Author Archives: yodamo

Eden 2019

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Raehills Meadows

June 6-9 2019


This was my first family festival and my first time at Eden so apart from the wet weather that was forecast I really didn’t know what to expect! I am very pleased to say that it wasn’t a total washout, the weather never putting put a dampener on the fun and the festival itself was absolutely brilliant.

We were camped up the Artist’s campsite, which was probably the furthest walk from the main stage and also the most unkempt part of the site. Every other campsite that I visited was much nicer and flatter and an easy walk down into the main area. They all had plenty of water taps for use and were serviced by reasonable dirt roads which managed to maintain their integrity even with the damp weather. I am not saying that there wasn’t plenty of mud the first couple of days, especially down at the main arena, but it was manageable and there was a lot less than I was expecting. Aye, wellies are a must, like, at a Scottish festival – but no need for waders!

Eden is a great site for camping no matter the weather. All of the facilities were actually great, and way better than anything I have ever experienced at a larger festival. Toilets were regularly cleaned, showers were good, and food was delicious at a number of the stands that I tried, especially ‘The Italian Kitchen,’ whose pizza’s saved my life! There was even a sauna for those who wanted to completely unwind.

Final Headliners Eden 2019

Eden is a family festival so they have put the emphasis on trying to make sure there is plenty for everyone to do. You don’t have that rushing from stage-to-stage felling to catch the must-see act, its more about taking your time and enjoying the full experience. I saw some very touching moments with fathers in the crowd carrying their kids on their shoulders (with ear protectors of course), dancing the night away.

I was speaking with a couple of parents and aunties about their experience ,who also said that they absolutely loved it. There was loads of things for the kids to do, but it was all about showing them that they can be free and enjoy themselves outside alongside parents who did not have to worry about them constantly.

I don’t know if it was the size, location or type of festival, but at Eden I ever met any ‘idiots’ the whole weekend. No one was completely off their face or falling about, you were even allowed to take your own alcohol into the main area – I would not like to think how that would of worked out at a T in the Park or something similar!

There were a few different stages throughout the site with a number of acts on all day. I spent a lot of time at the Mainstage where most of the headliners were. Chineseman took the roof off on the Friday night and really made the place come alive. We then went on to the ‘Snake Pit’ to dance the night away till the wee small hours. In the pit you had two main tents which were banging all night, with a variety of DJ’s playing. My personal favourite was Optimo on the Saturday night who were different class!!

His Highness, John Cooper Clarke

For those who preferred a slightly slower pace you could walk through to the Lost Disco which was pumping out the tunes ’till late, or for those in the know you could wander on to the Thunderdome who had a variety of acts including ‘7 inch Sal & Son,’ – again very inclusive for the kids and without doubt the funniest things I saw all weekend and totally loved by the kids!

The weekend acts were finished off by Bombskare, who brought their energy and touch of ska madness to ear on the mainstage. They again were absolutely brilliant and the right mix of fun and enthusiasm which summed up the full festival for me. Eden may not have had the headliners that you expect at some bigger festivals, but it had everything else and then some! The people were amazing, the site was great, the acts were brilliant, food was class, beer was reasonable, and without a doubt I had the most fun I have had in a long time. Thank you Eden for everything – one love!

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Review by Mark Parker


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DIVINE’S EDEN

This was my first Eden without a broken heart and the Healing preparation that I put in a week or two before, certainly was effective. I arrived with Ross on Weds Afternoon. Into the Garden and made camp backstage in the dance arena so that I could be close to the main Fire. Ernst and Heather Maxwell were both busy sawing and prepping the wood for the swanky new Camp Fire that was being planned for Thursdays festival opening. It rained till the early hours of Thursday Morning and then the Sun came out to shine. I had a good sleep and helped with breakfast in the crew kitchen.

With the Intention to bless and heal the hearts of all who visited Divines healing flames of love. The new seating arrived for the Camp Fire. While Ernst created the new caged fire. It was perfect for the main arena and would keep the Edenites warm during the coming Rainy Saturday. I also prepped the Healing Fire in the Meladrome. Alan, Lotus and Travis arrived at 6pm so both fires were covered and the gates opened at 7pm. The Festival had begun. So so many happy smiley faces flooded into the Garden. It was a beautiful Summers day and everyone was Happy. I divided my night between the two fires with time to recite a poem on The Well Happy Bands Meladrome Stage Thursday take over. Good Time.

Friday was performance day for Divine. Poetry recital in Rabbies Tavern at 6.15pm. Bowie V Prince at the lost Disco at 9pm and the Sunrise Set in The Vishnu Lounge at 4.30am. It was another lovely Sunny day. I knew it was going to be a long day so I paced myself so that I could express my creative Juices to full effect. I settled outside The 99p Tea Tent in the Sunshine and began makeup sessions. My Poetry went down a treat in Rabbies Tavern, just before the performance I met a new friend called Iona. Divine was buzzing. The lost Disco was packed for Divines Bowie and Prince set and it was beautifully received. Then it was back to fire duty till my 4.30am Sunrise set. I got into my sleeping bag at 6.30am just as Saturdays rain had started and had a deep 3 hours of sleep.

With all of my performances on the Friday/Saturday Morning now complete. The focus was completely on fire. Travis had done a brilliant job keeping the flame burning throughout the night at the Meladrome Fire, myself Alan and Ross held space at the main fire, revolving between the two for the rest of the day. with drum circles at each It was a wet Saturday, the peace and healing was profound, the Fire dried off my waterproofs and kept my drumskin tight. Eden has lots of indoor venues to protect Edenites from the elements. I returned to the main Camp Fire as Dusk made the embers and flames lick brighter. Travis was at the Meladrome fire. Divine, Ross and Alan and Ernst built the flames to a roaring blaze. I hit exhaustion at midnight and slept a rejuvenating deep sleep for 3 hours. I was back at the fire at 3am to join Alan and Ross. The rain had stopped falling and the love was huge.

My Sunday began early, at 3am I rejoined Alan and Ross at The Camp Fire. It was busy and the party was in full swing. Dawn and Sunrise were about an hour away and the transition from night time groovers enjoying the Flames Of Love to Sunday Morning counsel as I held space and grounded the Angels. By midday I hit exhaustion. but couldn’t find anywhere to settle for a power nap. I wandered round to the healing area laid down on the grass and was out like a light for an hour. I headed up to The Meladrome Fire and that would be my vantage point for the rest of the day. Building the flames and looking after the revellers. This is where well-tended fires at damp festivals are most important. I held space until midnight and then headed for my sleeping bag. It was a lovely Sunny Monday Morning when Ross woke me up to tell me that he was leaving that morning so that I would have to get the bus back on Tuesday. I helped out in the Crew Kitchen that morning, washing and scrubbing the pans. There was a crew party that night but was too tired to attend. Stretched beyond my limits I had an early night and ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.

I packed my things and headed for the Stagecoach 101 Bus for the pleasant journey back to Aulde Reekie. Alex the Astrologer was on the bus who had been working on The Vishnu Build. I was home, back in the Divine Parlor by 5pm as process and recovery began. Divines 11th Eden with full participation. The Healing of Rae Hills Meadows and the people that will visit will happen now untill the end of time.

Divine Service To Humanity And The Festival I Love Above All Others.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Photos: Jo Legg

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Knockengorroch 2019

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Dumfries & Galloway

23rd-26th May


TERI’S THURSDAY

On Thursday evening, as the sun perched bright between fluffy cotton clouds, a convoy of peculiar shaped vehicles meandered along a single-track road amongst sheep clad rugged hills. Horseboxes, circus vans and furniture removal trucks, each converted in an ingenious manner rumbled along through the backdrop of the setting sun on a mission to one collective port of call. The destination was Knockengorroch Meadow, the location of Scotland’s premier hippy festival, nestled in the Galloway Hills.

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Fresh-faced and clad in multi-colours, Leprechauns and pots of gold, the Knock revellers slowly entered the site and chose their favourite spot to pitch up for the weekend. Buzzing with the anticipation of this year’s Rainbow-themed weekend, inspired by the original International Rainbow gathering of 1997, which spurred the beginnings of the annual Knockengorroch Festival.

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The Fraoch Bar, fully stocked with Williams’ Brothers beers and Thistly Cross cider opened its doors on Thursday night with Samson Sounds opening on the Cabaret Stage, a five-piece afro-dub collective from Glasgow, who played the perfect high energy reggae-meets ska-meets funk set to blast open the beginning of what was to be the Mother Nature of all festivals. And as the beers flowed, old friends met up for the first of the festival season with big bear hugs, smiling faces and happy laughter.


TERI’S FRIDAY

Friday morning’s midges were out in force with their razor-sharp tiny teeth and angry wee warrior bodies. Armed with a smothering of Citronella and bacon butties, we fought off the savage attack and made our way down to the site where the festival was beginning to rise and warm up. After a chilled morning basking in the May sunshine, we took to the Bo’ Airigh Main Stage for Muckle Spree to dance bare-foot in the grass. This duo, Michael Muir and Ollie Rigg, fuse traditional folk with a contemporary digital spin, using powerful loop pedals, a diverse range of string and wind instruments, driving melodies and a strong jazz/funk influence.

The Bristol Branch were to follow, and being of Orchestra Del Sol ilk, were not to disappoint. A seven-piece Latin American band (none of who were from Bristol) effortlessly blasted citrus audio bursts with a Brazilian flavour, oozing a sunshine soaked fiesta atmosphere. Boasting an eclectic range of lyrics, from canoeing, agricultural drought, prostitution … and some happy stuff… they had the hippies swinging their dungaree-clad salsa hips and jiving to the Latino beats.

Going indoors, the Sheiling tent was introducing Gypsy Roots, a fantastic reggae-rock, punk-gypsy band with a super tight drummer and great funky rhythm. An enthusiastic crowd boogied to each song with familiarity and expectation for this much-loved band.

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Yoko Pwno gave yet another outstanding festival performance. This contemporary energetic band filled the Friday night Sheiling tent, packing the floor song after song, as they merged traditional Scottish folk music to a backdrop of drum and bass and electronica. With the keyboards and fiddles backed by the drums and electronica we were taken on a magical journey through a psychedelic musical soundscape. One of the best bands to be heard on the Scottish festival scene.

The Dunbar female rap trio, Bitta Disgrace, Pimpses Asha and Sweethardt Dowt are the three badass sassy, saucy girls who blew the top off the Sheiling tent on Friday’s performance. An absolute delight to watch, their fast, punchy lyrics satirize and destroy male hip hop clichés in their own witty comedy style over banging beatz. An incredible performance with a group with huge potential.

 


SPUD’S FRIDAY

With hundreds of revellers knocking on the door of Knockengorroch festival the time has finally come for the first festival instalment of Scotlands summer season. The first most notable part of the journey to Dumfries and Galloway is the breath taking scenery you encounter driving down the Moffat road, through Crawfordjohn then into New Cumnock. Passing through farmsteads and rural countryside you emerge at Dalmellington, the small village 14 miles from Knockengorroch farm. As the sun shone down on Friday morning we could only hope that this ray of sunshine will continue to spill its warmth over the compound that is to be Knockengorroch Festival. With the winding river that encirCLes the grounds and the natural barriers of the hills , this is one of the most beautiful sites for a festival you could ask for. This place has a magical and mythical energy to it and with the birds singing sweet songs outside your tent, well, that’s just the icing on the cake…

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The variety off workshops, educational areas, food stalls, landscaped chilling areas and music is tenfold, with so much on offer there is no time to be waste. There is a much more family friendly and artistic feeling to Knockengorroch as the years have passed which is something i feel they have always strived for , maintained and focused on. Bustling bodies, running children, warm fires, happy chatty revellers and continuous laughter was a common sight throughout the entire weekend. The other wonderful thing about Knock”s is that the size of the festival has remained the same over the many years it has been running and with this they have kept that unique sense of community.

With live acts such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Griogair Labhruidh, The Honey Farm, Milvus Milvus, Elephant Sessions, Dizraeli, Omar Afif, Irie Yo-Yo, Sea Bass Kid and many more exciting acts this was sure to be a weekend full fond memories. If i was to high light a few a few acts then the maverick of modern words and poetry that is Benjamin Zephaniah and the Revoluntionary Minds . Benjamin”s love off words and the power they hold are clear within his lyrics and music. The way words are constructed and used take on a different life when Benjamin creates his magic. Powerful messages that embody a sense of reality that is apparent in everyday life and in every culture. Moving and thought provoking Benjamin and the Revoluntionary Minds bring an energy and spirit that incaptivates everyone that is present.

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The Honey Farm

Now we come to the all female trio that is The Honey Farm. Emerging from Dunbar this rap trio have taken Scotlands music scene and turned it upside down within the last few years. It is so refreshing to see a young female band taking to the stage with a fearless and empowering presence. With the Honeybadger DJ by their side, Bee, Gael and Gracie deliver a set full off direct, real, true, honest, in your face lyrics. They say it how it is, no barriers, no walls and pretentious bullshit. They say what we think and see it how as it is and Its about time too. The Honey Farm have stripped back what we have been missing for years within the music scene and how pulled the trigger and realeased some great songs with hard hitting facts about life as a woman, teenager and not forgetting the youth that is man. The energy, warmth, love, grattitude, innuendos and humour are intoxicating. I have high hopes for The Honey Farm and predict that if they continue on this road they have buit for themselves they are sure to go a long way.


TERI’S SATURDAY

Saturday afternoon begun with a magnificent Mutleys cheese, basil and pesto crepe, washed down with Nikita’s Traditional Lemonade Cordial, which were devoured hungrily around the fire pitt. Barefooted, guitar-strumming hippies entertained the hardcore all-nighters and the bleary-eyed late risers who were warming their cockles together by the fire as the drizzle begun, by belting out some classic camp fire tunes, old and new. Everyone joined in, including the friendly fire stewards, and it gave yet another a reminder of just how special this wee hippy festival really is.

We wandered through the Meadow, past the food stalls, rainbow installations, workshops and trader stalls packed with interesting and diverse wares and all manner of activities. The Mkeco Nature Workshop, run by Mona Kastel, an Edinburgh based Ecoscenographer who specialises in ecological conscious design, offered the chance to explore our connection with nature and what it means as humans, in a captivating and sensorial interactive workshop.

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There was a drop-in recycling workshop at the Sheiling tent, which made all manner of creative and original things, such as masks, badges and musical instruments from recycled junk, in a fun atmosphere. There was a diverse range of different workshops on offer throughout the weekend, from yoga classes or Brazilian dance, life drawing to palm reading, spoon carving or story writing, making Knockengorroch such a rich and diverse International festival with genuinely something for everyone.

The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers took to the Bo Airigh Stage on Saturday afternoon, delivering a mind-blowing theatrical performing art of layered percussion, powerful and passionate, with a gritty, energetic style, which easily demonstrated the ease of their experience as the UK’s longest running Taiko drumming collective.

Moving on to the Shieling Tent, we were introduced to Milvus Milvus, a Glasgow based band who delivered an incredible set, fusing 80s New Wave with contemporary minimalist techno and electronica, to an enthusiastic, bouncing crowd. Benjamin Zephariah, the Rastafarian poet was Saturday’s highlight, owning the Main stage with his incredible stage presence and delivering stylish and powerful dub-reggae protest lyrics, from his latest album Revolutionary Minds.

We danced late into the night with the legendary Edinburgh connoisseurs of all things exotic, Samedia Shabeen, who brought the boogie onto the dancefloor and jam-packed the Knock Taigh tent with the sweet sounds of afro, dancehall, Latin America, and all things tropical from every corner of the planet. The success of this DJ collective who have travelled the world with their immersive late-night tropical soundtrack was evident from the riotous enthusiasm and packed dancefloor, whilst sealing Knock’s reputation as a colourful mix of vibes to flavour every taste-bud.


SPUD’S SATURDAY

As Friday turns into Saturday and Saturday into Sunday the heavens decided that the earth needed to be dampened and the rain come down like an over flowing waterfall. It poured and it poured. Down it came with no end in sight. The one thing at Knockengorroch you maybe guaranteed is rain but it does not dampen spirits as many off the mud dancing revellers embraced it and engaged in a ritual rain ceremony.

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With the Shieling tent offering up Mungos Hi Fi and the Knock Taigh Tent hosting Samedia Shebeen these were the places to be after hours. The tropical and african sound of Samedia”s trio dj”s was to hot hot to handle. Powered by North Fire Sound and full to capacity everynight the Taigh tent had no space to give. With rain drop like sweats balls dripping from the tent ceiling we were once again caught in a world of dance, movement and good vibes. The Sunday night instalment of Mungos Hi Fi and Kenny Knots is a must at any festival.

The build up is an uplifting experience that has never swayed in the many many years that Mungos Hi Fi have been gracing our floors. A true icon of the sound system circuit they never fail to deliver. Deep rooted cultured tunes with heart and soul and with lyrics that push the boundaries there is no better way to close the first festival of the year . With another successful Knockengorroch Festival done and dusted, i think we all leave with a sense of contentment and warm hearts and not forgetting some wet and sore feet. Happy days with good times ahead…..


Words, Photos & Memories by
Raymond Speedie & Teri Welsh

An Interview with Stephen Scott

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Festival royalty doesn’t get much more laid back than the purveyor of Eden’s Rabbies Tavern


Hello Stephen, first things first, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I’m from Craignure on the Isle of Mull. I’m currently packing boxes in our flat in Clydebank, ready for a move to Balloch, Loch Lomond on Friday!

Where does your love of music come from?
My parents and Grandparents. My dad was a brilliant folk musician. Mainly Fiddle, Guitar and Northumbrian Pipes, but he could genuinely get a tune out of any instrument. Our summers were generally driving around Scotland and Ireland, he played in as many sessions as he could. While my mum wasn’t a musician, she had a great love of music. Fantastic collection of records which I used to love playing. My Grandad played the organ in our local church, and my Gran gave me my first lessons as a child on the piano.

You’ve got three famous musicians from history coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
I’m crazy into Hans Zimmer at the moment. My wife got me tickets to the Hydro in march and it was incredible. His stories are great too, he’s be a top class dinner guest. Dolly Parton. I’ve always enjoyed country music, and she’s just the embodiment of it. I think she’d be a great dinner guest, really funny and honest. Hasn’t ever forgotten her roots either.  Marcus Mumford too. Sigh no More came out just as the band were getting started. Mumford and Sons were a huge influence back then. It really got me back into that style of music, we wouldn’t be the band we are without that record. I’m rubbish at cooking. I’d go Scottish I think though. Stornoway Black pudding and Mull Cheddar salad for starter. I do make a decent steak pie though, so that’s up next. I’d need to ask my mum how to make it, Cranachan for desert. Probably a cheese board too. Love a good cheese board!

You are the founding member of Have Mercy Las Vegas, what’s the origin story?
I wouldn’t say there was a real founding member of Have Mercy Las Vegas. Originally I’d met Crispin through work and went along to a couple of open mics. He was well known in the area and had a load of top class songs to record. He’s an incredible songwriter and a total pleasure to get the chance to play with – it still is. I’d come along to record a bit of Mandolin on a song he’d written (Tear to my eye) He’d been recording them at Phil’s studio, Phil being a drummer put the drums down. We got the offer of a couple of local gigs and Marc joined in on Bass, having previously been in a band with Phil. Crispin and I were playing a couple of tunes on a Sunny May day holiday, funnily enough 7 years ago to this day. She sang a couple of tunes and we invited her to join. That’s pretty much when we became a proper band. Andrew was the final piece of the jigsaw in 2013.

What instruments do you play?
For Have Mercy Las Vegas; Banjo, Mandolin, Harmonium and accordion. I’ve loads of instruments in the flat I can pick a tune on, but not to any real standard!

How has your involvement with Eden Festival increased since the early days?
I’ve generally done a bit more each year really. First couple of years not much beyond playing and suggesting a couple of bands. Phil got me more involved around 2014/15 I reckon though. There’s a lot of admin that goes with this, dealing with all the bands, tech specs etc, a bit of compering too. Maybe since 2015 I’ve gone down early to help with the build, a lot of people work really hard behind the scenes and its good to muck in.

HMLV playing Rabbies Tavern

How has the Tavern evolved over the years?
Its grown big time. The Tavern was originally a much smaller army tent. It was brilliantly dark and the sound desk was housed in an old truck. (Ill find a picture) Sadly it succumbed to the elements and the larger and brighter tent was brought in. The build team are so resourceful though, they built wooden walls inside to give it a Barn feel to it. Built chairs and benches from old church pews and added a new snug and rebuilt the bar at the back. It grew on still, the “The Back Passage” was built and programmed by Bob and Cara, it has since become a wonderful venue in its own right. A mezzanine floor was built above the sound desk… there’s loads of wee personal touches too from the build and the décor team. Plenty of Burns poems and pictures. It’s a work of art. Last year when the Back Passage moved locations, we added a replacement called the Diel and Exciseman, after another burns poem and with a “speakeasy” feel, something Chris had always been really keen to do. We had some sporadic jams and performances last year which went down a treat. Thankful to Adam for trusting us to do it well! We’ll expand on that this year.

Can you describe your working relationship with Chris Blackmore?
Chris is brilliant to work with. He’s one step ahead of the game when it comes to the Americana/folk scene in Glasgow. He’s really passionate about it too. We want to give new artists a chance that is sometimes hard to get, Chris is great at finding these acts. At this time of year we probably speak daily about the plans and schedules for the weekend, but all year round his label “Holy Smokes Records” put on great shows. He’s brought the likes of Buffalo Skinners from Sheffield, Lankum from Dublin and JP Harris from Nashville to Glasgow. Well worth checking out his shows.

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The Main Stage @ Eden

What have you got for us this year?
We’ve got John Cooper Clark headlining the year, something different to what we usually do, but its going to go down great. We’ve brought in some brilliant poets too keeping with the theme, the likes of Stephen Watt, Mark McGhee, Iona Lee and plenty more. We’ve got the Hoojamamas as the musical headline, formerly known as Harry and the Hendersons. Its been a while since we had them down so really looking forward to that. My own personal picks for the weekend are The Carloways, Beinn Lee, Avocet and Dlu.

As one of the last venues to be open onsite, what are the crowd & the performers like in the early hours of Monday morning?
After the main stages shut most of the smaller venues are usually busy, Sunday is no exception to that. While were on till about 2, the Snake Pit is open later still! I think people want to make the most of it on the last day. We’ve always had some cracking line ups on the Sunday!

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Who are you looking forward to in the other parts of Eden Festival?
The Mountain Stage is an incredible feat of engineering. It looks and sounds great too. I’ll look to catch Lau and Old Blind Dogs there for sure. I’m looking forward to the Campsite too. We work hard but still take a bit of time to enjoy the company and have a wee jam and a drink with some pals!

Can you describe working with the Eden crew in a single sentence?
An absolute pleasure.

To someone who has never been to Eden before, what have they got to expect?
I’m sure everyone who is involved in a festival will say that theirs is different to the rest… But Eden genuinely is. Its the reason I wanted to help it grow. With HMLV we’ve been lucky enough to play loads of great festivals in Scotland and England and there are some great festivals out there. Eden’s just full of people who want to get along with everybody. Everyone is there to have a good time, you’ll definitely make some new friends. The music is fantastic and Eden has some brilliant headliners. You’ll enjoy seeing the bands you’ve picked out as favorites before, but you’ll also find your new favorite band! The level of detail that goes into the building of the stages is incredible… the Melodrome in the woods, the towers of the Great Mountain or even the drive in cinema. First time I went as a band member I knew I wanted to be a part of it, I’m grateful I got the chance. But if I wasn’t involved and my band weren’t booked to play, I’d buy a ticket for it.

Rabbies Tavern


Eden

Raehills Meadows, Moffat

June 6-9, 2019

 

An Interview with Jed Southgate

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Deerstock is a beautiful festival with a beautiful heart… & a beautiful guy behind it


Hello Jed, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I am actually an Essex boy but moved to Newark Notts in 1978 and have never returned South I now live in Gunthorpe Notts about 1 mile from the Deerstock site

How did you develop an appreciation of music?
From my days at Boarding School I was lucky to have a Mass Media teacher who used to take us into London to see bands

Where, when & how did the idea for Deerstock Festival originate?
In 2011, my friend ran a pub called The Reindeer (hence the name) in East Bridgford we decided to have a festival in his back field, unfortunately the NIMBYs in the village weren’t keen and the council refused us permission to run it again but a lovely farmer who loved the fact we were a volunteer based charity event offered us the Cross Country course and we have been there ever since

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What is it about organising festivals that makes you tick?
The buzz of introducing bands that people would never normally see, the talent around is unbelievable we get over 500 bands applying now!!

Can you describe one of your family-team festival planning meetings?
We are old hands now and respect each others roles (the most important thing when running a festival), my son James has taken over the actually physical creation of the festival which means I just deal with the fluffy bits.

Can you tell us about the site & how it contributes to the vibes?
The site is a Horse Riding Cross Country Course in the Trent Valley we have fantastic sunsets every evening.

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How is the festival’s working relationship with Nottinghamshire County Council?
We actually come under Rushcliffe Council and they are very helpful (since we moved lol)

Can you tell us about the charities who benefit from Deerstock?
This year we have Framework (Homeless Charity), IMARA (Child Abuse Charity) REACH (Learning Difficulties Charity) there is a list of previous charities on http://www.deerstock.co.uk we have raised over£80000 since we started.

What is the highlight of the 8 years running Deerstock?
They have been many highlights for me personally Getting Eddie and the Hot Rods (one of my favourite all time bands) seeing Dreadzone absoloutely smash the event but I must admit it would be seeing my daughter KT (a trained musical theatre actress) singing onstage with Doggens All Star Band (Doggen is the guitarist in Spritualized and a very good friend of mine).

What acts have you guys got for us this year?
Our Headliners are TransGlobal Underground, Unknown Era, Doggens All Star Band, Tony Wright from Terrorvision & Tom Williams.

What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
90% of our bands are local

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This years theme for Sunday Is The Summer Of Love, Time to let your inner Hippy shine man!

Can you tell us about the ‘I’m not from London’ posse?
They are a Nottingham-based music company who have been very supportive in the past, we thought it would be a great idea to have them curate a stage for us bringing a new dynamic to the festival

To someone who has never been to Deerstock, what can they expect?
They can feel part of a lovely community who all come together to have a great celebration of music and laughter. We have the also local firm Experian supplying volunteers to help at the event this year too.


Deerstock

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Newton Cross Country Course, Nottingham

July 26-28, 2019

An Interview with John Fell

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The Mumble managed a wee blether with the mastermind behind Birmingham’s funkiest party…


Hello John, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I was born and live in South Birmingham in a town called Northfield.

How did you develop an appreciation of Music?
I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. I have memories of dancing to ‘Surfing USA’ as a child, listening to my parents Dubliners record growing up, getting into Punk in my early teens and discovering Dylan and picking up the guitar. Through out my twenties I was trying to be a musician whilst having a very business oriented job.

When did you first get into events?
I dipped my toe into promoting when I was around 20 years old. I put a show on and made £200 then I lost £600 on the next. That put a stop to it for a while. Naturally, the business job didn’t sit well with trying to be a musician. The manager of my band also ran a festival so as soon as the job came up at the festival I jumped at it starting off as a festival assistant and now I am the festival manager.

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You’ve got three famous musicians coming round for dinner. Who would they be & what would you cook; starters, mains & dessert?
Ha! Definitely Dylan. He is invited everywhere. I like Black Flag but for his personality and intrigue Henry Rollins. Finally, I’d probably invite Jimi. I think that would be some party. As for food they are coming to England so it would be Fish. Chips and Mushy Peas 🙂

Where, when, why & how did you get involved with the Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival?
As mentioned I was working for a company running the office and this job opportunity came up. It was for less money initially but doing something that I really wanted to do was the key. Definitely recommend it to anyone.

Who have been some of your favorite bookings over the years?
I think we’d all agree here that Chic was the best booking for Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul. We booked them just before they released Get Lucky and the Chic resurgence began. It sold out and the atmosphere was incredible. Another Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul booking would be Public Enemy. Sugarhill Gang pulled out with a month to go. There was a lot of panic to get a new headliner but we managed to get public Enemy and the announcement couldn’t have gone any better. Plus they were all lovely and played a killer show!  Away from the festivals we promote other shows. I think my favourite would have to be John Prine. A lot of people in Birmingham had been waiting for John to come to Birmingham so I was glad to be the man behind that. Robert Plant came down as he is a big Americana fan.

What have you got for us this year?
This year is the 10th anniversary so we really wanted to deliver something special with our headliners. We managed to get Burt Bacharach as our Sunday night headliner which we were all buzzing about. After that we managed to secure The Jacksons for Friday night and The Brand New Heavies for Saturday night. We then rounded off the line up with some cool contemporary artists such as Ibibio Sound Machine, JP Bimeni & The Blackbelts, Oscar Jerome, Ishmael Ensemble and probably the act I’m most excited about Khruangbin!

How the hell did you get Burt Bacharach to play?
When it comes to booking the bigger artists there is always a little bit of luck. We got in contact with Burt’s team just at the right time. They were planning a couple of dates in London and were looking for interesting events for him to play. Our date landed two days before his London shows. It is the way it works out sometimes. What works one year won’t work the next.

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What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
We pride ourselves on promoting local music at our events. We have 2 stages that sit side by side and alternate so the 2nd stage artists play in behind the main stage artists to the same crowd. This means the music is pretty much constant all day! It also means we can programme local artists on the second stage so for example, Delta Autumn (Birmingham band) will be playing between Khruangbin and Burt Bacharach.

The Festival is held in Birmingham’s Moseley Park, how does that help the vibes?
Moseley Park is definitely one of the more interesting festival sites in the UK. It is set in heart of Moseley which is a village recently voted as the #1 place to live in the UK in Sunday Times. The park is set in a gated park was has natural slopping amphitheatre towards a lake. It truly is a beautiful site. As we are surrounded by houses we finish in the park around 22:30 and the crowd head into the village and local pubs. Perfect format for a music event!

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How has the Birmingham community taken to the festival, & do you have a wider catchment?
We actually achieve between 30-35% from outside of West Midlands which is quite good for a non camping event. The local community has taken to it extremely well. It has contributed to culture and vibe around Moseley and we rarely get complaints. We are quite forthcoming in conversations on how to improve and make it easier for local residents.

To someone who has never been to MJF&S, what can they expect?
I think the venue will steal the show when you first walk in. Its a welcoming site and extremely small so the atmosphere is incredible. Plus it is always good to not have to walk far. I think how close you can get to the stages is a real selling point as well. The stages are low so you can really get into the set and music. We have plenty of cool little bars, food stalls and you can re-enter which is a rarity at festivals. Above the music is what we all go for. There is a great mix flowing from Jazz, Funk & Soul with some addition of Hip Hop, Afrobeat etc. I really do think its one of the parties of the summer.


Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul

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Moseley Park, Birmingham

July 12-14, 2019

An Interview with Anton Lockwood

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Nottingham’s wonderful Splendour Festival goes from strength to strength, thanks in no small part to the man that books the bands…


Hello Anton, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Originally South Yorkshire, but came to Nottingham in ’84 for university and not left.

How did you develop an appreciation of music?
Raiding my much older brother’s record collection, and he took me to my first gig – which was The Specials!! So very much looking forward to them at Splendour.

Who are DHP, what is your role & how did you secure it?
We are a live music & venues company based in Nottingham. I started independently, but joined in 2002 to open Rescue Rooms – I’m now Director of Live for the company – which is much bigger these days.

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Where, when & how did the idea for Splendour originate?
We saw the possibility of a larger scale live music event, approached the council – and they agreed…

How much time do you spend on the festival throughout the year?
It’s a year round thing, though most of the booking conversations are in November/December the year before.

Tell us about the venue & how you secured it in the first place?
Wollaton is a beautiful park, in an amazing setting with the hall in the background – we also had a history of doing live events there, so it was the obvious choice for Splendour.

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How is your working relationship with Nottingham City Council?
Really good – they recognise how the event benefits the city, and want to work together to make it a success.

How do you choose the line-up?
We always look for a good mixture to appeal to a cross section of people, and then see which artists are available – and of course fit into our budget!

Do you make waves with the local bands?
Yes! We always have the winner of the Future Sound Of Nottingham competition that we do with Nusic opening the main stage – and almost all the courtyard stage plus several of the bands on the other stages are Notts. And it’s great to see when Notts artists go higher up the bill- Jake Bugg being the biggest one!

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What have you guys got for us this year?
Lots – it’s all on www.splendourfestival.com

How did you book the Specials, that’s quite a coup?
We’ve actually had them before! But with a great new album they were one of the ones we really wanted.

For someone who has never been to Splendour before, what have they to expect?
A great day of music and fun!!

Will there be a Festival in 2020?
Oh yes!


SPLENDOUR FESTIVAL

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Wollaton Hall & Deer Park, Nottingham

Saturday 20 July

An Interview with Walton Folk Festival

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L-R: Nigel Greenaway, Ed Butcher, Peter Shaw, Caroline Smith


The Walton Folk Festival is charging into its second year… The Mumble met the organisers down the pub…


Hello Ed – how did you develop an appreciation of Folk Music?
ED: In the same way that I developed an appreciation for blues, metal, rock, classical and baroque… I just like it. I started listening to Steeleye Span, and developed a taste for folk rock, and then bought a lot of compilation CDs (all before the interwebs) – that’s when I realised how varied the genre is – it’s a verrrry broad church, and that’s exciting. When I got involved with Riverhouse Barn, I discovered that the artists are the most approachable bunch you could hope to meet. It’s basically a big musical family that relies on grass-roots live music venues and events, and when I get the chance to be a part of that, it’s incredibly rewarding.

Hello Caroline, so what is it about Folk Music that makes you tick?
CAROLINE: It make me smile and sing a long and tap my feet. I also like the community and the friendliness of folk music. If you got to a folk festival the acts will be wandering round; chatting to the crowd and listening to the other people on stage. The musicianship impresses me too – so many multi-instrumentalists which as a non-musician is even more impressive. 

So where, when & how did the idea for Walton Folk Festival originate?

ED: It happened fairly organically, building on conversations between us all after our regular monthly Sunday lunchtime gigs. Riverhouse Barn has been booking great acts for a long time, and audience numbers had been growing, so that definitely gave us some confidence that we could pull it off. Having a venue available also helped fan the flames, but I can’t remember who said “let’s run a festival” first of all. I’ll take credit if no one else does 😉

How did you get involved with WFF?
ED: I was in the right place at the right time: I’ve been volunteering at the Barn for a few years, usually behind the bar on comedy nights, and coiling cables for Nigel before and after folk gigs. Nigel, Caroline and I had had the “wouldn’t it be great to put on a festival” chat a few times and that progressed to a “what would a festival look like” drink in our local (you know things are serious when Nigel convenes a meeting in the pub), and then when were confident, we had a formal chat with Emily Boulting who is Director of Riverhouse Barn about dates and budget.

Hello Peter – last year was the debut for Walton Folk Festival, how did it all go?
PETER: It was a fabulous day. Great weather helped but the real stars were the musicians both on the main stage and in the courtyard. As most of my role in the team is publicity – and eating crisps, frankly – I basically came as a punter with a few friends. So I got to experience the day as the festivalgoers would and it was brilliant. There were so many highlights but I felt particularly proud of Jack Cookson. He’s a friend of my brother, a BBC 2 Young Folk Awards nominee and a stunning guitarist, singer and songwriter. I championed him to the team so it was a real thrill that his set was so mesmerising, and he has a compelling stage presence. In the evening the atmosphere changed a little, the blazing sun died down and after a few beers were flowing, people began to dance and really show their appreciation. Kim Lowings and the Greenwood warmed the crowd up marvellously and The Urban Folk Quartet rounded off a brilliant day in true style. I remember walking home just buzzing at how great the day was and not quite believing the quality of acts that had played in my home town.

At which point was it decided to go again for 2019?
ED: At about 10:00pm on the day of 2018 festival. We’d had a blast, the audience loved it, the acts loved it, and we didn’t lose money! For a first attempt, that ticked all the boxes and then some. We really want this to grow into a “proper” multiday event, and be rooted in the heart of our community, so we have to keep going to make that happen.

Can you describe one of your team meetings?
CAROLINE: There’s usually a pint or two. We all live locally and can walk or cycle to the Riverhouse or one of the local pubs which means we can meet up regularly for a chat. There’s a lot of laughing, and we get on really well but manage to get through what we need to as well. Nigel knows the ins and out of the venue and all the tech possibilities , Peter knows the up and coming acts and has some good connections, Ed will go out scouting for local acts and talk to anyone who we need to chat to on the marketing front and I remind them all what we need to get done and speak to the promoters so we have a good mix.

What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
PETER: We’d love to have more, and we are actively reaching out to local performing arts schools, open mic nights and so on. The courtyard, where performers can play a few songs between the main stage acts is an open opportunity to showcase local acts. We will prioritise people from Walton and the surrounding area in the courtyard. Last year we had some fab performers but Zach Johnson – a Surrey-based performer – really stood out for me. He’s been back at the Riverhouse and we want to see more of him before he gets too big.

How are the acts selected for the WFF?
CAROLINE: We recover from the previous festival and then use a couple of ways. We ask our usual promoters who is touring in May to see what we can fit into and then we all throw in suggestions of who we would like to see. We end up with a big playlist that we listen to and then get together to shortlist based on what we like, and who we think would work in our venue. We also chat to the other local folk festival in Guildford which is a few weeks after ours to make sure we don’t book the same acts.

Who are you most excited for this year?
PETER: I can’t believe the lineup we’ve attracted to the main stage and I am looking forward to each and every artist. Megson will start the day off with their infectious and heartfelt songs. I’ve seen them a few times and they really win crowds over. I was introduced to Hannah Ashcroft by Alex Gallagher from Folk Radio (who is really supportive of the festival and our folk gigs). I reviewed Hannah’s EP last year for Folk Radio’s website and I’m keen to see her live – her performances on youtube are stunning. Lukas Drinkwater is another friend of the Riverhouse, he’s played plenty of times with different acts. But I remember the first time I saw him with Jim Causley and Lukas did a solo song. No disrespect to the brilliant Mr Causley, but Lukas’ solo spot was amazing, just him and a guitar. So I want to see a full set, and that’s what we’ll get.

Last year the rest of the WFF team went on a field day to the London Folk Festival. Which, strangely, all three of them forgot to tell me about. Anyway, they came back raving (in a good way) about The Trials of Cato. And so is everyone else apparently. Mark Radcliffe described them as, ‘One of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.’ Daria Kulesh is the act I know least about, but Ed really rates her and I’m looking forward to something a little more exotic in the lineup. Although based in the UK, Daria has Russian and Ingush roots. What I’ve seen and heard of her music really makes me want to see her live. And in (deliberate) contrast to Daria, we close with False Lights. I’m still kind of in shock that they will be at the festival. Jim Moray is probably the most important innovator to emerge on the UK folk scene in the last few decades. I’ve seen him live but teamed up with Sam Carter and the rest of the Lights is a real thrill live. They are such a powerful and impressive band. They are following the folk-rock electric band setup of the likes of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Oysterband and The Levellers but taking it in exciting new directions. But I kind of won’t believe they’re coming until I see them on stage. And Nigel’s face when they unload all their gear.

How has the Walton community taken to the festival, & do you have a wider catchment?
CAROLINE: We have a group of regulars who come to the Sunday shows and the festival and then the acts bring in some of their own following. In 2018 we held the festival on the Sunday of the May Bank Holiday with the Riverhouse May Fair on the Monday so we had two days of sunshine and smiling faces around the venue. We wanted to bottle the atmosphere.

Will there be a Walton Folk Festival, 2020?
PETER: We don’t have a big budget or sponsorship (yet). So we have to have a good attendance to pay for the festival. So, if it’s a sell-out like last year we will definitely be back for 2020. And we hope to expand to an extra day and maybe other venues. Ideally, it would be Walton Folk Week, but that may have to wait until 2021.


WALTON FOLK FESTIVAL

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Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre

Saturday May 4th 2019

Mainstage Times
12.15-13.15: Megson
14.00-15.00: Lukas Drinkwater
15.45-16.45: Hannah Ashcroft
17.30-18.30: Trials of Cato
19.30-20.30: Daria Kulesh
21.00-22.30: False Lights

www.riverhousebarn.co.uk