Basement Jaxx vs Orbital in RockNess battle of the lightshows

Dazzling close to the Saturday night

Basement Jaxx

- Photographer:Justin Madgwick

Steve Jenner - 14 June 2009

The crowd appeared to have grown five-fold on day two of RockNess festival, on the shores of Scotland's Loch Ness. Friday's holiday feel had evolved into full-on large festival going off as the 30,000 party-goers swarmed like hedonistic ants from stage to stage.

The unexpected clear weather was briefly interrupted around 7pm by a sudden heavy downpour which failed to dampen spirits, merely driving some undercover to rave on in the tents and those who remained outside to dance even harder. Less than an hour later, the skies were again clear and remained so for the duration of the evening.

Main stage headliners Basement Jaxx arrived to the biggest crowd so far at 10.15pm, blasting off with 'Good Luck' (delivered by singers in silver Wedding dresses). The dazzling, hyper-energetic and polished set included effortlessly delivered crowd-pleasers 'Red Alert', 'Bingo Bango', 'Where's Your Head At' as well as new track 'Raindrops'. The show was high cabaret with a constant rotation of different singers, rappers and costumes that ranged from tracksuits to animal outfits.

The late sunset in this part of Scotland (it gets fully dark around midnight) may have diluted the immediate impact of the lightshow, but it allowed it to build up gradually throughout the hour and a half set until the whole site was finally illuminated in a powerful blitz of rapid-fire diamond-white flashes for the set's close.

Meanwhile, Orbital exploited the sky-shielded confines of the Clash Tent, showing off their own blistering laser show to full, spectacular effect. A definite highlight of this year's festival, the dance legends brought the packed-out house down with old skool favourites like 'Sun Rising' and 'Chime'. The set was more than worthy of an outdoor headlining slot.

Earlier in the day, Alabama 3, seemingly in posession of a new demon after all these years, almost brought the roof down in the Fat Sam's tent with a euphoric, highly charged set that had everyone on their feet for classics like 'I'm Johnny Cash', 'Mao Tse Tung Said', the one that pays their pensions (Sopranos theme 'Woke Up This Morning') and glorious set closer 'Let's Go Back To Church'. They were followed by a disappointingly lacklustre Super Furry Animals who failed to keep the crowd aroused with  a festival-unfriendly set that mostly featured new, unfamiliar material.

Revellers on the main stage were kept dancing to a relentless powerhouse of dynamic sets from the likes of Just Jack, French superstar DJ David Guetta and a typically buoyant Dizzee Rascal, whose encore of 'Bonkers' incited scenes of fluorescent delerium.

Today (Sunday) sees The Prodigy headlining a more rock-heavy day of action featuring Wombats, Placebo and local gods Biffy Clyro. Stay posted for our low-down of the ho-down as well as our backstage interviews with Alabama 3 frontman Larry Love and RockNess festival boss Jim King...


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