Audio Soup 2015

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Of all the festivals that have sprung up in Scotland over the past few years, Audio Soup holds two important accolades; the first is that it is the most nomadic (3rd site in 5 years), & secondly its gotta be the funkiest party of the lot, the tastiest highlight of the festival calendar. Filled with sublime ingredients and the sweetest of titbits, an eclectic mix of music to whet every appetite, a lovely bunch of revelers & (finally) a wonderful site, if there were awards for coolest ‘do,’ then Audio Soup would win hands down. I mean, just as the Mumble team were arriving at the site on the friday afternoon, just behind us the band bus of Italian band, Rumba De Bodas, came honking into Cranshaws like a mad gonzo ambulance looking for a party to inject with energy – & it was at that moment, we dare to say, that the party truly started!

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Apart from a few sporadic rain-showers, the weather held up and the sun shone down on this fabulous weekend, keeping the Soupers glowing with festival cheer. The Mumble crew pitched up their weekend HQ on a beautiful sunny spot by the river and quickly got into the swing of things, fresh faced and excited to be checking out the offerings of this particular festival. It’s hard to believe it’s only an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. The festival is well laid out and small enough to easily negotiate. We arrive reasonably early and have time to check everything out before the crowds arrive. There are 6 main performance areas at the festival. A quick peek at the Collider Bars set up (by Elektrical) is enough to convince us there will be some banging tunes coming our way later.

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Taking a wander down to the main stage, we stumbled upon Ska Ya Man, a firm favourite with the Mumblers, and who didn’t disappoint with their cocktail of contemporary electronic dub reggae tunes, which received an expected colourful festival response, a perfect Friday evening treat.

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The bespoke Electrikal Sound System easily defended its title as Scotland’s ultimate and most impressive music system, and we were treated to an oral delight with almost the whole rig set up in the Collider dance tent for the weekend. The sound quality was predictably incredible and as we relaxed on large hay-bale sofas, listening to a fine selection of funky techno beatz from Medaci and supping on the splendid cocktails on offer, we truly were in Soup heaven!

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But there was many more delights to be experienced so we moved ever onward, making our way through the colourful passage of fair trade shops, we stopped to peruse their exotic wares, take in the smell the petulia oil and incense, and of course, to claim a free hug and a warm smile from the Meadow Sweet crew.

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A highlight of Friday evening was the incredibly talented and grimey Supa & Da Kryptonites, an 8-piece soulful, organic hip-hop band, who, with a 3 piece horn section and a funk/blues rhythm section have a strong ska influence.

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VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

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AC Rid

AC Rid

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The entire Cackle Stop tent bounced along in delighted furore encouraging the party atmosphere to build ‘til it almost burst the roof. It is of no surprise this band has won the Wickerman festival warm-up spot, and were voted the best unsigned band by XFM, definitely one to check out.

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Also on the main stage on Friday were Rumba de Bodas, whose funky bohemia blew us all boogie-ing into the night. We loved the Twistettes as well, who had gathered an enthusiastic crowd moshing their way about in the twilight. The Twistettes, an excellent punky duo of Nicky & Jo Darc roar through a great set in the Beetroot Café. Good to see the number of kids in listening. Punks not dead.

The Beetroot Cafe

The Beetroot Cafe

The Twistettes

The Twistettes

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The highlight of at least Friday night were the John Langan Band I had seen them previously at other festivals in a much earlier daytime slot performance (their performance at Celtic Connections won them an award). Elevated to headline act, they excelled (as ever) and the night-time slot lent an ethereal air to an intense, performance (they won the Open Stage Award at Celtic Connections). I caught the last half hour and it was simply sublime. I loved the way the gig reached a massive crescendo. They had the crowd in the palm of my hands and the half hour I saw was the best live performance I have seen this year. If you haven’t watched them before they blend Celtic and gypsy folk tunes with a wee bit of flamenco in a delicate arrangement which held me spellbound with its driving incessant force.

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AudioSoup has to be one of the friendliest festivals around. There was no trouble of any kind, people from all over the UK and no bad vibes anywhere. Soupers are a crowd of creative hedonistic people out to have a good time and meet new pals. If AudioSoup is a well-kept secret at the moment it won’t be for long. The grapevine talks and everyone who was at this one will tell their pals. Congratulations to all involved for making it the best festival of the year.

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Morphamish playing live on Friday night in the Collider Tent : Electrikal Sound System

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The Victor Pope Band

The Victor Pope Band preparing for their Sunday gig

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On Saturday morning the sun spilled over the campsite, and we awoke to the sound of jam sessions and drums, as revelers kept up the high spirits washed down with strong coffee, strawberry daiquiris and bacon rolls and begun to spill back down into the Soup.

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Mellow Chants

Mellow Chants

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The Mumble had a chance to catch up with Mellow Chants before their gig in the Alternative’s Cackle Tent on Saturday afternoon. Describing their music as ‘Afro-Sonic Confusion’ – a mix of different styles evolved and merged from the three members differing musical backgrounds, forming a vibe of afro beats, reggae, hip hop and electronica. The band members, Einstein, DJ Ramsis and Zillah the Zulu hail from Sudan, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and together with various guests they have formed an incredibly tight, creative and highly talented collective. They were joined on stage by Drummer and spiritual healer Divine, and brilliant guitarist Matrix Al, from Tinky Disco, and with Einstein opening the set with some haunting African Acapella, this was truly a treat to watch

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The Simoniacs

The Simoniacs

By 6.30pm in the Beetroot tent, a treasure was to be discovered in the form of Simoniacs, a psychedelic indie rock band whose lead singer had a haunting voice akin to Tim Burgess. A tight band with a distinctive sound, the Mumble gives a shout out to these guys.

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Ever true to embrace diversity, Audiosoup didn’t fail to impress by putting on a great metal band on Saturday evening, Certain Death, who ripped up the stage and the crowd loved it. The sun broke through the clouds and the tunes crashed out through the peaceful countryside, full of energy, humour and sufficient rage in their own brand of Rap, Thrash n Roll, to counteract the hippies. By 9pm on Saturday, things were heating up, and a fast paced energetic Glaswegian pop band How To Swim took to the stage to deliver a blinding set to a riotous crowd.

Tinky Disco

Tinky Disco

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Bombskare - Sunday Headliners

Bombskare – Sunday Headliners

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Dave’s Sunday

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Needless to say by Sunday it was impossible to keep up such a frenetic pace. After being treated to a tasty veggie breakfast at Beetroot Café by affable Mancunian Rob then early afternoon was taken up with a highly enjoyable Rabbiepallets and their 90s Gameshow Extravaganza which took in such Saturday night TV staples as Blind Date and The Generation Game. Good fun was had and this Mumbler got on stage. I won a balloon for my troubles which was (naturally) soon attached to a tinfoil hat.

VLUU L210  / Samsung L210

Suitably recovered and refreshed it was time for more band based mayhem. I took the opportunity to experience the Boombap space which hosted some fine hip-hop talents which came quick and fast but Wee D & Maka deserve special mention. I also caught out the phenomenal Victor Pope Band, whose heady mix of brilliant musicianship & comedy songcraft is a joy to behold – all led by some wild-eyed, congo-banging tarzan guy called Kenny Curran. Amazing stuff!

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The Victor Pope Band

The Victor Pope Band

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Later a typically splendid Beetroot Café gig with How to Swim, then Brass, Aye? who are a massive band of horns and drummers breathing even more life into 70s soul classics. After this rejuvenating brass cocktail it was off to a final night party kicked off in fine style by the DJ skills of fellow Mumbler Divine Calvert.

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Mark 'Divine' Calvert on the decks

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert on the decks

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Teri Welsh (cute girl on back row, next to girl with hat)

Teri Welsh (cute girl on back row, next to girl with hat)

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Teri’s Sunday

Sunday arrived quicker than it was fair, too much fun, glitter and hilarity had been had as was evident from all the smiling faces, but Sunday brought with it a whole host of great musical delights to fill up the afternoon. One exceptional band was The Disorderly, the youngest band of the festival, but by no means the quietist. These boys are highly talented, confident musicians and they pulled off a blinding punk gig. They absolutely nailed it and are certain to make it big with their high energy, upbeat outrage. Watch this space!

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Meanwhile, the Collider tent was shaping up to be a storming afternoon with Edinburgh’s finest DJs playing back to back in a positively delicious line-up, with Brainstorm and the She-Bang girls rocking it as ever. Festival veterans Seabass Kid rocked the main stage on Sunday afternoon with their six piece ska band pumping energy into the Sunday session, invigorating a field of enthusiastic revellers to dance away the clouds and hangovers.

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Brass Aye?

Brass Aye?

12-piece brass street band Brass Aye? played a blinding set that had the crowd bouncing on their funky toes, with great haunting vocals and hip edgy beats. Exhausted but happy, having had a truly amazing weekend, this Mumbler collapsed in a heap in her tent, to sleep off the looming hangover and dream of dancing in muddy fields until the next one.

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Mumble Towers

Mumble Towers

Text & Photography : Teri Welsh & Dave McCaramba

Films & Photography : Spud

Spud

Spud

Hometime!!!

Hometime!!!

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DIVINE’S SOUP

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It all began back in 2011, when i was invited by Will McC to Dj and help create a chill out space at a new Scottish Festival called Audio Soup. This was my initiation. Will erected the marquee and went home without saying goodbye or giving me a briefing, leaving me with a grumpy chef and an illegal cafe that only had one sink. I got thrust into co ordinating the DJ’s for the venue and this is when Audio Soup grabbed me. I had a belter of a Good Time that weekend, I heard some quality music and made some quality new friends.  I have attended every year thus far and each one has been a trans formative experience.
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This unique festival has been held in four different locations, its humble beginnings began at the Bellhaven Fruit Farm and then subsequently in some of the most beautiful meadows and rolling Scottish pastures that cannae fail to promote well being and good feeling. Conducive to the max. The other constant with Audio Soup is the impeccable sound reproduction, especially the main stage. This festivals sound engineers really know how to bring the best out of brilliant musicians. I would go as far as to say that this festival is the best for seeing live music because of the amazing P.A . Its a quality that never fails to blow me away.
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The Festival found a new home in 2014, Cranshaws . Far of the beaten track and complimented by a river that runs the length of the site. Set amongst the soft greens and gentle mounds of the Scottish Borders. This is a site that is comparable to the Healing Fields at Glastonbury Festival. This year was the year that Louise Hare asked me to create a healing area for the festival. It was on arriving for the first time that the lush new site would prove perfect for effective healing to take place. This was the initiation of the new site that is guaranteed to be the festivals success. A festival site that compliments its resident arts to the full of its potential.
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So having found its feet in a beautiful location. Audio Soup 2015 proved to be an exceptional, challenging, healing, creative journey indeed. For Divine it was a mixture of defeat and success in equal measure. Defeat  because the healing Marquee got ripped by the wind after Chandra Devs amazing kundalini Yoga experience. And success, because the healing happened anyway and both Dj sets that I played Saturday night and Monday morning were DJ Divine career high points. Both filled me with joy, wonder and insight. My first ever Psy set taught me why Psy and spiritual healing are so compatible. Because one disnae have to think about the next song. The Dj can concentrate on enjoying the music playing and sending healing to the hearts to all listening. Indeed a eureka moment and a Divine first that will be repeated. Indeed it was the amazing sound reproduction of Mark Mcarthurs amazing Communion sound system that added that extra dimension of excitement to the experience. Mark Mcarthur, Louis Trypnautic​ and his Psy Trance Chai Crew. Became a welcome addition to the musical dance genre’s that make Audio Soup unique and special.
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Then Being the opening DJ for the after party at 1am on Monday morning was such an amazing honour.  Playing dance classics drawn from four decades of DjDivining. Smiles and Good Time Grooves! Oh yes! Divine Loved it. So did everyone else. Success because of the beautiful fires that I tended and nurtured. The art of communal fire building is the healing vision that Divine is forming for Audio Soup 2016. Evolution of the healing village project has been handed to someone else now, so that Divine can concentrate on healing fires, performance poetry and Dj Divineing!
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The Jon Langan Band. Audio Soup. Friday 17th July
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Having so may tasks to fulfill at this festival, healing master, fire master, Drummer, Dj and crew kitchen hand (washing Up!). Having time to take in the amazing musical talent on offer at this eclectic music festival. One has to work reviewing around Divines other duties. So Mr Langlans Friday night midnight slot was perfect for reviewing purpose. Even the sound check was brilliant. The band worked the sound engineer to perfection. Because this band of brilliant muso’s were not going to begin there set until they were perfectly happy with the sound reproduction of there wonderful instruments. Vocals,Guitar,violin and double bass. Unique with the absence of a drummer. This was a homecoming gig for the band. So it was important for them to deliver the best that they could offer. Divine has seen this band perform many times over the years each time has been wonderful. I am sure that this performance was a career high as the seductive gypsy folk wove its musical magic through the hearts of all that were gathered and the dance erupted. Like true masters of their art, the music beautifully reproduced on the Audio Soup sound system. They delivered and we loved every minute. I was hoping the band were going to stay for the rest of the festival as Divine wanted to do an upclose and personal interview. Jon loves Psy too. Alas, with a band as successful as this one they had to leave for there next Gig. Another time. The Jon Langlan Band ended a brilliant night of live music. 5 stars.
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Mellow Chants .Audio Soup The Cackle Bar. Saturday 19th July.
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Mellow Chants are a collective of musicians, indigenous to South Africa currently touring Scotland as part of The BE United art project. Indeed it was while Divine was Djing for a Be United showcase at The Caledonian backpackers, that Mellow Chants were brought to my attention. A band of very handsome men indeed that at once excelled with musical professionalism. The Caledonian backpackers never had it so good. With two charismatic lead singers. Mellow Chants rocked the house
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So after returning from a wood collecting mission on the Saturday avo of Audio Soup. I was greeted by Emma Presland and Mellow Chants arriving at the festival gates. Good Time! Now I could do this brilliant band justice with a proper review. The band requested that I accompany them on percussion. I immediately said yes of course, what an honour. And it was, we gelled on that stage beautifully, the chemistry was perfect and together the musical fusion sparkled. Einstein the lead guitarist has such a powerful stage presence, a natural born band leader and front man. With Zulu adding raps and backing vocals. Mellow Chants invoked the tribal nature of their audience and the Saturday afternoon party moved up a notch.
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On Sunday, after I had finished off my washing up duties, I was joined by Einstien as I sat by the fire. We jammed beautifully in the warm morning sunshine. Both of us had a sense of accomplishment. Mellow Chants will be performing at various venues across Edinburgh during The Fringe. They are also running a festival drumming workshop 4pm to 5pm on the 12th, 19th, and 26th of August. At St Johns Church on Princes St!

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