Whenever I’ve written about individual music festivals I’ve tried to look beyond the line-up to identify what it is they contribute to the ever-teeming Scottish music calendar.
LOOPALLU is one I’ve never actually been to, and every time it comes around I can’t quite figure out why that remains the case because I’ve heard nothing but enthusiastic feedback from both punters and musicians who have made the trip to Ullapool.
As well as having the distinction of being the country’s last outdoor alternative music festival of the year, it takes place in the dramatically picturesque surroundings of Loch Broom with its surrounding mountain ranges and is full of genuinely welcoming locals.
It’s pretty much the perfect size with a capacity of 2,500, and considering that’s twice the population of the town itself, it punches way above its weight when it comes to booking acts. In recent years Loopallu has hosted The View (2006), Franz Ferdinand (2007), Frightened Rabbit (2008) and Mumford & Sons (2009) and this year they’ve managed to lure Paolo Nutini.
Since the sixth annual Loopallu on September 17-18 is already sold out, if you don’t have a ticket you’ll also be missing The Magic Numbers, Idlewild, Turin Brakes, Mt Desolation, Aberfeldy, Kassidy, Silver Columns and Rachel Sermanni.
Once the last note is played in the festival’s solitary tent, the music carries on from 11pm to 2am (officially anyway) at various local bars under the Fringe banner, which this year includes Admiral Fallow among others. I still don’t know why I’m not going. I guess there’s always next year…
Paolo Nutini – Time To Pretend (MGMT cover)
Idlewild – Everything Flows (Teenage Fanclub cover)