Midstock 2015 – I Wish I Was There! – Review
Everyone needs a holiday. Opportunities to get away from it all for a week or two so you can switch off, recharge the batteries, get sunburned and drink beer don’t come along all that often. So when the chance comes along you’ve got to take it! Unfortunately for decibelROGUE, our holiday to Malta meant having to miss out on what is probably the last outdoor music festival of the summer, Midstock 2015. And for us, plus anyone else who wasn’t lucky enough to be there, it was a VERY big miss, for reasons which will become apparent later.
Fortunately, decibelROGUE could call on our mate Alan Swan to pack his camera and head over to Dalkeith to photograph the day’s events on our behalf.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Midstock, it’s a music festival held in the grounds of Dalkeith Country Park, just outside Edinburgh. Despite only being in it’s second year, organisers Wullie Slight and Scott Gunn managed to pull together an extremely strong and diverse lineup of artists and bands to see out the summer in style.
As you’d expect at events such as Midstock, the early part of the lineup is dominated by up and coming bands and emerging artists. This year featured The Ooh La La’s, The Rah’s and Rewind. Obviously, I wasn’t there to see their performances, so I can’t really tell you much about them. However, there was another band who also featured early doors that I am familiar with – The Volts. The Volts are an Edinburgh based AC/DC tribute band who have been rocking along for over a decade. And decibelROGUE’s intrepid photographer Alan Swan confirmed that they went down a storm with their set of AC/DC classics.
We last saw Fatherson kick a hole in the sky at Doune The Rabbit Hole back in August. I said at the time that although they’re relatively new kids on the block they can give more established Scottish rock bands a run for their money. These guys seriously rock! Frontman Ross Leighton has a very impressive vocal range and there’s real depth to their songwriting. Keep an eye out for them.
Next up were The Flavours. Steve Davidson and his band have been stalwarts of the Edinburgh music scene for years, and spent seven years as resident band at the city’s Jam House. The band’s lineup consists of musicians who have worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including the likes of Elton John and Paul McCartney. Plus, some of the guys have enjoyed significant chart success in their own right. Yeah, they’re a covers band, but they are one of the best covers bands you’re ever likely to come across. Perfect Saturday afternoon stuff!
After a DJ set from MC Mallorca Lee we reached the business end of the day’s line up. By the time The Hoosiers took to the stage, the site was packed close to it’s 5000 capacity. And the band treated the audience to brilliant renditions of their biggest hits to date including the likes of Goodbye Mr A, Worried About Ray and Cops and Robbers. However, as good as it would have been to see The Hoosiers perform live, the highlight of the festival for me and a sizeable portion of the crowd was coming on stage next…
As many of you will already know, Fish has decided to retire from the music industry in 2017. So opportunities to see him perform live are going to start to dry up pretty soon. However, Fish’s set at Midstock took on extra significance since it is the last time that he’d play Marillion’s breakthrough album ‘Misplaced Childhood’ in it’s entirety on an outdoor stage in the UK. A stage that just so happened to be in his hometown of Dalkeith. Add these things together and what you have is one tremendously special music event.
So, for someone like myself who bought ‘Misplaced Childhood’ when it was released back in ’85 and loved tracks such as ‘Kayleigh’ and ‘Lavender’, missing out on his performance here was absolutely gutting! Happily though, Fish’s ‘Farewell to Childhood Tour’ continues in December with 8 dates throughout the UK. So we all have one last window of opportunity to see him perform the whole album live.
Headliners The Fratellis wrapped up the evening with a typically barnstorming set, but you can’t help but think that the day belonged to the big man from Dalkeith. Midstock’s organisers deserve a huge pat on the back for managing to book Fish for this year’s festival. Timing is (they say) everything, and theirs was perfect in securing the big fella for one of the most special music performances of the summer. After all, next year is too late!
Midstock 2016 is already a work in progress and early bird tickets will be available at the end of this month. We’ll keep you posted on the lineup details for next year’s event as soon as they become available.
Now, I really gotta sort out the timing of my holidays better next year…
Visit the official Midstock website HERE.
You can check out more of Alan Swan’s gig photography on his Facebook page by clicking HERE.