Published: 28/08/2017 09:56 - Updated: 31/08/2017 09:41

REVIEW: Groove LochNess

Written byPaul Donald

Groove balloons James Roberts
Groove in party mood. Picture: James Roberts


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IBIZA came to the shores of Loch Ness last weekend and while world-famous club Space and Spanish turntable king David Moreno showed it could have a starring role at Groove as part of its tour, there was only one act that was really capable of delivering true Bliss for the crowd.

The festival's organisers had opened up the hill again, which was a welcome move, even it it did also open up a fair amount of space that made the crowd look sparse at times.

Grooving with Sister Bliss. Picture: John Baikie


That's not to detract from the overall buzz around the place. But crowds, well, like crowds which are a little closer together, that in itself creates its own kind of energy and adds to the excitement.

Also, that fairground contraption is way too close to the centre and far too bright too. Standing just anywhere but close in and it detracts from what should be everyone's focus – the main stage. That too could maybe do with a freshening up, some lighting from the back of the venue? Lasers, anyone? Minor points though.

Groove Skream
Nightclub under the stars vibe for Skream. Picture: John Baikie


When London-based producer Oliver Dene Jones (aka) Skream moved away from dubstep to a harder, edgier sound that mashed up disco, house and techno, it was a gift to those who prefer more bang for their buck.

He and Newcastle-born producer and DJ Patrick Topping certainly brought that to the shores of Loch Ness.

Powerful and thumping for the most part, the set also showed great subtlety and, dare I say it, a delicacy, in the few more harmonically dreamy sections.

The crowd certainly loved it, but there was also anticipation in the air for the next, and to my mind, headline act, a DJ set from Sister Bliss (aka) Ayalah Deborah Bentovim, once a huge part of classic dance act Faithless.

But she's so much more too, as a musician, producer and as DJ. And it all shows up in her sets. She was a class above the rest. Wearing a silver shining jacket that reflected the light, much of it from her own brilliance, she really got the party going. The crowd loved her, in some cases worshipped her... I didn't hear a single bad track, a single dropped beat.

Groove Mark
Local DJ, producer and promoter Mark Mackenzie. Picture: James Roberts


From grinding, powerful funky techno to moody but heavy and pumping house, with Faithless classics thrown in, impossible not to dance and bounce around to – it was... Bliss.

Don't get me wrong, Moreno was banging and the crowd reacted really well to his own brand of party-driving funky tunes too.

David Moreno Groove
David Moreno brings Space Ibiza to Groove. Picture: James Roberts


The Space blueprint has been kept fresh.

I'd expected something a little more light and housey, more vocal and crowd-pleasingly accessible.

But no, He's true to the classic Space blueprint while also keeping it fresh.

This set delivered on a number of levels and managed to draw in most of those left wandering around the periphery as Ibiza Global Radio star Moreno hammered his way to the festival's finale.

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