Wickerman highlights heart and soul of Scotland

THE concise words of Scissor Sisters’ singer Ana Matronic at the beginning of the group’s Friday night performance on-stage at The Wickerman Festival summed the event up perfectly to the 15,000 fans cheering her on.

To the sea of eager faces before her, she called out: “What this festival lacks in wi-fi signal, it sure makes up for in heart and soul.”

Scissor Sisters headline friday night Jake Shears & Ana Matronic. ESGG2019

Scissor Sisters headline friday night Jake Shears & Ana Matronic. ESGG2019

She added during their storming set that Scotland is their favourite place to perform and her words were the culmination of day one of the festival at Dundrennan which attracted more than 15,000 visitors and Friday night performances from, among others, The Levellers and Cast before the Scissor Sisters really saw the crowds close in.

The sun shone for both days of the festival, with showers threatening during Saturday’s headline act but staying off until the early hours.

Local talent was also given a showcase with Wigtown’s Zoe Bestel opening the Acoustic Village on Friday to scores of enthralled music fans, the volume of which failed to put her off her stride.

She was also given a taste of things to come by signing her single for fans and posing for many photos.

The Stewartry really showed what they could do as the Razorbills played on Friday before Kirkcudbright musicians Scruffy Buzzards (mistakenly referred to throughout the weekend as the Scary Crows, the Singing Parrots and the Budgie Smugglers) took a Saturday afternoon slot and played a roaring set to a packed marquee at the Ingrid Pitt Word Stage.

But it was the performance from Finding Albert that really stole the “local” show as the group – from Parton, Castle Douglas and Dumfries – gave an energetic display on the main stage for the Saturday afternoon fans.

Rumours of a surprise wedding on Saturday afternoon began to do the rounds and it transpired a film crew were loitering in anticipation of an oblivious bride who was to partake in BBC3’s Don’t Tell The Bride. After her initial concerns upon the big revealing of her venue, the happy couple partied into the night.

Saturday evening’s entertainment has been the source of much discussion ever since, with many claiming they’d have preferred the fantastic set from Dundee rockers The View to have been the headliner in place of Texas, who lacked some of the sparkle expected from live performances.

Lead singer Sharleen Spiteri’s foul language in between songs also caused a few raised eyebrows at this family festival, one of which was her comment to the crowd: “We’re going to play a classic now. Sing along if you know it but if you don’t know it, you can **** off.”

Texas tailed off and the annual burning of the giant Wicker Man, this year moulded into an Olympic torch-carrying figure, kicked-off with a pyrotechnic flame from his torch before a magnificent show as flames licked up his legs, framed by a staggering firework display.

The Streets’ main man, Mike Skinner, played an energetic post-burning set before campers began to retreat to either the dance tents, or their own tents, which were beginning to bear evidence of a rainy night ahead.

Overall, yet another fantastic show from some global stars in a wee corner of our region which attracts thousands of visitors each year – and keeps building on its strong reputation.