What a brilliant day! I wasn't sure where to start! So, to fully capture the vibe, eclectic nature, site and family friendly nature of Doune The Rabbit Hole, I thought I would write in photo & text form to showcase what we packed into the day!
We started off in the family area. Rosie (7.5) loves arts and crafts, so it was good to get some shade (even early on) and let the kids potter about designing and making masks/headpieces.
With the permission of one of the team in the tent (and the promise I would bring her back a coffee) I went off in search in coffee and stood in 2 queues where coffee sold out. Aaaahhhh! Coffee, on the 4th day of a festival, is something that many were searching for. Any coffee traders reading this should pitch for a stall at Doune next year!
After a while we headed to the Whistleblower stage for Dopesickfly who delivered a set that was just perfect for a festival. Cool, loose, fresh, upbeat soul with a little bit of a dancey/disco vibe at times. There was audience participation and a general feeling of positivity on stage and off. I hope to catch the band again and wouldn't be surprised if Doune ask them to return for a bigger slot next year. Zoe (11) declared frontman Ant to be super cool. So she was delighted to meet him shortly afterwards.
Back in the family area, we caught up with our friends Kyle & Julie for some Unicorn Dance party fun! they were up for the full weekend with their 2 kids and raved about Saturday (Julie is writing a guest blog). Julie was also super chilled after attending Stuart Murdoch's Guided Meditation session
Rosie and her pal Phoebe loved the Unicorn Dance Party - so did I!
The Bluebells were warm, charming and the perfect soundtrack to the early evening sunshine. Ken McCluskey was funny - leading a slosh on at least 2 occasions, warning of brown acid (Woodstock joke) and enjoying good natured banter with Bobby Bluebell on guitar - a couple of Smash Hits references were appreciated by those of a certain age in the crowd.
I'm Falling is guitar pop perfection in my book. Then again, so is Everybody's Somebody's Fool, Forever More and Cath! And of course Young At Heart is just incredible. It was great to look around the crowd and see so many people smiling and singing along - for 4-minutes everyone was Young At Heart. The power of pop. The sound of 2 electric guitars and an acoustic warmed my own heart.
There were a couple of choice covers. Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth started from nowhere, a losse jam, ending with the bands kids and friends on stage singing. And a lovingly raw What Goes On by The Velvets was just glorious.
Before long it was time for my favourite band in the Scottish summer sunshine. We had the added bonus of being able to watch them set up and line/sound check. Norman Blake's smile makes me smile, the twinkle in his eye is as bright as it was when Teenage Fanclub burst on the scene.
Home opened the show, like it opens the Fannies most recent album Endless Arcade. Stretched to over 7-minutes, there is plenty of time for the band to jam and for McGinley to bend notes and create spine tingling moments.
New songs mixed with old favourites, being down the front with Zoe (my 11 year old daughter) for Alcoholiday was a moment to cherish. Norman finding a sharpie to use on his xylophone for Raymond's sublime Your Love Is The Place Where I Come From brought laughter across the venue. We were back down the front to see the band race through I'm In Love and I was really grateful to be with Zoe for My Uptight Life as the band slowed it right down until it was eventually just Raymond playing guitar and Norman harmonising with him, with Fanclub Fanclub members in the crowd gently joining in.
All my life I felt so uptight
Now it's all alright
It's become a real highlight during Fanclub shows - beautiful. We'd bumped into a couple of friens down the front and Zoe got a little shock as I attempted to pull her into a pogo-ing session for The Concept! So we went back to Rosie and our friends and watched from the side. Norman said they were running out of time and blasted into debut single Everything Flows, although the band jammed on at the end as if they were waiting for someone to pull the plug. Eventually they ended and warmly thanked the crowd who returned their own appreciation.
I've lost count of how many times I've seen Teenage Fanclub over the last (near) 30-years, but this show will always remain with me. The first time I saw them with my two daughters. ❤😀Could the band fit in a little show or two before the end of the year?