Eden 2015

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Raehills Meadows, Moffat
11-14 June
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murray boyd

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A few years ago, the Eden guys down Galloway had a tent at the Wicker Man festival. It wasn’t enough; its veritable supernova of hippy energy needed its own verdant world, & the stunning settings of Raehills Meadows near Moffat became their fated playing fields. I dare say, that yesterday & today, every single one of the 4000 happy souls who find themselves returning to reality have been touched by the sheer magic of the Eden vibe.
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photo - Ray Woods

photo – Ray Woods

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The tribes had gathered in the brilliant sunshine from all over Britain & beyond, & were not to be disappointed in this early-season, summer breakwater of loveliness. The weather held all weekend by the way – not as glorious as the Friday, but rain-free & warm – there was no mudbath!  Many people’s favorite do, the safe energies of Eden are complemented by a visual, organic treat; the carpentry all about the site is supreme, blending into the pastoral scenery & turning us all into frolicking fairy wood-nymphs & druidical dryads for three days of quality music.
The Devorgilla Stage  (photo Teri Welsh)

The Devorgilla Stage (photo Teri Welsh)

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 Its difficult to be everywhere at once, but from the moment the Mumble Team arrived at the camp site to the sounds of Asazi’s Space Funk Explosion, we shared a fair slice of the pie, catching many a great band & DJ. On Friday, the Main DEVORGILLA open stage played host to the funky soul-swing of Cut Capers from Bristol & Cardiff, whose bouncy ska-but-not-ska sound got everybody boogiein’ down big-time. For me, their tune ‘Say What‘ was an especial highlight of the set. Also on the Main Stage were the Monster Ceilidh Band, led by two cute ladies with fiddle & accordion, while the traditional Scottish sound was modernized with mixed-in samples & the odd spot of drum & bass.
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Dub Mafia

Dub Mafia

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Later on Friday, Bristol-based seven-piece Dub Mafia really filled up the arena – everyone smiling with the sun just going down. Their unique blend of drum and bass, dub, dubstep, bashment, breakbeat and world music is simply class; whose cockney wide-girl-esque, bouncing afroed, sassy singer Eva Lazurus was just too cool for skool. ‘One Love,‘ indeed & the party really got started.
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On Saturday afternoon, weaving between the hippies, superheros, and outdoor grass-dune sound system, we fell upon the Melodrome stage and a large crowd with an electric, euphoric energy. The band was the fantastic, upbeat and eclectic eleven piece The Fire Beneath The Sea – who held the stage with energy and fatness which bounced right out to our dancing assembly of crazy fools. The band have a unique energy and an interesting fusion between many genres of music – jazz, ska, funk, hip hop and a touch of drum and bass, all of it upbeat and catchy, with intelligently composed songs and lyrics – check out ‘Hips Go Wild’ and ‘Poor Little Fishy’. The female vocals were stunning and backed up with sax, flute, DJs and beatboxers, this was indeed a wee gem of the festival!
Fire Beneath the Sea

The Fire Beneath the Sea

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The Dance arena was excellent, with four areas being linked by tunnels to a central octagon, over which a wooden bridge gave the revelers a chance to survey the happenings below. Here we had the GHILLI DHU DANCE EMPORIUM, where Edinburgh-based Chris Astrojazz of Samedia fame played a banging set. In the VOLTAN’S PSYHEDELIC TEMPLE, on the Saturday we caught Monk3y Logic, a globally-touring psi-trance duo from Bristol, whose self-titled, ‘unique groove drenched style,’ got all the skimpy hippies jumping through their hula-hoops.
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photo - Deano McInnes

photo – Deano McInnes

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Elsewhere in the Dance World could be found the more laid-back VISHNU LOUNGE & the Mumble’s favorite, the outdoor LOST DISCO, complete withe flashing disco-floor & some proper barry tunes – including the insatiably brilliant Shakti Mama Disco Diva, Galloway’s sweetest celebrator of the 70s beat.

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SHAKTI MAMA DISCO DIVA

SHAKTI MAMA DISCO DIVA

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The Lost Disco - Saturday Night (photo - Spud)

The Lost Disco – Saturday Night (photo – Spud)

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Away from the main stage, RABBIE’S TAVERN served up not only beer, but a vivid selection of Rhythm & Blues, including Edinburgh’s excellent Violent Moods Swings, who brought Saturday to a wicked close. Other bands at the Tavern included Dirty Diamond & the Gunslingers – their Jonny-Cash-like singer spread his boogie-woogie through the tent & then beyond, as his audience went back out into the site full of his friendly & feverish melodies. Nearby, THE TIPPLE TAXI boomed out funky hip-hop all weekend, & when we revelers were full of the vibe, it was difficult not to stop & have a wee pop.

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Furry Chillum

Furry Chillum (photo – Spud)

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In the Furry Chillum (photo - Dean McInnes)

Inside the Furry Chillum (photo – Dean McInnes)

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Set in its own corner of the site was the FURRY CHILLUM TENT, whose highlight for the Mumble were Tantz, from Leeds, who’d played at the ‘Big Burns Supper Taste of Eden Party‘ back in January This collective of Gypsy Swing is a real dancefest, whose driving bass & euphoric violins really raised the roof & everyone’s vibe-levels.
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Mr Motivator - getting everyone revved up for the Saturday (photo - Peter Robinson)

Mr Motivator – getting everyone revved up for the Saturday (photo – Peter Robinson)

photo - Graham Wynn

photo – Graham Wynne

Photo - Peter Robinson

Photo – Peter Robinson

photo - Graham Wynne

photo – Graham Wynne

Tinky Disco (unplugged in the Healing Area)

Tinky Disco (unplugged in the Healing Area)

Lumberjack.... Co.

Lumberjack Cowboys Heartbreak Trucking Co.

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The outside MELODROME was a wonder too, & basking in the Friday sunshine to the Lumberjack Cowboys Heartbreak Trucking Co. was a real treat. This country outfit, drawn from all over the USA, are currently recording their sixth album down Preston, & if their current groove-swing is anything to go by, its gonna be a good un.
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photo - Sarah Marshall

photo – Sarah Marshall

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Eden is full of family-friendly fun, & provides a safe environment for the bambinos. Some even contributed to the vibes, such as a young, eleven-year old fellow called Finn, who we found busking with his fiddle, working his way towards his grade 1 & making a pretty packet from the punters en route. This year there was also an extended Healing Area, around which was ringed many an alternative stall, including the ‘Whittling Workshop,’ where we could ‘learn how to use a carving knife safely,’
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photo - Ray Woods

photo – Ray Woods

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There was also a wee carnival atmosphere to the place, the stripy Helter Skelter was a belter, while on Sunday a drum-beaten procession wound it & its papier mache through the entire site. Elsewhere, the Laughing Yoga from the Ayrshire town of Saltcoats was funny-as…  I mean when someone administers 60,000 volts with a riot baton, everyone’s gotta fold under that much pressure.
'The Helter Skelter was a Belter'

‘The Helter Skelter was a Belter’

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A mad moment was to be had at the Hotel Paradiso, ran by hilarious boys, a quiet space to relax for a moment & kept constantly clean by the boys with their brushes & brooms – then of course they’d ask for a tip when you are leaving. A better way to make money, I thought, was taken up by my pal’s sons, who went round collecting the empty plastic Eden glasses, which folk would pay a £2 donation for then forget to return to the bar. The boys made about £90 each from their foraging over the weekend, so all credit to their ingenuity & enterprise.
photo - Jethro

photo – Jethro

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The punters were perfect too, & for the Mumble’s Sarah Lewis ‘it was the people you met and friends we made along the way.  Everyone was on top form and good spirits.‘  Sarah also commented on the increased additions Eden have made this year, saying ‘ I’ve been to every Eden so far, from the distarous beginnings when it was still in the Forest of Ae…. This year there was also a restaurant boat offering a slap up posh meal (I never found it though), new board walks and reggae area!
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photo - Jethro

photo – Jethro

With everyone waking up a little dazed, or in fact still-up, early on Saturday, the Dumfries & Galloway Choir gave us some excellent renditions of classics such as Titanium, gently swaying & harmonizing in a symphonious mass of music. One of the Mumble’s favorites was the Drive-in-Cinema, with the vintage cars already driven in & bloody Grease playing on the Saturday night – perfection. Another gem was the Reaction Sound System from Leeds, a pedal-powered purveyor of beats at the BOARDWALK STAGE; where the harder the folk pedaled, the louder got the music & the sweeter got the vibe.
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The Mumble’s highlight at the Boardwalk was Glaswegian sound-system MUNGO’S HI FI, which served as a perfect tonic to the high-octane, white spirit funkathon of the festival’s headliner, GRANDMASTER FLASH. His set consisted of tune-after-cheesy-eighties tune – but the crowd loved it, especially when the Flash gave us his two stage tricks; either counting down from four or getting us all to wave our hands in the air… great fun!
Grandmaster Flas - 'Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care' (photo - Spud)

Grandmaster Flash – ‘Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care‘ (photo – Spud)

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photo - Jethro

photo – Jethro

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photo - David Blair

photo – David Blair

On the Sunday, after their storming gig on the Main Stage, the yellow t-shirts of the Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 were everywhere; for these unpretentious guys are essentially a mini-festival in themselves, & tracks like ‘Gay Icon‘ were the perfect tonic for two days of partying, whose infectious groove got everyone stomping again.
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The Skints - Sunday Evening (photo - Spud)

The Skints – Sunday Evening (photo – Spud)

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Back on it to King Lagoon's Flying Swordfish Dance band

Back on it to King Lagoon’s Flying Swordfish Dance band

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There are no tensions at Eden, everyone gets on with each other & even the coppers are smiling & occasionally bopping away in secret. There is a randomness & diversity to the action which means you never know whats happening next in any given moment or place. Sunday’s highlights on the main stage included the youthful, London-based reggae-influenced ‘The Skints,‘ whose eclectic big-respect-full sound was bristling Cockney Swagger, dreamy lyrics & a bouncing pulse. Earlier in the day King Lagoon’s Flying Swordfish Dance Band‘ had donned their pointed hats & reminded eveyone that Eden was still going strong on the Sunday – & come on guys, the dancing aint finished yet.
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The real Sunday evening highlight was the breath-taking Submotion Orchestra, a seven piece heavy electronica band fusing jazz and funk into some crazy tripped-out electronic sounds to smash the festival main stage. The light display and expansive acoustic and electronic sounds had the crowd stunned with crescendos and loops taking us all along on a mesmerising psychedelic journey. An absolute delight and beautiful finish for a paradise festival, soaked in diversity, funk and beatz. Check out their third album, Alium, this one released on Counter Records featuring Ruy Wood’s ever-gorgeous vocals.
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 DIVINE’S EDEN
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divine
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Divine, Ross and Foxycat Nina  arrived on Tuesday before the Festy to help with the build and prepare for the Communal Festive Fire. Ross got to work on the Fire Pit straight away while Divine and a team of enthusiastic Edenites  combined their collective strength  and lifted the main stage from one part of the field to another. This was a brilliant piece of team work, proving that many hands do make light work
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 The heat wave that Nin Jah Turtle predicted arrived on the Wednesday. This provided the perfect conditions for meditation and the grounding of the healing rays that would bless and sooth everyone for the duration of the festival and beyond. The propper Summer weather was also perfect for ensuring a capacity audience for this yearly celebration of Music, creativity, Dance and Fire.
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Thursday marked the first of the Fire Parties for the crew and stall holders, of which I prepared for most of the day. creating a warm welcome place of drum, fire and healing. Everyone had a brilliant time.
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On Friday the festival opened its doors to everyone, smiles and good times started flying from every direction. The Vishnu Lounge opened its doors at 7pm as my chosen ambient tunes filled the venue and then it was back to the fire and its increasing popularity of warmth and creative vibrant banter. I took my leave from the fire at about midnight for some well earned sleep. Leaving my trusty fire crew, Ross and Jamie in control. I rejoined the fire at 4am where a throng of musicians were warming up for a sunrise jam. Such a beautiful way to start the day. Mediation and more grounding of healing vibration followed as the flames were kept alive. Ross came to relieve me of my duty at 2pm where I took the opportunity for another four hours sleep. Well it was gonna be a long night my next DJ spot was at 6am in the Vishnu Lounge.
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To see this brilliant festival so busy brought me such a warm feeling, everyone was having the best of times. The fire area was a constant warm beating heart, its beautiful flames inviting and sensual, a safe space for people to unwind and commune.
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Sunday began with my 6am Dj slot, which I really enjoyed and then back to the fire for some sawing of wood and preparation for the days merriment. My next Dj slot was 3am in the Lost Disco. My biggest ever DJ gig to date the anticipation was building within me all day. Could I do this so exhausted? It was on the Sunday Evening that i looked at the Fire Space crammed with people and congratulated myself on a job well done.
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At 3am, I took my position at the decks and introduced my set with the Madonna classic Erotica, remixed by William Orbit. My following tune was Vogue, when I pressed play the machine kicked into reverse and then silence. Followed by a frustrated wannabe screaming in my face to get my act together. I told him to go and fuck himself as the arena was filled with Madonna and the Dance was back on.  Sure I could have done better, but with four twelve hour fire shifts just completed, I was confident that I had done my best.
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At  4.15am on Monday Morning. My Eden responsibilities were finished for the year. The Fire Stage has become a firm yearly fixture. Because I am so captivated and dedicated I didnae get to see one complete performance, so am unable to offer an individual musical review. So this will have to do.
ray woods 6

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Eden 2016 : line-up | Mumble Festivals

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