Beal Farm, Northumberland
1st-5th September, 2021
After all the festivals that I had and planned on and have given my everything to got postponed till 2021. I didnae think that I was going to get to a festival this year. Then out of the blue, last Thursday, Damo of The Mumble sent me an EMail asking me if I would like to review the Lindisfarne festival this coming weekend. No festivals for two years, wow I really needed to shake the no festival mindset. So of course I said yes.
The Psy Party in Saint Andrews this weekend just gone was my first time in the field since Doune 2019. Playground Festy didnae count coz it was inner city. So Saturday night was my warm up for Lindisfarne. All of my fave bands are playing. Groove Armada, The Girobabies, Jakyl Trades, Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 (My first time of seeing the new release performed live), Leftfield, The Alabama Three, Stanley Odd, Feet Of Clay, (From The) Jam. Am looking forward to reviewing the artists at the Sketchy Beats cafe too. And after 18 months of withdrawal from live music my thirst for the muse is about to be inspired. Honestly, with a line up like this in a place of deep Holy Healing beauty. What is there not to be looking forward to. Baby the dance is on. Full Mumble Report Coming Soon.
I got a car share with Gillian a new pal, organized by the very wonderful Jamie of (Jamie and Shoony fame ) who came to pick me up at 3pm. Gillian very expertly drove us both to Lindisfarne. It’s a while since I have been to a new festival and over two years since I have been to a festival at all. It was also three years since I have been over the border to England. On arriving, the festival crew were ever so welcoming, pleasant and helpful, I had this really lovely warm feeling in my belly, a warm intuition that I was really looking forward to working with this team of lovely people. Arm banded up we went and pitched our tents and settled into our new home for the next 4 days. It was so lovely to put my faithful little waterproof tent up, arranged the wardobe, put my Karrimatts down and spread my quilt and placed my sleeping bag over the top, maximum yummy comfort. It was quite a cool night and the ever-present cloud cover was a stark contrast from the hot sunny day we left in Edinburgh. so went to the volunteer Crew Hub and grabbed a coffee before getting cosy in my little comfy tent and grounding the angels and setting the intention to have as best a time possible. It was nice to send healing from the Lindisfarne festival site as Mother nature Softened my heart and I left social media behind, I began to adjust to being in my new surroundings and meditated and went deep. Spirit spoke to me in the silence. “At festivals, anything is possible” “Aye” that’s why I love them.”
I never sleep the first night in the field at festivals, I was processing deeply all night from Sunset to Sunrise I guess I had a lot to let go of and was wide awake as Dawn broke, I had let it all go. So I reached for my make up and started the day with colour. By the time I got coffee at Crew Volunteer point and went for an explore of the festival site and a look over to the Holy Isle of Lindisfarne itself. The peace was profound. Hmmm I thought this is going to be a nice festival and my Gigz of the day that I had penned were The Girobabies and The Smoking Jeffries later on that night. It was a pleasant morning with everyone busying around for festival beginnings at 2pm. So I headed over to check the Healing area out and the beautifully massive healing and performance art venue serving yummy chai called Shanti Bee, Immediately I knew we were going to be friends, it was so lush and so comfy with a really good Soundsystem and ambient tunes. to compliment the experience. Perfect for the days distant healing, I then explored the other Spiritual Healing Delicacies available within the Healing Village, It really was Soul Food.
After Morning Chai, meditation and distant Healing at Santi Bee I decided on a Tarot and Rune reading from the very wise and gifted Liz Hay. It was a spellbinding 30 minutes that would show me the Mountain of creativity I still had to climb, but to keep focused as I would summit successfully. Yeeeha, ❤ Then I had a really interesting conversation with a lady that was dedicated to womb healing, indeed it is the one of the things that had been an important part of my own healing journey. To understand Spiritual Healing as facilitating the release and healing of past trauma experience. It was just brilliance and one of the best and important things I have ever seen at a festival. Mizan Therapy is a must for all Ladies. (Check the Lindisfarne Web Site for more details) of Shanti Bee, Liz Hay and Mizan Therapy.)
After my morning soul food. I needed some food in my Belly so I headed to the noodle bar for some spicey noodles, nice size portions and £2 off coz I looked fabulous. Then back to Volunteer Crew Hub to organise some wood for the Volunteer Crew Fire. Pick up my drum and freshen up my make-up. My next phenomenally interesting conversation of the day was with The Earl Of South Shields, a published poet and author who was also having a film being made about him and his life as a homeless heroin and crack addict. His one ambition in life after being clean for 6 years was die sober. Blimey, once again I was grateful to Thatchers “Just say No!” Campaign in the 80’sit stopped me from trying smack as a coping mechanism. Honestly kids drugs and alcohol just make life more difficult. Mind saying that if someone had said to me taking drugs and drinking alcohol at a festival when I was in my 20’s wasn’t a good idea.
Would I have listened? The Earl Of South Sheilds was a sound bloke and a new friend. having been 12 months sober myself, I fully understood the benefits of not getting spangled at festivals. It did take me until I was 50 to get it though. After a can and a half of Cider in St Andrews the week before. I decided that Lindisfarne was to be a Sober Festival. I wanted to be able to capture and remember as much of the experience as I could. I didn’t take my opportunity to review this lovely festival lightly and I knew that for me to give it my best work. it was to be a sober festival.
Having sourced the wood for The Volunteer Crew Fire, we had a warm hub to return to. Festivals and Fire kind of go hand in hand, so tending for the volunteers and grounding the healing love was one of my duties. I made lots of lovely new friends at that fire. Back at camp, people were starting to arrive, the field filling with tents and the sound systems were being fired up. Victor Pope And His Band of Merry Men had arrived and were camped just next to me, it was a lovely neighbourhood. Spud the Mumble’s photographer was also part of that crew too. The Scottish posse were assembled and I was ready for the first live music since 2019. “The Girobabies” fronted by the Scottish West Coast Musical Entrepreneur and wordsmith Mark McGhee, with Jo D’Arc the voice and bass of The Twistettes, his creative partner both on and off-screen providing the driving force with a band of new recruits on lead guitar and drums. Together they unleashed the Girobabies cannon performed live for the first time in quite some time to which received a full house and a rapturous good time and sing along. The band and audience fully enjoyed the experience and was the brilliant opener. It was quite an emotional experience seeing a band of people that one admires deliver the first live performance that I have seen since 2019. It was brilliant to dance and enjoy The Good Time.
The next band up another part of the Scottish contingent of Rock N Roll, The Smoking Jefferies took to the stage to receive a hero’s welcome as the revellers were completely engaged with band, song and musicianship, everyone was dancing and went mental when Jamie (Of Jamie And Shoony fame) Joined the band on stage to perform his lyrical prowess. It was the brillliant warm up party for this lovely Festival, By this time Divine was Exausted, am 54 not 24. My little tent and sleeping bag were calling and I was out like a light,. that had been a massive day both my mouth and heart were smiling and ZZZZzzzzzzz
By this time I had kind of lost my sense of time and Friday felt like a Sunday, So after Morning Meditation and distant Healing at Shanti Bee, I let go of time and concentrated on the moment, i was back at volunteer hub and one of the volunteers came crying, saying that someone had taken her bag with everything in it. My heart went out to her, it triggered memories of having everything thieved at the beginning of a festival, its not fun. So finding out that someone had handed it in to security, made my heart beam. Thank fuck for that. There were no thieves at Lindisfarne, Reading and Leeds it is not. I made a new friend too because of that, Good Time. My bands of the day, were to be Allahbama Three and “From The Jam” So I dedicated the day to Dance.
My first dance of the Afternoon was at The Temple, smooth house to ease me into the Four To The Floor, It was great fun and was totally taken by the tunes presented, perfect for healing dance and grounding the Angels, then back outside to let rip with a bit of Reggae and Dub at the Dub Shack, again the dance took me. I had a few tears at this point, so emotional to be back dancing to music that I love in the heart of Mother Nature. Everyone was having such a good time. I was revving up for The Alabama Three at 7pmish. After Dancing I headed to get some food for my belly. Sweet chilly chicken on a pitta bread from The Gastronomical. It was very tasty and cost £8. After being watered and fed I headed back to my tent to put some warmer clothes on, there was quite a chill in the air, After outfit change, I headed back to The Volunteer Hub to check that Monster Andy had delivered the wood for the nights fire, He had, so I started building a warm fire for the Volunteers to return to.
The Main Stage was housed in a massive tent, just big enough to cater for the punters attending for the big names of the night. But it was a squeeze and Nicola would have been throwing a paddy if this had been Scotland. It really brought home that England is a different world, very few masks, (I only saw two) And nae social distancing. Lots of hand sanitizer though, probably the cleanest festival I have ever attended. Its always the 2nd day without a shower in a field that feels the grubbiest. After that it feels normal. Anyway back to The Alabama Three. Big Rock n Roll productions have been short on my to do list for the last two years, so this was quite an emotional moment too. The sound production was lush as The Alabama Three give us a best of set and the full house was bouncing. Again everyone was having a thoroughly Good Time.
Next up “From The Jam,” Rick Butler and Bruce Foxton replicating The Jam’s best moments and all the hits. If one closed ones eyes and imagined Paul Weller on vocals it could almost have been the real thing. I was having a chat with a chap about The Jam, back in the olden days, I did like the hits, Start, Funeral Pyre, Town Called Malice ect, but had never heard a full album. Have seen Paul Weller live once, that was Glastonbury 1993 and it taught me what a true master is. However, they didn’t wear enough make up for my liking so greatest hits it was. Again everyone thoroughly enjoyed The Jam renditions of music that touched a certain generation in a big way. Smiles and reminiscent moments of a misspent youth. Good Time.
Again it had been a massive day, I didn’t have the energy for Dizzee Rascle. Being in a massive packed tent, two bands were enough. So I headed back to Volunteer Hub for some nice socialising and fire tending with my lovely new friends. Good time Divine
Saturday was the big day, Three of my favourite bands on the planet were performing. Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 ❤ The Victor Pope Band ❤ Groove Armada ❤ Yeeha ❤
So as usual I started the day with a makeup session and headed to The Volunteer Hub for a coffee, there was a real buzz in the air, like a communal excitement, Shanti Bee and Sketchy Beatz were to be my initial draw of the day. It had been a Scotch Mist light rain kind of morning but soon dried up, a warm change would gradually come in over the course of the day. So by midday, the waterproofs were off. I headed to The Messy Gypsy, a stall with three beautiful ladies doing glitter, makeup and hair braiding. I was after a gold sparkly sphere on my forehead, to bring Bowie to the party. It worked a treat, brilliant work from a very attractive creative festival venture. I asked if wet towel shaves might also be included for next time. Good Time. The Messy Gypsy is another must for ladies at festivals, the whole thing was just yummy.
Sketchy Beats was packed to overflowing so I never got to see the amazingly beautiful Drag Queen Show, So I headed for Shanti Bee for the days distant healing, meditating and grounding the love, while a packed Yoga class worked their expertly guided moves. It was a beautiful thing to do on a cold and blowy afternoon, it freshened me up and realigned my chakras. Programmed the healing for The Mustards and Groove Armada performances and then headed to Gastronomical for the £8 chilly chicken on a pitta bread, then back to Sketchy Beatz for The Victor Pope Band’s performance. It was a joy as always, to see and enjoy this band of experienced musicians work their magik. Everyone had a great groove and for the first time the multi-talented Roy Jackson sang backing vocals much to our delight, It was also great to see Jess Aslan on Keyboards and electronic treatments performing her magik with the band.
After thoroughly enjoying the Spangled Cabaret of The Victor Pope Band. I headed to the Dub Shack for some afternoon dancing a cappuccino and some yummy cake, I did lots of Reiki Moving meditation whilst in the dance, Grounding the love and healing through me Giving it my best moves, after all Reggae is the music of love and it was a beautiful way to spend a Saturday Afternoon. After I felt really refreshed and thought to myself “Aye have done all the right things today to make me feel wonderful. Next Gig Colonel Mustard And the Dijon 5 at 7.00pm. Beforehand I went in search of Monster Andy to make sure that The Volunteer Hub had enough wood for the volunteers Saturday night fire. then it was off to refresh my make up and lose some layers, it was really hot and sweaty the night before in the main stage tent, so dressed accordingly.
Ever since purchasing The Mustard’s new release. The DiffiCULT No2, if one doesn’t already have a copy rush out and buy one, it really is a masterpiece of rock n roll dance fusion. It has been on heavy rotation since April this year. A collection of songs that came to life on the live circuit. It is an Album that made No2 in the Charts and because of Scottish Covid restrictions, this was to be the first performance without a socially distanced audience and also my first time of witnessing the new long-player played live. The venue was rammed with the Yellow faithful and lots and lots of new recruits went wild as Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 took to the Stage. It was great fun and a great sing along. Ted Dancing is my fave And like all of the performances at Lindisfarne, the lush production really brought out the best performance art from this wonderful band of musicians. It was a fantastic performance and just as I suspected, the yellow magik had moved up a stage. The Mustards are going to be even more massive. It is the bands time to shine ❤
Groove Armada have been an important band for me over the years and having been a percussionist for MC Mike Daniels who wrote and sings Superstyling, it was like a bit of a reunion of friends that I havenae seen since Groove Armada played the last Playground Festival in 2019. that was a fantastic gig too. The Lindisfarne population had swelled considerably since Dusk an extra 1700 tickets were sold for the evening itself. So it was more than a packed house. It was the one performance that I wanted to get to the front for I wasn’t quite prepared for just how packed it would be at the front, the whole of the massive main stage venue was over capacity, I managed 3 numbers until I felt that I needed more space to enjoy the performance. It was quite easy to work my way through the assembled masses to find a space that I could sing along and dance to the brilliant music. The band played the same set as they did at Playground and everyone of the massive audience loved it and had a really good time. All of the hits were represented from Groove Armada’s career and vocal and lyrical prowess of MC Mike Daniels, Becky Jones, (better known as Saint Saviour,) and Veba bringing the brilliant songs to life. It was a fantastic closing gig of a weekend packed with brilliant music. My favourite singalong was Paper Romance, had been rehearsing singing the chorus for quite some time. Everyone loves Groove Armada and everyone loved being at Lindisfarne for this brilliant live experience. This is what life is all about having a thoroughly Good Time. I still think At The River should be the opening number because all the rest are dance floor bangers.
After the closing gig, I headed to Delta City for some Techno and really got down “Shakin My Ass” Then went for a coffee at the Volunteer Hub Crew Fire to check on the healing flames, then headed for the little cozy comfy tent for a rest and a bit of a sleep. Before the morning jam at the campsite. That was wonderful too as we were joined by a Gentleman called Tex who sang Bob Marley numbers to perfection another fine opportunity to practice singing harmonies and drumming some rhythms and after 3 days of dark moody sky’s the Sun made a crescendo appearance just as we were packing up and tatting down. it was to be a very warm day indeed. Once again Gillian drove me expertly back to Aulde Reekie with a suitably accomplished warm feeling in my belly that started at the moment of arrival the previous Wednesday. Hmmm I thought to myself. My Lindisfarne Cherry has well and truly been popped. What a fantastic experience.
Mark “Divine” Calvert