The Devout

La Belle Angele

Have loved Depeche mode since I was a kid. From the humble Basildon beginnings, when Vince Clarke was the chief writer and composer that penned the first hits that propelled the band to stardom. When Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode, it brought the first incarnation of the band to an unexpected climax (Vince Clarke went on to form two megasuccwssful groups, Yazoo and Erasure.

The departure of Clarke pushed the songwriting genius of Martin Gore to the fore, pain and suffering never sounded or looked so good, inspiring an increasing audience with an increasingly Gothic slant. So much so that the legion of Depeche Mode Devotees were affectionately called The Black Swarm.

Of course Dave Gahan the unmistakeably brilliant voice that brought Martin Gores genius songwriting skills to life. It really was the Lennon and McCartney of Electronic music. By this time the band had Alan Wilder on board who offered a massive contribution that shaped musical history forever.

I was fortunate to see Depeche Mode touring Music For The Masses. The third in the cannon and a masterstroke, for it was the last time the band would perform in sensibly sized venues because it was from this point Depeche Mode became the biggest electronic band on the planet. A crown that hasnae slipped. since famously performing at the Rose Bowl Pasadena in 1988, A springboard gig that propelled them into being a global phenomenon. Recorded for prosperity, released as a double long player, and called it 101. Its deffo one of my favourite live albums of all time and is also the source material of tonight’s performance by Devout.

Devout Personnel
Barclay Quarton: Frontman, Lead Vocals
Keith Trigwell : Programming and Production, Live Keys, Technical, Visuals
Reza Udhin : Lead Vocals, Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals and production
Glen Wisbey : Live keyboards, Production.

The Devout are a Depeche Mode Tribute Band that exist to replicate the Depeche Mode live experience. With Barclay Quarton playing the part of David Gahan. In Stature and looks Barclay’s voice is remarkably similar. Reza Udhin playing the part of Martin Gore again replicating Martins’s vocal parts perfectly. With Keith Tigwell and Glen Wisbey playing the parts of Andy Fletcher and Alan Wilder Together they brought 1988 back to life in La Belle Angele.

For a tribute band, The Devout have a massive following of Depeche Mode devotees, the venue was heaving with on the whole, a 40 something male audience all t-shirted up with current and past Dep Mode tour T-Shirts. The love that people have for the inspiration of tonight’s performance was completely evident.

Myself too, although at first I was a little sceptical, The Devout worked really hard to replicate the brilliant songs and music that make 101, one of the best-selling live albums of all time and they did so to fine effect, I couldn’t stop myself from dancing. From the first bars of the opening number Pimph, Devout had the complete attention of the capacity audience. It was a great singalong and everyone knew the songs performed word for word. All the singles that were released up to and before 1988, Were brought to life. However for Divine, It wasnae until the 90’s output, Songs from Violator, Songs Of Fath And Devotion and Ultra made an appearance that I let rip, I danced my heart out and sang along at full pelt. The Devout worked really really hard to entertain tonight and with a show that lasted 2 and a 1/2 hours absolutely no one was disappointed.

Part theatre, Part Rock Gig. All done in the best possible taste. Divine had a brilliant time, everyone else did too. The Devout fucking rocked. If you like Depeche Mode then you will love The Devout. Well Done Lads.

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

An Interview with Duncan Wheeler (Stowaway Festival)

Hello Duncan – so first thing’s first, where are you from & where do you live today?
I live at Blackpit Farm, a 430 acre event site and home to Stowaway Festival each year

Can you tell us a bit about Blackpit Brewery?
We started the brewery back in 2016, to brew beer for our events. We installed the brewery kit inside a beautiful old brick stable yard at Blackpit, where we craft the beer and run a small taproom. It’s been an amazing project to be involved with – and the beer’s not bad either!

Little Dragon will be at this year’s Stowaway

So, Stowaway Festival – where, when & why did the idea for the festival first take place?
We’ve been running a variety of different events at Blackpit for the last 10 years. Having said that, with our wealth of event experience and love of music festivals, the progression was a natural step for us.

Why the name change?
The event began as ‘The Festival of Beer’, a traditional beer festival vibe, with live music and street food. As we started to book bigger acts over the years, the event quickly evolved into a music festival. We changed the name as we felt the Festival of Beer didn’t give the event the credit it deserves!

When do you start booking the acts, & how easy is it all?
Our wish list of acts usually looks very different to our final line up! A lot depends on timing. Sometimes we can’t believe how lucky we are to have secured a particular artist. Other times, it’s not that easy so you have to be flexible, but not compromise on the quality of the music.

Can you tell us about your site?
Blackpit is part of the former Stowe Estate, occupying 430 acres of beautiful parkland, ancient woodland and lakes. The site is a Grade 1 listed Park & Garden. It’s a stunning location to host Stowaway and we feel incredibly lucky to be able to share it with our Stowaways for the weekend!

What kind of a relationship do you have with your local council?
We’ve been working with Buckinghamshire County Council on events for nearly 15 years. We couldn’t have asked for better assistance from our local regulators, whether it be from Licencing, Environmental Health, or Policing departments, who have all been nothing but supportive of our events over that time.

What kind of line-up have you got for us this year?
Our music line-up is always very diverse. Our incredible daytime live performers this year include Little Dragon, House Gospel Choir, and Roy Ayers, who is now on his farewell tour. By night, revellers can find themselves deep in the woods, soundtracked by some of the UK’s most cutting edge electronic music from the likes of Eats Everything, Jamz Supernova & Dan Shake, as well as rave classics from the legendary Todd Edwards, Nicky Blackmarket and many more!

What else is on offer outwith the music?
There is much more to Stowaway than just the music. All of the activities in our Kid’s Kingdom are available to young Stowaways of all ages and included within the ticket price. Our comedy line up is headed up by the incredible Jack Dee, Lou Sanders and Jessica Fostekew. We have fine dining, presented by Chef James Cochran of North London’s 12:51 restaurant and Great British Menu winner. For those wishing to relax after a night of partying we also have a rejuvenating spa, complete with hot tubs, ice baths and more! But, above all of that, our site is a stunning place to enjoy a party; you can swim in the lake or party late into the night down in the woods. There’s something for everyone.

Irvine Welsh will be at this year’s Stowaway

Every festival is a step in the great learning curve of life, what improvements have you made on last year’s festival?
We’ll be making tweaks here and there. We’ll be introducing a new late night venue in the woods and have some exciting plans up our sleeves for that. We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve always done, which is welcoming people into our beautiful home for a great party!

To somebody who has never been to your festival before, what are they to expect?
An amazing party set in a beautiful location, built by a small team of festival lovers, for festival lovers. Come & see for yourself!

August 18-20
Stowe, Buckinghamshire

The Foghorn Stringband

Traverse Theatre
May 2nd, 2023

The house was pack at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh for the evening’s performance of The Foghorn String band. Hailing from America they enjoy no little popularity, have created an international presence as one of the greatest Blue Grass acts out there. They are a four piece group who took over the room with exciting togetherness. Instruments included banjo, double base, guitar violin and more. They stepped into the room and went straight into that most iconic delivery of music.

We discovered that the band has had more than one line up feeling refreshed by the two new female’s who were present with voices harmonising y with a powerful and full of fun was all that there could be. It was speedy, complex and held the rhythm that the soul taps its feet to. It felt like a community event that must busy itself in the fun these guys have taken to travel the world with.

The instruments and equipment looked like they hailed from a bygone time, and they used a very great microphone that could pick up their voices from quite a distance. They stood in a close group that to my mind again offered some kind of iconic rendering; it was stacked and very figurative.

There was no question to their talent that had a feeling of discarding nerve and exhaustion having been very busy up in a festival north of Scotland saying that a good energy was coming from the audience who were loving this multi dimensional music in the strong style of the blue grass hit.

Storytelling is the purpose as well as the sounds of the music, so deeply rooted in musical culture of any kind. The song’s ‘Tradwell Station’ and ‘Green Sleeve’ (not to be confused with that ancient one) told very well the thicket culture of down there in Southern USA.

It was music that had vocal lyrics, musical lyrics each shared at the whim of this tightest and loosest of bands, the filled room unveiled a great many dedicated followers. Their shows include any and every kind of venue and to all kinds of audiences. They enjoy nights where the room is hot and they fan this heat with more and more of the songs and music that people just love.

Everything was in perfect proportion, from how they looked, sounded and conquered with the fun that this music is always conspiring for. In effect it was the quintessential live concert that outshines fellow groups who perhaps have tried and learning the fast paced music. Compared to this way the Foghorn Stringband play who have found the correct sound of this style so well loved by aficionados and music revellers alike.

The on fire side of this music must be widespread especially in Southern America whose tails were told, but thankfully the howling cry of hard times was softened a little and the energy was moulded more for a celebration of good things. Holding the torch for heroism and failure, it’s wonderful how music can blossom and boom and just continue as a tremendous force for the expression of human life and any other kind, captured in Blue Grass.

In the world of performance it is ever popular and this band have grown far and away above the rest of the forest. Their short songs kicked in once everyone joins and the double bass held is finely form it stole in a resounding testimony of skill and coupling energy.

Nothing but a good time, I could feel all the rows of seats were itching to join in and offered up those whoops that are easily found in a crowd. They faced us with a kind of revelry, totally at ease, lovingly playing and making for some good tones in a big world, see-able for all kinds of reasons.

Daniel Donnelly

Fredy Clue

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
May 2nd, 2023

Up at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh this year’s Tradfest folk music festival was now well underway. Stepping onto the stage of this smaller venue, it was with great glee that the invited Swedish musician, with the stage name Fredy Clue, had been asked to perform. His actual name is Fredy Samuel Lundh, all would be explained as his show began with a spoken introduction to his life of travelling.

Fredy’s appearance was something of interest and worth a little digging into, it looked in decoration, cut, sleeve and accessory like a very ancient dress but with his tunic reaching his knees we discovered his distinctive taste and style. He had found a completeness and vibrancy for himself as he chose to wear female clothing with panache.

His presence as a tall man presented in itself a formula for captivating the room as something large and really somewhat mythical or sacred. The songs that hailed from this traditional Swedish origin were a stunning exercise on his instrument known there as Nyckel Harpa, an absolutely fabulous instrument that can also be called Keyed Fiddle that you play waist high.

A sense of atmosphere was also so ably created as he lit up with great notes vocally and music, just following with music was like some kind of butterfly in the state of transformation. And that was an overriding focus for his content as someone in need of sharing some kind of aura of sincerity.

Accomplishment was found in my introduction to this instrument that can play in duel forms as a centre for composition, an old Keyed Fiddle played with the gods. It is a 16 string instrument and I was mesmerised and fascinated by it in its entirety. It seemed to enjoy the great space of this small room. We were wholly absorbed in the stage action of a craft in a charmed state that he invited us to simply enjoy.

His uniqueness of style and commanding classical persona where effective in an alternate in the joy of moving in mime like celebrating a rich musical tradition at the heart and head of the culture we have had both old and new.

Bravely bringing together a vocal, instrument relationship (small keyboard included) harmonising to a degree of very clear tunefulness, having come from a clean and keen spirit. As the inner journey continued his journeying revealed to him the persona he took up Fredy Clue, preserving his first name perhaps a exploration of biographical text!

He was magically involved describing not only in word but in sound and movement too. He had a way of pouring emotive life through in a measured glass, and out popped a creativity to deeply reverberate an inclusiveness of embracing it wherever it may be.

We listened to his voice with particular vigour leaning forward to strain for the next line. And found ourselves in the throes of capable vocals of luxury and remittent beauty finding gracious impermanence. Constantly washing the human fabric and vitalising it with the aim of putting great music to the fire.

He effectively confronted ways out of anxiety soothing it with waves that felt like looking at a calm sea. Formally underlying a truth we found just behind this small bond of joy and he made a platform for it, eventually daring to live.

Comfort levels were in evidence and encouraged from the sultry tones of his vocals to the 16 string instrument and spontaneous and covetous motif with flexible fingers installing a unique sound.

His very act was as toned as breathing, encouraged by a perfect vagueness of the harmonious weapon in the hands of a master at work. Presence played a part not to be ignored in this thoughtful, gentle and importantly passionate concert which held in precision every moment.

Daniel Donnelly

Karawane Takeover

Eden Court

Taking place in Inverness tonight, the happiest city in Scotland, is the Karawane Takeover. This is a wonderful concoction of live DJ”s ( Mark), live drummers and the smooth as silk South American delight that is Los Chichanos, live on stage for the first time in Inverness. Los Chichanos are an Edinburgh based band which have come together from far and wide to create a unique one-of-a-kind style of music that originates from the depths of South America. They induce a style of Psychedelic Jungle Cumbia music also known to many as Chicha and given rise to a new dawn within the Scottish music scene. Music is like travel, it should be shared and enjoyed buy all societies and cultures, therefore creating an education within us all that is passed on from generation to generation. Los Chichanos do this very well. Bringing the flavour of Brazilian and Colombian rhythms with the zest of some indigenous sounds of the Andes, these genres mix perfectly, like a well-constructed cocktail which delivers a taste of pure genius.

With band members spanning the globe they collectively empower each other with individual influences of magical musical talents. The name of the band derives from a combination of influences. The name Chichanos comes from the term “Chicha” and Chicanos is term used to describe members of the Mexican communities living in the USA in the last century. This name suits the band and the band suits this name, like two peas in a pod they are complimentary to each other.

Having over two years of experience together, Los Chichanos are building a concrete following throughout Scotland and the Uk. Playing at festivals, Jazz Bars, public bar venues and now theatres their Salsa style music is creating a real buzz within the dance culture. With the charismatic Sandino Borges Leitao on lead guitar and vocals, the warm hearted Georgia Ollier on keyboards and backing vocal, smiling Moises Prieto on Timbales, the magician Andy Cooke on Congas and bringing up the bass and backing vocal is the mysterious Conal Mckintosh, all congealing together to deliver a masterpiece of traditional music. Eden Court Theatre was alive with happy dancing feet and a beautiful sense of contentment filled the air. From stage to dancefloor the joy was clear to see. This wasn’t just a musical revolution it was also a cultural revolution. Beautiful music by beautiful people is what Los Chichanos are all about.

Raymond Speedie

Ciaran Ryan Band

Traverse Theatre
April 30th, 2023

Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre is a hot spot for this year’s Tradfest celebration in its nonremittent 10th year. The 1st stage had a wonderfully steep slope from up and down to the stage, gets you excitement in your stomach. As we waited for another of the 2023 Tradfest performance’s this time called simply the Ciaran Ryan Band it was to unveil the greatest urge to dance.

Quick paced Scottish/Irish traditional music played as a band having fun times. As usual many artists at this festival share their skills in their flexible collaborations and lend their hand to the spinning rock of organisation. Ciaran’s music and band formation depend on peoples love for music, not only music but importantly style, the kind that has lived in this form for many centuries in the heart of rural and urban, far out or next door. But still cries from its bountiful origins with the intention of super celebration.

Their thumping rhythm played incidentally by the revered Shooglenifty drummer James Mackintosh was just a pleasure, something quite different about it that I could not place but ruckus beats shook us in our seats.

The fun time of this band grew within the room, to an audience simply bursting to dance. Ciaran has wound his way up for over a decade of dedicated banjo playing (banjo and accordion have been main theme this year) as the music adheres to the past but also the future and all the semblances in-between.

Touring as he has, with various members, his quick tones and lead rhythms create something of a cavalcade that worked every time in the 2 hour set. I felt a sense of finding freedom going to the festival this year and I wonder how big the world must be and revel in what I haven’t come across yet, the music is just so flavoursome.

Ciaran dances with his original compositions and his lightning banjo playing is propelling him into something of a phenomenon and should I say into becoming a most revered star. The set leaped forth, pulled back, even got distracted in its elements; the sense of forging forth in a way as old as the hills and as young as time itself.

Spirits were captures whoops were blown the occasion rose to the delight of making a kind of traditional magic happening. My view at the top grew more and more involved with every song and nuance of the moment. The crowd swelled so much it could no longer contain itself people leaped from their seats to jive righteously to the right of stage and the musicians smiled a righteous smile and bled into the thunderous, fabulous, height creating music held in its long held traditions.

There was an upkeep and a filter with signs of life everywhere lifting in the presence of unity that the music screams of fit for all, shaped by all and so graciously performed by all. Tones of surprises, timing (with those wonderful skipped beats and quiet to loud walks so well suited to any Celtic music) we were as lively as they were experiencing their very whim as they set the sense of greatness bringing into the occasion a whole shore of wonders. They played their socks off and hearts out, you could see how strong each of their bonds were with the splendour that is always captured with each instrument making history.

For they did make for history and celebrate it wherever they go; so as to make a call on the grounds that they are the best at what they do. Fun was outpouring, overwhelming, frank and joyfully so, lovingly young and on fire that just makes you feel alright, then splendid then long over the moon. A desire is cast into it whipping up spirit and a need for all things human, achieving the communal saying setting the house on fire. We thank you for spreading this joyful heightened mood.

Daniel Donnelly

Alicia Edelweiss

Traverse Theatre
April 30th, 2023

We turned into the smaller no 2 at the Traverse theatre space. It is constructed with the floor level stage looming into most of the room with seats on three sides each three row’s high. And it was all an introduction to a musician/ songwriter, vocalist, performer with the name Alicia Edelweiss playing on varying instruments not least the ever popular accordion whose fame is nothing but exemplary.

The three came on in a touching softness, all from Austria and in the prime of youth. Merrily she was introduced as having been found and plucked from a music festival in Europe, that along with make shift companionship helped a performance immensely in its first take. For Edelweiss it was her first chance to play live in Scotland and for the festival was a part of the 20 act that will unfold with a seemingly unlimited assurance that this year will be a particularly good one; a style that will enjoy being opened and assembled for tradition to have more of its folk music in 2023.

The Tradfest Company itself is in its 10 th year in Edinburgh though there have been a few holes of absence that fell through the sieve; the missing covid years and due to shut downs regarding financing. The festival turned out to be very popular in the year 2020 as they push their International presence and create their intake of artists.

The fact that Edelweiss was chosen for this performance makes for a great compliment for her that she well deserves. As she took her place between the two lads whose show of support was evident in the throes of their bows. She looked around a little as she allowed a magic to reveal itself through her vocals that were capable in a way of let’s say something wise and divine; a tirade to let her reveal so many things straight from a deep breath from her belly and of a language fast and a talking of deliberations in the hands of a seemingly angelic human being.

These songs belonged to a place where no time is considered any more. Her songs reached out into the cosmos with joyful thigh slapping promontory lyrics and swishing arms (playing accordion, singing and dancing). She slyly scouted the small room realising the attention of everyone was on her as she raged with a great smile and exhibited the wonderfully crazy, enlivened travelling entourage contained in her body.

Though she may not be in anyway interested in doing this thing she is doing for anything but to express this direct link to life itself, to knowing it and putting it to her unbelievably soulful (free from religion) style it was a picture of a heightened realm where she was wonderful. Forgive me for getting carried away but it was like that; so godlike, capable; within a reality or perhaps something unseen she made this reality strong enough to shake me in my boots. She stood before our eyes and yelled towards our ears which were pricked up at this stage and listening in a state of bliss.

Wonderful is the only word I can think of and beyond also yells in my head. In her words in-between songs she quietly spoke of her love for nature and in her correctness and conciseness played in some brilliantly constructed movements of a nature lent to her willingness to come forth and really bless.

Evident when holding this connection; she was in joy and ecstasy popping it into a so well covered and thoroughly distinctive model of sound and vibe. Moving beyond the spirit of normality swapping it for a spirit of quite something else, her very steps into life reflected and enjoyed and explained.

Stunning vocals, equally stunning music, led by her, created by her, caught by her! Tunes and lullaby’s, darkness and liberty, expert and innocent, with a great smile and opened willingness.

Travelling certainly has it fair points what with the freedom of walking out of your door, don’t know if I’ll be back again. But in her we saw hearts flow, minds unleashed and many times stepping beyond even grace to find something of the unknown, in fact ably navigating and storming it.

She was funny, real, and nice and it was all on the whim of the chance of having been discovered and subsequently invited for reasons that may have come by some kind of a design. Success curtailed the door that opened to this small room, making it a room for vitality, virility with vivaciousness. With abrupt greatness comes huge feelings as we in our hearts; hugged, explored and celebrated, for a new song unrivalled in its ability for really being life. Close to the gods? Yes, yet things are great, she should be seen by all, already an outspoken thundering star we let her mould us and move us and shook us in our seats.

Daniel Donnelly

Shooglenifty: Heading West

The Traverse Theater
Sunday 30th April 2023

For Angus

A shock, a lot
and it all comes flooding out
the care and value never much encountered round about
from day to day a way away from that place and that time
so now it’s time to say a line, or two, for you.
An acquaintanceship that blurs the
twixt when I was not yet and am now.
Learning laughing, playing crafting
in your basement flat
with my fiddle and my bow
stars told my fingers where to go
and you, well you just let me play, guiding in a gentle way
(a gentle giant I might say),
with a beard that spoke of ancient times
highland clans and celtic rhymes
I took your hand and learned to fly
an eagle sweeping oer the glen
a burn that tinkles into lochs
a hero in that sweet slow air
an impish jig between the rocks.
And now you’re gone and yet
you’re not
your music it goes on and on
and on and up and out and wide
a captain’s gaze out ‘neath the night sky.
And up and up out into space
a futuristic, psychedelic, fucking other worldly place
made out of sound waves
out of notes
and now you’re
out there on your boat
so play the waves and play them loud
Angus, take your final bow.
Ruby Zajac

Divine’s History with the brilliant band Shooglenifty began in 1998 when I became part of the Spiegel Tent Family, performing my Spiritual Healing and Clairvoyant Magik by day and by night Spiegel Tents Dancer and get people dancing Wizard. It was then that the mystical presence of this enigmatic fiddle player who had an absolute presence who’s instrument took the place of lead vocals to create the best party one has ever been to. I was mesmerised by Angus, his beautiful piercing eyes. Aye I remember the first time that Shooglenifty walked into my soul, it was the beginning of a journey for Divine in many ways.

Come 2000, I was making my maiden voyage to Adelaide in South Australia to perform at the Adelaide Fringe. It was the first time The Spiegel Tent had had a residency in Rundle Park – settled among the gum trees The Garden Of Unearthly Delights was born. Anyway one night in The Spiegel Tent, there was a Scottish-themed night and the night’s Spiegel Tents bill, were two of Divine’s Scottish favourites Tam White (Accompanied by Brian Kellogg on keys) And Shooglenifty. Both I had danced for in Edinburgh. I just knew this was going to be a fantastic night. It was a life-changing night. For it was Shooglenifty’s performance that I had the first dance with the woman that I fell in love with and married.. It was after that performance that we kissed until sunrise under a tree in Rundle Park. After one of the best and most memorable performances of my life.

I emigrated to Adelaide to be with my fiancee after the British Summer festival season in the October of that year and we got married on the 9th December 2000. I worked on two creative Healing projects, One with the Melbourne-based Rainbow Serpent Festival and one with Woamadelaide. I worked with both over a four year period, developing and managing Healing Villages. Womadalaide was my biggest projtect yet and was also delighted that Shooglenifty were headlining the festival.

It really was the cream on the cake and my first time of seeing them on a stage bigger than Spiegel Tents lovely performance art venue. Another Shooglnifty moment burned into my subconscious with its beauty. The audience was massive. Adelaide Botanical Gardens couldn’t have been a better venue and it was my first time of seeing this great band shine brighter. Scottish Trad is massive in Australia And Shooglenifty were riding the crest of the wave. The ex-pat factor ensured bookings at all major creative arts festivals down under. So I took every opportunity to see them live whenever I could It was even the deciding factor of going to the Byron bay Blues and Roots Festival Divines first and only time on the South Pacific.

Shooglenifty were going from strength to strength as their Celtic Infused musical mastery became bigger and bigger to ever increasing audiences.. Shooglenifty were an unstoppable force fast becoming superstars. Worldy renowned.The phenomenal rise of one of Scotlands greatest exports. With great talent comes great success. And I was seeing it unfold before my eyes.

Fast forward to 2014 and am round at my besties, Heidi Pearsons having a cuppa and a natter and in walked Angus. Aww man wow, I had nothing but deep reverence. Shooglenifty had just released the new long player The Untied Knot. Angus gave me a copy then and is a prize part of the Divine Music Library. Angus explained how the long player was made. I was more than a little starstruck just as much as I was at my first Shooglenifty live experience back in 1998. I love Edinburgh for magik like this.

So it was with great sadness and shock to discover that this important icon had ascended to the Heavens. I remember finding out on Facebook and didn’t want Heidi to find out this way. So I went round to break the news. I knew how much she loved him. But that’s the thing with Angus. Everyone loved him. He was an amazing man. And although I couldnae attend the funeral in Shetland, my heart definitely was. Angus and Shoogleniftys Acid Croft have been immeasurably important to my life and to the lives of countless others. ❤

So this showing of the film Heading West as part of Edinburgh Tradfest at the Traverse. Couldn’t have been more cathartic and emotionally charged. I more or less howled throughout the performance. Because the film was all about this brilliant man, the history Of Shooglenifty was reminisced by the key players. Deeply immersive interviews with friends and band members Interwoven with archival footage of the bands rise from humble beginnings in the old Town of Auldee Reekie. When La Belle Angele was nothing more than a basement with a three-bar electric fire for heating. To the subsequent rise of Rock N Roll Grace, this is a film of great eye candy, beautifully capturing the bands musical journey in Raijstan, such breath taking beauty and a fly-on-the-wall insight into what makes Shooglenifty such a hot ticket globally.

Way Out West is a well-crafted and fitting epitaph to a true Scottish Musical Legend. There wasnae a dry eye in the house. I think that it would be impossible for anyone not to be moved by this fantastic Rockunmenatry. For Divne it was an opportunity to grieve the loss of a friend and inspiration and also a trip back down memory lane to life-changing musical moments. Indeed am still processing it.

A brilliantly crafted, insightful and educational film about how a band continues after losing its leader to the Heavens. Indeed I am looking forward to the new incarnation of Shooglnifty’s performance on the Great Mountain Stage at Eden Festival this year, It its going to be a life changing moment, But that’s the thing with Shooglenifty it always was and always has been, nothing less than quality Good Time entertainment.

See you guys in a field soon ❤

Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert

Rhiannon Giddens & Fransesco Turrisi

The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
April 28th, 2023

With a coffee in my hand I embarked on a journey to Edinburgh to join in on the 2023 Tradfest folk festival that was to kick off that night with a performance by the lovely Rhiannon Giddens who has teamed up with Fransesco Turrisi for a show of the deepest music from the deepest talent. Rhiannon is a very well received American songwriter, singer, musician whose works have a great impression on the ever expanding world she creates around her.

Fransesco is a multifaceted Italian musician; their bond ship was of a splendid place as we took our seats in the amazing Assembly Rooms building that has its own striking history. It has two balconies to give you some impression of its capacity with a stage built for live music. The two commented frequently about it saying that the room’s visual and vast space had an effect of making for a really nice buzz.

Her support act came on as a duo of two friends who write, play and do everything else together. They played on accordion and violin compositions, self written and held to very far reach where music has a flow that though it sounds and runs as if with no effort or focus fingers were burning. The three pieces went for describing perfectly a moment from life transported to music.

The evening began with the sweetest of dedications and so the room was moulded to the stage for the festivals headliner acts; Rhiannon Giddens and Fransesco Turrisi who stepped on with the grace of a full orchestra yet with the pitter patter of only 4 feet.

Rhiannon is no stranger to the stage or its nuances, the kick off song was chosen with feelings still in the quake of covid’s blessing to the world. Written about a kind of death it was a beginning that by profuse and incredibly intense intelligence, her voice the most daring, darling and fragrant thing you’ve ever heard.

Her connections to folk music are a massive indication of its virility in the modern world who sometimes perhaps find a sense of second hand news about it. There was an undeniable truth, beauty and elevated passion as the almost unending changes of style, instrument, having pace and fiery tempo, and also lending grace in a show of a beauty harkening to the musical freedoms of justice, love, enterprise.

The song ‘Underneath the Harlem Moon’ played about with telling a story, to the right tuning, to the right delivery and to the right sense, it is no wonder she has achieved so many things in modern times. Though she too has had to learn, it seems as though she commands everything she can see and do. She is totally unafraid to set her sights on whatever she wants or needs to say, making music of Old Time, blues, jazz, folk all bundled in to a sound of profound classical and traditional Scottish amazingly enhanced and brought to life.

The sound reverberated as well creating on every level hers and Fransesco’s sound touching with something of a masterpiece of rhythm and that enormous grace and sense of style, forthrightness of spirited ablution. Things having reason in a place where music, laughter and graciousness played part with intimacy to rival for.

She knew her history and had the capacity as souring through in a brilliant kind of freedom, where her heart may find her. Then it’s just her, singing and playing alongside Turrisi in the pages of their book of musical knowledge wide open to a fault. Really brilliant and a great choice to set this coming week alight throwing a great card in first and cementing a kind a talent presence that will make this year’s festival unmissable. An incredibly wonderful standing point that I’m sure there is a great amount of excitement about, I feel close to tears just thinking about it.

Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly

Preview: Devout, Depeche Mode Tribute, Performing 101

To put it in words. To write it down. That is walking on hallowed ground. But it’s my duty… And it’s our duty as The Devout to not only bring your favourite Depeche Mode songs to life, but also your memories.

The Band

Barclay Quarton: Frontman, Lead Vocals
Keith Trigwell : Programming, Live Keys, Technical, Visuals
Reza Udhin : Lead Vocals, Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Glen Wisbey : Live keyboards, Production.

Depeche Mode have been with me since I was a young New Romantic. when I first fell in love with electronic music. Ripping up dancefloors to the hits, that helped form the musical subculture, the singles from the first three albums. Speak And Spell, Black Celebration and Music For The Masses. Indeed it was the Music For The Masses tour that I had my first Depeche Mode live experience on the 21st of January 1988. in Bradford St Georges Hall. It really was fantastic. I was joined by a bestie called Andy, we had rubbish seats but had the good fortune to meet a tout that swapped our tickets for centre front row balcony. With Depeche Mode performing directly in front of us performing the very songs that make up live double album 101.

This was the last tour that Depeche Mode played relatively small venues before filling mega stadiums. My next time of seeing Depeche Mode live was on the Delta Machine Tour in Glasgows SECC. in 2013. This is when I fell out with mega venues, because I felt that the venue swamped them and that was the last live experience that I attended in a mega venue. Nothing could have eclipsed my first time. I like it up close and personal and it is for that reason I will nae go to arena tours for any band. No matter how much I love them.

It was my friend Rosco that contacted me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about “Devout” The Depeche Mode Tribute Band. Performing the album 101 in its entirety live at la Belle Angele in Edinburgh. Rosco has a ticket for Depeche Mode in Dublin on the current tour, And for reasons that I have already stated and of course not having the readies to purchase a ticket or travel funds. to see the present incarnation of Depeche Mode. He asked me if I fancied going to see Devout, the Depeche Mode Tribute. Performing all of the songs that I experienced back in 1988. of course it was a no brainer. Yes of course. But let me contact The Mumble first to see if I can get a review ticket.

Full Report Coming Soon.
Good time Divine ❤


Saturday 6th May 2023 


(Ex: Speak & Spell) The UK’s finest Depeche Mode Tribute! Special 101 Show plus Greatest Hits 2.5 hours show – No support – Arrive Early! 


11 Hastie’s Close, Edinburgh EH1 1HJ  

£14 Advance Doors 6pm 18+