By Sarah McMullan
With the absence of headliners in the traditional ‘biggest font on the poster’ custom, Brew at the Bog abolishes musical hierarchy with enviable panache – if only for a day. Which is why Bogbain Farm on May 4, 2013 sounds like a delightful place to be.
Providing an oasis of good beer and better music in the green fields of Inverness, it is free of corporation, inspiring instead a feeling of community and an incomparable festival experience.
Now for the real pant-wetting excitement. Tickets for the event are a mere £22, or £33 including camping – a 50% reduction on last year’s prices. If you don’t want to sacrifice the cash, you could always spend it on something more worthwhile: half a tank of petrol, a day pass for M&D’s, a box of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Only jesting. Not only are all of the above more expensive, they in no way elicit the sense of grown-up achievement that sleeping in a field does.
With Scotrail’s Friends Fare, getting there can work out cheap too. Travelling as a foursome on a return journey to Inverness from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Stirling costs a mere £48.80, while from Aberdeen it’s £37.40. That’s the total price. For four return tickets. Crazy bargain.
If the moral high ground and the promise of an inexpensive weekend aren’t deal breakers then the music on offer is bound to please. A range of names throughout the Scottish scene guarantee diversity and the satisfaction of your musical indulgence. Be sure to pay a visit to Davey Horne, a young gentleman whose melodies offer ethereal gratification. With an eye for a good Paisley pattern and a frighteningly talented band to back him up, he is an undoubted favourite of mine.
Other hard-to-resist sounds make themselves felt throughout the 40-strong bill. There’s the guitar-driven bluster of Fatherson, Olympic Swimmers and Three Blind Wolves, all rising stars from the Central Belt; acoustic instrumentation lend a folky backbone to class acts Kitty The Lion, Fake Major, Randolph’s Leap, This Silent Forest and Donald Macdonald & The Islands. Shambles Miller and Michael Cassidy bring premium stage banter with their lyrical poetry; and the welcome presence of Discopolis, Miaoux Miaoux, Homework and FOUND give Brew at the Bog 2013 an electronic cutting edge absent from its inaugural outing.
Superlative live acts on a shoestring budget, can’t say fairer than that.