28th – 30th August
After a long summer of festy fun the Mumble Team were getting to the point where they were saying, ‘If we hear another Bombskare or Hector Bizerk tune one more time I’m gonna jump off Salisbury Crags.’ God bless David Wales, then, who thought he’d try something different with Juiced Up – held at the same site as Audio Soup. With only one bands’ tent & a plethora of dance tents/stages – this festival is geared towards having a good ol’ rave, resurrecting the vibe of the late eighties/early nineties. Originally devised as a Saturday night event; this years Juiced Up jumped on the festival bandwagon and debuted as an all weekend camping experience, all for the very reasonable price of thirty-ish quid.
We arrived on the Friday to find around 25 tents pitched in the camping area, and a main arena which, although set up with the potential of at least a 5,000 capacity, was a wee bit sparse – the main event was Saturday really. To give them their due, the crowd who had made it out to party were full of high spirits and carried on regardless, enjoying the ample dancing space & funfair – and the fact we had been blessed with lovely dry weather.
The Main DJ stage pumped out more cheese than a raving cow, and the Old Skool tent brought in some early 90’s acid funk, setting the human traffic into top gear. An open-sided tent blasted out Pasha style cherry numbers and farther along the arena, a Crystal Maze inspired holding, got down to the business of turning out some proper hardcore techno. Highlights of Friday night without question of a doubt was Urban Atmosphere.
The Band’s tent on Friday night saw some of the latest band talent from around the land producing a show fit for kings, despite the unusually small court present to appreciate the original masterpieces, brought to us by the likes of; Tinky Disco, Ash & Diamonds & The Victor Pope Band.
Of the gig, Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert writes; …next came the beautiful vocal harmonies of Up In Smoke, They had a very difficult time competing with the sound clash. Stopping to complain between songs. I really felt for these guys. Because without the interfering banging beats, would have delivered a set of finesse and beauty, Myself on Djembe Damo Tipiji on bass and our drummer Jon, filled out the last number. This proved to be a sound check for the Tinky Disco’s Set. When a combination of musicians come together that have been honing there craft for 30 years or more. The result can only be brilliant. Tinky Disco were the only celebrity fronted band of a festival saturated by people playing songs made famous by Oasis and The Stone Roses. MC Mad and Damo, brilliantly shared vocal duties, with Ben and Al Roberts on lead and rhythm guitar. We ripped through an hour long set without the sound clash interfering. The brilliant sound engineer worked it beautifully.
Come nightfall, the site was lit up by the wonderful fiery-theatrics of FYRA, whose antics really did take the breath away. With the music finishing on site at 1AM, everyone toddled back to their camp-site after parties, which was a blast in itself. Nextday dawned, & just as the tunes were kicking off again at 1PM, busses full of punters began to arrive – swelling the numbers & the vibe.
As Saturday progressed, we felt like Juiced up were trying to do something quite clever here, in bringing together a very subtle cross over of cultures. Granted, the line up for Saturday was aimed at a Madchester / Ibiza clientele, but the bands brought in for Friday were more than appealing to an underground indie pallet and in future events, could be suffice in attracting an audience, counter-balancing the other artists involved, to prevent an eastern version of TITP from forging it’s way through. Saturday brought homage to 90’s pop culture, with the Complete Stone Roses and Definitely Oasis.
They weren’t too bad for what they do, the Complete Stone Roses sounding the most authentic out of the two. Meanwhile, while bands like Pablo Eskimo were rocking the bands tent, Dj-wise on Saturday, the highlight was Colin Shillinglaw on the main stage – his set was so uplifting and great choice of music he played main stage – while in the Juic3d tent Stephen Holland proper smashed it.
Next year, Juiced Up would do well to bring in some original bands to headline (but not Hector Bizerk or Bombskare please) as the Scottish scene is bursting at the brink of a musical revolution, and a festival like Juiced Up could be a good starting ground for educating the masses, with a festival ethos already carried by the likes of Kelburn, Doune the Rabbit Hole, Eden and Audio Soup.
The Mumble’s Bobbi McKenzie writes, ‘I think if Juiced Up headed towards being a hybrid of culture, music and art, with room for debating, as an arena; then by the time we have another opportunity for Scottish Independence, Juiced Up could potentially evolve towards helping our National Culture sing from the same dance beat. Fresh for the moulding and with unbounded potential, it will be up to the Scottish independent Music and Art scene to pitch themselves to the organisers of Juiced Up and come up with a fresh, brave legacy, worthy of a five star review next year. I look forward to seeing inspiration getting Juiced and blended between some tracky b’s, tweed hats and some glow in the dark hula hoop sticks, between now and then.’
But the Mumble Team really think Juiced Up has a great potential – as does David Wales, the well-sound Old Skool organiser, who told the Mumble, ‘On the whole the event was a success, as this was our first festival we did have a few teething problems but where quickly over come with the help of the great team of artist’s behind us who all put on a fantastic event. The comments we have had back to us is people want this event again, where we hope to use our strengths as a great team and pull it together again. We can’t thank all the artists and back stage hands for the amount of effort they all put in myself & Jason hope we can grow a bigger and solid team with the people who made it work this year/ I think this is a first for the borders, I always feel sorry for the border folks having to travel miles for any event of this size and caliber of acts and pay through the nose for the privilege I wanted to bring the party to the people but we need the whole of the Scottish Borders behind us all…’
…And, think the Mumble, the rest of Scotland should get behind Mr Wales – ‘cos Scotland needs Juiced Up. Roll on next year!!!!!
Reviewers : Bobbi Mckenzie & Damo Bullen