the two? Something brilliantly thunderous called The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, and a whole new genre of music called Bagrock – that’s what! The guys were fantastically entertaining. The range of rock songs they have adapted to incorporate Bagpipes is incredible, from the likes of Thunderstruck and Smoke on the Water to Fat Bottomed Girls and Eye of the Tiger, their set was flat-out awesome. It’s no wonder these guys are in demand all over the world. In fact they jetted in from Belgium to perform at PATP before heading straight to the US for a tour. If you haven’t seen them live before and they’re appearing at a venue near you, dont think about it, just go! Buy tickets so you can get in, obviously, but just go!
One of the great things about festivals is getting the opportunity to see lots of bands in a short period of time, many of whom you’d be seeing live for the first time. Scouting For Girls was one such band for me. And like The Feeling the previous day, I’d argue that as commercially successful as they may be, you really need to see tham perform live to appreciate just how good a band they really are. And what can I tell you – Roy, Greg and Pete were fantastic. They blasted through many of their hits like ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’ ‘This Ain’t a Lovesong’ and ‘Heartbeat’. But the highlight for me was When they followed up ‘I Wish I Was James Bond’ with a cover version of “Live And Let Die’. Brilliant!
And then came the moment the 5000 people in the audience (plus Susan Boyle who had joined us in the photopit area) had been waiting for…
NILE FREAKIN’ RODGERS!!!
I still can’t quite believe that Nile Rodgers actually performed a gig in Linlithgow. But he definitely did – I have the photographs to prove it! So, where do you start? Well, he kicked off his set with ‘Everybody Dance’ and then roughly 2 hours and 20 legendary hits later, he wrapped things up with ‘Good Times’. In between he well and truly put the ‘Party’ in ‘Party at the Palace’.
This was a brilliant showcase of just some of the hits Nile Rodgers has either written, produced and recorded for himself or other mega-successfull artists. Diana Ross, Madonna, David Bowie, Sister Sledge, Duran Duran, INXS and Daft Punk were just a few of the names that were dropped during the evening. It’s hard to imagine what the musical landscape would be like today without Nile Rodgers. He’s one of the few artists whose music is so engrained in the world’s consciousness, it’s hard to believe there’s anybody alive who hasn’t heard at least one of his songs. And the PATP audience sang and danced their hearts out to each and every one he played here.
As you’d expect, Chic’s current lineup is pretty awesome: Rich Hilton (keyboards), Steve Jankowski (trumpet), Bill Holloman (sax), Russell Graham (keyboards/vocoder), Jerry Barnes (bass), Ralph Rolle (drums), Folame (vocals), Kim Davis (vocals) and the main man himself Nile Rodgers (The Hitmaker). Drummer Ralph Rolle was at the centre of one of the highlights of my whole weekend. Anyone who has seen Chic’s set at Glastonbury from a couple of years back will know what’s coming next. ‘Lets Dance’ may be one of David Bowie’s biggest selling singles, but Ralph Rolle does it better! Honestly, how Ralph not only drums and sings, but also finds time to work the crowd into a jumping, arm waving, chanting frenzy is beyond me. But I could watch it all day!
Since Chic is a completely live band they can put little twists into, and change the arrangements of any song they play. They did this superbly with ‘Get Lucky’ where they inserted a really soulful intro into the song before launching into the familiar Daft Punk version.
Unfortunately, as with all good things, the show had to end. As is customary at his shows, ‘Good Times’ was the last song and Niles was joined onstage by a number of lucky guests, including Susan Boyle, to dance the last song away. I can’t really think of a superlative that’s superlative enough to describe the show Nile Rodgers and his band put on for us, it was that good. I’m just thankful that I’m able to say that I was there!
And on that note, it’s over to the organisers to find out how on earth they’re gonna top that for PATP16.
Yowser, yowser, yowser…