Monthly Archives: July 2011

Summer Wanders

The Edinburgh fringe is just over a week away, that tsunami of talent thats about to sweep through Auld reekie. I intend to surf it with my daily blog, the effervescent foam of the fringe filling up these pages. At the moment I am in Burnley library once more, at the start of a twenty mile hike through East Lancashire. The main reason is to do a bit of study for a forthcoming screenplay I wish to write about the very first season of league football anywhere ever, 1888-89. Alongside Burnley FC – 3 other towns within a twenty mile stretch of east lancashire – Accrington Stanley, Blackburn Rovers & Preston North End (the eventual winners) – were all members of that elite group of 12 founder members. I hope to find some nice nuggets of info in the depths of their respective libraries.

Burnley Photos

Lancashire

En route Im going to recant the adventures of the last 10 days, beginning with Linkey Lea festival, East Lothian, on the 16th. With Saraswathi splitting up, there was no gig for us this year, but that didint stop me, Kenny, Roy & Paul from blagging our way in (on past contributions) & setting up our congas & guitars in a corner of the bar & playing anyway. As usual, lost of cash was raised for the orphanage in India, I flirted outrageously with all Bonnie the organiser’s cute mates & got completely spangled! The plan had been to perform Timewarpin’ there, but I guess my ambition exceeds everybody elses abilities somtimes, so i had to settle for a rave instead!

Saraswathi at Linkey Lea 2009

I Got to Blackburn three & a half hours after leaving Burnley Library. Its been a perfect summers day & my route has been predominately along a Leeds & Liverpool canal peppered with bikes, ruined mills, fishermen, barges, summer flowers & even a convoy of swans, with two proud parents sandwiching their five grey bairns. The first half of the walk gave me an ever widening view of what I call the the Burnley basin – a great sweep of beautiful countryside crowned by the three peaks of Pendle, Hameldon & Boulsworth Hill. It makes one proud to be a Lancashire lad & has to be one of the prettiest settings in the country. This feeling was soon unsettled as I entered the lion’s den that was Blackburn & the sub-human species of ‘humanity’ that dwell there. Still, they do do good pies & Im glad to be resting my step-nippy feet.

Blackburn Photos

Blackburn

Back in time, I carried on partying after Linkey Lea in Garvald, b4 finally collapsing & somehow getting back to Edinburgh on teh last bus. I had another bus the next morning to Preston, & was just settling down to a vital few hours when this girl I d recently met – & given my address – knocked me up & midnight & kept me up til 3AM. This gave me one hours kip b4 I got up for my 5AM bus to Preston. This I somehow made & snoozed all the way down to Lancashire, where I spent a fine few days fattening up & chewing the fat with friends & family, which was divided by a wicked party in Wales, which I’ll tell you about once I reach Preston.

A funny incident happened on the walk west. After a few miles I thought Id take a wee rest in the garden/grounds of the gorgoeus Tudor Samlesbury Hall. It was there a very snooty woman rushed out, said it was closed & I had to leave immediately. “Giz a couple of minutes love,” I said, rolling a rolly, on which she ran off & called for back-up. After calling her a nobhead I set off within said couple of minutes, only for the police to picke me up half a mile down the road – she’d called the friggin cops. After a quick name check (always a worry from my itinerant past) I was warrant-free & bantering well with my new best mates, who very kindly gave me a lift all the way to Preston. I soon noticed they were younger than me – it’d never happened b4 what with me being all mature & crime free these days – the 29 year old PC Mc Murray & his sidekick, 20-year old special constable Clapham, who was an unpaid volunteer to her majesty’s finest! Nice guys though, full of philosophical chat & street-savvy, they were a credit to the force. Over in Preston, the library was shut, so I sat in the town square in the brilliant sunshine for a couple of hours reading shakespeare, b4 catching my megabus back to Edinburgh. En route, at the M6 turnoff to Kirby Lonsdale, a thick bank of dark cloud was breaking into pieces over the westmorland fells just as the sun was setting golden among them, sending brilliant scarlet lasar beams into the sky – a stunning vision to finish my tour.

Samlesbury Hall

The highlight of my week away has to be my trip to Wales for a proper cool party. I’d caught a bus from burnley to manchester, then walke the 6 miles to Stockport, from where Andy & Tereza who id met in India (see earlier blogs) swept me off south. On the way we past Old Oswestry, where my recent studies about King Arthur pinpointed Guinevere & the Battle of Bassas, so it was cool to see. Then I found myself a new ‘family member’ at this party which had been going on every six weeks for years at this 60 year-old music producers near Welshpool. It took place in his studio, with the dance follor downstairs & teh party spilling into his proper cool farmhouse. At one point I was surrounded by 8 pretty chicks dancing to some of the best dance music id hear in ages – cant argue really. The rest of teh weekend was spent wandering around the local countryside from plush pad to plush pad, meeting folk & enjoying the sunshine, which I alleived at one point by dipping in this lovely guy’s brand new pond/swimming pool. It was all a far cry from the mad events that had happened elsewhere while I was basking in the glory of being alive.. RE amy winehouse’s death & that mad norwegian Rambo. Incidentally, he shoudl be kept in solitary confinement for the rest of his pathetic life, eating the same food every day.

Old Oswestry hill fort

So all in all a grand soiree south & a nice wee spot of bloggin’ to get me ready for my daily dose through the fringe… hold on to your hats

Edinburgh
27/07/11
27/

Free in the Park

Ive just got back from Free in the Park, a two day ‘alternative’ event on the same werekend as T in the Park – where as the latter festival is full of gadgies paying 200 quid & vomiting everywhere, this was 300 hard core kids having a great rave in the most amazing of sites. It took place in the heart of the poet-country Trossachs, made famous by Sir Walter Scott in his Lady of the Lake. The site was underneath Ben Lawyers Dam, a few miles from the silver-sheened Loch Tay. I’d come here with the Kijiji crew, who were asked to bring our bands & stage along to offer an alternative to the constant techno. We’d saved the day, actually, cos there was only one other ‘stage’ there (three had pulled out) & after our bands had finished we were inundated by djs who’s own tents/stages had pulle dout. We tried to accomodate them all, though. The other stage, however, hosted Sick Note – a mad electro band who borrowed our drums. I’d first seen them at Thimbleberry 2008, when I was doing a stage next door to them – small world? It was great raving to them in the dark, surrounded by the shadowy giants of the Trossachs. Here’s their myspace

http://www.myspace.com/sicknote


John Sicolo of legendary rock venue TJ’s in Newport (Gwent) called Sicknote “The best live band I’ve had in my venue in 25 years.” If you know TJ’s you’ll know that that’s astonishing praise – everyone has played at TJ’s – The Buzzcocks, Catatonia, Echo & The Bunnymen, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Green Day, Manic Street Preachers, Oasis, Primal Scream, Supergrass, Therapy?, and so many more
. Span Arts Web Page

Back at our stage, nestled in one of the arches of the glorius dam, the Eidelweiss pirates played, plus all the combinations of bands that our bunch of musicians intertextualise. I’d also sen these crack hot covers band of twenty year-olds at the three monkeys in Portobello, & invited them along, doing me proud in the process. I did a three hour dj slot on the sunday afternoon – ive got laryngitus at the moment so couldnt sing. But it was great fun playing bananrama to a bunch of techno heads. This morning I left Mharri’s tent (pronounced Varri) – a girl i’ve just started seeing, hitched a lift to Killin a few k down the road. It was nice pottering about in the early morning sunshine, perched beside the rocky swift-rushing falls of Dochart. Nearby is the burial ground of the MacNab clan. From Killin I caught a bus to Callander whereI met Steve, who’d gone there last night to a comfy B&B, & we went on together (using his plus 1 bus pass), to Stirling & back to Edinburgh, beneath glorious summer skies, snoozing off the weekends shennanigins

Kijiji stage


The Kijiji stage early on Saturday when I was sober enough to take a photo

Getting back, however, was a wee nightmare on the Rockera front – I had a massive haemorrage of cast members – all petrified about doing a show nextr week at the Linkey Lea Festival. This got me thinking, & Ive decided to pull Timewarpin from teh fringe & just film the fukcker instead. Besides, this’ll give me more time to work on my daily fringe blog & make it into corker…