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Shuffle Down

An all-dayer in aid of MND Scotland, the afternoon session saw the likes of Iona Marshall and Children of Leir (featuring former local hero Stuart Gray from Viva Stereo) entertain the early arrivals.

Split into two strands, the upstairs hall was home to the De-Fence Records stage where Love.Stop.Repeat open the evening’s proceedings. Their mix of acoustic and ambient leans more towards the Anstruther end of operations, i.e. the non-electronic side of the label, and which was quite lovely including a surprise cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbusting’, stripped-back style.

In the main hall, Dillinger take the stage. No, not that one – black music may influence the local five-piece, but rather than the reggae legend whose name they share, it’s more the blues of Led Zeppelin that’s in their makeup. Though curiously their very decent opener sports a big almost punk “woah woah’ chorus that belies the singer’s rock hair and threads. But then on it’s more a set of as-expected blues rock.

Up the stairs – which we’ll become intimately acquainted with – Lomond Campbell offers us some acoustic meanderings far-removed from his usual efforts as part of art-rock experimentalists Found. A little like Alasdair Roberts in tone, he throws in a ‘cover’ of his own band’s ‘Anti Climb Paint’ which cements his status as songwriter as opposed to mere sonic wrangler.

Alfa 9 are another band who I’m unfamiliar with but as they’re from the north of England and seemingly regulars at Liverpool PsychFest, this comes as no surprise. Though what hey serve up is basically 60s jangly pop, catchy tunes, and proof that stinking labels aren’t really required in a cross-genre event like this.

That said, River Of Slime – another Found member, Kev Sim – are at the opposite end of ‘pop music’ – jagged sequences and samples, rhythms pushed together, to form soundtrack music in the John Carpenter mould.

We take a small ‘smoking break’ (attended by a couple of fire engines), and then … well, everyone knows Dead Man Fall, right? Singer Des played drums for itm? faves Odeon Beat Club. Oh, and the small matter of their song ‘Bang The Drum’ being seen by millions of US TV viewers when lip-synched by Kevin Bacon, Quentin Tarantino, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Samuel L. Jackson, Metallica on Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show farewell. Aye, that one. There are other tunes of course, augmented to great effect by a mini-brass section, including recent single ‘Beating Heart‘, but it’s the big finale that gets the sell-out crowd going.

Up the stairs, and it seems to be 1990 again. OnTheFly – one half of whom is Gav Brown, De-Fence records head honcho – are blending rave and techno with a Krautrock vibe which is occasionally touched on in his releases (including the remixes on the recent 12×12 vinyl series) but never like this – the usually reserved folk crew getting decidedly loved up.

And the same applies in the big hall for the main event’s headliners – Edinburgh sextet Broken Records. Skirting round the boundaries of the genres, their indie-folk tag has taken them to both ends of this limited musical spectrum. Nowadays, live, they’re like a full-on take on early Waterboys, which, save the odd slower ballad, more than satisfies a crowd in party mode with recent single ‘I Won’t Leave You In The Dark’ a fitting climax.
Just before the finale there’s a tribute to the organisers of this very worthy event and given its success, we can hope to see them again next year.







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By Stuart McHugh

itm? head honcho

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