This Sunday I am heading off to the Connect Music Festival at Inverarary Castle. I missed the first Connect festival last year when I was travelling and I was pretty gutted. The 2007 line-up had to be a contender for the best and most eclectic line-up of the festival season. Artists appearing included The Beastie Boys, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem, CSS, The Go Team!, Echo and the Bunnymen, Primal Scream, Mogwai, Big Star, The Polyphonic Spree, Hot Chip, personal favourites Teenage Fanclub and Jesus & Marychain.
That is a staggering line-up. Somewhat predictably, yet still disappointingly, the 2008 line-up doesn't reach those standards. My girlfriend and I originally thought about going for the full 3 days, but the line-up didn't quite convince us that it was worth £150 each and the absolutely attrocious weather in Scotland didn't go any further towards helping us make our minds up that it would be a great weekend camping in an amazing location.
Friday has it's attractions for me, mainly on the Guitars and Other Bands stage - psychedelic indie popsters Mercury Rev headline and are supported by The Breeders. Steve Malkmus and the Jicks would be intersting to see, as would Ladytron. But the main stage line-up, headlined by Kasabian and backed up by the Manics, Amy MacDonald and The Guillemots is really nothing to write home about. Not worth the equivalent of £50 for the day.
Saturday fares slightly better with the excellent Spiritualized on the main stage along with Conor Oberts and Nick Caves Grinderman. Headliners Bloc Party don't do it for me, although I have to admit that their singer has an excellent voice. Elsewhere Glasgow band Glasvegas will be out to justify the hype surrounding them ahead of their final festival appearance before their album is released and the always entertaining Gossip headline the other stage. The Roots could steal the show in the dance tent.
But it is Sunday that has caught my attention with the excellent, creative and inspiring Sigur ros playing second on the bill to Franz Ferdinand. Franz Ferdinand may have some outstanding power pop tunes, but their work will be cut out to follow the Icelandic band and their majestic music. I am also looking forward to Elbow, a vastly under-rated band with huge musical ambitions.
Stay tuned to find out how it all goes…..