Author Archives: yodamo

An Interview with Beki Dover

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Haddstock is returning to Haddington this Saturday. The Mumble managed to catch a wee blether with its organiser…


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Hello Beki, where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking
Beki: I’m originally from East Lothian and after growing up in Perthshire and Edinburgh have returned to Haddington. I went to Music and Movement in Poldrate Mill in 1976-77 so great to be involved in bringing music to the community in 2018.

You’re coming full circle then. So this is your second year of running Hadstock. Where did the idea come from?
Beki: The idea came about at the start of 2017 when I realised how many creative people live in and around Haddington and what a friendly town it is. This, together with the need for music and arts events in rural towns and a trend/ appetite for quality festivals in East Lothian made me wonder whether a venues music festival might work. I grew up in a musical family where we were encouraged to ‘keep music live’ and felt inspired to create a platform for young musicians and local bands to play to their community. Very quickly we had the support of local cafes, bars and halls and funding from East Lothian Council. Haddstock 2017 filled Haddington’s venues with live music, a celebratory atmosphere and the event was great for local business.

When was the moment you said to yourself, I want to do this again
Beki: I think it was during the afternoon of last year’s Haddstock when i realised it was all going to plan and people kept coming up to me and asking, ‘Are you the organiser? This is great, I hope you re doing it next year’

How do you decide on the acts who play at Haddstock
Beki: We do a call out on Facebook for local 2 months before the event. Sometimes musicians respond themselves and other times people recommend names. We also collaborate with ELjam (East Lothian youth music forum) and Lamp House Music and the Bridge Centre to find acts. Also word of mouth amongst musician friends throws up ideas and possibilities. I find the more we do this the more connections we make in the area. We already have the beginnings of plans for 2019!

So what venues are on board this year?
Beki: We have all of the same venues as last year as well as new venues such as The Waterside Bistro, No.7, Masonic Hall and The Bell. We also have 2 busking locations at the Mercat Cross and the Fountain.

Great – so how many acts have you get this year, and can you give us a few to watch out for?
Beki: We have 70 acts this year of various genres including folk, rock, blues, americana, tango, pop, indie, bosanova, and jazz. Acts include Aaron Wright, The Sunshine Delay, Dropkick, The Wynntown Marshals and Miracle Glass Company. There are so many brilliant young bands and newcomers who are playing throughout the town we encourage people to go and listen. Have a drink or a bite to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.

You have a team of volunteers, where do they come from and what are their roles?
Beki: We have local volunteers, Napier University events students and Edinburgh College sound engineer students helping us this year.

And finally… which three words spring to mind that describe the organising of a musical festival
Beki: Exciting, bonkers, satisfying

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Eden 2018

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Raehills Meadows, Dumfries & Galloway

June 7-10

www.edenfestival.co.uk


TERI’S FRIDAY

The sun blistered through cotton clouds and smiled down a cheerful welcome upon the hordes of revellers making their way down through the Raehills Meadows, the site of the garden of Eden.Fresh faced and clad in a rainbow of colours, sparkles and glitter the Edenites swarmed like multi-coloured ants to taste the garden fruits here on offer. And they were not to be disappointed. A riot of sounds, smells and flavours filled the air to satisfy even the most discerning of tastebuds, from teeny reveller to grandpa.

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Eden, first introduced as a youth chill-out project by the Youth Strategy Group within Wickerman festival back in 2002 has expanded and grown to become one of the most diverse boutique festivals in the country, with 11 stages including a circus tent, cinema, workshops, games and cabaret. A truly spectacular and mesmerising spread to feast upon, with an overwhelming variety of talent and performance.

We arrived on Friday evening and headed down the hill to the back entrance to arrive at the Boardwalk stage. It had moved from previous years to occupy a larger neighbouring area, whilst the bar stayed on its original spot, serving delicious and reasonably priced £5 cocktails. Tenement Sounds were filling the blue skies with laid back reggae sounds, spilling out an ambient summer vibe to kick start what was to be a superb weekend. The crowd were kept involved by a cleverly employed pedal powered sound system keeping us humans working for our audio treats, in keeping with the festival’s green ethos.

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Another commendable environmental stance which should be adopted by all the festivals was the £2 cup deposit, a highly successful attempt at reducing the huge amount of produced waste by abolishing single use plastic cups. The cups also make for a great souvenir, often to be affectionately found around the entire festival circuit. The Well Happy Band lived up to their cheerful name as the crowds bounced along in Bob’s Back Passage to upbeat genre hopping happy music, always a firm favourite in the festival circuit.

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We wandered over to the Smile Garden, packed with interesting and diverse stalls offering all manner of activities, such as the Green Aspirations pitch, offering all ages the chance to try bushcraft skills, whereby keen apprentices are given the option of carving their own spoon or, indeed, wand, both very useful in their own way! As we chatted to one of the Green Aspirations team, Iain Patterson , a diamond dude full of enthusiasm and cheer for his craft, we were treated to the beautiful a capella ballads of “with somebody who loves me” drifting from the pavilion nearby from a 20 strong female choir. Rock & Roll from band Barrie James was bursting out of Rabbie’s Tavern, which drew us in to meet with a sawdust kicking, trouser swinging audience, jiving in full spirits and living up to Eden’s reputation of a colourful mix to flavour every taste-bud.

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We ventured down in to the snake pit to see what offerings would be found within the trio of tents at the pit base, and they were to be as diverse as expected. As we found our way into the Vishnu tent, we found ourselves immersed in a hippy haven. Hammocks, beds & baths were scattered haphazardly around, filled with tri-dyed bodies and crumpled dreadlocks. A wall of teddies fronted the side of the bar whilst chilled ambient vibes filled the room between band sets. At 9pm, we were treated to Gypsy Roots, a five piece reggae-dub-punk band open their set with a punchy “Break It Down”, which quickly got the audience swinging out their hammocks and onto the dancefloor. The female vocals owned the next song, with some beautiful sassy, funky vocals. The band then treat us to an amazing performance of “Everyday”, their recently released new single, which opens smoothly and breaks into bouncing, high energy ska with some nice solo keyboard breaks.

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As darkness fell, the swarm of midges had grown into an army of revenge-seeking angry psychopaths, fighting a battle against the electric invasion. The main stage bounced back defiantly against the tiny warriors to the war cry of a seven piece Balkan band “The Turbans” who took an ecstatic crowd on a rollercoaster journey, over epic crescendos and fat breaks. The multi-genre band had impressive crowd management and produced a punchy and highly entertaining set which held the audience for its entirety.

IMG_6541edenjoannatkaczuks.jpgBy 11pm, it was the Lost Disco who took the prize for the most rocking venue of the night. The DJ WBBL cut up classics from an eclectic genre. Mash ups of hip-hop, electro, soul & house were offered up to a packed crowd of bouncing revellers dancing amongst the trees and fire flares. He was then succeeded by the almighty drum & bass veterans the Stanton Warriors, absolute legends who didn’t disappoint their huge base of loyal fans. But the highlight of the night had to be JFP, who played an absolutely blinding drum & bass set, cutting, chopping and mixing his tunes together with his elbows. Absolutely Beautiful.


TERI’S SATURDAY

Bleary-eyed revelers awoke to Saturday sunshine and cracking blue skies. Armed with strong coffees and bacon sarnies we recharged our disco boots and shook off the hay, ready to start all over again. Eva Crystaltips and Edinburgh duo Erb & Ting joined the Mumbo Jumbo squad for a massive 12 hour Thunder-dome Takeover Extravaganza of the finest disco, with live percussion and MCing, above the famous Thunderdome boxing ring dance floor and haybale arena. The atmosphere was electric as kids young and old kept up with the marathon of music.

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Teri (right) with Al from Erb & Ting

Over on the open air stage, Carny Villains belted out big beat sassy songs whilst the crowd whooped and cheered along. Powerful vocals punctuated an already incredible performance of upbeat ska, flanked by a sassy trumpet and fat double bass. Epic summer festival vibes rocked this Saturday evening. Down in the snakepit, Edinburgh legend Astrojazz kicked off the tropical vibe and turned up the heat with a riot of exotic flavours in the Gilli Dhu tent, effortlessly filling up the tent with the finest of citrus audio bursts.

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We were spoilt for choice when it came to munchies and drinks. Hordes of stalls covering every taste imaginable was pitched up, such as veggie stalls, artisan hotdogs, firm favourites Panda Noodles, standing alongside long established Mutleys Crepes, whilst candy floss and sweetshop stalls were sprinkled around every corner. Thirst was quenched from a choice of Thistly Cross cider, Williams Brothers beers, or a fine selection of cocktails and wines.

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Of course, not to forget the much loved firepit, tended by spiritual healer Divine, which is always a great place to meet friends old and new. Headlining the open air stage, and living up to their crown of Britain’s Best Unsigned Band, Bombskare pulled out the bag all their much loved classics, providing yet again another cracking festival performance and undeniably proving that they only seem to get better each year.


‘Feck No’ – Rabbie’s Tavern – Saturday night.

Andrew Mill – guitar
Ciaran Ryan – fiddle

It was late Saturday night. Late by the fact that it was after midnight, the lingering lightness having fully fallen to clear dark skies, and with it remnants of the previous evening’s shenanigans had started to creep my body in the direction of my tent. En route to some well-earned sleep, a final calling found me slipping into Rabbie’s Tavern for one last dipping of my toes in the musical water. On stage, the lilt of a singular guitar and fiddle was to be the mellow finale to my full on day as I settled among the throng of young and old who were seated and standing with their butts and bodies swaying to a casual reel. The slow, cord runs and selectively picked out fiddling wrapped me in warm anticipation of my short walk to a warm sleeping bag and I too swayed. This was to be the perfect backdrop to a day of musical chaos and carnival.

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It was then I slowly acclimatised to the surroundings and took in the faces of those who remained to party in Rabbie’s. These are not the faces of people who are bent and broken. The music still controled any urge they may have had to cease and desist from the revelry. Expectancy and familiarity led these revelers here and they knew something I didn’t. As the speed of the canter increased, the watchers enthusiasm built with it until the ongoing crescendo was heralded by the introducing a bass stomp by guitarist Andrew. It’s a miracle that my body could still respond, but that it did, and I was immediately part of another Celtic/Techo ceilidh, raising the rafters in conjunction with my knees. Then, just as the power lagged from me, the roaring applause settled the pair into another tune that slowly built and built, giving my legs just enough time to recover for the next onslaught.

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And so it continued, smiling faces smiling ever more as the tempo slowed and then lifted. People “Hooching!” over the straw, strewn floor, kicking up their own version of a pa de bas or arms, linked eightsome. What a shindig! These guys had the crowd in the palm of their hands and they successfully carried us all safe and sound to some beautiful mountain glen, in 80s Detroit! Latterly I found out that the ‘Feck No’ two have many other collaborators that usually play with them. I can only imagine the beautiful racket that they make as a larger band/collective, but I for one will be on the look-out for future gigs.
Feck No? Feck Yes!


Yoko Pwno – Rabbie’s Tavern – Saturday night

Lissa – Fiddle/Keyboards
Lewis – Fiddle
Calum – things electric/production
Ali – Drums

(The writer couldn’t find any reference to second names on their website or on a brief internet search. How interesting?) Endorphins unwillingly (but happily) realigned to ‘home’ again, I attempted to extricate myself from the casual meetings of eyes and the polite but brief exchanges of delight at Feck No’s set, and make my way to the door, and a night time of well-earned slumber. Maybe I’d missed the memo, but bearing witness those who stayed, and the many more that were arriving at Rabbie’s to join the throng, I definitely felt I was struggling to move against the crowd. Before I managed to reach the exit the compere had started introducing the next act, with the final promise that they would take us all to a Berlin nightclub!

That’s high praise indeed and an invite that could not and would not pass temptation (was the compare looking at me when he said it?). Rooted to the spot, or as rooted as the latent beats of Feck No in my head would let me be, I remained in limbo. As the gathered settled down there was a palpable, infectious buzz spreading round the tavern, garnering me for what was to come. It was busy.

Thereafter I bore witness to the musical creation that is ‘Yoko Pwno’! Lissa and Lewis front the band. Lissa pulls us into a musical landscape, her keyboards messing with traditional forms of meters, creating both psychedelic and cinematic tapestries for Lewis to fix his fiddle to. This before she herself picks up her fiddle and joins Lewis in an ongoing panoply of what is based in good Celtic razzamatazz. All this is held together by Calum and Ali, who stand behind the front two and create a magnificent backdrop of beats, from afro to drum and base, techno to dub, all seamlessly venturing together through to beautiful conclusion. Lewis wielded his fiddle like an extension of his being, attaching it to his neck, hip, or in fact any part of his body, seeming to release at us whatever life has thrown at him since his last gig.

Lissa bounced between keyboards and fiddle like an ecstatic woman, occasionally perplexed with what was going on, but in total control, looking at times equally delighted and surprised that the band sound as good as they are. Every song for her seemed like the first time she’d ever heard it, never mind played it. Her enthusiasm was infectious, but by no means detracted from the other band members who bounced with the best when the tunes merited it.

At times I felt that I was listening to stories being told. Instruments talking to each other. Crying fiddles feeling the pain of Lissa’s melodic chanting and wailing, and always (nearly always) concurring that dance was the solution to any ails that they had. And how we did dance! But none a well as their guest dancer on stage who interpreted the music for those who had no soul, or were beyond feeling at this late hour. Latterly other guests appeared, particularly a woman on flute who was a fitting marriage with the fiddles and beats. Sometimes festival ‘guests’ are no more than friends of the band who come for the free party and bring no skills. All added much that night and all seemed completely on page with the construct of all the acts of the play that Yoko Pnwo unfolded before us that night.

My detour was complete. To take a festival crowd driving along empty roads lit with street lights. To then drive them off cliffs into the briny Scottish sea, only to dry them off round a secluded campfire and then parachute them into a Goan beach party, with a Balkan guest band, that was Yoko Pwno in Rabbie’s tavern. God, they looked like they were having fun. I hope so, because all who saw and listened did.

In all that has been and is happening in the meld of traditional Scottish music electro, Yoko Pwno are ahead of the game. They didn’t capture the zeitgeist. They are the Zeitgeist! 5 stars+ from me, and a promise to myself to make sure I see them again.
Fuck Bergain and your door policy. All are invited to partake in Yoko Pwno –

Friday June 15th @ Bongo Club, Edinburgh
Saturday 23rd June @ Gatehouse of Fleet
Friday July 20th @ Audiosoup, Duns,
Sunday 29th @ Mugstock, Milngavie


SPUD’S SUNDAY

Oh, Eden, Eden, pure and simple everytime. I am sure we all have our favourite place, day, space, stage, tent and healing place within the compounds of the garden of Eden.. As I wander around engaging people with chat and humour I soon realize that Sunday is my day. A day to heal, to relax, to reflect and to wrap yourself up in cotton wool (just for a moment. Take a walk to the peaceful sanctuary of the cold but refreshing river that curves its way around the Eden boundaries. Wash away the heat of the previous night, refresh your body and gain some well deserved tranquility… The early bird catches the early worm, as many sleep the birds sing their song and how endearing it is… As the 10th Sunday anniversary starts to warm up so does the mood of the Edenites. With new stages and entertainments popping up every year I was keen to check out Bob’s Back Passage, which was to house some cabaret, theatre and musicals. Situated behind the tentacles of the Snake Pit in a very nice well decorated tent, this was a nice contrast to the other alternatives on offer.

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The Scottish Conchordia Association

Listening to the talk around Eden, I was pulled towards watching Alibi written by Damo Bullen Beeson. A musical that highlights the life of Edinburgh’s underground party scene, humour, laughter, and addictive songs guide you through a fictional but realistic take on the adventures of a motley crew out for a party on the streets of Edinburgh. It was was well scripted and admiringly executed, allowing the audience to heal their hangovers with the power of laughter. A day without laughter is a day wasted… The only down fall was that the encroaching sound of the adjoining tents, hearing the actors, whom, by the way were excellent in their delivery, became difficult at times, otherwise a real breath of fresh air. Well done to the Scottish Concordia Association for bringing it to Eden.

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That same evening I swung by to catch and embrace the intoxicating wonder that is Submotion Orchestra. This 7 piece band that formed in Leeds in 2009 brought their dubstep, jazzy, ambient soulful concoction of brass, string, vocals and percussion to the hunger dancers of healing Sunday.. Sometimes its difficult to capture the warmth, joy, and energy in words but for those that had the privilege to witness the set will understand the memory is more precious… Leaving the company of Submotion Orchestra I strolled along to relax by the heat of the community fire, looked after by the reliable loveable being that is Divine. As always a warm welcome was received and a seat was given. Some of the most interesting and educational conversations come from around the fire but not forgetting the laughs. Content with my day I found a new love for Eden this year in spirit and in soul. Even after many a year it still delivers the medicine required to be able to leave one life behind and enjoy another for the 3 days in the fields of the pop up village that is Eden. Once again pure and simple as always…..


Reviewers : Teri Welsh & Raymond Speedie

Photography: Teri, Spud & Joanna Tkaczuk

Bob’s Back Passage

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Happy Days! Eden Festival is back this week for a tenth anniversary special. We can’t preview all of the brilliant acts & vibes that will be swirling about the site, so the Mumble have decided its best to just shine a spotlight up Bob’s Back Passage…


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Its that time of year again – when Paradise hits the bonnie Raehills Meadows for a fiesta of a certain kind. Its capa di capa, Adam Curtis, is very excited indeed about the event which kicks off this Thursday. He told the Mumble;

The team behind the festival (The Grime Behind The Shine) are geared up for our biggest party yet for our 10 year anniversary. We are all out on the field this year to celebrate with the punters and there’s a crew take over in the Thunderdome stage on Sunday. There’s some fantastic new twists in the Gardens plans this year – upgrades in the woodland arena, towers at the Great Mountain Stage and the replacement and enlarging of Bobs Back Passage to be a riotous cabaret and comedy tent – many will never leave! Hilights will include Groove Armada on the main stage at midnight on Saturday, Mr Motivators annual workout and National Jon Bonjovi hour on Sunday afternoon in the Thunderdome.

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Eden is vibrant bubble-machine of fun, set in the stunning Raehills Meadows & hosting 12 different stages. One of these will be Bob’s Back Passage, named after Bob Todd, Galloway’s coolest guy, & he will somehow manage to blend ‘avin a reet good time with running his ship of ‘riotous cabaret and comedy.’ Bobs Back Passage is moving to a new location within the Eden Festival site this year. It’s been stretched out into a new marque and it’s, bigger, better and bolder. Now a stand alone venue, it will feature comedy, cabaret, spoken word, game shows, karaoke, gay bingo, theatrics and a few bands and djs thrown in. There will also be a bar will be serving wines, spirits, cocktails, coffee and tea, all set in a boudoir of bewilderment. Here are some of the highlights to expect…

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The Wise Goldfish – All Weekend, resident DJ

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The Wise Goldfish – Resident DJ – Regular appearances over the weekend, filling the gaps, keeping us amused and generally sorting the sound!tThewisegoldfish has been DJ’ing, remixing and producing since the late 80’s. Covering a multitude of styles including house, techno, jazz, funk, blues, jungle, rock, hip-hop, new-age, ambient, trip-hop and many, many more. His sets are well known for being a psychedelic melting pot of sound, tailor made for whatever environment he finds himself in. thewisegoldfish has been active on the festival circuit for many years playing some of Britain’s finest festivals such as: Kelburn Garden Party, Mugstock, Audio Soup, Beatherder, Solfest, Eden, Holistic Ways, MAYA, Secret Garden Party and more..

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Hungry For Apples – Friday 8th June 17.30hrs

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Forged in the heart of north Yorkshire, “Hungry 4 Apples?” are a deliciously golden, freshly formed five piece band who take inspiration from classic rock, reggae, punk and everything else in between. Starting with hazy basement jams these boys have grown up together and experimented with their sound, their laid back vibe mixed with heartfelt lyrics, mesmerising guitar melodies and tight rhythms make this band, one to watch in the future. They are currently working on there debut EP and are beginning their journey on the Manchester live music scene. With Gigs to be announced. Keep your eyes on these boys, they are very Hungry, Are you?

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The Well Happy Band – Friday 8th June – 18.30hrs

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The Well Happy Band are on a mission: to make the world happier one song at a time. They officially began in March 2016 and played their first gig after being together for 6 weeks. After an unexpectedly busy debut festival season the band took to the studio and ‘The Little Album of Happiness’ was released in 2017, containing songs that listeners return to again and again because it makes them smile.The Well Happy Band are proud to be a part of the Yellow Movement, who’s aim is to promote fairness, equality and love, with their friends Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5, amongst others. They have performed numerous times at Yellow Movement nights, and have helped raise money for charities all over Scotland.With lots of fun, laughs and audience participation, The Well Happy Band guarantee to get the crowd going, with inspiring and up-beat, genre-hopping songs about happiness, love, life, laughter and gratitude. ‘It’s like the King Blues meets The Doors with Janis Joplin vocals’ – NHC
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Aphrodite Belly Dance Fusion

Saturday 9th June 18.00hrs and 21.00

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Aphrodite Belly Dance Fusion are a duo from Edinburgh who have been bringing a bit of sparkle to the Festival scene for over 5 years. Their fun mix of Egyptian / Tribal belly dance and Bollywood merged with grimey beats and dub will leave you shimmying. They have brought the belly dance party to the Wicker Man, Audio Soup, Doune the Rabbit Hole and are back at Eden to spread the love and glitter once again.

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Imogen Stirling – Sunday 10th June 17.15

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Imogen Stirling is a spoken word artist, theatre maker and musician. Coming from a musical theatre background and performing long-term as one half of duo, Wonderful Exile, Imogen writes with an inherent musicality. She has performed in a 5 star production of ‘Les Miserables’ at the Edinburgh Fringe; acted as director and playwright for political music theatre piece, ‘BodiesUponTheGears’ for which she was awarded the Alasdair Cameron Scholarship; and has worked alongside Sir Tim Rice. Following a one year music tour around mainland Europe, Imogen began performing spoken word in Berlin at the end of 2017. She has since swiftly gained recognition within the Scottish poetry scene. Her work has been featured in Tell-Tale Magazine, Fused Magazine, easyJet Traveller Magazine, LoveLike Salt anthology and The Skinny, as well as on BBC Kent and Amsterdam FM.

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The Scottish Conchordia Association

Sunday 10th June 19:30

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This year the Scottish Conchordia Association are bringing their debut piece of live musical theater, ALIBI, to Eden. Nelson is lost in a dead-end job in a dead-end town. Persuaded to hit the Big City by Brenda the Busker, all sorts of legal & chemical mayhem ensues. En route, Nelson might have just met the love of his life… if he could only remember her name!

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Doug Segal, Sunday 10th June 16:30 / 22:30

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Other Highlights include…

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Simon Goulding AKA ‘Hot Sick’ has over 3,000 gigs under his belt playing to diverse crowds ranging from bars through to nightclubs, underground raves and industry award winning dance music festivals, notably Beat-Herder and SpeedQueen. Expect multiple decks, chopped up layers of fun, TV themes, tube announcements, weather reports plus glammed-up handbag and glitter fuelled fun house and disco… He likes Mojitos, Parma Violets, security that disco-dance and the crackle of the needle on a record. He dislikes poorly labelled mustard, shaving gel, fist bumps and soap operas. Hot Sick will be playing us out late Friday night around 1.30am

This psylocybin Starlet will make you trip with just one lick . With promises of laughter wonderment, arousal and confusion. So leave the pills at home because the only thing we’ll be poppin is our pussayyy This is Rhi Psycle !! And you should too.

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Wes Zararuk, known to many as the ‘Prop’ man, he’s a one-man tour de force, known to combine routines with power tools, bananas and film noir. Wes is easily one of the most exciting acts on the comedy circuit. Don’t miss your chance to catch Wes live in the passage, Sunday 10th at 15:45pm & 21:45pm

Sam and Felix present The Dress Rehearsal, performing in Bobs Back Passage…EASY NOW…on Saturday 9th June (16:30pm & 22:30pm). A vajazzling mix of comedy, cabaret, a little magic, a little music and of-course some audience participation, you’ll not want to miss this modern day vaudeville couple live in action.

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Eden Festival

June 7-10

Raehills Meadows, Dumfries & Galloway

www.edenfestival.co.uk

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TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

Friday Only… Adult – £69. Teen – £49 
Saturday Only… Adult – £69. Teen – £49 
Saturday & Sunday… Adult – £99. Teen – £74 
Sunday Only… Adult – £45. Teen – £29 

 

An Interview with Peter Ferguson

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The festival season is fast approaching & the Mumble managed to catch a wee blether with one of the co-organisers of Party at the Palace, near Linlithgow in Scotland


unnamed.jpgHello Peter, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
I am from Glasgow originally and now living in Edinburgh

When did you first get into events?
My background is hotel management and this come with a huge amount of events work to a certain scale. I have always had a passion to organise large scale events and took the plunge 10 years ago to leave my hotel job to start my own company which was to organise events for clients and events I produce myself. I throve on it and really enjoy what I do.

Who inspires you musically?
You should be asking John (Richardson) this question – our tastes differ hugely! But from a Party at the Palace point of view – bands who know how to work a crowd, get them going and have them singing and dancing along! Bands like The Proclaimers and Paul Heaton and Jackie Abbot are huge favourites of mine!

What does Peter Ferguson like to do when he’s not organising kick-ass parties?
He is a huge lover of theatre and spending time with my family and friends. I love travelling and seeing what’s out there but more often or not I’ll be enjoying some lovely wine, great food with my best pals!

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Where, when & how did the idea for Party in the Palace originate?
Back in late 2013, John called me up telling me he and some of the other local dads in Linlithgow had been chatting about how they could all make their fortune and were sharing ideas and John decided that putting on a music festival was the best idea! When he called, me I was having none of it to start with as I know how risky putting on an event of this size is – financially and logistically – but I saw the light and agreed it was a great idea! We are now in to year 5 and have not looked back – ok we have learned LOTS over the last five years but we are extremely proud of what we have achieved and the awards we have won too!

Can you describe your relationship with your co-organiser, John Richardson, in a single sentence?
John is a great guy – one of my best pals and we know how to work each other to put on great events!

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How is your working relationship with West Lothian council?
West Lothian council have been a great support to PATP, I think they were keen to see how year 1 went and if it would be a success and we are delighted to prove that it was and it’s a huge benefit to the WLC area both economically and putting the area on the map as a great go to destination. We are supported fully by the council in all departments which is great!.

The Party goes from strength. Did you ever foresee such popularity?
We had no idea how the event would be received – obviously in year 1 there was huge excitement locally with the prospect of some amazing bands coming to the town – we soon outgrew the venue and had to move across the loch so its fab to see that the demand for tickets is so high and people are now buying tickets before we event announce the line-up. We feel we are a go to event knowing that the weekend is fun regardless of the line-up. We are very family driven too which ticks many boxes for our customers.

We keep the bands very much on brand with the festival – those who will attract a family friendly crowd without being too retro. We want the audience to come for a good weekend and feel safe knowing the bands will bring like-minded people to come and enjoy.

How do you decide upon the acts?
We start looking at acts about a month after each event has finished – we are at the mercy of the bands touring schedules, availability & budgets. We keep the bands very much on brand with the festival – those who will attract a family friendly crowd without being too retro. We want the audience to come for a good weekend and feel safe knowing the bands will bring like-minded people to come and enjoy. Our bands have a good following and are popular with those we aim to attract.

Who have been your favourites in the past
I loved CHIC feat Nile Rodgers – what a party they put on and I think they surprised the audience in 2015 with how fantastic they are and all the hits they have! Bjorn Again we up there as a favourite – who doesn’t like ABBA?! Another favourite would be Simple Minds – what a production they put on!

What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
Three years ago, we introduced our Breakout Stage (second stage) to showcase local and upcoming bands – this stage has been really well received and draws a large crowd. We are always keen to promote local and upcoming bands as much as we can. As the festival grows its great opportunity to give these bands a nice platform to perform.

To someone who has never been to the Party, what have they got to expect?
They can expect a great family friendly and safe day out. Great music – excellent facilities for kids and a huge variety of food choices and drinks. With 3 stage, fun fair rides, kids activities, market stalls, VIP area, garden areas and much more – it is a great weekend!

Will there be a 2019 Party?
Of course! For now it looks like 10th and 11th August 2019.


PARTY AT THE PALACE 2018

LINLITHGOW PALACE

AUGUST 11th & 12th

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www.partyatthepalace.co.uk

The Lost Disco

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The Garden
Tisno, Croatia
16th-23rd August 2017


As the aeroplane descended from the Heavens I couldnae help thinking, that the flight had been relatively short. It was a very warm sticky night. Quite the contrast from the dark rainy day that we had left behind in Scotland. The layers of clothing were soon peeled off. the Edenites boarded the waiting carriage for our journey from Split to Tsino. It gave me time to catch up with Tom Spirals and old friend and rising superstar as the big bus wove its way through the mountains in the darkness of night to our destination and dancing adventure. Everyone was excited as we were dropped off at the car park by the sea, as we waited for directions to The Garden that would be our home. The flying things in the trees were making lots of noise as we retrieved our luggage and then headed for the check in.

Emma and I dropped our bags off and headed into town to find the crew who had already settled into wonderland. Our mission wasnae successful but we did find our bearings and had a pre-party with some lads from Skipton. into the early hours, returning to bed at about 4am.

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I awoke that Thursday Morning, it was around 9am, the temperature’s were already nudging the low thirty’s as we sat down for a hearty breakfast in the restaurant of Croatia’s answer to Butlins. I was feeling a bit sad for Kirsten, Matty and Bob. Because they had missed the flight, we found out later in the day that they had been booked onto a different flight and Bob would arrive for his DJ set later on that evening.

Baba Palmer and his beloved took myself and Emma for a walk around the site and the scenic route on the beach front to Tisno town, The sun was hot and my head was a bit jet lagged as I woheightrked out the local currency. Emma joined Becci and baby Munroe for lunch, I took my leave and headed for a solo explore. It was very very hot and the Sun was glorious. The Pontoon Sound System was firing up and my first dance of the day was beckoning.

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I followed the Afternoon House Music along the coastal path, serenaded by the clearest blue sea, the Sunlight creating Diamonds a contrast to the desert like surroundings, the dusty path wove its way through the trees, this place resembled the bush at the height of summer down under, into The Garden. The Pontoon is a Jetty, at the end of which a powerful punchy soundsystem and Dj entertained the Edenites soaking up the late afternoon Sun. Divine slipped into the groove, the inner fire was building. my foot work was complimented by the Addidas boxing boots and I let rip. Danced the afternoon Sun into the beautiful blue/green sea, Took my clothes off and went for a swim. Luckily I had my trunks on, nude bathing and swimming were deffo a no no. the sea was refreshingly cold. I smiled and inner smile of contentment and swam and swam and swam. Then danced a bit more as the Sun dried me out.

I headed to the Terrace sound system and the dance continued, The floor of the restaurant proved to be perfect for spins. As I danced in the warm Dusk of Night. The Dj span a tune, a mash up of reggae beats and Bowies Rock N Roll Suicide. It shouldn’t have worked, I wondered is this sacrilege, och i thought, Divine stop being a Bowie snob. I had a good sing a long and the dancing fire within burned a little more intensely. Just as it was getting dark, Bob, Paul, Kirsten and Matty arrived. Yes Yes Yes. My feet were on Fire. Bob Todd Off The Plane, On the Bus, Off the Bus, On the decks. I breathed a sigh of relief as Tamla Motown hastened the groove of our first full day in Paradise.

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At 10pm, Hot Chip took control of the decks on the Beach Sound System. It was the first time I had seen the lighting rig in action, Bathing the dancefloor and ocean in a sexy blue light. I danced hard for the next 5 hours, with water my only fuel, I grounded the love of Angels to full effect. Incorporating Reiki moving meditation, It was a very healing dance. The Dj was amazing. I do like Hot Chip, Celeb DJs always play for hours and hours and they never cock up. I danced till my body could dance no more and then walked slowly back to my cabin. It was Dawn, it was very warm and the Clicky flying things lamented a deep deep sleep. I was contently knackered. The inner smile was beaming. That was a fucking amazing day. Good Time Divinexx


I awoke that Friday Morning, The chalet filled with new arrivals. Bob and Paul fast asleep, I put a coffee on and Emma awoke from her sleep on the Bed in the kitchen. My body aching from the day before’s dance marathon. Friday was to be a quiet day. Restoring my fitness and tan. I was in and out of the sea all day. Chilling and cooking. Meditating and swimming. I crashed early that night and slept until 4am and headed to the Love Shack for a morning Boogie and Burger from Burgerellas. Indeed what a wonderful way to wake up. the Eden Crew had just returned from Barbarella’s, The Club that continued dance proceedings after Mid Night. Bob Iwas up for his Dawn set too. Motown on the Beach and my morning swim soundtrack. It set me up for the coming day. After I returned to the chalet and slept a bit more. It was a cooler day and quite over cast, my Dance of the afternoon was the Dusk set on the Beach Stage. A few drops of rain began to fall creating rippling circles in the sea. Tom spirals was playing The Terrace so i headed back to the chalet, to shower and touch up my make up.

As I opened the door i was greeted by three strangers, at first I thought they were dealers and soon found out that they were undercover police men. oh bugger I thought, but then remembered that I didnae have any Cannabis mainly because I didnae have the budget to buy any. This is when I discovered that cannabis in Tisno is a no no, cause if they bust you, they take your passport and will nae give it back until £500 has been paid. I never got to Toms Performance because we were being held captive. Eventually, the three stooges left, for a while it was intense. I sat and did my make up, filling the undercover boys with love. I never made it out after that, sleeping an uncomfortable sleep I awoke at 7am to prepare for my Dawn Disco.

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I was still processing the night before as I approached the decks and not really feeling the party, Bob, Paul and Emma were fast asleep in the chalet. I was still half asleep, the DJ’s that played before me still in the fire of the night before, I just thought how do I follow that. So a full on Techno groove until a coked up Blonde started asking for House, I played House, she said no not that house and proceeded to throw pine cones at me. This was testing my tolerance levels to the max. So I played some Shirly Bassey and she fucked off. I was so glad when I played my last tune. I returned to the Chalet and fell back to sleep. I was playing again at 6pm and I had five and a half hours to give a proper performance.

Sunday was surreal, a smoky haze filled the sky and turned everything a dusty brown. there was quite a warm sea breeze blowing through the trees, I gave myself lots of healing that afternoon, it was an afternoon of letting go of the things that had upset me. It worked very well. My inner smile was beaming again. My four and a half hour set, I thoroughly enjoyed. Early evening ambience and classical Divine.
The Sun was hot on Monday Morning, after coffee I wandered down to the beach. the Pyrocats were swinging in the hammocks with Ben Lane playing his guitar. The Garden crew were dismantling The Beach rig and The Pontoon Soundsystem was firing up. I went to get some water for my swinging comrades and then wandered the Coastal Path into town to get some baccy. It was such a beautiful morning. I wandered through the trees and around the harbour it was roasting.

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On the way to Harbor, I passed a local seafront drinking den, A voice shouted across “Hey Monsieur Divine, would you like a Margareta. OOOOooo La La, I replied. Yes indeed why not. It was cold and tangy and the perfect antidote to the very hot Sun. Edenites were everywhere, Sun bathing around the harbour. Owen and Paul joined me and then we all wandered into town for ice cream and coffee.

The dance continued into Mondays Dusk. I returned to the Chalet to freshen up, Paul was being creative, creating a therapy collage, working his emotions through in a very resIponsible way, Emma was getting ready for Dinner with her pals in town, Kirsten and Mattie had popped round. It was like scene from the Waltons. Both Kirsten and I had the Dance still in us. Mattie was knackered. So me and Kirsten headed back down to the Beach and The Pontoon Sound system. We danced for a while on the steps, over looking the Jetty. It was a dark Moon, a new Moon. A total Eclipse of the Sun was occurring. A gentle warm sea breeze. And the stars that shone bright, reflected upon the Ocean before me. I danced until I could Dance no more. The icecream seller had knocked off early, so i borrowed his chair and placed at the top of the steps, to get the full appreciation of the soundsystem that reproduced dance classic after dance classic in a very Hi Fidelity kind of way. It was a magikal moment, a once in a lifetime kind of feeling. The party finished at Midnight. The beauty of the Sea calm like a mill pond, I breathed the moment in untill it filled my soul. The warm peace was profound.

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Tuesday was a day of Chivalry, I was down to my last 150kuna, so maximum budgeting, I was accompanying two friends to pay a fine and then travel to a new town so that they could retrieve their passports. It was a beautiful day and everything ran smoothly, it was a weight off of everybody’s mind when we got back to Tisno, the boys feeling the sting of being £500 lighter. It was an important lesson. The penalties for recreational drug use are not the same in Croatia as they are in the UK. I was reading a copy of DJ the glossy DJ magazine Its focus was on Croatia. The Garden at Tsino holds parties every weekend and is host to some of the biggest names in Dance culture. It attracts the European Dance Community and recreational drugs are a key factor of the Groove. It should be pointed out that if you enjoy recreational drugs in Croatia, make sure you have £500, because that is how much its gonna cost if one gets caught with it.

I’m too old for chemicals, E and MDMA are a thing of my past. I do have a penchant for LSD but that is once in a blue moon.And I dance better without it. And it is the dance that motivates me, Tisno was too beautiful for a comedown. I made that decision early and I never indulge when working. So these factors. Under normal festival circumstances, I always have some cannabis in my pocket. Not having the Budget for any stopped me from having my passport confiscated. If I had have had any on my person, I would have been in a Croatian Jail, because £500 I had not And with no Mum and Dad to phone. Aye one has to be extra careful and wise to the local drug laws before partaking.

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So with the knowledge that everyone was ok and we were all going to get on Wednesdays aeroplane together. I let it all go. But the lesson was integrated and a wisdom was formed
The Eden Crew gathered for Dinner at the Tisno Hotel on the Tuesday Night, I had Pizza and two jars of ale, well it was my night off, it had been a long day, We walked back to The Garden after and when I got back to the Chalet, I was out like a light.

Our flight was a late one, on Wednesday Evening so had time to contemplate on what an amazing adventure “The Lost Disco” had been. It certainly felt as though I had been held in Tisno’s beauty for much longer. Indeed it was epic. when we arrived it was dark but the trip back to Split was in daylight. It was one of the most beautiful road trips I have ever encountered. I didnae feel sad about leaving, because i knew that this was only the beginning. An introduction and an education into a sun-soaked land.

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As our Aeroplane landed on the tarmac of Glasgow Airport, The Pilot told us that it was 16degs so a warm welcome. I picked up my luggage and was chauffeured home by Tracy Jane. Tisno is a very healing place, for all it challenges, the replenishment is swift. as a place it has touched me very deeply a love for its people, a thirst to become knowledgeable of Croatian history. It is a very Holy place with Shrines and sacred symbolism everywhere. It is a place conducive for the realisation of Healing Miracles. I am a different person than when I set off. A deep healing has happened for me. It has been a long time since I have felt this strong, whole and complete

Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Photography : Graham Wynne

From Midstock to Electric Fields

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Dalkeith Country Park & Drumlanrigg Castle

September 2nd 2017


Finally, after an immensely soggy summer in which practically every festival became a mudfest, the first weekend in September was a bright & sunny wonder. The ardent northern festival goer was also spoiled for choice, somewhat; for there were do’s at Lindisfarne, the Edinburgh Mela, Midstock in Dalkeith & Electric Fields beside splendid Drumlanrigg Castle. ‘What to do? Where to go?‘ I asked myself. ‘I know, I’ll do a double-header’ I replied in my head.

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So off I went with the wife  kids to Midstock, a fine fun fairground of a festy in the naturally pretty caches of greenery which make up Dalkeith Country Park. Midstock has been entertaining folk in this part of the world for quite a while now, a well-run family day out, full of great music, that has now spilled into the Friday as well.

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Two lassies attempting to blow up the latest festival must-have accessory – the Inflatable Lounger

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Showaddywaddy

I missed the Friday, of course, & was told it was a slam-dunk of quality dance, headlined by The Time Frequency, & supported by Judge Jules & Darren Styles. A proper good do by all accounts, testament to the vision & professionalism of Midstock’s organisers, Scott & Wullie, with the latter telling the Mumble in a recent interview; since jumping in at the deep end at the first Midstock;

We have had to develop so many new skills over this time that there are to many to mention but the journey has been pretty tough although when the big day comes and all the festival goers are loving it and having a ball it all seems so worth it.

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I only had time for two bands; Showaddywaddy got everyone bopping with their retro throwback bounceiness, delivered in extremely smart  colourful suits. These were followed by the young, folktastic talent that is Stevie McCrorie. For these two hours or so, the sun was shining at all times & I noticed there was a visible increase on the numbers from last year. As for next year, Wullie Slight told the Mumble;

We are on 2018 already with the main aim to develop more ways to make us a more recognised and established festival and add other dimensions to the experience such as camping onsite and maybe another stage or two! Although we do always say, let’s get through this year first!! Ha! We think we have a fun, eclectic, beautiful little gem of of a festival within the Lothians! 

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Stevie McCrorie

So leaving with the wife &  kids just as THE SKIDS were playing, we headed to the bypass where I broke away from the fam (we had separate cars) & picked up my pal, Al, for the second leg of my cross-caledonian festival frolic. We were soon chugging through Biggar, hurtling down the M74 & sweeping across the Dalveen Pass, before landing, just as the sun was setting, at Electric Fields.

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For me, arriving here on the Saturday night, with the carnival atmosphere kicking in & kids being wheeled about in barrows by their giddy-faced parents, & everyone smiling & buzzing & the music banging &  everything was the perfect way to conclude the festival season of 2017. There was something in the air, it had clearly been a great time for all & & me & Al were happy to tap into the vibe for just a few hours.

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Jesus & Mary Chain

It all felt a bit like an early Wicker Man, a big family mash-up where music came at you from every angle. On the mainstage we saw the basic, industrial rock of the sable-coated Jesus & Mary Chain, followed by the headlinin’ jumping grime-duo that is Dizzee Rascal. We also got to see – in the Tenement TV Discover Stage – the foppishly brilliant American band, Foxygen, led by a camp Jarvis Cocker, an insatiably addictive watch with grooves to match.

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Foxygen

There was also Sneaky Petes, an Edinburgh club with its own wee tented slice of Leccy Fields, where motown, disco & soul were being pumped out. It was here that I last saw Al for the night. We were sitting down chatting to some pals & he’s like ‘I Love this Dizzee Rascal tune,‘ & ran off hopping like a guy being attacked by wasps into the massed ranks of the mainstagers. At this point I went into the dance tent for a reyt good rave, then found myself in a much smaller tent in the campsite nattering away for hours. Then, just as dawn was breaking, I found our car – with Al asleep in it – then snuggled under a blanket for a few hours kip before the shortish drive home. By the way, next year I’m gonna do all 4 in a weekend — The Mela, Lindisfarne, Leccy Fields  Midstock…

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Reviewer : Damo