North Hop Festival

A brand new event for Inverness takes place this weekend with the inaugural North Hop Festival at Eden Court. The North Hop Festival is the brainchild of Michelle Russell and brings together 10 Scottish Craft Breweries, a host of local musicians and the best in Scottish food for the 2 day event. Michelle noticed that Inverness was one of the few places that didn’t have it’s own event to promote the increasing popularity of craft beers and from that, The North Hop was created.

The breweries are bringing a rather impressive range of over 50 beers and ciders to the festival for the lucky punters to sample, with many of of the beers specially brewed for the event. I imagine anyone caught requesting a pint of Tennents will be marched off the premises. However, if beer and cider isn’t your thing then there is also a range of local foods to sample and also a cocktail lounge.

You’re gonna need some music to go alongside all that beer on offer to sample responsibly and so performing at the event will be artists including Lionel, The Oxides, Megan Blyth, James Mackenzie, Sara Bills, Dylan Tierney and Matchstick Maker

A couple of days of beer, music, and food? What’s not to like?

The North Hop Festival takes place at Eden Court on Friday 29th August (4pm – 12am) and Saturday 30th August (12pm – 12am)

Day and weekend tickets available from Eden Court

My Belladrum highlights – Ashley Mackay (singer/songwriter), Andrew Masson (Bass Man) and Michael Duncan (Super-fan)

Ashley Mackay (singer/songwriter – Ashley & The Cosmonauts)

Fatherson were a highlight for me because I’m a big fan.  I heard them from backstage last year before I knew much about them and the lead singer’s voice really caught my attention.  Since then I have become familiar with the album so my son Joshua and I were singing along to everything. They were just as tight live as on the album.  I could see the fact that a lot of the audience knew their songs seemed to still be a novelty for them. I love how melodic their songs are whilst having some heavy rock amongst it.  I expected Grand Master Flash when we arrived but was not disappointed.

Lionel really impressed.  I’ve been desperate to catch them but this was first time I managed it.  Perhaps I’m wrong but I think they could exude more confidence on stage because their music is great.  I couldn’t help but watch the drummer, I thought he was amazing and gave off so much energy.  Josh has a really unique voice, they are ones to keep watching for sure.

And last and not least by any means were two hip hop acts, Hector Bizerk and the newly formed and local group of musicians Spring Break.  I caught Hector Bizerk outside the Bella Bar, I love hip hop so had them on my list.  Amazing energy.  Great to see a more than accomplished female drummer and the use of two drum set ups.  Also Louis signed an autograph for my son so extra points!

Spring Break included Emily Mackinnon, Ben Hesling and Ross Carbarns also known as DJ Butterscotch. For having only formed three weeks previous they had put together a really entertaining set with the ‘Tractor Tractor’ song and dance moves stealing the show. It was written by 3 (and a half) year old Daisy and very good fun. (Ashley Mackay)

Andrew Masson (Call To Mind) © Netsounds

Andrew Masson (The Bass Man, Call To Mind)
I Am Kloot - Straight forward, no nonsense.  Played a lot from their first album.

Casual Sex - As per usual – catchy guitars over a rip roaring rhythmsextion.

Band Of Skulls - just a brilliant band.

Honourable mentions to Schnarrff Schnarrff for tackling a difficult slot balls out, and Danny McAskill and Duncan Shaw for risking their necks in the name of entertainment. (Andrew Masson)

Michael Duncan (Super-fan)

Randolph’s Leap - First song they played at the Hothouse Stage had great lyrics (sadly I can’t remember the name of the song).

PAWS – Their set was pretty standard until the Le Tigre cover which was pretty damn amazing, then I got a shout-out!  ‘Homecoming’ is always ace to hear.

Shaped  –  They should always end on ‘Summer’ and not what they actually did end with.  The crowd was pathetically small for these guys.

Campfires In Winter - They were so rock ‘n’ roll compared to the first time I saw them when they played acoustic.

Garden of Elks – I only saw them for 5 minutes but they were on fire!  You are always guaranteed a guitar of drum kit thrown in your direction, flaming guitars for the win.

Holy Esque – A joy to watch.

Also Fat Goth at the detour stage were headbangingly good.

Thanks to our special guest contributors.  Maybe we should have a guest editor soon…

All images © as indicated.  Thanks to houdidontblog.