Rewind Festival has always been a wonderfully vibrant, electric affair - but this year was particularly special, as it marked the festival’s 10th anniversary. That’s a decade of dancing to throwback beats till dawn and singing at the top of your lungs – and fittingly, Rewind pulled out all the stops to ensure this was a weekend to remember.
Returning once more to the picturesque grounds of Scone Palace, amongst the wilderness, neon flashes of colour and glitter sparkled in the Perthshire sunshine. Walking amidst the crowds there was no dearth of inventive outfits and 80’s themed styles – the audience at Rewind have a certain reputation for their fabulous style, which I can confirm they most certainly upheld!
Along with the main uniting attraction of musical talent, there was plenty more to soak in. Carnival rides swung dizzyingly high, giving a view of the grounds from above. A giant inflatable wedding castle provided a cheeky bit of fun for couples and loved ones to celebrate. Believe it or not, a few real marriages have also taken place within its four walls!
Walking along the way, an ornate beer garden, adorned with twinkling fairy lights provided a beautiful, calm spot to lay back with friends and enjoy a crisp beer and the reverberating music from the main stage, as the sun sunk slowly downwards. Or for those who would rather continue to party into the wee hours – a disco tent playing throwback jams provided a friendly, fun place to do just so. There is truly something for everyone here.
As for the main acts – their musical talents had the 20,000 strong Perthshire crowd grooving all day and night! Sunday kicked off with beloved Scottish duo Hue & Cry, who had the crowd enthralled with their experimental pop melodies. And the feeling was mutual: speaking to them after their set, they told me, “Perthshire audiences are very exuberant, they’re very well dressed, there’s a lot of glitter - there’s a lot of happiness. The enthusiasm is very tangible”.
Two tone ska legends The Selecter took to stage next, and put on an unforgettable show. Vocalist Pauline Black’s stage presence was magnetic, and the band’s energy had the crowds moving and shaking. “Ska music – I would defy anyone NOT to dance to it!” Black exclaimed to me before their set. “It’s always great to come – what more could you ask for? I mean a lovely setting, Scone Palace in the distance, it’s beautiful. I always enjoy playing Scotland. I’ve never known a place we have ever played in Scotland either big or small that hasn’t been supportive”.
Hue & Cry: Perthshire audiences are very exuberant, they’re very well dressed, there’s a lot of glitter - there’s a lot of happiness. The enthusiasm is very tangible. With a refrain sung of ‘The Boomtown Rats!’ throbbing through the festival grounds, Bob Geldof’s charisma was as strong as ever during their set following. UB40 picked up where they left off, and led the audience through the afternoon sun. Speaking to saxophonist Brian Travers backstage, he told me “Playing music, performing is my favourite part of the job. It’s a privilege, I feel very lucky. We always have a good time. You give as much as you’ve got in that moment”.
True pioneers of Rewind, Imagination brought in their infectious melodies and idiosyncratic blend of soul, funk and pop to stage next. Speaking to me, vocalist Leee John pondered, “The music of the 80’s was something that was very innovative. Everyone was very individual, and different. And I think that’s what draws people to Rewind”. Wendy James of Transvision Vamps provided a trademark rebellious performance leaving us rocking into the early evening, whilst A Flock of Seagulls, Heaven 17 and Midge Ure had the audiences grooving into the night.
The last acts to grace the stage in the dusky sunset were Bonnie Tyler and Status Quo. There was something quite poignant about hearing Tyler’s vocals, full of longing and soul linger into the still Perthshire night air. Crowd pleasers Status Quo rounded off what was an unforgettable weekend overall – a perfect rock ‘n' roll end.
A special mention must be made to a couple who certainly will never forget this weekend – Caroline and Christine took to the Rewind stage for a surprise on-stage proposal, and are now happily engaged. Congratulations on behalf of Small City, Big Personality!
Rewind has certainly proved once more that they are the most vibrant, fun festival around. And now the countdown begins once more….until next year!
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October 22nd Monday 2018
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