Following a inaugural festival at Linlithgow’s historic palace in 2014, where Deacon Blue and Simple Minds delivered barnstorming sets, PatP 2015 was always going to have a hard act to follow.
However, with the weather at least more promising than the torrential rain which plagued Jim Kerr and co’s set last year, the wayis clear for local act Apache Darling to kick things off with a bang. The winners of the previous night’s Battle of the Bands at the town’s Cross adapt nicely to the considerably larger surroundings with a set of assured electripop.
Next up, another unknown-to-many combo, 4-piece 100 Fables, whose stylish electro pop culminates in a version of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ with singer Lyndsey Liora evoking another late 70s icon with her Lene Lovich vocal stylings.
Glasgow outfit Little Eye similarly adapted to the big stage surroundings, though having supported Blondie last year this came as no surprise. Album ‘Fighting the Future’ is packed with solid rock anthems ideally suited for getting a festival crowd going, as is new single ‘Dreams’.
Party at the Palace isn’t however just about new acts. One of the hits of last year’s event was singer-songwriter Horse and as per 2014, she was in magnificent voice, effortless filling the natural arena of The Peel. Bringing another set full of beautifully-constructed torch songs, she knows that her work isn’t done until she’s delivered her “signature tune” ‘Careful’, which she does with aplomb.
Justin Currie should, a companion suggests, come with a PG warning. well, there are kids present at this family-friendly festival. However, the majority of the crowd are, well, ages with the former Del Amitri frontman – 50, he tells us, explaining away any false starts or, perhaps, Tourettes-like outbursts. Starting with ‘Always The Last To Know’, Currie is soon joined by guitarist Mr Niz, bolstering his acoustic tunes for ‘Driving Without Brakes’. The trio is completed by an accordionist from Glasgow’s West End, who lives in a house “like The Palace, but with windows”. Speaking of signature tunes, ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ is a stick-on for a rousing set closer and the day’s first arms-in-the-air moment.
The Feeling, unexpectedly, start their set with a spot of hi-nrg disco beats but soon settle down to hits more familiar including ‘Fill My Little World’.
Despite looking – and there’s no way to sugarcoat this – somewhat more mature than when they started out in 1990 – Travis kick off their set with as much vigour as any of the younger acts form earlier in the day. Fran Healy, despite looking like he may be starting a religious cult, throws himself into ‘Selfish Gene’ with the vigour of a U-16 year old. A full-on crowd-pleasing set gets the party well and truly (half) finished. And despite their signature tune, no sign of rain!
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