Attend first festival of the season – check.
Meet a bunch of amazing people – check.
Get smashed and jump about like an arse – check.
Keep up the pace when you’re with someone and going at it and some random tries to come into your tent – check.
Bin your tent when it falls apart – check.
Get home before 2pm, put 3 bars on the fire and crack open the wine – check.
Repeat in a few weeks at Knock…
Leaving Edinburgh on a dreek windy day, I was heading to the west coast to get a ferry to the Isle of Arran for the Deoch An Dorus Festival, held for one shiny, single day on Saturday the 30th of April on the coastal shores of North Sannox on Arran. As the ferry sailed towards Athe island the snow capped mountains skipped out of the distance, beautiful but chilly. As we docked at Broddick Harbour the sun appeared and blue skies followed. A great sign for the shennanigins to come.
A few miles north of North Sannox you came across the camp site and festival. Situated on the coast in one of the best locations I have seen, it was a magical start to the festival season. With a complete sell out and a crowd of 400 people and 12 bands attending the spirits were high. There woudl have been more, Deoch could have sold 10 times as many tickets, but the local council limited numbers, & being one of the lucky ones to be there I felt kinda special.
At roughly 12.30 pm the Well Happy Band began to invite us into their world of music, happiness and dance. A fourteen-piece band of magical characters and an array of inviting instruments, this was their first performance at a festival. Colourful in costumes and in song they delivered a uplifting set that even had the power to move the clouds. With Alaine’s soft & magical words casting magic over us all, the clouds parted and the sun shone with blue skies to follow. Between sun, sea and snowy mountains the crowd engaged themselves with the band into a movement of warm April dancing. A wee gem in the making, we hope to see the Well Happy Band again this year.
Walking around the site the feeling of togetherness was apparent, you felt everyone had waited long enough for a chance to enjoy the wonderful out doors of the Scottish Festival Season. The joy of catching up with old friends and familiar faces was clear to see , greetings, laughter and shouting , hugs and embracing was all shared with a big smile.
So the day continued, & catching as much music as I could fit in, I wandered to & fro between the two stages. The Fast Camels were a rocking bunch of lads, with hard rock beats they did themselves justice. Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 gave us the yellow fever… bright, colourful music that had us skanking like bees making honey. They never fail to deliver their unique brand of fun & funk. A tight set with well timed beats. The No Name band consisted of a group of young lads who had only rehearsed a few times before this gig. With such songs as “Get a Job” they were well tuned into the reality of what matters when it comes to lyrics. With a rock and folk feel to their sound they deserved all the applause they got. Well done !!!!
With a small intermission between bands I managed to capture the feel of the festival by chatting to festival goers and taking some memorable photographs. Then I had the pleasure of catching new band, Ichy Pinks, fronted by Nima Mariaaida, a sonic blast of beat-driven good times, choral glory & one hell of a funky costume. A real treat.
Next up were the funky, slick soulful disco band “Tinky Disco” with MC Mike on lead vocals. This band have been evolving well over the last year and with their funky beats and sleazy slick guitar sounds they have been entertaining audiences. With the down to earth fun of “Pussy Bus” and hard hitting message of “Dynamics” the members of Tinky Disco approach their music in a unique way. You can skank, dance, boogie, jump and shake your arse to Tinky Disco as their diversity in music has something for everyone. With the addition of keyboards and percussion on the side this band I would expect to become a familiar sight on the festival circuit. As the sun set on the coastline their set came to a close with “Tinky Disco Party” and it surely was that, a party of spiritual togetherness. Well done Tinky Disco for bringing alot of warmth and good vibes to Deoch An Dorus Festival…
As the night went on a chill appeared in the air and signs of a storm were brewing but the show must go on. With the Girobabies taking to the stage the rain lashed down and tents flew away but this did not dampen co-organiser Mark’s spirits. It was like he swallowed up the rain and blew away the cold as he and the Girobabes wanted nothing more than to do what they always do. Executing their set with precision and heart their melodic tunes blast their way through the Arran night sky. This was a beautiful start to the summer months ahead and with such locations as these the Deoch An Dorus Festival will only thrive in further years. Thanks to all for a memorable experience.
Reviewer : Spud