What a rum do! Dandelion Festival aka Brexitfest, was in fact funded by a “cultural” slush fund set aside by the UK government after Brexit to “do good tings”….
In this instance the good tiiings were a free musical festival plus a whole load of gardening bollocks which appealed to what looked like a very middle-class audience of hipsters and their kids/dogs/etc… so much for levelling up!
Anyway, many acts played across the weekend but BM was there mainly for two of them…
On Saturday early afternoon we witnessed the first live performance from the Hen Hoose collective, a group of female and non-binary musicians who made their excellent debut album ‘Equaliser‘ in lockdown and now were playing tracks from it live.
There were a couple of hitches before they started however; a fairly lengthy soundcheck, due to the various combinations of people who were due onstage. In the sunshine some random rocket (BM has a good radar for this, spotted him immediately), derobed to a sleeveless t-shirt and then proceeded to heckle Emma Pollok, in some strangulated mid-European accent, with something like “what are we waiting for ladies?” – Emma responded with “we aren’t on till 2.15”, followed by Amandah from side of stage with “Fuck off, Baldy…!” – that saw him off, never to return!
So the set started with Emma’s lead track ‘Monochrome’, a fantastic song, glorious indie melancholy folk. Other tracks were more dancey, with Bossy Love’s Amandah taking the mic as Amunda for several numbers.
Another member of the collective, Elizabeth Electra, was unwell today so label founder Tamara led the vocals on a couple including ‘Hush Hush’. The sound was a bit dodgy at times (Paul Savage identified a “snare drum issue” and who is BM to argue with the most talented producer working in Scotland today) and weather also came over a bit dodgy, blowing mike and music stands around, but Hen Hoose were not to be deterred by these kinds of things and ended things off with some glorious celebrations of collaboration and unity. (apologies that BM couldn’t name all the tunes and artists on the day but mentions to Karine Polwart among others, and it looked like everyone had fun).
BM hopes to see this collective, with a fully fit Electra as well, on some indoor stage soon (Celtic Connections maybe? Old Fruit would suit well… just saying)
Many other bands playing over the weekend but the other highlight for BM was when Admiral Fallow came on on the Sunday around 5pm – they put in a fine shift with songs old and new, with decent weather and clearly relishing probably their first festival outdoor date in three years. Still one Scotland’s best acts. BM is by this time too far gone to go through the set in detail but suffice to say that it was emotional, uplifting and just great to have live music in good weather, we have all missed it so much…