Other Reviews

Durty Vegan Burger Club - The Best Vegan Burger I have Ever Eaten

Nestled just five minutes walk from our old home at The Hidden Lane lies the best god damn vegan burgers you have ever tasted. If that ain’t the boldest opening to any food review you have ever read then I don’t know what else to say.

It really was that good.

We went team handed to the review with a crew of three NHC. It was a relativelly small venue so three at the table meant a bigger spread, and therefor a bigger taste of all that was on offer, and not one of us was dissapointed with the choices. The two lads with me went right for the burger choices and I opted for something a little lighter in the eating department to balance it all out. The Ringer burger, The Grenade burger, and Mac Fries were brought to the table with a huge smile, which seems to be another big blue tick in my books for the Durty Vegan Burger Club, the place is just filled with warmth, and it’s nothing to do with the thermostat. The people who work here love what they do, and it shows not only in the fantastic food they prepare fresh to order, but also in the way they greet every single guest that comes through the door.

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The burgers were ridiculously good, and the air fried ‘mac’ covered fries were so good I could eat them every day, and if I stayed in the area I would probably try and eat them every day, which would probably be healthier than it sounds. Not only is everything vegan, but I think any non vegan friends popping in with you would be hard pushed to tell, as the food really was that good.

So aye, basically I would not only state it was one of the best vegan dinners I have ever eaten, but I would also say it is one of the best eateries in Glasgow hands down for me, I will be back soon for more food myself, and that is the best accolade I could give!

https://www.facebook.com/dvbcglasgow/

Rebellion 2019, The Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 01/08/19 - 04/08/19 - Baz B.

Another year, another Rebellion. This one was always going to be special though because the mighty Cocksparrer are headlining the Saturday. After a pleasant train journey down to Blackpool and getting the wristbands and B’n B formalities sorted it’s time for the mayhem to commence. First on the agenda is the Barstool Preachers in the Empress ballroom. The lads turn in a passionate, powerful performance in front of a sizeable crowd and we leave the ballroom buzzing that the preachers first performance on the huge empress stage was such a resounding success. There’s not much more on the cards watching bands wise today though because I’m playing a gig with the Fuck Ups at the Temple Bar later on.  After catching up with some mates and getting a bite to eat, its time to head to the other gig. The Cryogenics are blasting out their high octane thrashy punk when I arrive, and damn good they are at it too. After playing our set (which I think went pretty well), its time to head back up to the winter gardens to catch the Descendents. This was my first time seeing them and they do not disappoint (they aren’t the fastest band I’ve ever seen though). Opening the set with “Suburban home” they churn out classic after classic with “I’m the one”, “I’m not a punk” and the aforementioned “Suburban home” being just a few of the standout moments. This is punk rock at its life affirming best, a shining example of why I continue to love it so much. With power, passion, humour and melody in spades Prof. Milo and the boys give us perhaps the performance of the weekend, and its only the first night, it’s just a pity that they were playing at the same time as Fear, who I also wanted to watch. Thursday night probably has the worst set clashes of the weekend because Poison Idea and Flipper also clashed. Who thought putting all the old US Hardcore bands on at the same time was a good idea?

The first band that I watch on Friday is Riskee and the Ridicule on the Arena stage. If you haven’t checked out their top notch blend of Punk, Grime and Hardcore, then get on it immediately, cos you’re missing out. They turn in a great performance and Scott Pickering is a great frontman as well as a great lyricist and vocalist. The sound isn’t the best, but the band play a blinding set regardless. Definitely ones to watch and my current favourite band. Next up is Gimp Fist in an intensely hot Empress. Only manage to watch half of their set before having to scarper for cooler climes. The Opera house is the coolest room in the venue by far and it also happens to be where Interrobang are playing. Their performance is simply breathtaking and definitely one of my highlights of the weekend. The sound is crystal clear, and you can hear everything perfectly. The band looking dapper in suits is also probably the most truly rebellious act of a weekend surrounded by identikit punk and Skins. A stylistic statement against non-conformity becoming its own form of conformity. I decide to stick around in the Opera house for a while, mainly because its cooler and I have a seat, but also because Lost Cherrees are on next. I’ve always had a soft spot for Lost Cherrees and their brand of angry tuneful anarcho punk and I’m glad that I decided to stick around to watch them because they don’t disappoint.  Firing out an incendiary set brimming with classics ( unfortunately no “still comes the rain” or “poem” though) The band put in a stellar performance made all the better by the vocal interplay between the two female vocalists and a surprise (and brilliant) cover of “common people” by Pulp.

After checking out Argy Bargy doing their brilliant anthemic Oi! thing in an absolutely roasting Casbah stage for a bit I decide to head back to the relative coolness of the Opera house to watch original San Franciscan Punks The Avengers. This is another highlight of the weekend.  I’ve loved this band for years and was really excited when I saw they were part of this years line up.  Starting the set with my favourite song “We are the one” the band are on absolute fire and vocalist Penelope Houston’s voice is on point. They deliver a strong set and play with a hungry passion that a lot of bands half their age can’t muster filled with punk classic after punk classic. Other set highlights were “Car crash” (from the same Dangerhouse records 7” as “We are the one”), Their, frankly better than the original, version of “Paint it black” by the Rolling Stones and “The American in me”. If you haven’t seen this lot already and you get the chance to, then you should definitely grab it. You won’t be disappointed.  After The Avengers set, its time to head round to the introducing stage to witness pals of the Fuck ups  The Signal do their thing (extra shout out to guitarist Lindsey for sporting one of our T-shirts. Cheers mate) The Signal are always a top notch live band, but tonight they’ve came to destroy and easily lay waste to the introducing stage with their own unique brand of hardcore punk. The whole band, but especially frontwoman Nikki give the performance of their lives and with song titles like “You say banker, we say wanker” and “Never trust a Tory” we’re left in no doubt as to where they are coming from. The Signal are one of the best punk bands from Scotland and if you haven’t checked them out already then you’re like one of those aforementioned bankers.  After The Signal I catch Red Alert on the Arena stage, some of the Angelic Upstarts on the casbah, the best part of which was Livi legend and Jocksparra frontman Hendo diving on stage to join in with “The murder of Liddle Towers”. Last band of the night for me was Infa Riot on the Arena stage, who are great but the heat’s got too much by this point so it’s time to bail to the comfier, air conditioned party central that is the Orbiston Hotel. Situated just behind the Wintergardens with a bar that stays open til 5am, It is the perfect place to continue the craic into the wee small hours if you’re still wanting to stay “on it” after the Wintergardens closes.

Saturday kicks of with the fantastic roots reggae stylings of the Rhythm-ites on the Casbah stage. Their Dub- heavy reggae is just what the doctor ordered, a welcome stylistic change from all the punk and the sweaty skanking that I indulge in during their set acts like a detox for the previous nights excesses. Lions Law and their anthemic aggressive Parisian street punk are up next in the Empress. Frontman Wattie comes out fighting from the start. He gives a 100% energy packed performance and his voice sounds amazing.  His performance is so full on that he ends up projectile vomiting in the middle of the set (probably because of the heat) and then storming back out to give it 100% again like a fucking warrior.  All in all it’s a great, memorable set from one of the finest Oi! bands on the planet just now. I was planning to stick around for some stomping glam rock courtesy of Guida, but couldn’t face it due to the heat, so retired to the pub with pals instead.

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When we get back to the Wintergardens it’s just in time to see Hagar the Womb on the Pavillion stage.  Angry yet tuneful Anarcho punk with a sense of fun is what this lot deal in and they deliver a solid, enjoyable set.  It’s time for some more French Oi! on the Pavillion stage next.  Kominitern Sect have been going on and off since the mid 1980’s, but I have only discovered  them fairly recently so there was no way I was missing them.  They don’t disappoint, proper old school anthemic Oi! with plenty of catchy riffs and terrace style sing-a-long choruses. All their lyrics are sung in French however, so I haven’t actually got a clue what they’re singing, but they sound great.  After watching most of Kominitern Sect’s set I decide that it’s probably a good idea to head round to the Empress ballroom to catch the end of the Cockney Rejects set and to make sure that I get in to see Cocksparrer.

The Rejects are on top form as usual. Has anyone ever witnessed a bad Rejects show? I know I certainly haven’t.  From our spot on the balcony (its way too hot to be mixing with the Oi! polloi on the floor) we have a perfect view and enjoy the Rejects while waiting for the main attraction. As soon as Cocksparrer hit the stage and blast straight into “riot squad” the whole room is transformed into a sweaty, singing, smiling, crying mass, as Cocksparrer tend to kick start all the emotions. The set list is a perfect blend of old classics and the best ones from the latest lp, the standout moments  however are when “Teenage heart” turns into “Droogs don’t run” and then switches back to “Teenage heart” again seamlessly and an emotional “Gonna be alright” which is dedicated to Manchester punk legend and creator of the Rockers England clothing line Kathy Rocker, and when Colin Mcfaull explains (again) that “England belongs to me” isn’t about exclusion in anyway, it’s about being proud of where you come from and absolutely nothing to do with right-wing nationalism, it’s only England because that happens to be where the band comes from and everyone is welcome to add wherever they come from when singing along. He didn’t have to tell my partner in crime Ellen that twice as she promptly proceeded to scream “GLAAAAAAAAAAASGOW BELONGS TAE ME” all the way through it.  All in all this is a flawless, life affirming performance from the mighty ‘sparrer, even the heat didn’t spoil it.  After ‘sparrer it’s time to head round to the Orbiston for more borderline self destructive hedonism (we’ll leave that there though, I don’t want to incriminate myself or others).

Woke up feeling rough on the Sunday, thankfully Fatal Blow were on hand to deliver a Fatal Blow (sorry) to my last day blues. Formed from the ashes of Anti-fascist Oi! legends The Oppressed, Fatal Blow play hard-hitting, no-nonsense anthemic street punk. Traditional, yet fresh sounding the lads tear up the pavilion stage with air punching anthem after air punching anthem.  Kicking off with “Spirit of 69” which contains lyrics like “Skinhead forever, bonehead never” and “if you don’t know your roots, you better give up your boots”, then blasting out a set full of great tunes like “Riot Riot”, “Sharp as a Razor”, “Johnny come lately” and a brilliant cover of Blitz’ “Warriors” we are left in no doubt what this band is all about.  They play a tight, powerful, enjoyable set that not even a malfunctioning guitar amp can derail. Ant-fascist, pro-working class Oi! at it best and definitely one of the bands of the weekend for me.

Suede Razors in the Empress are up next but when I arrive at the ballroom the unbearable heat is back. I soldier on valiantly and manage to catch most of their set which is an enjoyable mix of Rose Tattoo style bovver rock and punk. The musicianship and vocal performance are top notch and the band turn in a great set, I would have enjoyed it much better if I wasn’t sweating from my eyeballs though (who knew that your eyeballs could sweat). After Suede Razors I catch some of Culture Shock on the Casbah stage. Again, the band are putting in a great performance but it’s too fucking hot and I’m starting to get grumpy and pissed off because of it.  After getting some air I head back in to see Birmingham’s The Liarbilitys on the Arena stage. Seeing this lot was one of the things that I was most looking forward to this year, having become borderline obsessed with their debut lp “Antagonisms”, and they’re even better than I expected. The songs from the lp sound even more visceral live, yet still retain their melodic edge. They are cursed with “Arena stage sound” (the  sound is always shit in this room) but still manage to pull of a brilliant, memorable set. If you love angry, intelligent well played punk rock then this is the band for you. There’s no words in my, frankly limited, vocabulary to describe how good this band is.

After The Liarbilitys I see The Backstreet Abortions on the introducing stage. Been meaning to check this lot out for a while now and I’m glad that I’ve finally got the chance to check them out.  While essentially a hardcore punk band, their sound isn’t Easy to pin down. There’s a real Poison Idea vibe to their songs but there’s also a slight Rockabilly under current. The Musicianship is good and frontwoman Jesse’s vocals are superb. This band does contain Biff of Sick on the Bus, The Varukers fame though, so I’d have been surprised if they were anything less than great to be honest. After catching up with the better half and friends for a few pints and a blether in the Spanish bar (it looks like the inside of a 17th century galleon and is, needless to say, both cool as fuck and where we spend a lot of time between bands. The plan is for me to go watch Uproar (which I do and, as usual they are great, playing an energetic set made up mostly of newer material. Which isn’t a problem when the material is as strong as it is here) and some of King Kurt (which I also do, but get bored very quickly with them. Maybe the heat’s starting to get to me again, because I used to like this lot back in the day, but here it just seems to be pedestrian, puerile pish.) then meet Ellen back at the bar to go watch the Damned. This doesn’t pan out however, because by the time they’re starting we’re both done with the heat and just want to go back to the B’n B. Our pal Laura, who came down with us this year only wanted to watch the Damned and ended up not going because she couldn’t be arsed dealing with the extreme temperatures in the venue. The heat would be my only major gripe about the festival this year. It was seriously ridiculous and, from what I’ve been hearing from quite a lot of people, will maybe put them of attending in future. This would be a shame, because otherwise it’s a great, well run festival in a unique setting with helpful friendly staff.  Until next year……Baz.

Back In The Garden Again - An Eden Report - NHC Gonzo Division


The Garden of Eden appeared to us in a dream-like Shamanistic vision, reminiscent of the enchanted flying Island of Laputa... Our journey was long and arduous, we had grown weary from our travels, but we were close to discovering the entrance. Forests thinned and we could see patches of clearings beyond the old road. A flash of light sparked and fleeted between the trees out of sight, just a faint glimpse, glimmering far off in the distance revealing an incandescent row of multi-coloured orbs which flickered as we passed more trees before vanishing in the grey oblique farther along the road. We found a way into a field by the trees and pulled in. An overwhelming feeling of expressively empathic energy drew on the soul among swirling eddies of mist as we departed our carriage. We stood beneath towering pristine white clouds that billowed into the skies as rays of sunshine lanced our eyes unexpectedly amidst gathering rain. A jet black Rook cawed at our arrival and flew off in the direction of a brook that followed the contours of the meadows behind the trees where fog had pooled like some vast ghostly figure writhing in the undergrowth beyond...

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So we followed in pursuit. We were, in a word, armed to the teeth as you would expect from such an entitled mission of utmost importance as I was granted. We were well equipped for this adventure, after all I was charged formally with protecting 'Her Rajesty' - The Queen of Eden herself Ms Jay Coleman, also known as Red Jester in some circles... A task I was sure to complete with levered precision in accordance with regard to 'Man-At-Arms', Ben-Jitsu Escobar - who planned our meeting's location prior to our undertaking of this journey. We set up camp and established contact with him shortly before dusk and using 'The Force' we walked off into the mist and rain, our foot prints heavy in the wet-lands.

As darkness fell around us in the cloaked veil of night, the stars lit our way like a map in the sky to the mythical gates where the Garden lay in wait for us to explore. We were met with rows of perpetually changing lights and bizarre trinket stalls, with music of all varieties coming from every direction. There were people of all kinds wandering among artistic sculptures, mazes and a huge Ferris wheel decorated in light which towered over the whole festival. The smell of every kind of food you could think of hung in the air pulling on your appetite like a great magnet. One which all things flow according to the whim of...

We ventured around the entire Garden stopping to speak to other travellers and dwellers of the fair until finally reaching a Tavern known colloquially as 'Bobs Back Passage' where we were told of a musical group who went by the name – The Twistettes – would be performing. So we drank and schmoozed with the others until the band came on and holy fuck...

Booze flew into the air from all sides and everyone lost their absolute shit to rawkus punk rock madness! Diving about, bashing into each other and then an alien couple with conical heads appeared in the middle of the crowd with a Unicorn and several Pixies. At this point I became rather unhinged from my Ginger Cider and whatever that magical Pixie dust was so things become a little blurry towards the end, but The Twistettes smashed it and marked our highlight of our first night's entertainment... That Unicorn was actually David Blair aka 'Dijancer' of Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 and I have never seen anyone who can be literally everywhere you look at a festival... Does he have clones? Is there a series of Dave Blair robots carrying out menial tasks while the real Mr Blair pilots them from a control tower? I have no idea and because infinitely confused at this point... All I can say, is he seems to be some kind of Rainbow Warrior of sorts toting the flag for Positivism everywhere he can raise it. Kudos and sincere thanks for the encouragement through the darker times hermano. However, no darker times here... This, is Eden and sunshine awaits...

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Man-At-Arms tried (in vain) to walk me back to the camp site but I just wanted to stagger around looking up at the stars through the rain coz it looked like the rain came all the way from each star in a straight line down to my face, which was really quite epic. Needless to say though, it was like my terrible joke – What happens when you throw a 'Green' rock in the 'Red' sea?

... It gets wet…

At this point of course, I can only apologize profusely for betrothing your mind to this arbitrary malpractice use of bad jokage which is now making me abominably diaphoretic in my floundering apologetic state...

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Eh... Aye so anyway Saturday happened, we woke up alive and it rained... A lot... We got soaked pretty bad. Our tents got soaked really bad. Everything was wet and cold and we did not give one single feck. Man-At-Arms brought tea, Her Rajesty brought tea cakes... I brought everyone to tears with my anus... And so we garden partied like it was 1999 in an upper class garden in the suburbs of Cambridgeshire and made much of our maniacal merriment and enjoyed some bountifully abundant rejoicing...

Then we ate Robin's Minstrels... And there was much rejoicing... Yay.

It was still before noon at this point and we decided to be there for our friends - Melisa Kelly & The Smokin' Crows, and wow... Just wow. We were shaken by fiery funkalicious righteous awesomeness, stirred like a Madman Martini wi half a pound of mandem flung in it (aka The Weegie Sunrise), moved to tears by the poignantly delicate genius of that beautifully laced romantica ballad version of “Devil's Luck” right in the middle where the absolute gold unity of the backing vocals' harmonies intertwining with Melisa's really shone on the whole audience from every musical angle and for a moment even the weather seemed to become one with the music as the sun warmed us during those intricate melodies then when the song grew back up in crescendo, a gentle breeze blew over which induced goosebumps raising the hairs on the back of the neck and I think I am safe to say everyone felt it. Melisa's vocally empathetically expressive nature is so powerful and ranges through more octaves than a Piano can handle with techniques that bend and flex your own perception of the music you are listening to into physical reactions. Her abilities and musical definitions are so mind bendingly varied that not one vocalist anywhere that I know of can even come close to her virtuoso performances. Her voice actually affects me in a physical nature where the hair on the neck stands in every song and really pulls you in to the words and other instruments. She really took me by surprise with her cover version of Tom Waits - “Big In Japan” which drop kicked funk up our asses and right out the top of our heads with explosive depth and more bite than that guy fae James Bond that could chew through a steel cable, with his actual teeth...

Melisa is truly nonpareil. She puts Etta James to shame, she could jump Janet Jackson & Janis Joplin in a Celebrity Death Match with a Jack Hammer and bog-wash Beyonce all at once without breaking a sweat or missing a cue. Note perfect, rhythmic pulse oriented masterclass song writing paired with a passionately inspired stage presence all wrapped in a tightly packaged bouquet of exceptional musicianship on a level that deserves a worldwide audience on the global stage! Once you have had Melisa Kelly's music as an ear-bound aural feast for breakfast it's quite hard to locate an appetite for anything else afterwards because nothing else compares. In a perfect world, if Melisa's band could play all day it would prove the existence of Heaven right there in the Garden of Eden but alas, no one in the right mind is ever gonna play for an entire Saturday at a festival, and especially not when you give everything you have got into an hour long performance. C'est impossible... So after some hugs and compliments to the band we retired to food land and scoffed our asses off then went for a lie down to digest everything we had just witnessed in a state of shock and awe.

Back at the camp site, we lay in a crumpled heap, beaten by weather and the effort of wading through mud and had a light snooze to recharge before Mickey 9's headlined the Melodrome stage. I managed to get a small charge in my phone courtesy of a friends power brick and was able to find a message from my flat mates who were telling me they were playing a set at 5pm with Josephine Sillars in Vishnu and it was now 6:15pm... The annoying thing is we had walked by not far away while in search of food but trying to catch everyone at a festival is just impossible. Whether you don't have enough time, or people playing at the same time on different stages, or you are asleep, or too tired or cold or get side tracked... or lost and forget what you are doing (which seems to happen quite a bit to me) I guess it is what adds to the whole festival experience. Every individual who attends has a unique individual experience tailored to them which no one else gets and that is really quite a beautiful thing in itself. I still hate missing a friend performing though, but the main thing is that everyone enjoyed themselves. We did see an ambulance taking someone off site, not sure if that was over enjoyment en-route to the rubber walled funky farm in a smokin jacket, or maybe a prolapse they were unable to push back in with their finger but we hope whoever that was is actually ok and now home safe. Anyway, I digress... feckin tangents... pfft...

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Ahem! So we gave each other electric-shock therapy and got out of bed and went in search of the Melodrome stage which was located up a hill in the woods in what felt like the Ewoks back garden on Endor. There were rope swings and a log fire and lights strung all through the trees which looked amazing in the dark with the rest of the festival lit up down below. Some two hundred-odd people descended on the Melodrome to see Mickey 9's and as I arrived they had just begun their first song. The crowd were already fired up and diving about the swirling half-skank pogo-mosh-pit to 'Shark in the Water' with everyone doing the fin moves. Much to my delight I found Mr Master of None himself who some call Damo with a fetching silver cape dancing with his partner in crime Lucy and some of our friends and even bumped into a couple of Reiki Masters who also happen to perform under the guise of The Well Happy Band and up popped Ayrshire's very own Hit-man himself Colin Bilby along with John & Susan Soutar with some of the Yellow Movement in tow...

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At that moment a certain Pub Quiz Master known for his work with 'Jackal Trades' and 'Girobabies' (among many other musically promotional things) got up on stage to sing (my favourite Mickey 9's song) 'Rang Wi Me' with the band, however, the stage steward thought he was a random invader and tried to drag him off, but half the crowd simultaneously shouted - “Ho! That's Mark!”... Although the guy was clueless as to who Mark might be, he seemed to get the sentiment and the song continued much to the uber excitement of the now comparatively chaotic yet ultimately synchronismic crowd. The last song I can recall might be 'Psycho Control' as they wound everybody right up into a total frenzy! I am really not sure as to my whereabouts after this, vague recollections of talking to some friends as everyone filtered back from the now closed Melodrome stage, there were some tours through a few totally mental rave arenas with psychedelic painted ceilings - all mad shapes - and I realized that was the intense beats that had been calling to us from the festival while “asleep” at the camp site. (Nobody sleeps in the campsite haha).

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So anyway after getting my compatriots back to the tents, I grew restless and so I ventured back down to Rabbie's Tavern for last orders at the bar and to grab some food before consigning to lying down for a few hours and bumped into Sharleen and Debbie, Mark and Bilby, and a new friend known only as “Andy who knows the Girobabies” (if you know this guy please tell him he is a legend and thank you for being such a funny random sound person), we ended up Joe Mangle'd and talked several shades of shite into the night, much to the dismay of our fellow campers in - what I later found out to be - the fecking quiet section.... hahaha!! Sorry... Not with me about it's not hahaha!!! I should really come with a warning sign...

Suddenly Sunday happened... It was sunny... Like really sunny... All the mud and trenches had dried enough to walk on without breaking your neck or losing your hard earned pint or ending up looking like a victim of “Shat-Pantitis”. That's a pure real condition by the way. Some bloke down the pub told me. Must be true! Anyway, we started the day slowly, needless to say really and took a slow walk into the festival for a scran and a rescue beer. We decided to go take a look at the Drive In Cinema with Vintage Cars to sit in which was quite a novelty that we could have done with in the rain. Some mad 'cant' had written shit loads about Beef all over the inside of the car we sat in... I decreed that we must take it as a sign that the band 'Beef Monk' are on the rise and that these were disciples of the Monkery that is Beef.... by Beefy G, Beef Steg McBeeferton and The Beef Cake Blues Band... and Beefy Bum whoever you are, you made us laugh so hard that poo fell out, so we tip our hats to thee hombree, you sir are a comedic beast.

We happed across a very intimate and chilled performance with the Book Shop Band down the Great Mountain stage and I found thee best vegetarian food I have ever had at the 'Allotment' – I thank you from my toes to my Stellar Chakra for that eatery experience while enjoying the music in the belting blue sky sunshine. Just what the doctor ordered after a mental Friday and Saturday in the rain and midgies. However, some guy showed decked out in a freaky looking outfit made of baby dolls heads with some horror psycho mask and we were ultimately perplexed... We left that arena... and went in search of some other friends. At some point in our wanderings I bumped into 'The Sauchiehall Street Shakedown Squad' featuring Stefan Celosia, Lizzy Biggs, some others I can't recall the names of and the vocal legend that is - 'Matt The Hat' as some kind of Wizard nicely seasoned with Bourbon. Really cool to see so many familiar faces from the Glasgow music scene at Eden. We were headed to catch a band though and parted ways... Then we noticed some Police were getting their faces painted and joining in some games with a bunch of cool people who I thought were The Levellers at first glance. I reloaded my hand with pintage and aimed for the forest again...

We were headed back to the Melodrome stage to witness 'Root System' who really know how to put the Punk in Ska! As they were starting there were about 20 odd people all chilling round the tables... After the first couple songs and dancing through the gathering audience, even getting their wee kids up dancing and singing along with them which really was an absolute crowd pleaser and suddenly there were loads of people who had heard the music from down the hill and came up to see what was happening and we had people skanking up and down the place, dancing in the tree swings and falling off the hill, and... as if that wasn't enough the lead singer jumped up on a table to perform a Russian dance which takes some amount of strength and stamina. Now at that time I did not know the name of this dance and was intrigued to find out what it was called or where it came from because all anyone seemed to know was it's a mad Russian leg dance hingmie... Naw.

Kozachok” also “Kazachok” (Russian: Kaзaчoк) (Russian diminutive of Kazak “Cossack”) A Slavic dance, chiefly Ukrainian with a fast tempo featuring a step in which a squatting dancer kicks out each leg alternately to the front switching with the other leg back under them to squat on, whilst maintaining the squatting position height without dropping or bobbing

I would like to rename it “The Thigh Slaughtering Knee Crippling Ankle Bastard”. My hat is off squire! I think my defining moments of the whole set had to be “It's Up To You” when the band first invaded the crowd, “Wake Up” coz it is thee best Ska Punk tune anyone ever wrote, anywhere, ever and if you try to tell me otherwise... Well... In the words of Dave Lister... “Why don't we strap a bomb to my forehead and I'll nut the smegger to oblivion!” hahaha!!! I loved the double encore at the end as well, muchly enjoyed that set and it gave us a good charge to go venture around the festival again. In my opinion it was over far too quick. Root System should get at least an hour and a half minimum. People need that in their life!

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After some meandering and 40 trips to the toilet in an hour we went off to battle aliens on a far away distant planet and found Elvis. He was in a port-a-loo that whole time... Who knew... Anyway, tangents... ssssssake man! So we went for a tea break by the tents and were keen to find out if our friend who had to leave early got home safe so we chilled there for a while and sank some beers. Later we decided we had to have a shot on the Ferris Wheel and it was totally epic... After the wheel we took a walk and found Sharleen, our aforementioned Pixie friend and we attempted the Maze in the dark which was actually seriously difficult once you go in and get yourself stuck haha! We managed to make it out alive though and I got me some White Russian at the Coco-Cabana bar behind the psychedelic Voltan Temple. We chilled out there for a while then went to watch Bombskare who had literally every single person at Eden in a semi-skank bob n weave manoeuvre which seemed to spill out of the main arena, and even people waiting for chips and pints and looking around the boutique stalls were still doing it! I found myself still going long after the Ska had ended... but before I go there... Let me just say that Bombskare were were the absolute cream of the Eden scene and everybody was loving it. Just people laughing and dancing everywhere you looked, even the people working the stalls were all dancing to them! There was a truly righteous moment though, in amongst all that groove, when a highlight within a highlight occurred like some inceptional conception of sheer gallusness...

And that, was when Rory McLeod joined Bombskare on Harmonica to perform the Ska version of his original song “Love Like A Rock” from his 1988 album “Footsteps & Heart Beats”. That was quite a special moment for a lot of people but to see how humbled the band were to have him as a special guest up there with them and to hear him perform live in the flesh was a really amazing and truly defining moment. Their final closing set at the very end of the Sunday night's main stage bill left everyone with a near permanent smile. We managed to scurry over to catch a little of our friend Damo's band 'Jam on Planet Love' in the Vishnu Lounge but we were wet and freezing cold, starving and some guy sat beside me with a spliff that was like Long John Silver's widden leg and kept blazing so much smoke on me... These days I am weak as shit in the lungal region and was forced to retire to grab some air, my inhalers and some food before the stalls closed but it felt like a nice cap on the night to be able to finally catch a friend performing after missing several other friends' bands including missing Josephine Sillars and The Manic Pixie Dreams (which had my actual flatmates playing in Vishnu Lounge on the Saturday) and 'The Well Happy Band' who I actually played with but haven't seen in a couple years. So I was gutted I missed them all but I will make a point of catching up with everyone and getting out to see as much of your live shows as I can cram into 2019 coz I am back on the case, like Columbo, except you can understand what I am saying, sometimes, and I don't smoke... Yeah... maybe Columbo was a bad example, but you know what I mean.

This was a very last minute festival for me, so I had no plans to be there, but got a chance of a last minute ticket and decided to make it as random as possible, no program, just turn up and meet people and see what happens. It was a beautifully bizarre, righteously epic and paralytically unctuous experience wrapped in a paradoxical paradigm of expression poured from the souls of some of the best people I have ever known in my life. There were many friends who I wish so much had made it this far in life to witness it alongside us, but alas, such is life. We remain though, and continue to push for the most awesome new experiences that life can exude in our general direction. The land of opportunity is a fortuitous and fruitful fortress like some mental jungle which lies dormant until the day you realize it was always there, inside your own thoughts, your own perspectives and only ever appears to you when you finally admit to yourself that you accept it as rightfully yours. That it is well earned and deserved. One world, one life, one love.

Even in duality and in synchronicity, the opposite only exists so that the most amazing positivism can exist in harmony with it and vice-versa. Yin Yang. One can not exist without the other. You need the bad experiences or you will never have appreciation of value in the good ones. It is the distance between them that gifts you with understanding and knowledge. It is when you live through them that you gain experience, and when you combine all you have experienced and all you have learned and apply that to yourself and live in accordance with those ideals, that you finally realize wisdom or contentment and joy.

You can't just go looking for happiness like some item in a shop, you can't buy love somewhere or travel to it physically. It is you. The whole time, it was there, right there within you all your life. It is only when others help you realize it that you experience it at first, but once you finally understand it is something you generate by yourself and share externally with others, and that you do have something to share with people that you can really live the life you feel you have always wanted to. The only thing stopping you, is you. Be fucking good to each other, and to yourself, coz we only get one shot at this.

I would like to personally thank “Her Rajesty” - Jay Coleman & “Man-At-Arms” Ben-Jitsu Escobar for general camaraderie and awesomeness :) Also I have to thank Stevie Powers, Martin Windebank and Lee McGilvray without whom I would have missed that post, the tags and lost that last chance ticket, but youz are awesome and it all just fell into place. I leaped at the opportunity, flung stuff in the car, grabbed some good friends and fled the scene like Ricky Bobby's Dad in Talladega Nights... and like the man said...

“If you ain't first, you're last.”

Photography credits to Jay Coleman

iCombat comes to Glasgow and Zed Events are bringing it!

So last week a small, but merry band of NHC / Icebox crew descended on the underhalls of the Arches on Argyle street to check out the surroundings for Zed Events’ new laser horror/combat experience opening on May 11th - and we have to tell you right now that it looks pretty bloody fantastic, ticking all of our interactive gaming boxes in one fell swoop! My only concern was seeing our own sound engineer gripping his assault rifle and eyeing me up with a hungry look that screamed ‘SOON’ in his eyes is not something I am going to forget anytime in the near future.

That look will haunt my dreams until May the 11th, when we both get to don full combat gear, lock and load our weapons, and run screaming into the darkness and the smoke under Glasgow like wild banshees, battling to the death over that one time I told him the music was a bit too loud and he had to turn it down.

Think laser quest without the geeky teenagers and with weapons that feel like actual weapons, think interactive horror games where sometimes the enemy can’t actually be killed, and the best you can do is to evade and subdue. Think about all the games you play sitting in your pants at home eating cheetos and drinking Monster energy, and then actually playing them, but for realsies.

May the 11th, see you there. I’ll be the frightened Ice Box owner being persued by the excitable sound tech.

Jamie

https://www.zedevents.co.uk/

Matt Scott - "Kicking Leaves" Reviewed By Me, Big G

Matt Scott - "Kicking Leaves" Reviewed By Me, Big G

The words "Handsome bastard" are thrown around a lot these days. But Matt Scott is releasing his latest single "Kicking Leaves" on the 30th of November and it's only fair he should be recognised for what he is. So 'mon in and sit with me, let me tell you all about a brand new single from Matt Scott. A musician, a story teller, and a downright handsome bastard.

Jelly For Breakfast! : A review of the EP by Multistorey Lover - Jenny Tingle

Jelly For Breakfast! : A review of the EP by Multistorey Lover - Jenny Tingle

Multistorey Lover’s unique sound blends old-school hard rock and sexy blues rhythms with the extra added bite of modern mastering and recording equipment.

Jelly For Breakfast brilliantly encapsulates the sound and live energy of Multistorey Lover. I always enjoy seeing this four-man powerhouse from Perth live. As an interesting side-note, the eye-catching artwork on the EP’s cover is drawn by vocalist Kris Dye, who works as a tattoo artist during the day.

MUSICIANS AGAINST HOMELESSNESS @ THE BARRAS By C.T Herron (with some help from Terence McKenna) 

MUSICIANS AGAINST HOMELESSNESS @ THE BARRAS By C.T Herron (with some help from Terence McKenna) 

Large crowds coming together for times like this are the remedy to toxic society. Research shows 20mins at a gig can increase your well-being by 21%! More research suggests that going to a concert directly links high levels of well-being with a lifespan increase of nine years. Whether or not that’s true, music in general increases happiness, we all know that! Gatherings of like-minded people resonate with positive frequency and a harmonious collective consciousness; it’s good for the soul, you can feel it right?   

MAD CADDIES WORLD TOUR 2018 (AND RETROSPECTIVE) - C. T. Herron

MAD CADDIES WORLD TOUR 2018 (AND RETROSPECTIVE) - C. T. Herron

I’ve got Mad Caddies vinyls and CDs and tshirts and ticket stubs from the gigs I’ve attended, they are the soundtrack to many great memories, both live on stage and through their records at home. If you don’t know them do yourself a favour and start consuming their healthy back catalogue now, there’s not a bad song among it, not one.

‘DEAD MEN’S TROUSERS’ by IRVINE WELSH (book review) - C. T. Herron

‘DEAD MEN’S TROUSERS’ by IRVINE WELSH (book review) - C. T. Herron

Coming fae a very violent family and a violent childhood ah guess ah could relate to Begbie, but to be fair, there’s a wee bit o’ me in each o’ the fower protagonists, n’ ah guess maist people get that sense, it’s whit makes em so relatable, despite being a bunch o’ filthy smackheads and an unhinged dipsomaniacal psychopath.

Gordon Robertson- "Vodka Lemon Lime" Reviewed By Me, Big G

Gordon Robertson- "Vodka Lemon Lime" Reviewed By Me, Big G

Some people will say that "Chill" is to be best consumed in pill form, others think that the chill is gone.  However, 24 year old Jazz merchant Gordon Robertson does not subscribe to such nonsense.  The east coast singer songwriter releases his single "Vodka Lemon Lime" on the 27th of July and it sets a pretty solid benchmark to define "Chilled".