Monday, 10 September 2012

Doune The Rabbit Hole - Saturday Review

You can generally judge the hip-ness of a festival crowd by the band names worn on t-shirts.  And having spotted Pavement, Moldy Peaches, and Neu! by Saturday morning I knew I was in good company at Doune The Rabbit Hole!

The music on stage was just as hip, as Saturday begun with a montage of performances from Neu! Reekie!, an Edinburgh avant-garde poetry and musical group on the Baino stage.  First up was the poetry of Michael Pederson backed by Craig Finnie on guitar, and the enthusiastic, if not unwelcome, empty beer can percussion of a muddied dread locked reveller.  Craig Finnie stayed on to provide a short acoustic set, although at one point became engaged in a battle of wills with the beer can drummer.

The real highlight though, and I suspect the reason why the tent was full, was TeenCanteen.  The all girl four piece, minus drummer Deborah who was replaced temporarily by the lone male, were a breath of fresh air and treated the eager crowd to some lovely sunshine pop straight from the 1960's.  Their all female harmonies made songs like 'One More Night', 'You're So Analogue' and 'How We Met (Cherry Pie)' sparkle in the dreicht Scottish afternoon.  Ones to watch, and a highlight of the weekend for me.

And from there it was into the afternoon to entertain the sproglets, as we took a walk far out to the edge of the festival site and to the Carron Valley Reservoir.  The view from sitting on the reservoir wall is spectacular and again just reinforces the unique nature of a festival like Doune The Rabbit Hole.

As well as many arts and crafts stalls on offer, there was a few boutique food stalls offering a fine selection of food.  I'm always a fan of real food at festivals, so the choice between pigeon wraps, rabbit stew, brisket and pulled pork was well received.  However one minor quibble from Mrs Scottish Fiction was the selection for picky eaters, i.e. children, wasn't great.  It was at this point that I wandered back into the main area to catch Withered Hand.

At least I would have, had I know what time he was on at (see Friday's review).  Instead I was able to enjoy the manic indie folk styling that is King Creosote.  The rain eased up just in time for his set, which was filled with plenty of classics.  Kenny's band are in full flow and look like they are thoroughly enjoying squeezing onto the Jaberwocky stage, as do the kids who are bouncing around the crowd.  The band end with a rapturous emphatic rendition of 'Happy Song', to which I find myself bouncing gleefully along to, with a 6 year old girl on my shoulders too!

And from there it's onwards to the Inspire tent, to witness Sparrow & The Workshop mesmerise the crowd with a fine performance.  Everything about their performance, from the powerful vocals, to the pounding drums and chunky bass lines screams this is a band on top form.  The tent is packed, and getting busier as the set progresses, the air hangs humid and sweaty, and the dark outside is rivalled only by the dark nature of some of Sparrow's lyrics.

I wish that Saturday's review could end on that positive note, however sadly following Sparrow & The Workshop's set, some local police offers took to the stage, informing us that a local Alzheimer's sufferer had gone missing in the area.  It was a sad tinge which hung over the festival the following day as police and local services searched for him.  Sadly I never found out what happened, so if anyone knows, please comment and let me know. 

Sunday's review will follow soon!

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