Celebrating its 10th anniversary the Wickerman festival took place once again in the picturesque setting of Kirkcudbright, Scotland & was blessed by glorious Scottish sunshine.
There was music of many varied styles on offer in the various stages such as the acoustic village,the goNorth festival tour stage showcased emerging Scottish talent, The Solus tents world music style as well as the Axis reggae tent & Bass camp playing till 5am for the all night revellers as well as the 2 popular venues, The Summerisle main stage & The Scooter Tent with its punk & ska laden line up.
Thursday evenings pre festival entertainment was in the Green Man beer tent with Rhythmnreel playing celtic tinged favourites from the likes of The Waterboys & The Pogues
On the main stage the festival proper was opened by local lads Xavia,playing a set of post punk style tunes followed by festival favourites The Dangleberries with their bagpipe rock sound, The Noisettes played a nice sunny afternoon set & Echo & the Bunnymen are still firm favourites across the land with numbers such as ‘The Cutter’ but for myself Friday evening was best spent in the Scooter tent with USA skater punk from Spunge followed by The Damned, Vanians voice as rich as ever through ‘Wait for the Blackout’,’Love Song’ & ‘Eloise’ amongst others with Captain Sensible as pantomime as ever singing ‘Happy Talk’ & ‘Snooker Loopy’ between songs before Vanian gagged him with Gaffer tape & the set concluded with the classic ‘Smash It Up’ a quick walk towards the main stage after The Damned was perfectly timed to enjoy a nightcap & catch James playing their two big favourites ‘Sit Down’ & ‘Laid’ before the revellers hit the late night tents & some of us hit the pillow.
Saturday was again an eclectic day with Edinburghs The Stagger Rats giving a more rock n roll sound than the standard indie styles around,Fire Exit played pure old school style punk rock including their stand out song ‘Religion is the Biggest Cause of War’ & Jericho Hill played a tribute to the late great Johnny Cash including classics such as ‘Folsom Prison Blues’,’Jackson’,’A Boy Named Sue’ & finale ‘Ring of Fire’
Over on the main stage the highlights were The Pigeon Detectives,The Coral & Feeder,however,once again this reviewers evening belonged to the Scooter Tent where Psychobilly heroes King Kurt rocked along with ‘Rack & Ruin’ & ‘Zulu Beat’ and ‘Destination Zululand’
From The Jam closed The Scooter tent giving the audience exactly what we wanted,’Eton Rifles’,’Going Underground’, ‘Town Called Malice’ & of course ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’.
Its now midnight Saturday night & weve been watched over all weekend by The Wickerman himself,this year sporting a grand set of antlers, as the piper plays whilst the torches are lit,the fire starts & he is soon ablaze flames licking the sky & fireworks cascading all around in a fitting finale to the festivities.
The Wickerman has steadily built up a reputation for being the friendliest festival around & deservedly so, staff are easily available but never obtrusive & the audience are simply the easiest going bunch of people you can get gathered in one place, be it punks in the Scooter tent, ravers in the dance tent or young families everyone enjoys the weekend together.