2018 visiting bands

Orkney Rock Festival 2018 is set to be a bigger, louder and wilder weekend than ever before, with ten visiting acts now confirmed, with six appearing festival’s Main Event on Saturday, September 1. 

The Festival now also extends over four days, with more chances to see all these bands plus our talented local artists, as well as buy raffle tickets and tee-shirts to keep the magic alive for future years.

With ska, punk, indie, acoustic, classic rock, heavy metal and blues all set to feature, Orkney Live Wire reckon that there will be something for everyone at this year’s Orkney Rock Festival, which is sponsored by The Orcadian. 


In Saturday's ticketed Main Event (tickets available online from or from The Orcadian Bookshop, A Yarn, and Sinclair Office Supplies) you can see:



These up-and-coming London rockers are bursting with pop and punk energy, reflecting a vast array of influences which range from late 1970s New Wave Punk to 1960s flower-power ballads, with a distinct sprinkle of northern soul thrown in for good measure.

In two years, BLESS have earned a fine reputation across Britain’s stages, from Glastonbury Festival — who described their single Daddy Didn’t Make it as a Rockstar as “a classic of our time” — to The Roundhouse, Camden, opening for Frank Turner.

The band, supported by the Joe Strummer Foundation, have also played more than 40 dates in France. If you want to check them out ahead of September’s festival, BLESS have just released their new EP, Easy Lover.


Crooked Little Vein (CLV)

CLV are a punk-grunge band based in the North East of Scotland. Known for their unique combination of dirty riffs and melodic choruses, this band take their influences from bands such as Green Day, Metallica, Radiohead, Alkaline Trio, Finch, The Distillers, and Queen Andreena, and are renowned for their high energy performances.

Initially formed in Aberdeen during 2010, Crooked Little Vein quickly became favourites in the local music scene. Having played hundreds of gigs up and down the country, the band have enjoyed such highlights as supporting English grunge band Japanese Voyeurs and making the finals of the Rock Radio Battle of the Bands.

After a few line-up changes and a short break from the music scene, CLV are back with some of the strongest material they have ever written. Lyrically, musically and emotionally, the band are on top form and playing shows up and down the country.


The Sea Atlas

The Sea Atlas is like all maps, — sheltered havens to open expanses that will weather the harshest storms. Calum Buchanan is The Sea Atlas.

The winter of 2016/17 saw a change in his life — a falling-apart relationship — and a dog-eat-dog city life was no place for an islander.

It was time for home, so he ran back to his native island in the North Atlantic. There, he locked himself away in a cabin on the shores of a sea loch on his ancestral family croft and wrote and recorded in a makeshift studio. The harsh winter surroundings and winter gales can be heard in the depths of Calum’s ethereal, atmospheric, indie folk sound. With a backing band of close friends, he has been able to achieve an almost orchestral-like sound from a four piece band that will have you torn between dancing through the night to finding a lost part of you in the stripped-back, heartfelt songs. 


Ten Tonne Dozer

Shetland-based band Ten Tonne Dozer will be bringing their own blend of heavy rock back to Orkney shores this September. The band have played many gigs and tours, dozering their way throughout the UK and Europe; their live shows are chock-full of dozer mayhem and packing some serious Ten-Tonne punch.

To see them live is an awe-inspiring mix of blood, sweat, broken strings and sheep skulls.

It paves the way for the beginning of an epic journey throughout the ages of dishevelled dirt-mongering, slovenly metal, and downright filthy Viking rock in Shetland.



Formed in 2013 out of an online chance meeting between Sam Orr and James Coppack, 1968 was created out of their love for many albums created in the year 1968, coupled with the evolution of heavier sounds and bands alongside the death of the “summer of love” in 1968.

Drawing on influences from Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Jimi Hendrix and many others, the band have a sound that pays homage, as well as brings new elements to the overall mix.

1968 released their debut, self-titled EP in January 2015, and received favourable reviews, the EP gathering momentum through a small PR campaign in late 2014.

During 2015 and throughout 2016, the band managed to find appreciation within the Manchester scene, playing regularly at venues in the city and being invited back by numerous promoters for all-day events and sharing the bill with other bands such as Boss Keloid, Mars Red Sky, Kurokuma and Valley Of The Sun, to name a few. They are currently working on their debut album release.


Bitter Divide

Bitter Divide played their first live show in July 2013, and have generated a loyal following across the South of England.

With years of live and recording experience between them, they know their craft inside out. A solid, crushing rhythm section of Ben on Drums and Russ on bass, creates a foundation allowing the two guitarists, Simon and Dave, to lay down pounding riffs and licks that weave around each other to form the classic southern inspired rock/metal that they love playing, complemented by the stagecraft and unique vocal style of vocalist Mojo.

With shades of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd punching through modern influences like Black Stone Cherry, Disturbed and Killswitch Engage, Bitter Divide are the British bridge between Metal and Rock that has been missing for so many years.  If you haven't seen them, then make it happen!

And our other visiting bands are:



Aberdeen band Counterfall, led by Orcadian guitarist Taylor Pirie, went down a storm in 2017

Since then they have released their Horizons of Reality EP, which you van hear above.

On Facebook



Also very popular at the 2017 festival we welcome back Portalooth, with their Edinburgh fusion of funk and metal;

On Facebook


Forgotten Sons

One of the star acts of last year's Main Event, this four-piece force from Shetland will deliver high-energy rock at its most elemental. Though there seems to be five of them in the car...

With melodic and distorted riffs, topped with harmonies and drum fills to make your heart explode, their sound shows inspiration from a wide range of sources, including Alkaline Trio, The Gaslight Anthem, and Biffy Clyro.

On Facebook


Throat Locust

A grunge covers band from the swamps of the Shetland rock and metal scene, we are delighted to welcome back Throat Locust.

On Facebook

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