Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts 2020: 50th Anniversary Preview Edition

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Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts 2020: 50th Anniversary Preview Edition

Oh. Hello! Were you one of the 137,000 lucky individuals who nabbed yourselves a much-coveted ticket for the 50th anniversary edition of Glastonbury Festival of Performing arts?

If so, stay a while and I will congratulate you on your amazing luck and persistence in beating over two million other people, but you already knew that. Afterall with the near 24/7 coverage of this year’s sunny Glastonbury on the BBC it’s hard to find someone who hadn’t heard about it, so no surprises that 2.4 million people registered for the big-ticket scramble.

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Whether you’re a (tie)-died-in-the-wool, old-hand, who’s been to Glasto many times before or an excitable first-time newbie, yet to experience the initial sense of awe and amazement as you venture over the hill from one of the huge car parks or the bus station and see the vast site below. So, let’s have a think about what we can all begin looking forward to, in earnest and base our expectations on some of what has gone before, and with its 49-year history, a LOT has gone on before. The great news is, you can dispel any negativity you might have heard about losing its way or being all corporate – that’s for other festivals. Glastonbury totally rocks!!

Obviously, it’s sunglasses all the way now, gone are the days of Mudstonbury. In-fact, this year I did hear a few folk saying strange things like “it’s too sunny” or “Where’s the mud?” We don’t want that back, honestly. The Eavises and their army of talented event team have put a lot of logistics in place to ensure better drainage, better water, more metalled pathways etc. just to be on the safe side. They really deserve a lot of praise. #Believis!!

Glastonbury is basically many different festivals wrapped up in one big site, more on that later. Huge main stages, small quirky tents and everything in between. So, if you happen to be exploring the site up in the Green Fields area by the Stone Circles, yes there is a mini Stonehenge in a big field, where there’s usually a fire and drumming. Lots of drumming, kind of 24/7!

That’s another unusual thing about Glasto, you can have fires and sit around those flaming wax covered torches. Fireworks, other than the official ones though are taboo, for obvious reasons and Chinese lanterns likewise. When you are making new friends chilling by the circles, you’ll probably encounter a long-haired fire-starter in leather trousers called Steve, who’s from Bristol, probably kicking a log into the fire and permanently has a rolled-up cigarette in his mouth. He used to come way back in the day, before the giga-fence and didn’t pay back then, he’ll be able to tell you about things that may seem to the more recent visitor like folklore, as in the time when someone smart thought it was a good idea to bring a sewage truck in to suck out the giant lake-like flood that had formed inside the Dance tent but someone accidentally hit blow instead of suck…. The worst happened, exactly as you might now be imagining it! I need not dwell on it here. And yes, you read right, back in the day there was basically only one, albeit huge, dance tent.

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Next year, newbies can look forward to a whole Dance Village and many other world-class dance venues like Arcadia’s new Pangea (the amazing fire shooting crane, low-loaded in from Avonmouth dockyard) and Block-9. To this day I don’t actually know if some of the wilder things to be seen down there in the early hours of the morning are amazing art installations, fantasy projections or just my own over-stimulated imagination. Hmmmm? It’s wonderful though, and you should definitely plan to spend a few nights getting lost there, working up the numbers on your step-counters.

You know the tickets sold out in a record 34 minutes and if you are anything like me and were sitting there with laptops, desktops, tablets and phones hopefully clicking and reclicking refresh it was quite a difficult morning. A quick glance at social media reveals a lot of sadness for those less fortunate. It’s hardly surprising that the tickets are so popular though, when the show has had 49 years to prepare for the big party next summer.

It’s a truly amazing place that is constantly changing and bringing new things. The Victorian pier this year was a great new place to visit, up near the delightfully kitsch, ribbon viewing tower, whilst remaining reassuringly constant. Those who’ve been before can almost always find their way around, assuming they remain sober enough obviously.

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Unlike many lesser festivals, the camping is within the confines of the whole festival, so unless you are in a camper van, glamping (more on that later) or a Worthy View pre-erected tent once you go through the gate you are in, and don’t need to worry about access for the rest of the week. It’s exciting finally getting your all-important wrist band and other goodies, such as a free programme, tote-bag, bio-degradable tent pegs or whatever else they are giving away. And then you are free to venture off to pick one of many campsites to settle in. The best bit is you can take in as much food and drink (yes including booze) as you can carry – or even pull on a cart. The only rule here is to avoid glass bottles, as once the circus of Glastonbury packs up again, it’s a working dairy farm and guess what – cows hate broken glass as much as we do.

With over 300 food places serving up a total smorgasbord of just about every cuisine you can imagine from vegan tofu burgers to sushi to jerk chicken to gumbo. Literally everything is available and, as might be expected from a festival with such worthy heritage (donating millions to Oxfam, Wateraid and Greenpeace over the years) they arrange that most stalls will do a £5 meal-deal, so you really won’t need to break the bank.

For the uninitiated, who’ve not been fortunate enough to go before it’s worth bearing in mind that the perimeter fence of Glastonbury is something staggering like 9 miles long and the given population at any given time, including staff and performers is approximately 200,000 people, just let that sink in for a moment, that’s like a busy city-centre. There are over 100 stages to enjoy and something like 350 food stalls and many, many shops – when in doubt, just wander, don’t be afraid to get lost!

At the last count there were something like 3,000 sit-down toilets, including one, which contains a throne and art gallery, right the way to the other end of the spectrum. The Long-Drop toilets, which are basically a hole to sit on, high up over a latrine trench. The good news is that the toilet situation has come on a long way. Spare a thought for those 250 wonderful, dedicated WaterAid volunteers in the Poo-Crew. There are lots of options including she-pees for girls who can stand up and over 700 meters of male urinals. I still like to keep some wet-wipes, loo roll and hand sanitiser in my faithful bum-bag, just-in-case – along with hay fever paraphernalia.

When thinking about writing a preview edition for the forthcoming event, you might be forgiven in thinking how come I haven’t even touched on the music yet. Weeeeelllllll, Kind of tricky when the programme isn’t announced and won’t be until soon after April 2020. That’s not to say that a bunch of overexcited artists won’t accidentally self-confirm or publish their UK tour dates, with a mysterious week off at the end of June?

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What a lot of people don’t know is that, whilst the main stages begin on Friday morning at around about 11am and usually finish around about the same time in the evening, the festival ground is actually open from 6am on Wednesday morning and those first couple of days are a great time to wander and get to know the place. There is usually a bonfire and fireworks on the Wednesday night, once it gets properly dark and there are lots of smaller tents and dance sound systems providing more than enough entertainment. That’s the thing about Glastonbury, there is ALWAYS enough entertainment. It is probably fair to say that is the only major festival in the world that sells out, when the line-up hasn’t even been announced. That doesn’t stop the rumour-mill. Although, rumours are usually just people expressing their wishful thinking, some artists do let the cat out of the bag. For example, we already know for sure that for 2020 one of the legends is going to be the fabulous Diana Ross!

There are some strong rumours around, as there always is. I think Madonna has ruled herself out and Emily Eavis sounded like she was ruling out Fleetwood Mac. Personally, I would love to see Depeche Mode there. Who would you want if you could have any? A great site for the rumours is eFestivals. They have the likes of Robbie Williams, Carl Cox, Taylor Swift, the Foals and the Kinks as strong rumours. All good of course. Please believe me when I say “it really doesn’t matter who the headliners are”. I often hear it from people who have never been, and I sigh as the place is the experience and it far surpasses any thoughts of who the headliners ever were. That’s why it sells out regardless of any kind of line up. The line-up invariably blows me away though, and I have muso friends who always introduce me to some band who are simply the best, who I’ve never till that point heard of, but who I will walk away, like at the start of a new love affair.

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The preview can’t be complete without a nod to the other areas, for example the Theatre and Circus fields, where there are so many amazing performances every day from the breath-taking to the bizarre. The Green Fields, where you can learn about permaculture and take part in political debates. The Acoustic tent is huge and can hold thousands and there are some amazing singer songwriters performing there at the top of the site, next to the Cinemas, which show some amazing films and feature the latest Sony cinema systems. Worth a look even if it isn’t raining! In fact, for the last two festivals Carmagedon has featured, where a bunch of scrap old cars have been brought in and up-cycled to form an open-air, drive-thru cinema experience too. And, in case you didn’t know, Children under 12 can go for free and that the Children’s fields contain the biggest children’s festival in the whole of Europe with loads to help entertain the little kids, maybe while the big kids are off getting into trouble!

For the lazy amongst you, or perhaps those travelling environmentally soundly in a coach, with limited luggage capacity there are some pre-erected tent options to investigate, that include several tent sizes in ‘Worthy View’ that are not too expensive. They are up a very steep hill though, which after a full day and night stomping around is an ask. It is very well set up though and on a well-drained plateaux overlooking the whole site, served by its own car park and has hot showers and VIP loos. And then there are some quite ridiculous (I only say that because I’m jealous) glamping options on offer such as big yurts and bell tents. Again some of these are a bit of a walk away. On-site there are also some native American style wigwams, which are spectacular and have neat fires in them. These are near the middle of the whole site, so a really good choice for those who don’t want to walk so much. Actually, talking of keeping walking to a minimum, we should spare a thought for those less able. Glastonbury really works hard to make the site inclusive and has many viewing platforms at all the main stages and a bus system to ferry those with disabilities around the site. Electric wheelchairs can be hired in advance and there are charging facilities in the disabled camping area.

Try not to plan too much – that being said it is great fun to visit a scheduling website in advance such as Clashfinder General and getting an idea of just how much music is actually on offer. You need to be warned though to be prepared for the pain of those clashes. For obvious reasons of safety, crowd control and general welfare the biggest acts tend to be on against each other. When you get there, it might feel like the clashes are aimed at you personally as it is often your favourite artists who seem to literally be on at the same time. You might be tempted to watch the start of one act and then try to race to catch the end of the other favourite. This can be done, and often the start times are staggered some, maybe to help this, but the best advice here is to just pick one and enjoy it to the max. Make sure you have been to bathroom, topped up with a couple of drinks, found your friends or arranged a suitable tree for them to find you by and are ready to go! One of the most beautiful sites is all the creatively inspired flags that people carry around to help their pals meet up with them in the crowds.

As you can see on the chart it usually takes about half an hour to wander between stages. Can be magnified lots if there is a big act just finishing on one of the bigger stages or it has been raining.. If you ask most folk who’ve been many times and we are of the same opinion, the less you plan and the less you anticipate seeing 23 of your favourite acts, the better your Glastonbury experience will be. One year I spent a day watching world-class Chinese acrobats, A BMX stunt comedian, The Hobbit film in an open-air cinema, A wild carnival trapeze act, a wonderfully burlesque lady playing 3 recorders at the same time, who told me salaciously that later that night an unusual performance of 4 recorders was to be witnessed somewhere up in the Theatre and Circus fields. We must always remember it’s a festival of performing arts and not just a music festival, but it really is, without doubt one of the very best music festivals in the whole world. Something to remember as you leave, expect some degree of heartbreak as you realise that Glastonbury has taken a little piece of your heart to keep there for itself. For those 5 days you lived with hardly a thought for rules and regulations, living in a magical land where you fall out of your tent and get entertained by the best entertainers in the world with no limits. That always leaves a mark. Luckily the BBC air lots of footage for you to relive your best moments. Of course, the really memorable things tend to be the quirky art installations or theatrical performers you encounter far away from the main stages, which are usually less covered by the mainstream media.

When you finally get there enjoy it with all your heart, be respectful of others (and yourself) and ‘leave no trace.’

Ian Clark

St Andrews Voices: 2019

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I do enjoy visiting the coastal pearl of Scotland that is Saint Andrews, for the city knows its culture well. I was thus in a premium state of anticipation to experience for the first time a festival there, Voices. Its artistic director, Sonia Stevenson, certainly knows what she’s doing. A loyal local lassie, being brought up in St Andrews & nurtured by its thriving & masterful music scene, by 2019 Sonia is using her national experience as a performer, teacher & events organiser – fuelled by her clear love of bringing people together – to formulate a quality program. For the 7th time in a row, she has assembl’d a venturous team of volunteers & performers to spread musical joy across the city for very freshening days. Reinventing itself each year, Voices showcases the versatility and beauty of the human voice in an amazingly broad spectrum of genres including opera, cabaret, lieder, folk, spoken word, choral, a cappella, early music, new music and more…

To experience the festival I intended to attend two evening’s worth of events – the Friday & the Saturday – & spend the weekend in the area as a bonus. The wife & I do enjoy supra-historical Fife, & booked ourselves at an air B&B in Newport-on-Tay. The view across ever the Silvery Tay reminds her of home – the Puget Sound, north of Seattle – & being only 20 minutes from St Andrews, & even less to Dundee’s TK Maxx, Newport seem’d perfect for all our needs.

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Janice Galloway enjoying the festival after delivering a special live presentation of her novel, Clare Schumann

Friday the 18th of October 2019 saw wild fits of weather lash the eastern coast of Scotland. It was absolutely brutal, but Voices is not an outdoor festival, peppering instead some of the best venues in St Andrews. Parking up near the abbey, we slipped into the splendid Byres Theatre for our first event, a recital by soprano, Carolyn Sampson, accompanied with flourishing panache by Joseph Middleton. Carolyn has an internationally acclaimed voice, performing roles for the English National Opera, the operas of Lille, Paris & Montpellier; & also appearing as a soloist across America with symphony orchestras from Boston to San Francisco. Middleton himself is a highly esteemed member of the living pantheon, being the first accompanist to be the recipient of the Young Artist Award at the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

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They are quite a team these two, with an invigorated history of combined performances & recordings behind them, including the fantastic Fleurs of 2015. It is from this sense of togetherness that a remarkable set of songs have sprung back to life in their hands,  lungs & vestments. It was quite an honour to be there, as this was the very public first performance ever of SONGS OF HEAVEN & EARTH. The next day, Saturaday 19th, they would be doing it all again at the Leeds leider.

A recital such as this is window into the drawing rooms of the Romantic era. Long before the electrification & mass reproduction of music, all of it had to be done live. Haydn, appreciating the talented amateur, creative his simple but effectively entertaining Italianate Arianna a Naxos. This provided the opening three numbers of the night, all conjured with precision & liveliness by Sampson & Middleton. Next up were four songs from Schoenberg’s Vier Lieder, followed by two from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn.

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Switching to French after the interval, we enjoyed a miniature procession through the sapphic Les Chanson de Bilitis, written by the Belgian poet, Pierre-Felix Louis. A series of 143 poems with strong lesbian themes, some were put to music by Debussy & Koechin,  & were presented to us with continued performative excellence. Finally we were given Four Last Songs, by Richard Strauss, followed by another Strauss piece, Morgen, as an encore.

As audience members, my wife & I adored Carolyn’s stoic & quasi-theatrical performance of these soliloquyised serenades, hardly taking our eyes off her apart from when Middleton ended each piece with a downturned floating hand, as if bouncing some invisible energy-sphere off the keys. All in all, witnessing the higher cerebrality of such trilinugal musical mastery was a scintillating start to our Voices experience, especially when I heard the vaulting etherality of Debussy’s Le Tombeau des Naides for the first time.

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In the queue for ‘Late Night with Robyn Stapleton’

After the performance, we had half-an-hour out in the tempest.  We had to get ourselves to the Hotel du Vin at the other end of St Andrews, for a very different but equally magnaminous musical performance. Robyn Stapleton is a lassie of the purest Celtic tradition; raven-headed, lilly-voiced, & a consummate teller of tales. Former BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year, she was accompanied by Mike Vass, a tender guitarist who never dominated, always allowing Stapleton’s singing to willow upon his silken waters.

Her talent lies in a consummate memory for word, phrase & pitch,  while the overall song selection was stunning, keeping well within the theme of the festival, which is to shine a spotlight on some of history’s most important women, such as Sundays opera Mary Queen of Scots, by Donizetti. Among the beautifully sung numbers we heard the broken token classic, Pretty Fair Maiden, Stapleton’s personal favorite, Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, Violet Jacob’s excuisite poem ‘Halloween‘ (music by Jim Reid) & a Burnsian ‘bothy ballad’ – I cant recall the writer or name – that got the crowd singing along for the first time.

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The performance was over only too soon, despite most of the crowd now getting quite delightedly on board with the choruses. We were like a boiled sweet that had finally sucked down into the honey-sweet centre. By the end I really understood the remit of the festival – I had heard two very special & different singers, but if you add the unique & idiosyncratic playing styles of Middleton & Vass then perhaps I had hear four Voices.

It had been a wonderful initiation into what Sonia Stevenson is trying to achive with her festival, & as I stepped out into the skin-stripping Viking blast, I was warm enough inside to get to the safety of the car heater without too much discomfort. On the drive back to Newport, my wife & I were breaking quite randomly, but in perfect synchonicity, with diddly-pom choruses based upon Robyn’s own brilliant selection – the pure pudding proof of a top night out!

The view from our place in Newport

Weatherwise, the next morning was a much less sanguine affair; clear skied & breezy, the quintessence of the east coast Autumn. While I followed the Rugby World Cup, my wife hit Dundee & its celebrated TK Maxx. ,Before we both knew it, daylight was rapidly running out of room in the sky, so we drove the 20 minutes back to St Andrews & began the rather serious hunt for a good restaurant. It was a great excuse to meander about the trident streets of St Andrews, & we eventually settl’d on an incredibly tasty Chinese called New Dynasty.

So to our second & final evening at Voices. It began with a tour of the dreamlike Luxumralis installations, guided by Sonia Stevenson herself, still effervescently sprightly considering she is mid-term with her second child. By her side was the equally charming Amanda Macleod, in her second year of assisting Sona, while the guest speaker was Dutch astrophysicist Anne-Marie Weijmans. The tour began in the Zest Cafe, where for 20 minutes or so we were regaled with a scientific introduction to the light-show we were about to see.

Sonia Stevenson centre, Amanda near right, Anne-Marie just behind Sonia

Luxmaralis are currently taking a light & music spectacular into cathedrals & churches across the land. It was bordeline beatific to experience a papal score & fabulous 3D images swirling into every physical & metaphysical crevice of St Andrews Holy Trinity. We British may be a much more agnostic bunch these days, but if anyone would have seen such a ‘miraculous’ show even 150 years ago, they would have downed tools & immediately joined some kind of religious house.

Spiralling through time on a 20 minute loop throughout Voices, of its installation in the festival, Luxmaralis mastermind Peter Walker told the Mumble; We have been working for around 12 months with the festival director, looking at the subject of Space and the cosmos and considering how this works not only as an artwork but also bringing in a concert element with a collaborative choir which, although we have worked with choirs before, is in this case directly linked to the artwork. The Space link comes from the Lunar landing anniversary, although its not the only reason – being in a church reanimating the space and the architecture and creating a different visual experience for the festival was also key (read the full Interview).

Towards the end of the sequence, into the church stepped 4 members of festival’s ensemble in residnce, the Gesualdo Six. They were singing some utterly divine Latin homily, reinforcing once more the exploration of the capabilities of the Human Voice that is the  eclectic & entertaining theme of Voices. This sonic wonder was rapidly followed by the arrival of spacecraft projected onto the Holy Trinity masonry & its illuminated glass, the piece’s proper pinnacle & one which all othe best of performance art needs to possess.

After our 20 minutes, a portion of the tour group followed Amanda out into the St Andrews night, for the relatively short walk to a wee gem of a church, All Saints, & its own portion of the Luxmaralis experience. This instigated a less epic, but equally as intense severing of the consciousness from the self, & once more I drifted into quasi-spiritual thought.

We’re gonna be late,” whispered my wife, snapping me into full action for our final show of our Voices experience, back where we started at the Byres. This was to be David McAlmont, famous from his collaboration with Suede’s Bernard Butler, which turned out be a startlingly pleasurable show in which he sang some of the best songs by  Billie Holiday.  The ultimate ariel blueswoman, she was an enigmatic, hard-partying, bisexual, junkie black jazz singer who the shoved the Jim Crow laws where the pale-visag’d sun doesn’t shine, via the magic of her singing.  Her ability to conjure a thrilling atmosphere was replicated with some success by McAlmont & his immaculate band. Their set consisted of 14 songs, inbetween which McAlmont & his pianist, Alex Webb, told the fascinating story of Billie Holiday’s rise & fall drawn directly from Holiday’s autobiography,  Lady Sings the Blues.

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Through songs such as ‘I Cover the Waterfront‘ & ‘Fine & Mellow,’ McAlmont gave a subtle but refined performance, allowing me to enjoy the watching of each member of the band as they strutted their pristeen stuff – Sophie Aloway’s drumming was especially entrancing. I thoroughly loved the stage-space, which helped my mind to focus on each member of the ensemble, tho’ my wife disagreed & said she’d have preferred a more distill’d version in a jazz bar or something. I reminded her that the show was meant to be emulating Billie Holiday’s famous second, sold-out comeback show at the rather large Carnegie Hall in 1956.

We both agreed to both agree & disagree, & were soon enough happily singing some of the splendid songs we’d just heard on our drive back to Newport, just like we did the previous evening. For two nights in a row the Voices conjured by Sonia Stevenson, her team & the superb performers were flying flowing through our brain channels like naiads, & we look forward already to what ‘soup of the day‘ selection of Voices will be pirouetting about St Andrews next Autumn.

Damian Beeson Bullen

Reminisce: 2019

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Sherdley Park, St Helens
Saturday 7th september, 2019

Due to work commitments we were a bit late arriving but after an easy cruise down the M6 we rocked up at 7.30. A couple of helpful security guys escorted us to the main entrance only to find that unfortunately the production box office was at the other side, another guard took us to the right place. Roddy was apparently a kick boxing champ and after we saw him in action on his phone I relaxed, to be fair I’ve never felt safer. A few early casualties were being seen to by what looked like an experienced and effective set of first aiders.

69974078_377711886255432_629451478980886528_n.jpgAfter processing we headed to the Love House Arena full of optimism. For once I was in the demographic as the Festival was overtly a celebration of the 90’s dance scene. Jon Pleased Wimmin was just finishing his set with some bangers, we were starting to feel very at home so we headed out and about to find the Judgement Arena. Along the way we managed to trip over a very nice bar serving proper cocktails. Suitably fortified with industrial strength gin and tonic we found our destination where surprisingly Micky Slim was also filling the floor with a set of 90’s classics, are you starting to spot a theme? I can’t remember what the fuck he actually played but just type 90’s rave classics into your search engine, you’ll get the idea.

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Judge Jules was worth the entry and the drive all by himself, here’s one of the old timers who’s still smashing it everywhere he goes. One of the old school who’s kept it real over the decades he didn’t disappoint and I could have gone home happy after his set. This was lucky because the whole thing was set to shut down at 11.

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My companions think we saw the live set of Tricia McTeague but personally I can’t remember, I’m sure it was excellent though. She’s sung with all the greats over the years and now me, her life is complete. Love Inc got the main stage crowd singing along and bouncing, hard to tell with their scouse accents but I think they got the words right. Lee Butler and Sosumi’s sets looked absolutely amazing, the organisers must have spent a fortune on visual effects, no wonder it was £85 a ticket what with all the security and everything.

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If you can remember the 90’s you weren’t there but I’m pretty sure I saw Anton Powers and he was brilliant. Mike Lewis was great and finally I found what I was looking for where the streets have no name. 3-0 ya beauty! In the end everyone plays drum and bass. Banging out Danny Byrd’s Ill Behaviour. With a great MC. I just don’t know who is was! When everything started shutting down we were allowed a go on the shows for £5 and the guy kept it going for ages but with no music. Eleven!!!! Then I had a massive whitey which prevented me from attending the after parties.

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I know this is meant to be a review of Reminisce but actually I had a much better time at the Urban Flava 2019 party in Dundee with my good friend The General a Mains Castle, three floors of banging tunes from the attic to the garden. Easy days boys.

Words: Graeme ‘Steely’ Steel
Photography: Mark ‘Parky’ Parker

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Lindisfarne (2019)

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Aug 29th -Sept 1st, 2019
just before Holy Island


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MARK’S LINDISFARNE

The perfect end to the summer they pitched this one to me! Summer over! Some people where saying it never even started but I personally had the best summer ever, so I was really looking forward to rounding things up nicely and approached Lindisfarne with an open mind and a happy heart. It is not the biggest festival by any means, but festivals are not always about size and the bands and DJ’s that you see to me it’s about catching up with old and new friends having a giggle and being free. Lindisfarne gave us the perfect opportunity to do this in an excellent setting with stunning views.

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When we entered the festival, we were greeted by a steward who pointed us to our campsite / caravan site. It is basically split with the motorhomes and caravans to the right as you enter the site ad the actual camping site was further on straight ahead of where you come in. The full site is a decent size with the main area being partially enclosed by both campsites’ ad the sea at the back of it. The main arena had one official entry point where security where searching bags for alcohol as people entered but there was no police presence at all which I found very refreshing. Everyone governed themselves, I don’t know if it was because there were a lot more people in the 30plus age group or everyone was nicer but apart from the odd idiot wondering the campsite for the wrong reason’s way past their bedtime I did not see any other at all!

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The main arena had two large big-top circus type tents which the majority of the headliners played in. That was rather lucky as one of our Favourite bands Col. Mustard ad the Dijon 5 had to be moved last minute as the main tent had some sort of rip in it which meant they had to accommodate all their fans in the smaller tent. This meant that a number of the fans where left outside but the ‘Guys’ where having none of that and in a ‘flash of mustard’ asked everyone to shift along a wee bit when they sang their classic
‘Cross the road’ and got everyone in the tent so that no one was disappointed!

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There were lots of great acts over the weekend and although a little strange that it finished on the Saturday rather than the Sunday they were fine with us hanging around and having our own wee mini festival at the campsite, I heard the last people to leave where actually on Monday morning! My personal favourites where I Delta city as I was born to rave and there was plenty of room so I got to ‘cut some fine air’ as I lost myself to the beats. I was gutted I missed Sharon Common on the Friday afternoon I heard her set was banging! I did however manage to catch one of the God Father’s of Rave DJ Slipmatt who blew my mind! Dutty Mooshine big band where punching well above their weight with a stand in singer who stole the show! Half the band looked like they were in the que for the job centre as she sang her heart out! SL2 lasted out all the old favourites and worked the crowd into a frenzy in the dance tent which was about half the size of the two main tents.

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There were lots going on at Lindisfarne with loads of smaller venues dotted around with plenty of food stalls ad a fair number of toilets for everyone to use. I never really seen any que’s apart from people waiting to see the Col. & The mustards but that was understandable. I only caught the start of Ocean Colour Scene as I recently saw them at the Usherhall where they were great. Overall I had a excellent time did everything I hoped to do; caught up with friends and family! Lindisfarne certainly delivered on it’s promise; the perfect end to the summer. Thank you Lindisfarne Onelove!


 

GRAEME’S LINDISFARNE

Lindisfarne-Festival-2019-Logo-Square.jpgA large if rather featureless windswept site somewhat saved by stunning sea views greets you as you pull up. Everything one would usually expect is on hand in a small and neatly laid out festival. Much use is made of large marquees to cover all the main stages so one is kept warm and dry while jigging around like a loon. Unusually in this day and age it took me a while to find a decent coffee vendor but other than that the food and beverage on offer was more than adequate.

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Lindisfarne is unusual in that dogs are allowed and children under 18 are not, a fair exchange I’d say! The dog friendly nature passed off without problems, no barking dogs keeping the camp site up all night, just lots of friendly dogs for loved up punters to spoil and cuddle. The team that run the festival seem relaxed and competent, their relationship with the public based entirely on ensuring everyone has a good time. If I had to pick a disappointment I’d say water was a bit hard to come by but outside that everything seemed to run smoothly.

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DJ Yoda finished things off on the main stage on Thursday night, a true showman he was on fine form, delivering his masterclass with panache and style. As with many of these turntablists I sometimes found myself wishing he’d let the tunes run a little but his skills are undeniable and he was a pleasure to watch. Dutty Moonshine were a big raucous jump up and down wall of sound (sound was good all weekend except perhaps on Thursday night when presumably on purpose everything seemed a bit quiet). I love this band and seeing them in more intimate surroundings just made me fall in love with them even more. They are one of the (if not THE) best live bands around right now and just seem to be getting better. Absolute belter.

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Gentlemens Dub Club are another band that are going from strength to strength and smoothly took over where Dutty left off. All the old favourites and a couple of new tunes had the crowd singing and skanking in fine style.


Reviewers: Mark Parker & Graeme Steel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Party At The Palace: 2019

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Linlithgow
10-11 August


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DAMO’S FRIDAY

This year’s trip to PPP was a split affair. I took Saturday, while Raymond Speedie did the Sunday. I clearly got the better day, tho’, it was absolutley lashing it down on the Sunday. At the last minute, Raymond said he wanted to come as well on the Saturday so he could see Midge Ure sing Vienna – which was extremely fortunate as this was the first full song we heard when we got there. Midge Ure looked & sound amazing, a Knights Chevalier in full musical regalia. I love Party in the Palace – a great setting, & a really lovely, warm, friendly crowd. Its quite an institution thesed days & the bands are always top notch. Enter KT Tunstall.

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I’d never seen her play before, but she’s so girl next door, proper funny, with a lady bass player from Livingstone. Another lady completed the trio on drums, & off the galloped through a smashing set. There was a bit of a lightning storm kicking off, so it was a while before the Charlatans got to stage, but when they finally did, & the world was growing darker, & the amazing visuals set up by PATP grew brighter, we all had such a goof time dancing to the chief, Tim Burgess, & his fabulous band. My companion Raymond had also had a great time, relieved of reviewing purposes he was all set up for the Sunday.

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RAYMONDO’S SUNDAY

As Saturday passed into Sunday so changed the weather. The thunder and lighting had moved on leaving a grey, wet, damp afternoon in its place. Muddy wellies, bright ponchos and more umbrellas than fold-out chairs, the party was still on. Like hot chocolate pouring from a saucepan the mud rivers were soon filling the fields but with not a dampened spirit to be found the Palace punters danced under the rain drops with smiles on their faces. Getting around was not going to be an easy job, but music was why we were here and with a Sunday line up featuring Tom Mcguire and the Brassholes, Yoko Pwono, Fat Cops, The Shackles and Craig Charles DJ, it was a no-brainer to be there. As it poured non stop, the water and the earth thickened around your feet like a hot fudge pudding, we were given that unique feeling that is only found at Scottish Festivals. If you can’t change it, just be part of it !!
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With early evening fast approaching as were the long awaited arrival of Huey Morgan and his Fun Lovin Criminals. This New York outfit with their rock, blues, jazz, R&B funky sound were a certain crowd puller at Party at the Palace this year. With that destinctive sound and cheeky character of front man Huey Morgan and Frank Benbini and Brian Leiser glazing us with their drums and keys it was not long before King of New York, Scooby Snacks and Barry White were released for our enjoyment. Huey praised the drenched Scottish crowd and proclaimed were are the best crazy people to have walked this earth and is always a joy to play in Scotland. The very ironically named Wet Wet Wet were next to paddle onto the stage and as mentioned between songs this was the first time in 35 years that it had rained at a Wet Wet Wet concert. Well, there had to be a first time, so why not today!!  Banging out hit after hit like Love is All Around, Sweet Little Mystery and Good Night Girl, the newly shaped and looking band did us proud, and looking around at all the wee happy faces, memories were reborn. As time passed so did the clouds. Deacon Blue took to the stage to a thunderess roar making for a good finale to the 2019 Party at the Palace.  Despite the delays, the lightning, the rain, the mud and the grey skies, Deacon Blue were here to please. Chocolate Girl, Real Gone Kid, Dignity and a catalogue of hits were soon filling the arena. This is why PITP works… its a throw back to times passed and brings forth those warm memories that linger in our past and just need to be rekindled every now and then, through music.
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Preview: Boomtown Fair

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Hampshire
7-11 August 2019


The WhatsApp group is Buzzing, who are we all wanting to see! Will there be clashes? of course! The travel plans are getting finalised, we are travelling down from Scotland so in order to get ourselves in there nice and early we are travelling down the day before the start of the festival.

So this will be our first visit to Boomtown and we honestly can’t wait to throw ourselves into the whole festival experience. Which persona should we adopt, what jobs do we fancy? Jobs at a festival whatever next! Well everything else next so it would seem! Boomtown festival is a fully immersive fantasy town where is appears anything is possible. From choosing to get involved in plots to picking up the odd job there seems to be a whole lot of stuff to help keep us entertained. This truly is an escape from the norm ad designed to help us forget our lives and live the Boomtown dream.

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What about the music, who are we hoping to see? We like the dance side of things for sure (Techno! Techno! Techno City!… here we come!!!) and there are a few acts & superstar DJ’s I really am looking forward to loosing myself I those hypnotic repetitive beats. Chase ad Status where already a must see for us, hearing that it was going to be a trance set made my day. I love drum & base but I think this will blow my mind. They do however clash with a friends favourite The Streets so we will no doubt be separating. There really is so much choice available I hope that I see as much acts and variety as possible!

Chapter 11 looks like it will reflect life, with the toll bell’s ringing it’s time to pay the piper we are all accountable for our actions. Boomtown is life (well at least for 5 days) and life is Boomtown. The place is thriving ad with success comes accountability and life with a little wonder and fantasy and Aliens throw in for good measure. I am fully intending I following the lyrics of primal scream’s loaded. As ‘we want to be free, and do what we want to do’, I intend to go down, deep down into Boom Boom town ad experience everything it has to offer. Why not? It gets boring sitting around all day waiting on your favourite acts coming on. One thing I have quickly realised is there isn’t no need to be bored. If you are happy to take part ad try something new Boomtown seems the ultimate fantasy so let’s see if it lives up to all the hype!

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I don’t think I will be the only one loosing myself in the music which is just one of the reason’s I love the new app. A very welcome addition to everyone’s festival I am sure! It’s great that you can link up with friends in real-time to see where everyone is.
The Boomtown University is the place to unlock your codes for untold wonders. There are rumors flying around that all sorts of fun and festivities can be bestowed upon the faithful followers of Boomtown’s story!

I review a lot of things during the Edinburgh festival and my favourite by far are the ones which a are immersive and let you see more or actually be more than just an audience member. It feels weird to be leaving here at this time of year but I am so looking forward to every second of Boomtown. So next week can’t actually come
quick enough for me. The music may have drawn us all together but it won’t be all that keeps us together. You know already that we will be leaving with a lot more than just the memories of act & DJ’s that we see, this could last forever. Here’s to the friends we make ad the laughs we have along the way let’s hope they last forever. Thank you already Boomtown and here is to the best week ever!

 

Mark Parker

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Doune the Rabbit Hole 2019

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10th Birthday Party 

19th to 21st July 2019


SPUD’S DOUNE

With the 10th Anniversary of Doune The Rabbit Hole opening its gates at 4pm on Friday, the anticipation of this year’s festival was clear to see. As a sequence of people gathered patiently awaiting their turn. The entry through the gates into Wonderland were finally open. Unfortunately the heavens had decided to open their gates, but in true Scottish fashion the revellers opened their hearts and the deterrent of the rain had no affect on what was going to be one of the best ever festival line-ups Scotland has seen.

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To bring together such a cluster of bands, artists, speakers, performers, cabaret acts, comedians and not forgetting 4,600 attendees was no mean feet, so hats off to to amazing crew that pulled it off. Some off the bands in attendance this year were certainly a crowd-puller for Doune. The Wailers, Sister Sledge, The Damned, Lee Scratch Perry, Hawkwind, Battles, Honey Farm, John Grant, Asian Dub Foundation, Black Mass, Kathryn Joseph, Irie Yo-Yo, The Girobabies, Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, Hot 8 Brass Band, Bombskare, The Skids… its like winning a ticket as a child to a chocolate factory, spoilt for choice. Let the gluttony begin.

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With the Doune site being slightly expanded this year, people were able to uncover some new spaces like The Warren. A beautiful hidden area under the canopy of floodlit trees were DJs were allowed to spin their discs and punters danced their dance. The surrounding area at The Warren gave adequate sanctuary for weary feet and therefore allowed people to take some peaceful respite. Traversing through the site you were overwhelmed with colourful costumes, painted kids’ faces, wonderful aromas of freshly-cooked food delights and a heart-warming energy that seems to hug you from the air like an invisible lover.

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These festivals are our modern day version of the past Town Fairs & Pageants and are a very important ingredient to our social education and communities; to encourage togetherness, respect, understanding, communication. To build family relationships, make new friends, build bridges with culture and music and explore yourself. Its an ancestral part of who we are as people and Doune captures that in every way possible…

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Irie Yo-Yo

With a hot, muggy, sticky-wet heat covering the audience Lee Scratch Perry glides onto the stage. Moving through his classic back catalogue of music, the 83-year-old still has the presence that he is renowned for. So much so, he appeared on stage with The Hot 8 Brass Band but finally managed to find the exit. Tickling the audience at the Baino stage with their Scottish hip-hop and rap were the Dunbar trio The Honey Farm. Their direct, truthful, honest in your face lyrics has given a rebirth to an industry lacking in girl power. Heading to the Jabberwocky Stage at 4pm on Saturday I came across a colourful sea of dry,smiley people – yes the sun was out and Asian Dub Foundation where about engulf us in pure dub heaven. With 20 years of experience and hits under their belt this was sure to be a dub-skanking masterpiece. With the earth moving beneath our feet and the connective energy generated by band and fans, the set was not far from what we had expected, pure excellence. Speaking to Ghetto Priest and Steve Chandra Savale after the gig was very informing. From humble beginnings in a music workshop in East London and with no real intentions of starting a band, Asian Dub Foundation were created. Their coming together was a stroke of good luck, said Steve. A vision to send a positive message through music was destined to be part off their lives or as one friend said, the world has to hear this music and well, the rest is history.

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Ghetto Priest & his adoring fans

Crashing onto the Baino stage in late afternoon were the Boris bashing 70s punk band The Skids. Emerging from Fife during the punk outbreak The Skids were at Doune to tell us how it is and thrash out some of their classic hits like Into the Valley, Masquerade and Working for the Yankee Dollar. They did tell us how it is and with an incredible set-list there there was no arguing with them. With the long wait over, it was finally time for the iconic legends and sisters that are Sister Sledge. I don’t use the word legends lightly as this family of singers have earned that right. Bringing their blend of disco, soul and smooth blues to the hills of Stirlingshire is surreal, but with songs like; We are Family, Lost in Music, He’s the Greatest Dancer, Easy Street, Thinking of You and versions of Frankie and Freak Out just blew the crowd away. Everywhere I turned or looked there was a crescendo taking place As every song played , every lyric could be heard happily being sung along by a 2,000 strong fan base. What a moment. On that note, when talking to Sister Sledge, I asked Debbie, how does that feel for you? Replying, she said it was inspiring!!! We soon came to be talking about family, music and kids and what keeps us fundamentally going. Soon realizing we had a boy -member of our family with the same name Elijah it became apparent that we had something in common, and with that came a high five and then We Were Family. Retiring after an intriguing time interviewing Sister Sledge I was humbled to have been part of this memorable evening at Doune.

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Your reviewer with Sister Sledge

Sunday was soon upon us and so were the dark grey clouds. Approaching from the M9 like a juggernaut on a mission the rain released its power. Soaking, warm, sticky faces were seen rocking to the legends of space-rock Hawkwind, with two fingers pointed up right at the rain. No time to stop the party for the weather! Hawkwind have proven for more than 40 years that rock is not dead and to see 20-year-olds rocking to Silver Machine and Shot Down in the Night was a generation jump moment. Speaking to Magnus Martin (guitar) and Jim Dread (technican) after their show, what makes you keep doing Hawkwind 40 years on and with a straight fire quick answer, he said, ‘well what else would I do, sit at home and watch Jeremy Kyle, oh that’s not on anymore.’

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The Wailers

With The Wailers taking stage after the calm, beautiful voice and songs of Kathryn Joseph – a genius move at this point of the evening – the crowd gathered on mass. To a wet and warm audience The Wailers sprung into action. Rolling over from classic hit to classic hits like Buffalo Soldier, Could You Be Loved, Exodus, Natural Mystic, Three Little Birds, and what felt like every Wailers song you knew. Like a good cup of tea they just kept pouring out the goodness. There was only one thing I said to The Wailers; you must have a continuous warmth of joy in your heart and souls knowing that you can spread such positive love and energy through music that has shown the world we can have a better place to stay if we stay as one. One Love conquers all. A fitting end to Doune The Rabbit Hole’s 10th birthday party. To all the Doune crew, workers , volunteers, artists, musicians and revellers a big thanks. With out everyone pulling together gatherings like these would die so lets keep the music playing and the feet dancing until the next time we go down the Rabbit Hole.

Raymond Speedie


DIVINE’S DOUNE

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Scotland I Love you so so deeply.
Blessed I am to have worked in such beautiful places.
Removed from my talents of DJ, Tribal drummer, Performance Poet and Spiritual Healer.
I work hard because Mother Nature bestows blessings upon the souls who strive to keep her beautiful.
It was a Divine first to be at Doune The Rabbit Hole.
And how beautiful and Deeply Healing the Doune festival site is.
Surrounded by pastures green with a cinematic backdrop, breathtaking eye candy. My heart melted as soon as I was dropped off by the very lovely Lesley. I felt at home straight away. After a night of exceptional and affirming Clairvoyance in the equally lovely Port Of Monteith. The rain had been heavy all night and morning. Downpours. I wasnae worried though. Good Boots, Hi Viz Wiz Waterproofs and a little tent thats waterproof and has kept me cozy in inclement times. I was looking forward to a week of sleeping on Mother Earth resplendent in its aesthetic, Multitasking Fire Wizard and crewing with Phoenix Waste Management. I didnae have much time to have been as still as I would have liked to have been to really soak up such natural beauty. I have been good friends with The Phoenix Crew for many years. I understand how important the work of such organisations is for the future of Festivals in Scotland. And to be an active part in that is a blessing and indeed a labour of love. The Earth Goddess really loves the work and the efforts replenishing her ecowarriors with Grace.

Friday 19th July.

I awoke to the sound of rain falling on my tent, slipped on my High Viz Wiz Waterproofs and headed to the Crew Canteen for Breakfast before my 9am shift began. It was a short three hour shift as I had requested Friday night off because I really wanted to see The Damned and The Girobabies. Getting the news that I was nae required for Phoenix duties until 6pm on Saturday, I had some time to dedicate to Rock N Roll and sawing wood duties.

The rain began at about 3pm on Friday Afternoon had just finished my make up at Jo Legg’s camp. So headed back down to be a fire wizard. Bumped into Raymond Speedie who was at Doune to review for The Mumble. I told him I wanted the Damned as they have been a Divine love for a long time. Back in the olden days, I first saw The Damned live on The Phantasmagoria Tour. Divines teenage self and David Vanian had a very similar look going on. Long black flowing locks with a white streak to the side, backcombed. Grimly Fiendish and Shadow Of Love et al. Sigh such wonderful music. The next time I saw them was at The Wickerman Festival. Divine was performing poetry on the Ingrid Pit Spoken Word And Poetry Stage back in 2008. This was the Gig I wanted. And I wasnae disappointed.

The rain was falling heavy and my High Viz Wizz waterproofs were protecting me from the inclement conditions. A healthy throng of middle-aged Punks gathered. I couldn’t help feeling that this was the perfect setting and the falling rain only added to the spectre of the performance that we were waiting for. My make up though had slipped somewhat from Mother Natures Soaking. But my Hi Viz Wizz waterproofs and compact sausage dog brolly were doing the trick, especially when the UV’s came on. Divine was glowing. Then the band were on stage everyone of them sixtysomethings. David Vanian and Captain Sensible looking just as youthful as they did when I first saw them on Top Of The Pops when I was a nipper. The sound production for tonights show was fantastic. Rousing the audience with the all time classics Eloise and Is it A Dream? Then into the early punk rock classics, New Rose, Smash It Up and Neat Neat Neat. Everyone pogoed in unison. The professionalism really shone through, expert musicianship, I didnae expect anything less though. The Damned have been in the game for a long time and they have always been very very good live. Satisfying everyone’s inner Punk. It was a very enjoyable performance indeed. Good Time 5 Stars. ❤ .

As the Damned left the stage, the rain was being very determined, The party spirit was even more determined as the good time rolled. I wandered back to the communal fire to join fire comrades keeping the flame alive. With time for a cuppa at crew canteen and headed for my tent, peeled off my Hi Viz Wizz Waterproofs and slept a deep rejuvenating sleep. ZZZZZZZzz.

Saturday 20th July 2019.

I awoke at about 8am, the previous days inclement weather had abated, the Sun was shining. I knew it was going to be a busy night, I was to begin shift at 6pm as a Divine Eco Warrior. My body was begging me to slow down so after breakfast I returned to the fire and tidied up after the previous nights shennanigans, sawed some wood,had lunch and went for an afternoon nap. Well rested and back into vibrant Divine mode, fed and watered my inner Eco Warrior was set to go. It was after fine picking The Woodland Area that I heard some festive punters talking about Beak>> performing at 10.45pm. Beak>> are Portishead without Beth Gibbon. Hmmmm I thought, it was easy to plan my shift around that performance, I was due to knock off at 11pm anyway, So made sure I was at the venue early for a clear up of empties and party debris before Beak>> came on to entertain us with their Bristol Portisheadness. But first concentration on clearing the arena of empties. I surveyed the Arena and the discarded litter left from the previous bands audience and got to work. Lots of punters joined me in my noble effort. There was a little girl that kept bringing armfulls of litter and each time my heart melted. This was jolly good fun. There wasnae an empty in sight by the time the next band came on. This kind of satisfaction is priceless. I kept on picking and picking until I got to the Beak>> venue and cleared it of any untidiness. Found a deck chair and had a good rest and really had a good listen to the brilliant hiphop and electronica that Beak>> produce.

My next port of call was to be The Girobabies Saturday closing set. But first (I left Beak>> at 11.30pm) To join my Phoenix comrades for one last push. The site was litter free. I checked on the fire, the venue that The Girobabies were performing on was just next to the fire. So was on time.

The Girobabies closing Saturday night brilliance. Led by Glasgows most active musical entrepreneur, Mark McGhee. Fresh from his success of the “Making Things Happen” Take over of The Pyramid Stage at Kelburn Garden Party. Mr McGhee and his brilliant band. Jo D’arc (Who is also the Bass Guitar Lead and brilliant vocalist of the sister duo, sensation. “The Twistettes”) One of my favourite drummers and multitalented musicians Gordy Duncan was absent but in his place, Mat Jim Sim completed the rythm section. The very brilliant George Gilma on Lead Guitar and on synth and loops Rory Comerford. Took to the Whistleblower Stage and a capacity audience gave The Girobabies a hero’s welcome. It is raw talent and honest social commentary that take this band to increasing heights. Removed from the corporate machine, The Girobabies follow the true Punk Rock Ethic and in doing so, have opened the doors for countless other bands and performers, creating inspiration where ever they perform. Such a brilliant live act. 5 Stars for 5 brilliant musicians. Good Time Divinexxx

Sunday 21st July 2019.

My first shift of the day began at 9am, clearing the big bins of the gathered festive debris from the night before. This was a bit muckier, it was however a very lovely morning, My Phoenix comrades and I mucked in until lunch was called. After which my daily wood sawing session began to prep the fire for the evenings flames. My next shift began at 5pm. I joined Rose Petal and Linda Lovelace for a make up session before fine picking The Woodland and sweeping back into the main Arena Hawkwind were playing Silver Machine as I arrived so paused for a good boogie. It was another wet afternoon but everyone was happy, Finishing off my litter picking duties I was joined by my Phoenix Comrades to tidy up for Battles. It was a wet finish, So we headed back to Phoenix HQ. I sat down, had a brew. I was knackered. Too tired to venture for The Battles gig, I peeled off my waterproofs and got into my sleeping bag, the rain was falling onto my tent. Luckily I was camped next to the venue that Battles were performing so was able to listen with clarity to the brilliant Techno and Kit Drum led tunes. Then ZZZZZZZzzzzz

Monday 22nd July. 2019.

I awoke to a beautiful morning having slept soundly. Headed down to Breakfast at the crew canteen. The Sun drying out the weekends soaking, perfect for the fine pick of one of the tidiest post festy sites I have ever seen. A combination of tidy punters and the hard work of Phoenix Waste Management. This is when the true beauty of Cardross Estate came to life. Such a naturally powerful healing space that begged metaphysical investigation. It is one of the most conducive sites for healing to take place that I have worked since I discovered The Healing Fields at Glastonbury Festival. The power of place.

It was on Sunday when I was clearing the empties while Hawkwind were playing, that a young lad came up to me and said. “You really have the arse end of jobs” I looked at him and said. “Nah mate this is a labour of love, it is part of the greater good” The feel good factor of returning a place of natural beauty to its natural beauty is a beautiful thing” He looked at me puzzled for a bit, then I think the penny dropped.

I knocked off at 3pm and prepped the wood for the Monday Night Crew Party, It was a lovely hot day, I hadn’t showered since Thursday so after wood prep, I had a really good body wash in the crew porta showers. It felt so nice to be clean. The Crew Party was lovely too with free cocktails, Divines not a drinker but in this instance, I was going to have a couple of White Russians and I made sure all of my Phoenix Comrades knew about the free bar too. It was a lovely night.

Tuesday 23rd. July 2019.

Another hot sunny day, perfect for the fine pick of punters camping, dismantling and recycling left tents and gazebos of which there were relatively few. It was such a lovely day to be in a place of exquisite natural beauty. The trees really are something else at Cardross Estate, powerful and majestic, I had been offered a lift back to Aulde Reekie by a young couple who had come up from Penrith in Cumbria to be part of Doune’s clear-up operation. I really really didnae want to leave. So I stayed and continued with the glorious fine pick and got a lift back the following morning with Janet from the kids field.

Doune The Rabbit Hole. The Conclusion.

Every Festival has its own unique beauty and flavour and this being my third festival in July. Doune is a compact site, with all stages easy walking distance from each other. All with perfect sound production and amazingly zero soundclashes. It is a festival that really does suit all ages, from little kids to big kids. The sense of community is lovely. Doune The Rabbit Hole really ticked all my box’s. The perfect tonic for mind, body and soul. I loved being part of a hard-working crew and I loved Cardross Estate.
Good Time Divinexxx