Kelburn Garden Party
1st to 4th July
VICTOR POPE’S KELBURN
I arrived in the traditional manner in a car with it’s front wheels about to fall off attempting to hide various incriminating smells. The sight was far from clearly signposted but this all added to the secretive nature of the event. It made you feel like you were someone special for knowing about it, let alone knowing where it was. All aided by the fact that it was set on the grounds of Kelburn Castle, the mercurial Viscount Dave’s palatial country abode. Set in the side of a hill leading down to the chilling Atlantic, fresh and green from the sprinkling of rain followed by rejuvenating sun. A welcome omission when we arrived at the gates were the Police who had been more than in evidence at the Eden Festival a month or so earlier. We suspected the Viscount’s dad of certain secret handshakes to ensure this was the case. It’s not what you know, etc.
After pitching our tents we made an instant bee line for the pyramid stage where the excellent Twistettes could be heard belting out another storming set. However we missed this as delays ensued with the all too familiar booze search at the gate. This fashion for not being allowed to bring your own booze into festivals must be stopped! When you’re charging well in excess of a hundred quid a ticket how can you possibly begrudge someone stashing up on a wee carry oot before they hit the party. If they’re not careful festivals soon really will be only for the landed gentry to enjoy! Still, the security lapsed off considerably during the day so it wasn’t too bad. The first band we managed to catch in their entirety were the Girobabies and I have to say they were superb. Their unique mix of Streets style naturalistic rapping with the hedonistic indie ethos of the likes of the Libertines and some superb word play made for one of my gig highlights of the year and the best I had seen this particular band. A big shout out must also go to synth player Jess Aslan who was celebrating a year with the seminal Weedgie rap rockers.
As the festival progressed a variety of acts passed my perusal. From the primitive comedy punk stylings of Victor Pope to the uber-technical funk explosion of Hiatus Kaiyot (I think this is what Nile Rodgers meant when he said “Too Funky”). All of it done with conviction and all of it, though not all strictly to my taste, done with skill. My only slight disappointment being a somewhat half-arsed set from Unkle’s James Lavelle. It just sounded like they were jamming! It was also nice to see along side the big names some local heroes like Sea Bass Kid and Callum Easter totally taking their sound to the next level. I predict big things for both these acts. The focus definitely seemed to be on music you could dance too but on the last night I was happily intrigued by a beautiful clarinet and synthesizer duo headlining the pyramid stage. There was also always room for the cerebral poetic delights on display at the waterfall.
Besides the music a mention must also be made for suicidal tightrope walkers, James Page’s mind boggling stone stacking and the excellent and eclectic range of food available. And all this is the tip of the iceberg for all the delights that awaited you in this labyrinthine setting. Giant playable drum machines anyone? If there’s one word I could use to describe the whole experience it’s a cheesy one but I couldn’t think of one more appropriate – magical. So get yourself down there next year for one of the most unique festivals in Scotland and if you can’t afford a ticket then get learning something trippy that no-one else does and I’m sure they’ll let you in. Psychic tiddly winks anyone? Practice makes perfect!
The rain hammered down on my trusty tent, throughout the night. My eye’s opened at around 6am and I awoke slowly in true festy fashion. The sound of rain drops stopped and my thoughts drifted to where they needed to be. I dressed and went in search of coffee.
The rain began falling again, so with recently purchased beverage, I headed for The Twin PeaksTipi. Where I found Doogie Cameron and Agelos P. holding court. It was a very friendly morning. Agelos telling Glastonbury tales. With talk of healing and miracles. swinging hammocks and mud.
I returned to my tent at around 11am to collect my drum, poetry and Bowie N Prince tunes. painted my eye’s and set off for an afternoon of performance. First stop at the Waterfall, where I would drum for the Victor Pope Band, recite my Poetry and have twenty minuets to do an uphill adventure course to arrive on time for the biggest DJ gig I have performed to date. Bowie is my Man. Its no secret just how important he is to me. My Gig (Sharing the decks with Dj Nick Nack) Was nae to start until 3.30pm. So I had time to water and if there had of been anywhere to get anything to eat, I would have done that too. It was too long a walk back to festival hub and I wouldnae have had time anyway.
I played my first Tune, A tear came to my eye. This was the Gig I had been waiting to do since my Hero went to Heaven In January this year. A capacity audience stretching way back into the trees. After the first hour of Bowie, Dj Nick Nack took to the Decks. To Deliver her selection of Prince. The Beech Plateau was going off. With a hungry audience. I finished the set with my chosen Prince Numbers And between us (Dj’s And Audience). We honored the gifts of two ascended masters. To perfection . .
After the Gig, I returned to the Kelburn Hub, knackered, hungry but fulfilled. I had decided that no party drugs were gonna pass my lips.(I’m nearly 50 and too old for that shit) So after food. I headed to my tent and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sleeping until Dawn started to break. I began my Sunday at around 4am. Heading for the communal file to have breakfast and drum.
At 6am. I took a leisurely stroll up through the beautiful woodland glen. Pausing at regular intervals to meditate and rejuvenate in this very healing place. Eventually arriving at The Beech Plateau for a Crew Party, where I accompanied the DJ’s on Djembe to perfection. There is something special about being in such close proximity to the Sea, I returned to my tent at around 10amthat Sunday morning, with the softness of the sea Breezes and slept. The Four Seasons in a day was to continue. Exhausted I drifted back into sleep land. Divine was Knackered. With duties fulfilled, I relaxed for the rest of my time at Kelburn. Drifting in and out of sleep.
My beautiful chauffer arrived at 10am on Monday Morning and whisked me away for Breakfast in Largs.
Good Time Divinexx
Kelburn Bowie Tune List.
1 Lets Dance. (Live)
2. Love Is Lost. (The James Murphy DFA Remix)
3. Halo Spaceboy. (The Brian Eno Instrumental Remix)
4. Breaking Glass.
5. Rebel Rebel.
6.The Gean Jeanie,
7.John I’m Only Dancing. (again)
Kelburn Prince Tune List.
1, Boys N Girls.
3. Get Off.
5, Beautiful.(NPG) Remix)
6. Sexy MF.
7. The Good Life. (NPG Remix)
8. Sign Of The Times..