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More Nail Varnish, Great Music and Sore Feet – Oban Live Day Two

June 11, 2018

Oban Live Day Two

Day two started off with some torrential rain but it soon cleared into another lovely day. After being fortified with a lunch of *takes deep breath* “Locally sourced steak on a toasted ciabatta bun with caramelised onions and cheddar cheese, served with coleslaw and salad but no coleslaw please “  it was time to top up the nail varnish (no fancy shirts this time) and head off to the park. On the way, we met up with Ian, Uta and the gang and, after comparing hats, we headed up the hill.

The opening act of the day was Rhuvaal. They were a late addition to the bill but provided a cracking set of tunes and songs and kicked things off nicely. Lee and Lauren arrived and it was their turn to wear the loud shirts with Lee in particular looking like he was born to wear it.

Local legends Chunks were on next, celebrating their twentieth year and their set of covers had the crowd singing along with gusto. Down Down, by Status Quo was the highlight for me.

By now the colourful nail varnish was out again and Lee and Ian enthusiastically joined in while Gary kept his hands firmly out of sight.

Sometimes, when you are really looking forward to a particular act it can end up being a let-down. I am delighted to say that this wasn’t the case as I made my way down to the front for Heron Valley. They were excellent and produced a fine, if too short, set of tune and songs. The musicianship was top quality and Abigail’s voice rang out beautifully as the crowd sang along. It was a superb set and I am looking forward to seeing them again in the future.

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By this time the rhubarb and strawberry cider (yes, really) was in full flow and the banter was flying too. Sharron Shannon was next up and started off with a fine selection of toe-tapping tunes. She was joined by Michael McGoldrick who I have to say is not my favourite composer but he did perform other people’s tunes with class. Sharron then introduced Susan O’Neill to sing a few songs and she was sensational. Her voice has a magical quality and she won a lot of new fans. A few more tunes brought the set to an end. It was a highly enjoyable set but I couldn’t help thinking it could have been twenty minutes shorter and that would have allowed Rhuvaal and Heron Valley to do full sets.

By now the day had clouded over and the midges made a return but the rain stayed away and there was an air of excitement as the Peatbog Faeries took the stage. It was an epic set. They never let up with their driving rhythms and thumping bass adding to the manic pipes, whistles and fiddle playing. The dancing did not stop and it was a remarkable, unforgettable performance.

Some of the older dancers (yes, including me) were beginning to flag but we soon got a second wind when Skerryvore kicked of the last set of the weekend. They were playing some tracks from the new album along with some old favourites and the dancing and singing continued. They were joined on stage by the Oban High School pipe band for a stunning rendition of Soraidh Slan. It was a spine-tingling moment and one of the highlights of a great set. The other highlight for me was the great new song At the End of the Line which is absolutely gorgeous. All too soon it was time for the final sets and with the twin bagpipes of Path to Home ringing in our ears it was time to head home. We all said our goodbyes and promised to do it all again next year. Back at the apartment we decided to leave the roasted tomatoes, tomatoes, cheese and more tomatoes until the morning and three very sore, tired people and one mega-fit freak of nature headed for bed.

So that was it for another year. It was fun, funny, entertaining and highly enjoyable and I can’t wait to do it all again (perhaps without the nail varnish) in 2019.

 

Hughie

 

 

 

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