THE MUMBLE TEAM
Are taking their annual Festive Break
SEE YOU ALL IN THE SPRING !!
Are taking their annual Festive Break
SEE YOU ALL IN THE SPRING !!
Electric Fields: Drumlanrig Castle (Aug 30 & 31)
Lindisfarne Festival: Beal (Sept 1)
I always enjoy the last weekend in August/first in September in which Electric Fields happens – for myself the Fringe is over & I really enjoy having a good rave & letting off some steam. In recent years, a couple of other festivals have spring up near Edinburgh – Midstock & Lindisfarne. So, after last year’s doubling up of Leccy Fields with Midstock, this time round I thought I’d hit Lindisfarne second instead. Luckily, I managed to get a spot down Englandshire doing a talk on 9/11 of all things, so the pressure was on to keep it together enough at Leccy Fields in order to whizz across the border & pull off a spankingly good talk.
So it was Thursday day, I had to make my way to Musselburgh where an old pal had agreed to be my photographer for Leccy Fields. The indespensibly brilliant James Wallace is his name, & both being in our early 40s were absolutely delighted to leave the wife, kids, dogs & chores behind & hit the open road for a road-trip & a party! We left Musselburgh in the late afternoon, from where he drove us along the relatively quick passage through Biggar & the ever gorgeous Dalveen Pass.
Arriving at Drumlanrig, & its epic tree-lined bowl in which the festival is sited, reminded me again that this is perhaps the most gorgeous festival site in Britain – except of course for when they do those occasional one-off Summer specials down Townley Park in Burnley. Waiting for us on arrival were some not too shabby friends of James’ &, for me, old faces from my mis-spent party days – John, Paul, Scotty & Jason, the ‘Pass-Out Beatles’ who’d all earned permission from the wives to have a wee rave, & did indeed on certain occasions, pass out (thanks for the photys lads)!
It was Thursday evening, surprisingly busy, & a joy to be amongst such a musically-educated crowd. Hitting the site, we were ready for a braw, raw, barry time – which we easily succeeded in. Ride were wicked, with no-one gazing at their shoes as we reveled in being out of doors on a sunny night, surrounded by trees & people well up for it. Then James smashed it – not my pal, the band – playing a mix of tunes from the new album, & of course the old classics. I then found myself dancing about like a fanny in the open air at the Sketchy Beats Tent for a happy, happy bit, before waking up in the middle of the night under my duvet in my tent. I’d almost staggered back to it on my own, but fell flat on my face at the tent entrance. Luckily James – the pal – took me over the line.
So I’m 42, I’m a bit of a lightweight these days, & the next day – a Friday – I didn’t leave my tent all day, even peeing in the middle bit between the two bedrooms. We were off the next morning so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I just snoozed & listened to the bands & the often hilarious chat all around me. James & the boys toed & froed – I believe they had a great day basking in the serene sunshine listening to the mixed line-up, which included Ibibio Sound Machine and Teenage Fan Club. The last of these, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, I really engaged with in my duvet-tented head-space, a great sound with a few Oasis numbers tossed into the mix. This was followed by Young Fathers, I think, & then a lovely bunch of Weegies a few feet away from my tent, who sang some classic tunes with perfect musicianship & electric harmonies.
Scotty, John & Paul
At 6PM on the Friday, James stopped drinking & finally got to his kip. 12 hours later we were both up, packing up the tent & our brains, & got ready to set off back to Musselburgh. James had a wedding to go to & I had another festival to hit, at Lindisfarne. Half-way up the road we both had a full English at Abingdon Services – my first food in nearly two days – then an hour or so later we were back at Musselburgh, a bit tired, partied out sure, but buzzin! An hour later I was back, I’d driven all the way to the wife’s house & realised I’d left my laptop & all its photos for the – of all things – conspiracy talk on 9-11 which was my raison d’etre for going. I took my wee dog Daisy along for the ride, & after securing the laptop, went back to the wife’s, picked her up & headed south.
Lindisfarne festival is in its third year & is gaining a growing rep. Set on the mainland by the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, it really is quite a pretty spot & the perfect place to bring Scots & English together in harmony. The wife commented actually on how tamer it feels compared to a pure Scottish festival – they really do find an extra gear of bucky-fueled nonsense north of the border. This year, David Blair of Colonel Mustard fame had helped orchestrate the Scottish Invasion, & quite a lot few of our pals were down. Not that we saw many of them, I was in a right nick, but did hold it together to give my talk on 9-11 – it was basically Zionists, drones & CGI – on the conclusion of which I received a warm applause. We then pottered about the site for an hour so, wee giving Daisy her first taste of festival life, then the wife drove us home where I hit a new duvet for my recovery period. It was about 5 PM. Proper lightweight.
As for Lindisfarne, there was a proposal on stage at the Colonel Mustard gig, this particular Sketchy Beats tent got told off for jamming for too long into the nights (a side effect of the Scottish Invasion), & on the Friday the Happy Mondays were apparently magnificent. This led to my pal-performer, Victor Pope, attempting to sneak round the fence into the back-stage area, about to announce to Mr Ryder his infinite respect, only to get collared by four security guards as if he was shoplifting in Marks & Spensers. Another pal-performer, Martina Cannon Ball, had, well, a ball, & I shall leave this review with her Facebook Post.
Lindisfarne was epic, but it didnt start so smoothly, disaster struck as soon as we got there and parked up, realised when we were about to make our way to the campsite that my only car key had fell off somewhere! Looked all around the grass with no joy for ages, then Carmen Allison appeared and saved the day, she found it in the boot! Must have fell out after pulling bags. Legend! That was a relief. Finally got to the camping area, and started laying our tents out, then a guardian angel appeared just in time to put my tent up, uncle Fergie. Karens burst so we had to share in the end. Sketchy beats pulled out all the stops and put on a great tent and weekend of music, its where I spent most of my time. Nearly slept in for my gig, even though we, Danny Appolinari agreed that if none of us were awake at 3pm we would go in for them. Danny woke me at 5pm, with half an hour to get to the stage, and the fact I had to run about 2 miles to get my guitar from the car I just made it by the skin of my teeth. However, Danny made up for it by supplying straight vodka on stage, and it was a good gig. Had a great time all in, amazing community vibe! Big up the Sketchy beats crew! Until next year! Martina Cannon Ball
Hello Ste, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Ste: North Wales, Audio Farm Crew originate from North Wales
Where, when & how did the idea for Audio Farm originate?
Ste: Manchester in 2008. The 6 founding members who are all still directors moved to Manchester with 15 others from N Wales in the Summer of 2008. We met the rest of our crew and started talking about putting on a club event that different to the rest. A fun, non corporate event with good ethics and lots or decor and fun. Audio Farm was born and first event was Jan 2009.
How, when & why did you get involved?
Ste: For the love of music.
Who are the beneficiaries of the charity funds you guys generate?
Green Paw Project.
Ste: Audio Farm Festival 2018 is a Non Profit, non-corporate, fundraising roots festival in which all profits go towards UK registered charity, Green Paw Project (UK Charity Registration Number 1166316). 100% of the shares of One Tribe Festival Ltd are owned by Green Paw Project, therefore the directors and organisers receive no profits. As we are a non-profit fundraising charity event, all ticket money income has no Vat implications, meaning 100% of ticket money goes towards the running of the event with all remaining profits going to Green Paw Project. For more information on Green Paw Project and how the money raised for this this festival and all past and future events and festival visit www.greenpawproject.org.
How different is the vibe at Audio Farm on all levels, compared to that of a corporate festival?
Ste: Very different. We have wonderful varied crowd of all ages. From babies to the old ravers. Our event is about putting on a top show, with quality world music, high end production, vegan food, lots of healing and workshops. The objective is to plant seeds of positive change. Whilst also making money for charity. We are stand against the rising corporation of festivals that is ruining the industry by buying festivals out, making them soulless, herding people in like sheep and making the top cats rich. Exactly the opposite of what festivals should. We are a roots festival with its original ethics.
How is the festival’s working relationship with Worcestershire County Council?
Ste: Shropshire County Council. Yes all good there. No issue at all.
Is Audio Farm child friendly / dog-friendly / disabl’d-friendly, etc?
Ste: Yes it is. Audio Farm is a reminder that we’re one big family on this planet, so it’s important that there’s exciting, interesting and fun things to do and see for all members of any family. The Kids Area is open from 7am until 7pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The area is a special little enclave for our junior festival goers with a bumper selection of fun workshops, circus classes, games, activities, shows, face painting, environmentally friendly glitter painting, slacklines, actors, clowns and even children’s yoga and children’s trance dances. Everything especially tailored for the young and enquiring mind.Yes its very accessible for disabled also.
Ste: What does Ste Chesters like to do when he’s not organising kick-ass festivals?
Ste: I would like to include us as collective here, as Audio Farm is about a core crew and 7 directors. Not just myself. We spend our time (obviuosly) going to festivals, building other festivals, putting on wellbeing events and also work hard towards the goal of Green Paw Projects Mission Malawi. (For more info https://www.onetribefestival.org/greenpawproject/). We are also big travellers too. We are all very lucky to have each other as a collective of friends. Audio Farm is all about the collective. “You are are only as good as the team around you”.
How has the festival evolved over the past decade or so?
Ste: Our ethics and ideas have always been the same since the first festival in 2013. We have just grown from 300 to 1500 people with bigger production, bigger artists, more family friendly, more emphasis on positive change and healing, and we are now a fully vegan festival which we were originally vegetarian festival.
How do you decide upon the acts?
Ste: Between us a collective. We aim to mix the legends with the new across many generas of music. Also we book some of the best energetic festival bands around, and aim to showcase bands from Europe like Olive Tree Dance.
What have you guys got for us this year?
Ste: A new concept with the focus being on the celebration of of the sun in a beautiful new site. Magic will happen!
To someone who has never been to Audio Farm, what have they got to expect?
Ste: Audio Farm Festival reopens the gates in 2018 under the original alias, keeping to its evolving nomadic roots at a new site, whilst One Tribe Festival takes a fallow year. 2017 saw One Tribe Festival blossom like a magical flower from its Audio Farm tree, from a seed that was planted at the first festival in 2013. So from the crew that brought you One Tribe, expect more of the same magic, music, people, energy, love, laughter and beauty, but in a more intimate space at Audio Farm Festival 2018. The journey continues in a new and exciting venue at Shropshire’s Hopton Court. Nestled in the heart of breathtaking borderland countryside, the watercolour beauty of this Georgian country estate has uniquely stunning parklands, walled gardens, ponds and a beautiful out buildings, where Audio Farm will transform the site into a microcosm of light, sights, sounds and new experiences, etched together into a mesmeric harmony lasting over 4 days. Audio Farm Festivals innovative stages play host to a wealth of hand-picked bands, artists and DJ’s, playing a glittering array of music from all corners of our known universe. From sun kissed House beats on the Sundance Stage and clinical Techno pulses in Home of the Drum, to sporadic breaks and rattling subs in the Depths of Bass, and the psychedelic beats of The Trip. The Mandala Stage and The Nest is a galaxy of eclectic bands, world musicians, vocal acrobats and solo sirens that will take you to places both familiar and new, all interwoven with a rich tapestry of drumming collectives, circus performers and fire dancers, colouring the day and illuminating the night. The Festival is a wealth of experiences, stimulating all the human senses and opening the portals to a world of possibilities in an explosion of imagination. A safe space to expand skill sets with progressive workshops and talks, where talented and knowledgeable healers offer alternative treatments to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul through holistic disciplines, massage, guided meditation, gong baths, yoga and shamanic journeys. Independent throughout, Audio Farm Festival is proudly a non-profit, non-corporate organism that funds the work of The Green Paw Project with its profits. A charity that resolutely works to save and improve the lives of helpless and vulnerable animals in third world countries. So join the tribe again at Audio Farm Festival this summer and create indelible memories where footprints fade.
So this will be the last Audio Farm for a while, what’s the back story ?
Ste: We are undecided where our future lies within the festival industry and will be putting our minds together to work out our direction and where to best place our collective energies. So this could potentially be the last ever Festival that Audio Farm curates. It would therefore be amazing to see all of the Audio Farm family who have been part of the festivals since 2013 to be a part of this one, you have made it what it is today and we’re so grateful for each and every one of you.
August 11th 2018
For the past couple of years, one of the Mumble’s reviewers – Raymondo Speedie – has been raving about Party in the Palace at Linlithgow. This year, however, he couldnae make it – he was in Uganda or summat – so I leapt at the opportunity to check it out for myself, just for the Saturday night, but I was guessing that would be enough to get a feel for the place.
Me & the wife arrived to the sounds of Cast singing their classic rocker, Sandstorm, which just so happens to be my favourite tune of theirs. ‘A wonderful omen,’ I thought as I hit the site dancing. And what a gorgeous & curious spot; by serene loch waters, under the famous old castle, & barely a stone’s throw from Linlithgow itself. It was also busy, but not in a hectic kinda way, but in a ‘we love coming here every year‘ kinda way, as attested by the swarming islands of portable chairs.
Party At The Palace has one main stage, a fair size, & always full of revelry & song. The vibe was amazing, really, unpretentious, unlouty, undrugg -, its the perfect day out really & me & the wife were soon enjoying more than the one crispy pint of lager. We also enjoyed Cast, who were now grizzling & greying & chubbing out a bit, but still delivering pitch-perfect renditions from their fantastic catalogue, especially Walk Away which had the crowd in raptures.
Then Gabrielle arrived with the best hair-mop I’ve ever seen, complemented by a tight-ass band. After a few numbers we thought we’d check out the rest of the site, & to our delight found more stages & a great bar at the back playing slick tunes, half of which were motown. None of us knew Aretha would be dead within days. It was there that we also met our new best mat Neil, a doctor from North Berwick very kindly volunteering as litter-pickers with others of his grace for the West Lothian Scout group.
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. Read the full interview with organiser, Peter Ferguson
It was now time for James, one of Manchesters’s, & indeed the world’s best live bands. Anticipation was high; there were many familiar & iconic James t-shirts fluttering about the site, all of whom congregated in front of the main stage for sunset like butterflies in a cabbage field. It was an interesting gig, a rollercoaster really. The band had released their new album, Living In Extraordinary Times, only a week before, & were playing many songs from it. They sounded great, but of course they were hardly known, so the gig ebbed & flowed between euphoria for the classics & mild indifference for the new ones. Me & the wife were completely pissed & blissed out anyway, so we simply got on with it & fell in love with each once again at the the romance-inspiring setting of Party in the Palace.
Black Waterproof Jacket – George (Asda)
Black Quenchua poncho
Black / white dots umbrella
Turquoise bag with picnic rug inside
Black card purse with bank cards
A selection of glasses and sundglasses
ASOS denim jacket – size 12
XL grey Jacket
Black ted Baker shoulder bag
Green primark rain coat
Blue zip hoody with white stripe up the arms
Black Masai short sleeve cardigan
Leopard point umbrella
Bunch of keys (3)
22 bank cards! (All have been destroyed.)
Silver / White gold ring
Hello Nick, so where are you & Alex from & where are you both at, geographically speaking?
Nick: We’re from Dumfries & Galloway, having moved round the region a little bit but originally from Moniaive (the coolest village on earth). I now live in Leith, and Alex is representing in Dumfries.
Where, when & how did the idea for Electric Fields originate?
Alex: It grew from a small festival I ran for a few years. After our new home at Drumlanrig was established and one rebrand later, Electric Fields was born in 2014.
When did you first get into events?
Nick: I always had a keen interest in events. I got a flyering job on an amazing show called Fuerzabruta in 2007 and it really opened to my eyes to what an amazing production can do to people. After uni I started working at EUSA, firstly as a Box Office Manager and then Events Marketing Officer, where I really learnt the trade.
Who inspires you musically?
Nick: Lots! Interestingly when you work surrounded by music it can sometimes be quite difficult to truly enjoy it, so to take some time out and remember that you really love it is important. I saw David Byrne recently and that blew my mind.
To someone who has never been to the Electric Fields, what have they got to expect?
Alex: The best food, music, scenery, people and atmosphere.
The party goes from strength. Did you ever forsee such popularity?
Alex: I think with the team and setting we have, it was almost inevitable. However the sudden time it took to get to this size certainly took me by surprise.
What does Nick Roberts like to do when he’s not organising kick-ass parties?
Nick: Haha. I like to go to kick-ass parties!
How do you decide upon the acts?
Alex: We have a cracking booking team who keep their ear extremely to the ground. All the acts are eclectic, incredible live performers. They will make you think or dance till your feet hurt. Your new favourite performer will be there.
How is your working relationship with Dumfries & Galloway council?
Nick: Really great. They’ve always been very supportive and we’re lucky to have a team within the council who really see the value in having cultural events in the region.
Can you describe your relationship with Alex in a single sentence?
Nick: They say never work with children or animals, siblings should be added to that.
Can you describe your relationship with Nick in a single word?
Who have been your favorites in the past?
Alex: Primal Scream, Peter Hook, Erol Alkan. Kate Tempest was jaw droppingly good – THE best.
Last year you went to two days, this year its going to be three. Why the change & how is it working out?
Nick: When 2 worked so well, 3 just felt very natural. It’s hard sometimes to get properly in the festival spirit when it’s 2 days but 3 means you can get properly into it. It’s working out really well and I think it’ll be a great addition. James on a Thursday night is a lot of fun!
Who have you got for us this year?
Alex: Noel Gallagher, James, Leftfield, Teenage Fanclub, Lady Leshurr, Young Fathers, Idles, The Horrors, Holly Cook, The Coral
Will there be an event in 2019?
Alex: We’re already on it!
Hello Paul, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Paul: I am from West Nile in Uganda a district called Moyo in Uganda but reside in Kampala Uganda.
Can you tell us about your studies in America & your return to Uganda?
Paul: I have studied the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing by correspondence and am also studying my Masters online. I did not leave the country.
How, when & why did you get involved?
Paul: I got involved in Bayimba because I have loved arts and come from a family that has artists.
This is the festival’s eleventh year anniversary. How have things evolved since its inception?
Paul: We have seen the Festival grow in terms of numbers and partners to ensure that each year it happens. By last year, we had over 10,000 fans gracing the Festival which prompted us to get a more spacious location.
How do you guys decide upon the acts?
Paul: The acts apply online to perform and we get to assess their match for the Festival but we also working with various booking partners to identify talent that matches the Festival requirements. Booking partners like Fezah and East African Records come in handy.
What have you guys got for us this year?
Paul: We are taking people to the shores of Lake Victoria in a relaxing environment with camping facilities to enable them enjoy 4 days of Bayimba like there has never been. The new home of Bayimba is Just 45 Kms out of Kampala the Capital of Uganda.
What is Kampala like during the festival?
Paul: Kampala gets heated up anticipating the new excitement and unique programming that Bayimba always has to offer.
This year you are moving to a new location, can you tell us about it?
Paul: Lunkulu Island in Mukono district is 100 acres of space. We are dedicating 60 acres to festival activities and 40 to preserve nature. This place is in Lake Victoria hence low noise pollution but again we get to have more space to give more value to those attending by offering a variety of showcases and performances.
To someone who has never been to the Bayimba International Festival, what have they got to expect?
Paul: Bayimba is the biggest Festival in Uganda and people get excited to be part of it as well as attend because it brings together the biggest performing acts to showcase. Every aspect of Arts and culture in Uganda is put on our exciting programming.
Will there be a 2019 festival?
Paul: Yes please, at the same venue. This is an annual event.
Cardross Estate – Stirlingshire
Like Alice looking for Wonderland most people were looking for Doune The Rabbit Hole and when they found it they were not disappointed. Situated in the beautiful grounds of the Cardross Estate which sits in the Stirlingshire bowl of rolling hills and green fields. With the festival being moved to the front of the estate home this proved to be a good decision, with the layout being so much more accessible this year, the rain of last year was, well lets just say, water is best kept in the ocean.
With no rain forecasted this year and a great summer’s weekend of sun, D.T.R.H. is surely building up to be a belter. With so much to explore and great music on offer you can indulge in a weekend of magical moments. The main stage, The Jabberwocky, played host to such bands as Dreadzone, Akala, Dawnings, Elephant Sessions, Peatbog Faeries, Temples, Broken Records, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Big Country and The Levellers and that was just scratching the surface.
The Baino Tent situated to the right of the main stage was a true wee gem, offering some of the best indie acts I have seen this year at any festival. From bands like Stonefield, Banana Oil, Rapid Tan, The Honey Far , The Beat with Ranking Roger and the famous and ambient dance collective The Orb, the Baino was turning out to be a popular haunt for the Dounies.
The Warren and The Whistleblower tents added another mix to the cocktail, bringing in bands like Irie Yo Yo, Harry and the Hendersons, Band of Gold, The Micro Band, The Langan Band, Bombskare and a mix off DJs that will keep you dancing until the wee hours.
Doune the Rabbit Hole is a well balanced family friendly festival which allows the participation of all ages. With a family and kids area an endless amount of workshops I am sure there will be a few craftsmen and entertainers born here over the weekend. Relax, dance, chill, eat good food and make new friends will surely to be one off many things you will experience at D.T.R.H..
Finding myself a space in the Baino tent on Friday night I was eager to catch a glimpse of the 4 Findlay sisters from Australia, that have been active as a band from around 2006 and make up Stonefield. From Australia to Stirlingshire these young musicians brought us a dash of dark but enriching Pink Floyd like sounds but with a lashing of rock riffs.
Stonefield pulled in a huge audience and with their fresh, exciting psychedelic rock sound , they left the crowd totally stunned, like a kid being stung by a Bee while eating ice cream… Just walk away and reflect on what just happened, Stonefield is what happened… Dreadzone on the Jabberwocky did not fail to deliver, inviting the Dounies to dubstep their way through the first opening hour of Friday nights live acts…
Bouncing from tent to tent over the next 3 days i managed to clock up 37 miles and was priviliged to see 28 live bands and DJs. The Might of Akala on Saturday night broke down all the walls, letting out the dance animal in all of us. Direct, political and relevant he delivered and executed his set with ease and honesty and left us thinking life is hard but life is beautiful.
Taking a pit stop to refuel with some of the wonderful food that is lovingly prepared for you by the many food stall owners,Ii had a moment to collect thoughts and sweep up some off that warming energy that Doune The Rabbit Hole has created. Like an old village fair in times past, these present day gatherings of peopl , arts, music and storytelling bring a sense of togetherness, something the world needs right now.
As darkness arrived so did The Orb. After many an outing with The Orb over the years the anticipation of what to expect was growing. With such classics as White Room, Little Fluffy Clouds , S.A.L.T. Towers of Dub, Toxygene, this was sure to be a treat… Light shows, ambience atmosphere and dancing Dounies all contributed to a memorable catch up with The Orb.
The Beat delivered a powerful set, unleashing ska skanking classics like, Mirror in the Bathroom, Cant Get Used To Losing You, and Tears of a Clown. The Two Tone road is still open and and thanks to bands like The Beat these timeless songs will continue to please for many years to come.
The Whistleblower tent was awaiting the arrival of the reggae outfit Irie Yo-Yo. This mixed cultured Edinburgh based band have gathered so much well deserved followers in the last few years, filling the tent was not going to be hard. With new songs under their belt and the renowned anthems of the past they came to entertain and that they did. Everything about this band is moving forward and glad to say, in the right direction.
As Sunday night comes to a close The Levellers were closing their set with Beautiful Day and true to their word, what a beautiful day and festival it has been. The last bonus to turn up was meeting Jez, the bass player from The Levellers, whom was a long lost friend of mines. Chatting like a pair of Howling Monkeys we took a trip down memory lane and come to the conclusion that time is merely a diversion but used in the right way can bring much joy.
If you ever fall down a rabbit hole then lets hope its the hole that leads you to Doune the Rabbit Hole festival as its not a bad place at all to end up. Warm, friendly, enriching, mellow, enchanting and refreshing is but only a few feelings gathered at D.T.R.H. 2018. Put this on your festival list for next year and dont miss out or you will be sorry……
Reviewed by Spud
Hello Lindsey, so where are you from & where are you at, geographically speaking?
Lindsey: I was born in the south side of Glasgow, grew up in Glasgow and Ayrshire, and now live in Glasgow.
Where, when & how did the idea for Mugstock originate?
Lindsey: Founder Alan Govan often walked through Mugdock Country park and since 2010 dreamed of running a music festival there, the first festival ran in 2015
How is your working relationship with Mugdock Country Park?
Lindsey: Our working relationship is great. Without the support of Mugdock Country Park, East Dunbartonshire Council and Stirling Council MugStock wouldn’t exist!
How, when & why did you get involved in Mugstock?
Lindsey: MugStock were looking for volunteers to get involved in late 2015 after the first festival. I had experience running multi-venue music festivals across Glasgow and Edinburgh, and after helping run G in the Park (Girl Guide of Scotland’s first outdoor music festival) I wanted to be involved in lots more outdoor events.
Before joining the team, you spent a number of years in Human Resources & promotions. How are you applying your skills into the development of Mugstock?
Lindsey: The first year I joined I was able to use my experience to shape our people strategy: structure of organisation, key roles, role descriptors, interview processes, and general support in people management. My promotions experience was used for social media and PR activities initially but now as Director of Marketing & Communications I’m using my promotion experience to increase awareness of MugStock through all areas of Press and Media.
What have you guys got for us this year?
Lindsey: This year is the line up is even more phenomenal than usual. We have over 160 performances across 7 stages which includes The Showhawk Duo, Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5, Roody Woomble (Idlewild), Kid Canaveral, Tide Lines, The Girobabies, Trongate Rum Riots, Dead Man Fall, Captain Hotknives and many many more
How do you decide upon the acts?
Lindsey: We open MugStock up to everyone who applies. This is a big decider for what you see at MugStock although our headline acts are carefully selected by looking at what artists are causing waves or caused waves (when they last performed)
What allowance do you make for local acts gracing the stage?
Lindsey: We welcome everyone to apply. Our line up includes many established and up-and-coming performers from the surrounding area.
To someone who has never been to Mugstock, what have they got to expect?
Lindsey: Expect everything! An abundance of great live music, fantastic food, tasty ales and ciders, beautiful surroundings, lots of interesting art, activities for kids (including big kids) and one of the most friendly festival audiences!
Will there be a 2019 Mugstock?
Lindsey: We hope so! Like most small festivals we rely on people buying tickets and coming to the festival! If MugStock 2018 is successful there definitely will be a MugStock 2019!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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…..