Sep 7 2012 by Stuart Wilson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
HI guys! Well, Live@Troon returned for a third year in phenomenal style at the weekend and what a great weekend I had!
The festival excelled itself and Troon was absolutely buzzing from Thursday to Sunday with a huge variety of music events, comedy shows, workshops and experiences to get involved with.
Starting with a fantastic night organised by Rob Ellen of the Medicine Show, the night featured performances from Martin Stephenson, John Duffy and The Slim Panatella’s, Dave Sharp of The Alarm, Alan Frew and Mark Rafferty.
A real rootsy evening of folk and blues to get the festival kicked off in fine style.
By Friday, Troon was on a high with the Concert Hall hosting Ayrshire new music stars Brown Bear and The Bandits, Fatherson, the Stagger Rats from Edinburgh and The Bluebells.
The soaring vocals of Fatherson’s Ross Leighton on Hometown and First Born were absolutely amazing with Chris Beltran, Marc Strain and Greg Walkinshaw performing brilliantly to make the unique sound of Fatherson.
Brown Bear and the Bandits were firing on all cylinders with a high-octane set and they always perform with 100 per cent commitment and great energy. The Chase, Cynics Gold and Truth or Dare were amongst the highlights of an explosive set.
Friday evening also saw award-winning comedy and performance group The Colour Ham take to the stage at the South Beach Hotel.
The group went down fantastically with the audience and a few lucky people were invited up on stage to take part in everything from comedy gags, illusionism and some very daring stunts.
Local man Alan Petrie was electrifying in the Tower Hotel with a great set delivered with much fervour and zeal, the punk poet was simply great.
Saturday afternoon saw Troon explode with activity with gigs taking place all over the town and the population duly swelled with large numbers of people out and about at the events.
Every venue I walked into was packed, which was great to see.
The atmosphere was fast and frantic with everyone out to have a good time.
The beach tent was packed, the pubs swelling and the anticipation in the air of The View coming to town was huge.
Troon starlet Callie Rossie, Dumb Instrument and Jemma McSheffrey gave great performances at MacKay’s in the afternoon.
Local talent and soon to become national treasure Melisa Kelly kicked off The View show with a brilliant and dynamic set that was soulful and passionate, followed by The Imagineers fast on the way to becoming superstars themselves, who rocked out in style before The View took to the stage.
The floor of Troon concert hall was bouncing with 750 very excited music fans going nuts.
The walls were sweating and the atmosphere absolutely electric for The View bringing some energetic rock and roll to Troon.
Sunday saw a more relaxed atmosphere in Troon with better weather and a great vibe going around which seemed to have everybody in high spirits.
With a superb jazz afternoon going on in the Concert Hall many were getting up for a dance and a whirl to the sounds of Loretta Reid and the Dave Anderson Big Band.
The beach tent was stowed to hear sets from fantastic talents including Prestwick man Craig Ward, Strange Feelings, Megan Blyth, The Merrylee’s, Kate Cassidy and Jiezuberband.
Over in the Walker Hall that evening I got up for a few songs myself followed by Delgetti, Mechanical Smile, Davey Horne who was fantastic, Proud Honey and The La Fontaines from Motherwell who are always good fun.
After the La Fontaines I nipped down to the South Beach Hotel to see a bit of The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese filmed classic of The Band and their farewell concert, an absolute classic and essential viewing.
There were parkour workshops at the weekend, song writing workshops, drumming workshops, workshops here and workshops there, something for everyone to get involved in and to engage with.
The third Live@Troon Festival was a joy, community spirit and bonhomie from start to finish.
A great experience for the Ayrshire community and for tourists from far and wide who travelled to enjoy such a great weekend.
It could not happen without the involvement of many local people who give up their time to volunteer to assist at the many venues to ensure it all goes smoothly and of course it could not go ahead without the Live@Troon committee who have done a great job once more for the festival, for Troon and for Ayrshire.
The level of talent in the performances I experienced this year was nothing short of brilliant, so many great bands and groups descended on Troon at the weekend, new friendships were made, people came together and had a great time, it was a weekend I’ll remember fondly for a long time.
It was great to meet so many good and interesting people and the music was amazing. The sound was provided by SmallTown Audio and what a great job they did.
What a weekend !!!