Electric Fields 2016

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Drumlanrig Castle

Thornhill

Aug 26-27

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Electric F,ields has grown legs. Arriving at the new press tent Hil Laverick and myself were greeted by Jenn Nimmo-Smith , who is looking forward to a well earned rest after her efforts as Press manager both here and at T in the Park this year. Straight up we dived into the crowds asking what had been their favourite acts this weekend…. The Charlatans, Public Service Broadcasting, White, Baby Strange, Steve Mason, Bowie & Prince disco with DJ Bear who was, “so charismatic” according to Jules, happy to share her experience of the festival so far.

 

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We had missed Teen Canteen – they were leaving the Tim Peaks stage as we arrived but lead vocalist Carla let us photograph her out the back.Their sold out before it ‘s even been  released limited edition album Say It All With A Kiss has artwork by Ross Sinclair (Reader in Contemporary Art Practice in the School of Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art ) Reminiscent (but decidedly different) of Glasgow 80s band Strawberry Switchblade you can catch them at Glasgow’s Mono on 8th September supported by BooHooHoo and Stephen Solo.

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Riding The Low were up next and their set could’ve done with a bigger stage to accommodate the energy of actor/singer Paddy Considine who was struggling for leg room. His powerful voice relayed offerings from album ‘What Happened to the Get to Know ‘Ya?’ (2013)’ and ‘ They Will Rob You Of Your Gifts’. Considine is best known for his role as Simon Ross; Guardian Newspaper Reporter fighting to stay alive because of the classified information he has in Oscar winning movie The Bourne Ultimatum. His killer quote in the movie is

“My source told me it all started with you. He said that you were square one, the dirty little secret… He said he knows who you are!”

You may prefer his non fiction quote

“If I ever become a celebrity, I’ll f*cking disappear and go and make shoes like Daniel Day Lewis.”

Everything Everything exploded on to The Main stage all synchronized in their thematic grey attire which was theatrically incongruous (in a good way, like their comically mental videos) to their intense stage presence. Influenced by Nirvana, Radiohead and The Beatles at times I was catching overtones of what could be mistaken for Ugandan traditional music mixed in their highly eclectic synth pop rock style. Lead vocalist Jonathan Higgs delivered Distant Past’s visceral self-excoriating lyrics to the packed crowd

Drag my tongue across the sand

So happy just to crawl across the land

Soon I’ll be the best around

I’m gonna keep my plunder underground

Hard flesh cold against the rain

Dust billowing around my brazen brain

Saw off all my stinking limbs

Blood dripping down my sunken money chin

Higgs and former guitarist/vocalist  Alex Niven formed Everything Everything in 2006 and around that time Niven described their naming of the band as follows:

 The idea as I saw it was to try to take contemporary R&B pop music and fashion a vaguely Futurist project out of it, and between the two of us we chose the name Everything Everything, a détournement of sorts of an over-saturated media culture into something idealistic and expansive

 More maximalist than minimalist they were a highlight and primed the crowd well for the anticipated return of Primal Scream. Bobby Gillespie was on top form playing tracks Tripping on your love from their recent album ‘Chaosmosis’ along with crowd-pleasers Accelerator and Moving On Up.

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Missing last years highlight Hector Bizerk if you are a fan their last ever gig before they officially break up is at Glasgow School of Art on October 14th with finale tickets only £12. As was the case last year at Electric Fields the food was cheap and high quality…thanks for the smiles and free ice cream lovely lady at Galloway Ice cream stall and hope to see this festival blossom again next year. Big thanks to Paul  Whiteley for sharing his photography.

Reviewer Clare Crines

ClareFathem

 

 

Doune The Rabbit Hole 2016

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Cardross Estate nr Stirling

19th-22nd August 2016

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Whether you’re fi up Doune, doon Doune, near Doune, far fi Doune, over fi Doune or across from it, the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival is the place to rectify any of your forgotten fantasies of fun; and bring you together with family and friends in a safe and relaxing, environmentally conscious setting. Cardross Estate is a beautiful location, with spledid views all around.

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Friday:

We arrived and pitched our tents. On arrival into the arena and after popping our heads into the Wellness Tent to say hello, we grabbed a lovely coffee before greeting the crowd at the Jabberwocky stage to see the Treacherous Orchestra. I felt as though our ancestors had shown up all around us to enjoy the spirit of the show. What energy! We briefly checked out the Baino tent and got our bearings for the new layout, as the festival has grown quite significantly in size and capacity on last year. Still, it held on warmly to the cosy intimate vibes of last year.

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Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 came on the new Parabola stage. They are such an uplifting experience; they delivered a sandwich of fun, I’m sure even the gherkins were pure yellow! We sandwiched our bums into the hammocks facing them, and wiggled like worms under the full moon, while the light rain gently danced at then end of our noses. So, lovely!  After meeting a wonderful Irish friend and telling tales of glass blowing, whiskey and motorbike riding in Vietnam, we bobbed about for the rest of the night and swirled the rest of the atmosphere.

Saturday:

Fair weather to rise so we rolled up for a delicious crepe after having an emotionally freeing morning with De Rosa, a beautiful folk band, who are pretty creative with their instruments, at one point, even playing a glocenspiel with a cello bow! We ate our yummy grub to the Iona Fyfe Band and had a look in the Spoken Word  tent and other save the world stalls and workshops. The kids area was still teaming with little gods who thought the rain was nothing more than an excellent underfoot lubricant for skidding faster and creating more mud with. But being a boring adult – feeler of wet and cold stuff; our day trip was cut shot after a particularly persistent pour had left my water resistant coat looking more like a soggy flannel. After a change, a nap and some star quality face painting, we jumped out of the hay again to get involved.

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This time I over prepared, with full water proofs and warm long-johns. Ten minutes into Bombskare at the Whistleblower tent and I nearly hit the deck. I went on a quick mission back to reorganise my threads, when I bumped into “Fire Marshal Brian” whom we met here last year. Lovely catch up, and we shared in an Earthy prayer session before I was ready to indulge in the festivities once again.

We finished warming up to Bombskare before I began to follow the little voices inside, ‘till I discovered the rest of Saturday night’s line up.

The random jam tent held my attention for most of the night. I am sure that at some point I got to see every artist at the festival, randomly collaborating to make some real good strawberry jam, ripe for any toast at any time of day or night. It really reflected the true talent of the artists, whom while in their normal outfits were flooding the rabbit holes all weekend with pure ‘barry brawness’; the rain never stood a chance!

We met up with Pixal Poi Naomi, to have our balls proverbially tripped; while she danced like a fairy god to The Destroyers. She was literally making LED shapes, within the shapes she was a cutting. She never knocked her own hat off once, and was adoring a couture circus masters outfit, which she had hand stitched herself using old umbrellas. Bloody gorgeous human being!

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In true girl fashion, we hit up the Polar Bear Stalls (the toilets), which I aptly named myself as you could literally fit a polar bear in a single unit and they are so environmentally safe, compared to porta-loos, that Polar Bears will hopefully be breathing a gentle sign of relief, soon.

You know, providing every festival and outdoor event ever, started to use them, like, yesterday.

Well done Doune the Rabbit Hole for implementing them, you are smashing people and thank you soooo much to the volunteers who kept them stocked and clean all weekend. Between you and the Litter Picker – Bug Savers, I love you so much xox.

Anyway, so we sat round the back of the Polar Bear Stalls afterwards – yes! They really didn’t smell that much! And, we had a moonlit blether about festivals, family times, and family who we only still connect with while we are cutting about with new family, at festivals. It was a beautiful moment and made me feel right at home. Funny where you find that feeling sometimes, eh!

248We shared an almighty peace prayer to finish, and I went off in search of an African drummer I had seen earlier at the jam tent. I was interrupted in my search by sounds which seemed to lasso me by the gizzard, towards the Baino tent. I had only what can be described as a mental jig affinity with Suuns. As a dancing punter, I recognise this kind of experience as being like in a moment of pure “flow”, when music makes my body move way beyond any conscious deliberate movement I could ever make myself do. Sometimes it literally makes me laugh. It’s such a weird feeling. It’s like the sound waves are in me and make me move before I even know I heard a noise. It is a special organisation of sound that does that too me, but I have to be honest, I think I experienced it with every artist I saw over the entire weekend.

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On the move again in search of a drummer, I spotted one just in enough nick to see that everyone was getting organised for the Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs gig. It took a wee while to readjust my dance style, but once I had, my dancing feet came out to play too. I had my little boog down to Clap Clap at the Tweedledum – Tweedle Dee tent, before retiring for the night like a nearly 30 year old whom doesn’t like hangovers anymore, probably should. J

Sunday:

We only had enough time on the last day to wake with some morning yoga, enjoy a cracking morning roll with cuppa and have a wee look around the saving the world tents and stalls again. I call them that collectively, because although they are all totally unique, fun and quirky in providing everything from charity support to local and farther afield projects, homemade clay crockery, jewellery, upcycled or ethically sourced clothing, organic and locally sourced food, holistic talk and physical therapies –it seems all of the people work for a very similar reason. And it certainly does not look like money.

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There is even an emotional baggage drop off point; after all, sometimes wanting to save the world comes with a whole load of hurt too. Hold on – did someone say saving the world? Oh aye, that is right, this festival is for the already converted. If you have not been to this festival, I hope you have good ideas with you if I see you there next year.

Glad folks are still up for it – Superheros! All of you xxx.

I respect the work so much put in to all these kinds of events, especially Doune. I was born again at this festival in 2015 and I wish to enjoy a new birth day here every year from now on. I really wish we could have stayed for much longer, but a Monday work shecdule made our leaving time unavoidable.

Doune the Rabbit Hole is spreading the love while helping to organise the saving of ourselves within the world, spreading the motivational vibes through so much fun, spoken word, music, art and workshops; it really is the perfect balance of life! This needs to grow into a perpetual and permanent lifestyle, as well as an annual celebration.  It allows the message to teach you while you are wrapped up in positivity  and wellbeing. For me, it wasn’t until I reached this point in my life, that I realised how much I had not actually been feeling before.

Need this everyday – please! Xoxoxo

Reviewer Bobbi McKenzie

Photos by David Watson / Bjorn Borseth & Lisa McNab

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Bobbi & Bjorn

Party at the Palace 2016

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 Linlithgow Palace

13th and 14th August 2016

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Spud’s Party

McEwan’s Party at the Palace is situated in the beautiful surroundings of Linlithgow Palace a most idyllic place to have a throw-back festival to the 80s and 90s.  With the weather holding out and the crowds growing, you could feel the atmosphere building, & with the queues stretching around the block it was apparent that the Saturday was a sell out. With the audience reaching over 8,000 this year compared to 2,500 last year, this mini T in the Park has grown in popularity. Then, with folding camper chairs in one hand and tickets in the other, the long queues soon disappeared. Access to the festival arena was easy and smooth, due to the well-organized stewards, security and staff. Its always a pleasure to attend a musical event like this and feel so well welcomed.

With an extravaganza of music stretching over two days this was sure to be a trip down memory lane for most of the 8,000 strong crowd.  With the Main Stage at the bottom of a small hill and the Star and Garter Stage further up the, the site was sized well for people to get around. There is entertainment to suit all here; kids activities, shows, more food than you could eat, a VIP area, local produce stalls and live music from two stages, boredom should not to an issue.  For those who enjoy a wee dram, there are beer and wine tents throughout the site ,but negotiating your way through all the chairs may prove difficult after a trips too the bar.

With Brother Apollo starting proceedings on the main stage, I wondered up to the Star and Garter to see local girl Saskia Eng preform some of her tracks. At only 14 years and with a voice like an angel this young lass is going to delight audiences for years to come. Also appearing on the Star and Garter was Saraswati, a Nepalese girl from Kathmandu. With a voice as smooth as silk, she showed her love for music & is someone to look out for the near future. There was also Lucia Fontaine, a 19-year-old lassie with a great vision of her musical goal who had the joy off playing both the main stage and the Star and Garter stage with her band.  An exciting concoction of rock guitar riffs and decisive vocals Lucia is a prodigy of the Scottish music scene.

Between Saturday and Sunday we had the pleasure of viewing such bands as Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, with there exhilarating and happy vibe propelling the entire crowd to their feet, leaving a smile on everybody’s faces.  Gun and the Bootleg Beatles also delivered good sets with fond memories floating around the revellers who revelled in the moment. Then The Fratellis and The Proclaimers gave the night a climatic ending… the crowds especially going nuts for “Chelsea Dagger” and “500 Miles.”

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Mid-afternoon on the Sunday saw Big Country take to the stage.  With a new line-up and frontman they wasted no time in getting down to all the old hits; “Fields of Fire” and “Harvest Home” brought smiles to many a face.  Then the eagerly awaiting fans of Heaven 17 were not disappointed. With the introduction of “I Don’t Need this Fascist Groove Thang”  the crowd went beserk.  With hit after hit they stole the moment; Play To Win, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry, Bowies “Boys Keep Swinging” and Temptation all went down well with the dancing new romantics. Then Andy Bell from Erasure entertained us not just with his classic tunes but also with his shorts. A trade-mark that Andy carried through his days with Erasure and is still proud to exhibit them today.

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Finally,  the legend that is Billy Ocean brought the night and the weekend to a close with his mixture of soul, soft reggae and loved up classics. I expected no less and that is exactly what we got from Mr Ocean. Perfection !!!! A true icon that delivers his set with love and heart. As he ran through Bob Marleys “No Woman No Cry” we all left with a new found love for Party At The Palace… a family friendly weekend that is sure to please all who had attended.

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Divines Party

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There is a curious phenomena amongst Fringe performers and reviewers, Divine has worked in both camps. That at this time of the of the month. Everyone’s knackered and pushing through a creative pain barrier. It happens every year and the solution is to get out of the madness and retune with mother nature. So with relish, I jumped at the chance of a weekend in the grounds of the stunningly beautiful Linlithgow Palace, for a musical trip down memory lane with trusty Mumble colleague, Raymond Speedie. We arrived with grace, and headed to the main stage to catch Lucia Fontane perform, with her equally talented band – a very gutsy Rock n Roll set that was perfectly suited to this massive stage and a P.A system so large and perfectly placed that every nuance could be heard. It was obvious that this young band and Lucia are going to be massive, not so much retro, more akin to the future of Rock n Roll. Divine’s pick of the day.
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Next up, the very reverend “Colonel Mustard And The Dijon Five” brought their brand of Yellow Fever to the mix and as usual had the audience in the Palms of their hands. This orchestra of goodness performed the Yellow canon, each song lifted the audience and a fun time was had by all – especially the many children that joined the band on stage, beaming Yellow rays of joy and lifting the spirits of all. They call it Yellow Fever. Great gig guys.
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By the time Gun hit the stage, the sparsly populated field that I had walked into suddenly became rammed. A unique thing that seems to be the custom of this party, is to bring a fold up camping chair and create a wall of camping chairs with no movement possible through the growing crowd. So I decided to go and listen to the Bootleg Beatles at the side of the Loch taking in its tranquility and beauty. By the time Revolution was sung, Divine was on his feet heading back to the arena to check out just how much they looked like the real thing. John Lennon was a giggle. It was quite obvious that everyone loved the songs and the band faithfully reproduced them with a gusto.
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The last band of the day I would witness was a young band called Kelvin, who performed on The Star And Garter stage. A young band that held me with raw brilliant musicianship, it was one of the magic moments where something clicked. In very much the same way, I would imagine, that The Beatles knew that they had something special. I certainly look forward to seeing this band of young Rock Stars perform in the future.
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Having slept deep and long, Party In The Palace isnae a sleepover. So was home by 11pm on the Saturday. Next day, Kasia joined us to become our camera lady of the day. We arrived just as Big Country were taking to the main stage, finding good positions to view proceedings and the sun began to shine. The next band on have been in my life for most of it and they always raise a rush of excitement when I see them live. Spud and Divine are part of The New Romantic Old school and Heaven 17 were part the movement that helped form and create boys that looked great in make up. Another plus point is the fact that they are from Yorkshire. When a bands repertoire has been moving you for thirty years or more, each song holds a special memory, while the techno updates on the reproduction of each of the electro classics offered very interesting ear-candy indeed.
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After Big Country and Heaven 17. Divine was needing fed and watered and a bit of space to take in the performance. So I headed to my special place by the loch of Linlithgow Palace. the watery sunlight warm and welcoming. I meditated. Returning to my companions, both Spud and I deliberated what Andy Bell was going to bring to the table. Would it be a well chosen DJ set or a Karoke of Erasure classics? To both our delight it was Andy Bell with a touring band that provided a slice of quality entertainment. Erasure are a Divine are a  guilty secret and I have been collecting their remixes for as long as CD singles have been available.That voice reproduced the classics that we have grown to love. Andy confirmed that he would be joining Vince Clark back in the studio to create a new Erasure album in the Autumn and dedicated one of the songs of this enlivening sunday afternoon sing-a-long to Vince.
One of the things I loved about this festival was the amazing P.A. System and the positioning of the speaker rack. It was during Andy Bell’s performance that I retreted to the back of the field. In the middle of folding camp chair island, I found a space where I could cut a rug and bust some moves. Right in front of the speaker rack at the back of the field. As a musician myself, it is always a good thing to take in the masters and Billy Ocean, although not an artist I would have on a turntable. He is an artist that is imprinted on the subconscious of 80’s children everywhere. Now an artist with silver-white dreads and a hard working soul and funk band, he recants a mix of Soul Classics and Billy Ocean hits. As dusk descended over Linlithgow Palace, the audience became one and a provided fitting end to this mixture of musial greats and musical not-so-greats. Billy sang beautifuly and we all went home for some Supper.
Reviewers : Raymond Speedie & Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography : Kasia Cluz

Electric Fields : Preview

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10 Things You’ll Love About Electric Fields Festival.
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August 26th & 27th 2016,
Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway
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1. Look at the site!

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2. It’s small but perfectly formed – just 5000 people and a wee wander from place to place..
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3. Er…the lineup! 
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4. Tim Burgess is all over it. 
 
(Headlining on Friday with The Charlatans, curating his Tim Peaks Stage, DJing and reading from Tim Book Two! )
 
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5. There’s camping and there’s CAMPING!
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6. Getting there’s a doddle.. 
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7. It’s free for under 5s, £20 for under 12s…and there’s dedicated family camping. 
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8. Are you dancin’?
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9. There’s a built-in Real Ale Festival!  
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10. There’s only one Bobby G! 
 
“Electric Fields is as small a festival as we’ve played in Britain, but it’s going to be brilliant. We’ve put together a really good band and we can’t wait to get out there. An intimate open air show in Scotland? That’s going to be amazing, isn’t it?”
 

Mugstock 2016

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Mugdock Country Park

July 29-31


WE ARE CURRENTLY UPDATING THE VIDEOS – THEY WILL BE BACK UP SOON

IMG_20160730_083627155_HDR.jpgThe weekend before Mugstock I was playing with my band at Audio Soup, after which gig I was jumping around like a mad head with the wife. Four days of recovery ensued, the light at the end of the tunnel being the return – dare I say it – the annual return, to Mugdock Country Park, & its fledgling family festival. Carrying nothing but a couple of white wine spritzers, me & the wife were ready for a calmer, yet equally as cool festival, & as we reached the gorgeous green swathescapes to the north of Glasgow, so were the kids – its all they’d been talking about for the previous two weeks.

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Where Kublai Khan had to recreate Eden in Xanadu, Mugstock just needs to move in. Its just, like, reyt nice up there, a verdant slice of the Scotland that lives in all our dreams – the rush of nature which fills the lungs on arrival testament to the fact that, we’re all out of our cities & their grime. Mugstock is a poetic festival – color & arts mingle seamlessly with nature – the pan-pipes of Terpsichore filtering through the herbage all around. On first arriving, I realised the Mugstock collective had been thinking on its feet. Last year wasn’t perfect, but just as a young John Keats jumped into the composition of Endymion head-first, creating a thing of beauty in the process, however flawed, so too had Mugstock I designed its festival like a bull in a china shop. Yet, as Keats went on to write his Hyperion & the immortal odes, so too is Mugstock evolving into a finer occasion. The aircraft hanger that had been the Corrie Stage last year had been replaced by a smaller, more open air & organic affair, with more seating & spaces for people to mingle freely. We also noticed ‘The Glade,’ an electronic-music area with a campfire, the missing piece of the jigsaw one expects.

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Mugstock is a good, safe space for the kids to run wild & learn how to party alongside the parents who need a party – which all equals a really good party. Down at the family camp-site, the kids had soon rejoined the gang that they had formed at last year’s festival – a truly nice moment that kinda sealed the deal for us – we’re gonna be back every year, now, we are guessing. There’s also a really strong teamwork ethic among the parents. On the Friday, our 9-year old begged to be left to stay with her pals instead of coming back to the tent with us, something the wife initially baulked at. ‘Let her do it’ I said, ‘its well safe round here’ & after gaining assurances from the parents of the other kids we let the lassie go. A couple of hours later, she rolls in to the tent high on life & flops into her bed & passes out. I’m like ‘in a few years time she’ll be puking up before she passes out,’ which gained a bemused look of appreciation at my attempt to be funny (which failed miserably BTW).

Mugstock is not just about families, however, it is a multi-generational, multi-generic organism that would be one of the main draws in any alien civilisation’s Natural History section of stuffed festival mammals. The thing about Mugstock is that its unpretentious & supports both quality music from far afield & quality music from the local area. They must have realised that good local bands will draw a good following, just as much as a big name draw – in fact more so, for this kind of line-up brings out the tribal nature in us all. Weegies are the most tribal of the lot… but when they’re brought together in an environment such as this, they’re nothing but chilled out & peaceful.

IMG_20160729_212049510_HDR.jpgFor this year’s Mugstock we had – in Scottish terms – phenomenal weather, & with it being in late July & a good few weeks into the holidays, the normal Caledonia pastiness had been replaced by a rough rouge on the bare skins of the folk. The only guy on the site not happy with this was the proprietor of the Chunky Monkey coffee shop, who makes a killing when its raining. However, he did tell the Mumble he’d done as well as last year, despite the sun, which is testament to how much busier Mugstock has got.

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Tchai Ovna Tent


IMG_20160730_214431928.jpgEntertainment-wise, on the Friday we loved Dohnut & their ravenous disco punk, plus ex-Delgados’ singer, Emma Pollock, the ‘Dusty Springfield of cerebral pop’ who could belt them out & lilt them out in equal measure. There was also the Girobabies delivering a stonking set, the mercurial & never-weary Mark McGhee somehow staying in the same place long enough to rampage like a bull who’d recently killed a matador through our music-receptors. The Saturday  began with a musically-tongue tingling chi, a veritable spicy rejuvenation potion to set up the day at Tchai Ovna. By the refreshments was a small green tent which had an eclectic mix of music & poetry on all weekend, including the fabulous ‘Well Happy Band’ who got everyone involved with shaker-makers & addictively melodic tunes. Then back up at Chunky Monkey’s for my bacon bagel & cappuccino I found a wee card on a courtyard table of this fellow, whose bangin tunes I’m listening to as I type.

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Mugstock has many great stalls, such as Lorraine Thomas’ Meadowsweet…

One of the most appealing things about Mugstock, is that one finds oneself so close to one of Europe’s most culturally ravishing cities – the cute & calculated conurbation that is Glasgow. International artists pout & pour into its arenas on a daily basis in order to perform at the city’s many venues; for the Mugstocker there is no harm in taking a couple of hours out of the weekend to avail themselves of the opportunity to catch some of the global muses which wander into the true capital of Caledonian culture… Edinburgh might have its festival, but Glasgow does it all year round. So, looking through my ‘what’s on’ list for the Saturday, I was absolutely delighted to discover that one of the planet’s most wonderful football teams, famed for their free-flowing passing game, their mysteriously-brilliant full-tempo pressing patterns & the physical beauty of its passionate fans, was in Govan. Yes, it was indeed a great experience to see Burnley Football Club beat the Glasgow Rangers 3-1 at Ibrox Park, a true testament to the city’s constant ability to attract the very top performers in their field. The second goal of Andre Gray’s hat-trick, especially, was the most beautiful piece of poetry to have been performed in the city all year.

Back at the site I found Mugstock the busiest I’d ever seen it – folk camped on the ground as if the sun was oot oer Kelvingrove Park – or dancing at the stage or mingling round the stalls & bars. Tonight’s music began for us with with the pulsing beats, lovely melodies, driving guitars & lyrical masterworks of the Young Aviators. Meanwhile, in the tree-lined pagan clearing of the Chameleon Stage Jamie & Shoony were bouncing about on hippy crack, their infectious energy ramming jazz bolts of fun into each & every funky orifice of an uninhibited crowd & their constant want for more. From here we found ourselves at the Beltane Fire Society stunning performance of some reyt cool fire tricks ‘n’ that, before we hit the cinema by Chunky Monkey – ran by the uber-smooth & infinitely patient Conor Finn – where Glasgow’s West End poetic posse were sharing their keenly-felt, passionately-wrought observations on society.

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Ross from Springbreak reciting @ ‘Overheard in the West End’

Saturday night was finished with the big, canary yellow, family mash-up that is Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, followed by headline act, Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd, a volatlie mix of high-octane hip-hop & mermaidian female vocals – the siren on the shore who summons us into the cathartic yet acutely sardonic wit-spitting of Solareye – AKA Dave Hook. After this, me, the wife & the kids all went for a proper good boogie down at the Glade to Rebecca Vasmant, a damn-funky DJ & a conduit between us & the gods of funk. ‘She’s not as good as Little Mix’ said the kids, but what do they know?

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Trinidad’s Jointpop having a coffee on the sunday morning

So as Sunday dawned, it was time to go, fully life-refreshed & happy to have been at the 2nd Mugstock. As we passed Chunky Monkeys, the proprietor was doing a rain dance, but I’m sure no amount of dodgy weather would have been able to dampen the spirits of the Mugstockers, & I’m also sure the acts were as awesome as the first two days. The last of these, Greg from  Theramin Hero, I met in the bar the previous night, & would actually close the entire festival on the Corrie Stage on the Sunday night. Here’s what we missed…


Hats off to the MugStock Festival crew for putting together such a great weekend of music and merriment. They massively raised their game compared to last year which was also good but this was so much better. The site looked amazing and the atmosphere was sweet. Shouts also to all the poets and musicians who joined in with the MugJam and the Overheard in the Westend (Mark McGhee)

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The well happy band had a fantastic mugstock festival! All 3 of our gigs (Chameleon stage, and twice at Tchai ovna) were so much fun! Highlights of the festival were meeting and playing to so many lovely people, as well as having a guest appearance from the Colonel (Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5) and playing a few of the Dijon 5 tunes to a very excited crowd! We’ll never forget Mugstock, it was a Well Happy experience for us all. Thanks go to everyone involved in creating a wonderful festival (Alaine Allison Walls)

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Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen

Audio Soup 2016

Standard

Cranshaws, Duns

July 22nd – 25th

WE ARE CURRENTLY UPDATING THE VIDEOS – THEY WILL BE BACK UP SOON

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This time last week , it looked like this year’s coolest Scottish Festival, Audio Soup, had fallen victim to the rather dodgy summer weather we’d all been suffering north of the wall. One of the sound systems had just arrived & were unloading their gear when all of a sudden, in one symbiotic pulsing organism, everything on site was suddenly being lifted up & ferried over the wall to the adjoining field. It was all hands on deck as the river that cuts through the site had burst its bank & folk like the indomitable Bob Todd were literally waist-high in a flash flood of Biblical proportions. Half an hour later, the waters were already subsiding &, two days later – on the Friday – all that the first punters to arrive at the festival knew about it were the slightly soggy grass-ways. It was game on for the two Mumble reporters in the Soup (Bobsi & Spud) & all the other revelers & performers which make the place & the party so special.

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Bob Todd setting up

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SPUD – Welcome to the smallest, best, diverse and biggest-hearted festival in Scotland.  Audio Soup has increased in popularity and grown into one of the best loved festivals over the last few years. Situated near Cranshaws in a valley surrounded by rolling green hills, Audio Soup offers a wide variety of entertainment.  With music, arts, crafts and a well designed layout, Soupers can enjoy a weekend off continuous dance and deep felt vibes, released from all who have attended.  What must also be highlighted is that Audio Soup offers up not only music but a Kids Area, Massage, Steam Rooms, Local food stalls, Asian Clothes stalls and for those who choose to ramble the hills, great views of the site and countryside. Its just heavenly.. Perfect !!!!.

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BOBSI – I got picked up by Saxy Bill, the newest member of Tinky Disco.  I sat in the back of the car listening to the lead vocalist, Mike, chat to Bill about studio sessions, singing jazz and blues and learning different instruments. As a keen singer and dancer myself, I was in my element soaking up the reverberations of two creative minds revelling in their passions. Tents pitched, midges out, a few beers had been sunk and the festival slaver was in full swing. Tiny Disco were playing at 9.30pm and they brought in a nice crowd to the Beetroot Cafe. I saw the Victor Pope Band afterwards and thoroughly enjoyed dancing to Steve’s intellectual lyrics; a mixture of food for thought and complete hilarity.  The Otherwhere tent brought some brilliant house, techno beats over the weekend. I particularly enjoyed the Samedia Sheeban session.

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SPUD – With Friday night thoroughly underway, I managed  captured the set from Edinburgh band Tinky Disco with the infamous Mike Daniel from Groove Armada on lead vocals.  Currently working on their first album in the studio, Tinky were here to entertain us, and that they certainly did, with great lyrics and songs, they released an energy that captivated the audience, who buy now were grinding the dance floor into pulp.   With so much going on and so much to see I found myself darting around (happily) from tent to tent and being totally intoxicated by all the wonderfully conversations and chats I had with the artists.   Coming across the main stage I caught the set by King Lagoons Flying Swordfish Band.  With costumes from outer space and a quirky futuristic sound, this was a fun loving show full of deep bass and high cranked guitar sounds.  Loved it !!!

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Tinky Disco

BOBSI – The crew put on an amazing festival and worked really hard to pull everything together. It felt like a low security event because there was a really good crowd of punters present, so no nonsense kicked off, that I was aware off.  Apart from one girl getting too wasted and one guy being asked to leave cause he was a bit shouty and rude. But you know, a two to 1,500 ratio is amazing. It is so refreshing to be at a festival like this. Trouble, is something that needs to stay far away from this kind of environment, and I hope that new people attending this type of event, can keep to the general coolness of the vibe and not stand out like a T in the Parker. It would be nice to slowly train T in The Parkers to behave in this way eventually, but I guess we would all hope that by the time they reach Audio Soup, they already get it.

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Nipples of Venus

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SPUD – With so many bands to see, like AC Red , The Girobabies, Nipples from Venus, Bombskare, Roots System, Sea Bass Kid, Urban Folk Band, Father Funk and much more, we were spoiled for choice.  Finding myself in Venue 42 on Saturday, I witnessed the set from 15 year old Morven.  With an acoustic guitar and a sweet soft soothing voice, Morven sung so beautifully it sent the crowd into a relaxed state of peace and near sleep.  What a wee gem in the making. I am sure Morven will turn up at many a festival over the forthcoming years.  Well done !!!!  With the Beetroot Tent hosting some great acts I managed to capture a 30 min onslaught from the Victor Pope Band. Another Edinburgh based band that has the genius Steve Vickers at the helm.  His infectious energy and mind blowing lyrics propel you into another dimension.  With quirky songs like “Susan Boyle Is Beautiful” and the thought provoking “Nice To Be Nice” their set was delivered and executed with emotion and heart.  Excellent is the word !!!! Walking around in the sun, it was a joy to see so many young kids with their families enjoying themselves, especially when throwing straw all over their parents. So nice to see. As the sun started to set I took myself to see Root System with MC Deta on vocals.  This reggae and dub outfit provided the up beat skanking sound which turned the crowd into a frenzy of dancing bees.

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Jamie & Shoony

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BOBSI – The camp site was great fun too, with random sessions popping up all over the shop. That is what I like most about the artists who perform at these gigs, they are totally non pretentious and just get involved with the normals. I never stand next to one and feel like I am not an equal. Even though, I don’t have a band, and I am not always known by the person. After all, people who avoid eye contact or don’t include you in a conversation just because you don’t have a connection to them, are just ignorant and rude. I really came across less of that kind of banter this weekend, than I have done for a very long time. Which was great! It let for lots of new friends to be made, which is the entire point of going to new places for me. One thing that got on my goat, is the dropping of litter. Adults, just flinging their shit away!  There were lots of recycling points with bins, scattered all over the venue, so this “bad” was pure and simply down to the extreme laziness of some of the punters.  As I mentioned to a few folk, the easiest way to clean up litter is to not drop it, so hopefully next year, at least some of the people whom return will have learned that one.

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SPUD – After the magical line from Saturday, Sunday was lining up to be just as good.  Arriving at the main stage just in time to see MC Rolls take to the stage with the Urban Folk Band, it was a delight to see so many people with beer and bacon rolls jumping around like crickets on a hot day. True to their name the Urban Folk Band set the tone for a roller coaster ride of deep well crafted city beats.  A memorable time for all…   The Beetroot Tent was a wee gem of a place, hosting many of the diverse and unique bands around. Chatting to Ollie, Ben and James from “Irie Yo Yo”  earlier in the day I wandered into the Beetroot Tent to catch their set. With James on vocals any passer by would have heard a deep rooted reggae voice that would have drawn them in.  This reggae band with a brass section really has the makings of something special . With chucky, clicky guitars and brass instruments that melt your heart, I felt like I was in the Caribbean .  Nice and tight and well delivered.  It was a joy to watch and skank along too.

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SPUD – With so many DJs to choose from there was a musical taste to suit all.  Two hours of Mumbo Jumbos ‘a well attended Edinburgh Club night’ was a smooth introduction into a night of dance and celebration . Funk, Soul, Disco and Urban Dance sent us all on our way.  Straight from Mumbo Jumbos was the long awaited sound of Samedia.   With their latino and jazzy sounds the tent was taking the full impact of the revelers energetic dance. The last band to take to the main stage need no introduction, so lets just say that they rocked the field and left the Soupers screaming for more.  That was the sound of the Ska band ‘Bombskare.’   The crew party started with the sounds of the 80s and 90s delivered by the one and only ‘Divine” a Fire Warden with a magical touch…   With a major thanks to Louise Hare and all the Audio Soup crew for putting together just not another festival but a real precious memory for all.

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BOBSI – The Cackle Bar seemed to attract creative minds into synchronised shenanigans at various points throughout the entire weekend, as well as being the main host for the Crew Afterparty. The tent seemed to have a mind of its own and encouraged all sorts of interesting conversations and grown up games. Face painting, balloons and cocktails were just on the surface of the fun, which seemed scratching to get out from underneath. It harboured the Fairy Post Depot, where I learned you could write your favourite wish and stick it into the Communal Fairy Bam Pot, which would then be free for any other bam or pot head to read, and do something about if they so wished. And it had a lovely lounge area, for when watching dancing was more to taste than doing dancing. It was the perfect balance of everything you need at same stage, during a festival, or in fact, life! So it was to no surprise that I found myself bouncing back to this point at the most regular of instances during the course of the party. Cackle banter, so it was!

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The final word should go to Scotland’s busiest funmaker, the never-weary Mark McGhee, who told the Mumble,

Just back from the best Audio Soup yet !!! 

Shouts to all the organizers Louise, Ali, Adrian, Abi , Ricardo and all the many others who work so hard to make sure the good times flow. It was a pleasure for us to play the main stage and run the BoomBapSoupRoll Hip Hop tent all weekend 

Shouts to all our helpers Sara, Lindsey, Nic, Jamie,Jonathon, Cee, Andy , Thomas, John and all the rest who made things happen and helped make everything run as smoothly as possible all day and night for 3 days in a field. So many talented artists gave their best ever performances. I was blown away by the skills on display and the respect and the gratitude all these talented folks showed to the good ship Audio Soup.  Big ups to tha boom,bap soup .. and roll on next year!

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Kelburn Garden Party 2016

Standard
Kelburn Garden Party
1st to 4th July
Largs
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VICTOR POPE’S KELBURN

I arrived in the traditional manner in a car with it’s front wheels about to fall off attempting to hide various incriminating smells. The sight was far from clearly signposted but this all added to the secretive nature of the event. It made you feel like you were someone special for knowing about it, let alone knowing where it was. All aided by the fact that it was set on the grounds of Kelburn Castle, the mercurial Viscount Dave’s palatial country abode. Set in the side of a hill leading down to the chilling Atlantic, fresh and green from the sprinkling of rain followed by rejuvenating sun. A welcome omission when we arrived at the gates were the Police who had been more than in evidence at the Eden Festival a month or so earlier. We suspected the Viscount’s dad of certain secret handshakes to ensure this was the case. It’s not what you know, etc.
    After pitching our tents we made an instant bee line for the pyramid stage where the excellent Twistettes could be heard belting out another storming set. However we missed this as delays ensued with the all too familiar booze search at the gate. This fashion for not being allowed to bring your own booze into festivals must be stopped! When you’re charging well in excess of a hundred quid a ticket how can you possibly begrudge someone stashing up on a wee carry oot before they hit the party. If they’re not careful festivals soon really will be only for the landed gentry to enjoy! Still, the security lapsed off considerably during the day so it wasn’t too bad. The first band we managed to catch in their entirety were the Girobabies and I have to say they were superb. Their unique mix of Streets style naturalistic rapping with the hedonistic indie ethos of the likes of the Libertines and some superb word play made for one of my gig highlights of the year and the best I had seen this particular band. A big shout out must also go to synth player Jess Aslan who was celebrating a year with the seminal Weedgie rap rockers.
    As the festival progressed a variety of acts passed my perusal. From the primitive comedy punk stylings of Victor Pope to the uber-technical funk explosion of Hiatus Kaiyot (I think this is what Nile Rodgers meant when he said “Too Funky”). All of it done with conviction and all of it, though not all strictly to my taste, done with skill. My only slight disappointment being a somewhat half-arsed set from Unkle’s James Lavelle. It just sounded like they were jamming! It was also nice to see along side the big names some local heroes like Sea Bass Kid and Callum Easter totally taking their sound to the next level. I predict big things for both these acts. The focus definitely seemed to be on music you could dance too but on the last night I was happily intrigued by a beautiful clarinet and synthesizer duo headlining the pyramid stage. There was also always room for the cerebral poetic delights on display at the waterfall.
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Besides the music a mention must also be made for suicidal tightrope walkers, James Page’s mind boggling stone stacking and the excellent and eclectic range of food available. And all this is the tip of the iceberg for all the delights that awaited you in this labyrinthine setting. Giant playable drum machines anyone? If there’s one word I could use to describe the whole experience it’s a cheesy one but I couldn’t think of one more appropriate – magical. So get yourself down there next year for one of the most unique festivals in Scotland and if you can’t afford a ticket then get learning something trippy that no-one else does and I’m sure they’ll let you in. Psychic tiddly winks anyone? Practice makes perfect!
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DIVINE’S KELBURN

The rain hammered down on my trusty tent, throughout the night. My eye’s opened at around 6am and I awoke slowly in true festy fashion. The sound of rain drops stopped and my thoughts drifted to where they needed to be. I dressed and went in search of coffee.
The rain began falling again, so with recently purchased beverage, I headed for The Twin PeaksTipi. Where I found Doogie Cameron and Agelos P. holding court. It was a very friendly morning. Agelos telling Glastonbury tales. With talk of healing and miracles. swinging hammocks and mud.
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I returned to my tent at around 11am to collect my drum, poetry and Bowie N Prince tunes. painted my eye’s and set off for an afternoon of performance. First stop at the Waterfall, where I would drum for the Victor Pope Band, recite my Poetry and have twenty minuets to do an uphill adventure course to arrive on time for the biggest DJ gig I have performed to date. Bowie is my Man. Its no secret just how important he is to me. My Gig (Sharing the decks with Dj Nick Nack) Was nae to start until 3.30pm. So I had time to water and if there had of been anywhere to get anything to eat, I would have done that too. It was too long a walk back to festival hub and I wouldnae have had time anyway.

 

I played my first Tune, A tear came to my eye. This was the Gig I had been waiting to do since my Hero went to Heaven In January this year. A capacity audience stretching way back into the trees. After the first hour of Bowie, Dj Nick Nack took to the Decks. To Deliver her selection of Prince. The Beech Plateau was going off. With a hungry audience. I finished the set with my chosen Prince Numbers And between us (Dj’s And Audience). We honored the gifts of two ascended masters. To perfection . .

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After the Gig, I returned to the Kelburn Hub, knackered, hungry but fulfilled. I had decided that no party drugs were gonna pass my lips.(I’m nearly 50 and too old for that shit) So after food. I headed to my tent and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sleeping until Dawn started to break. I began my Sunday at around 4am. Heading for the communal file to have breakfast and drum.
At 6am. I took a leisurely stroll up through the beautiful woodland glen. Pausing at regular intervals to meditate and rejuvenate in this very healing place. Eventually arriving at The Beech Plateau for a Crew Party, where I accompanied the DJ’s on Djembe to perfection. There is something special about being in such close proximity to the Sea, I returned to my tent at around 10amthat Sunday morning, with the softness of the sea Breezes and slept. The Four Seasons in a day was to continue. Exhausted I drifted back into sleep land. Divine was Knackered. With duties fulfilled, I relaxed for the rest of my time at Kelburn. Drifting in and out of sleep.
My beautiful chauffer arrived at 10am on Monday Morning and whisked me away for Breakfast in Largs.
Good Time Divinexx
Kelburn Bowie Tune List.
1 Lets Dance. (Live)
2. Love Is Lost. (The James Murphy DFA Remix)
3. Halo Spaceboy. (The Brian Eno Instrumental Remix)
4. Breaking Glass.
5. Rebel Rebel.
6.The Gean Jeanie,
7.John I’m Only Dancing. (again)
8.Diamond dogs.
9.Young Americans.
10. DJ.
Kelburn Prince Tune List.
1, Boys N Girls.
2. Kiss.
3. Get Off.
4. Peach.
5, Beautiful.(NPG) Remix)
6. Sexy MF.
7. The Good Life. (NPG Remix)
8. Sign Of The Times..
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