Wickerman Festival - East Kirkcarswell Farm, near Kirkcudbright, Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jul 2013 (4 stars)

Dexys, Nile Rodgers, Casual Sex and Roman Nose are highlights of annual fire-fuelled fest

Wickerman Festival - East Kirkcarswell Farm, near Kirkcudbright, Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jul 2013

During a festival which featured a broader range of cross-generational guests than ever, it was the old-stagers and the young pretenders who caught our ears the most. There was one of each of the former per day, with evening turning to night on Friday to the sound of Nile Rodgers’ Chic, the disco guitarist and producer enjoying something of a revival this year thanks to his appearance on Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’.

Yet really, music this joyous never deserves to go out of fashion, and Rodgers and his white-suited band delivered a classy set consisting not just of Chic classics like ‘;Everybody Dance’, ‘Le Freak’ and ‘Good Times’, but of writer-producer hits including Diana Ross’ ‘I’m Coming Out’ and ‘Upside Down’, Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’ and David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. ‘In case you're wondering "why are they playing that?"’ he informed with deserved pride, ‘it's because I made it in the first place.'

A day later something similarly joyous happened, as the smartly suit and fedora-wearing Kevin Rowland took to the stage with his reconvened Dexys and delivered some of the greatest music from the same era, albeit from this side of the Atlantic. Although his band’s recent and much-belated new album One Day I’m Going to Soar has taken up the bulk of their theatrical sets lately, this one was cut down in favour of the hits, with infectious recent track ‘Incapable of Love’ best holding its own with the mighty ‘Geno’, ‘I Love You (Listen to This) and of course ‘Come On Eileen’.

Other high-ups on the bill included KT Tunstall and Saturday headliner Amy Macdonald, both perfectly mellow listening in the glow of such beautiful weather, as Primal Scream brought Friday to a typically fiery close (although not as much as the flaming giant Wickerman figure who traditionally closes things here). Yet one diversion away from the main arena – more of a small valley – on Saturday would have been well worth it. Playing next to one another in tiny tents, Glasgow’s boisterous and viscerally witty Casual Sex were a must-see once again, while cataclysmic, wrestler-masked electro and drums trio Roman Nose are fast becoming one of the most memorable must-see acts in Scotland.


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