They said it couldnt be done………….
7344 musicians in 1278 bands across 1500 stages in the space of 12 hours or so on a Mayday Bank Holiday in 2012……………
They said it was an impossible task, a bog too far perhaps………..
…………………they were wrong – hell, I was wrong – these figures are all bollocks. Made up facts !! The reality though, to be honest, was still pretty mental for a festival calendar debut. The first ever Brew at the Bog up at Bogbain Farm nr Inverness actually featured approximately 123 musicians in approximately 33 bands across approximately 3 stages. Yeah approximately – if you want exactly then you do the fucking arithmetic cos I sure as hell aint !! Bloody loads is all I know for definite. Start small people say……..build it up over a couple of years people say – not so with Brewbog !! Those mavericks out the A9 went completely bonkers and booked what can only be called a stellar line up picked from the upcoming starlets of the current Scottish musical fraternity – ‘not enough’ you cry !! We want Brewdog beer and tea n cakes too !! Throw in proper fish suppers and Spanish donuts and you have a purty much perfect goddamned day out on the farm y’all !!
Presenter-wise, Brewbog was having a ban on bumbling fools – no Mick Fleetwood / Sam Fox Brit Award debacles. They went straight to the top – stalwarts of Scottish based music shows Ally McCrae and Vic Galloway on main stage. Gonorth had gone one better though – they had Phillip Schofield, Jerry Sadowitz, Iggle Piggle and Tony Blackburn all rolled into one in the shape of Jamie Macdonald of netrosunds-unminged !!
So Saturday morning, 5th May arrives and I find myself hanging around Inverness street corners waiting for instructions. Its like the days of the old skool raves. No info till the last minute. Suddenly Im bundled, blindfolded, into the Netsoundsmobile which seemed unneccesary at the time as we were all aware it was Bogbain Farm we were headed for. I allowed Murray and Jamie this indulgence though as they had gone out and kitted themselves in SAS gear especially for it !! Screams of “DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE” were met with slaps in the gob from Mrs Netsounds, our designated driver. It was at this point I realised that this would, no doubt, get out of hand !!
Right then – who did I see, what did I do ?? This is the bit that I have to thank my 2 trusty Nikons for having the date and time recorded in the photo files otherwise it was going to get blurry. That data coupled with the exel file I recieved from Yvonne Murray, our esteemed festival director, last week detailing stages and times mean I can pretty much peice together my day at Bogbain. Kinda……..nearly ! I even found myself having to ask people in the Artist Area who they were – sorry Seventeenth Century ;( . I try to keep up with all these new fangled bands by listening to Ally and Vic on the wireless and Netsounds poppycastings but hearing and knowing what the hell they look like are two different skills. Then you get Fatherson and Endor who appear to share singer/guitarists – they dont though but an easy mistake for an old, half cut codger to make. I also accosted Kitty the Lion drummer, Nick Roan, convinced that he was either someone I knew from school, a photographer I knew from Aberdeen or, or, well I couldnt work it out but then realised that his face was stuck in my head due to looking at photos of him all week for a flyer I was asked to supply for. Much hilarity ensued – it didnt really. Wasnt that funny but you know how you get with the beers in !! Guess you had to be there – Id advise it next year 🙂
Dundee’s Lost City Soul kicked off the main stage activity on the day but I was more interested in Jamies first announcement and the local act that was the subject of said announcement – He Slept On 57. Really, really taking to these guys a lot since the Ironworks Winter Showcase last year. No-apologies, no messing, powerpop at its best. Happy music as I like to call it. Why ? Cos it makes me happy – duuuuh !! Jamie also mangaged to announce them without issue, stutter or mispronunciation (or research, script or taking his scarf off). The aforementioned The Seventeenth Century were next up on the main stage – watched a couple of songs and was impressed by their passion – Vic Galloway is certainly a fan judging by his enthusiasm when introducing them.
Other early starters on the day were Netsounds friends and favourites Cherri Fosphate. Fucking brilliant – really enjoyed them. No facking about!! Good lads to boot. Not shy with the beers and Jager either as I found when invited back to Cherri HQ ‘The Dugout’ up on the campsite for some cocktails and shivering !! Cheers chaps and chapesses – it was much fun. Any chance of a bloody t-shirt that fits my beer belly tho – medium is pushing the boundaries of reality :). A buddy in New Zealand has taken a shine to them so fingers crossed thanks to his radio host buddy the lads are recieving a little airplay daaaaarn there.
Now if you have landed here looking for a review of the music from Brew at the Bog thou shalt be disapointed – Im all about the photos and the craic. Both of which I got in abundance out the road on the 5th as well as Brewdog beer. Win, Win, Win situation and then there was the added bonus of the music. I couldnt do this peice without mention of the weather – the other major player in any Scottish Music Festival or outdoor event in general. It was mental – 11 seasons in one day, sometimes one hour. All the S’s – sun, snow and sand or grit to be more exact which whipped up a storm in the dustbowl between campsite and main stage. Hailstones hailed for the brilliant Bensh set, and although many headed for the goNORTH shed or Bothy when the inclement stuff reared its subzero head plenty remained outside to support whoever was treading the main stage boards. Its a festival in Scotland for fucks sake – if you turned up in stilletoes and a wee chiffon number then you were in for trouble. Thankfully Murray Netsound did see the error of his attire and made some adjustements early on :). Sure, there were plenty of T-shirts on the go but the majority had wrapped up for the day – the remainder just spent lots of time in the Bothy – the only heated venue on the day.
The Bothy – great wee bit. Small stage set up in front of Bruces Accordian Museum – impressive in itself but a great backdrop for some fine acoustic singer/songwriter types as well as some indie-proto-punk-television-style musings (I made that up – I didnt see an awful lot in the Bothy other than locals Megan and Graham. Just too much going on elsewhere for me and the lighting wasnt great for photos). Megan Blyth put in an impressive (as ever) wee set which was witnessed by some major players such as Ally McCrae among others. Surely its just a matter of time before fame and fortune land on the lassies doorstep and in a couple of years she can get the beers in. Graham R Browns another young local with talent, potential and some other stuff just dripping off his bits (?).
Café Disco sounded good during their 5 song set in the Bothy. The 4-peice of Clare, Fraser, Paul and Rachael previewed an as yet untitled song which has the provisional title of New Song – great titling in a titley sense – as far as titles for untitled songs go :). Also rans in their set were Start Again, What Do You Love, Persona and the brilliant Terra Nova. Another one-to-watch Im reliably informed. I bobbed in and out of the Bothy as the day progressed but cannot comment on any other acts – blaming Brewdog once more for that.
I hadnt really paid much attention to Fatherson up until Brewbog but am now happily converted. I enjoyed both their music and beers with their singer. Good craic was had with Ross Leighton. Pissed as a fart and a helluva guy – that goes for either of us ! Other main stage highlights at Brew were Woody Pines and Three Blind Wolves. Go listen and find out more about them. Woody Pines also managed a wee acoustic jam in the Artists Area which I caught on video – theres a link at the end for this and a few other videos from the day. I will say these get increasingly shaky as the day and evening progress !
Just to the right of the audience area outside there lurked the ladies of Dollface, Laura and Debs (and special helper, Emily) and they in turn were next to the ladies of The Tea Posy, Julia and Sarah. Now Dollface do vintage clothing – none of which fitted me – I was gutted, GUTTED but !! The Tea Posy supply tea, cakes and lovely conversation. Both stalls/caravans were a welcome antidote to the normal market trader types you find at these festival thingys – so common. I much prefer my Earl Gray served in the Tea Posy Caravan – civilised or wot ??
Matt Berninger of The National describes Peter ‘Beerjacket‘ Kelly as The New Elliot Smith – high praise indeed but well placed having watched his set. Tracks such as The Bar that Never Closes, Poor Captain of the Soul, Cave and Barricade were mesmerising. The next-big-thing ? Certainly one of them Im told by those in the know. There were quite a few of these at Brewbog – next big things and thems that knows !! Couple of days later I get an nice email from Peter regarding photos – neither of us completely remember our conversation on the day due to forces not of our ken (ok beer) but it would appear that I have passed my email address to an artist meaning that I have finally, successfully NETWORKED at an event. Hurrah etc !
At some point I found the Netsounds chappies hiding behind a sofa backstage trying to avoid me while creating a podcast. It wasnt pretty – after a beer and a half I tend to swear incessantly. Today Id had over two beers. It was carnage – major editing job for Murray and Jamie. Nae Luck Ya C**TS 🙂
Other mesmerising and spellbinding sets in the cooshed came from Quickbeam who completely stopped me in my tracks and Laki Mera who treated us to No Motion, More Than You, Fool, Winter, Pollok Park, Onion Machine and She’s a Day Later. Both Glasgow bands and both worth the watching – you heard it somewhere else first no doubt but Ill certainly keep an eye on them 🙂
Really wanted to see Findlay Napier but my ‘schedule’ had gone down the pan fairly early in the evening – too many people to blether bollocks to, beers to drink and then up against the might of over the wall and Stanley Odd I just didnt really make it out of the gonorth cowshed after about 930pm – I tried but it just wasnt going to happen – I had a Cherri Fosphate t-shirt which needed wearing on my head while I ran about like an idiot and that was the cowshed that required my ta;lents. T shirt far too small by the way chaps – hint hint etc. So sorry to Findlay and also to Washington Irving who I was also looking forward to. Managed a craic with some of the WI chaps earlier in the day but that was he stretch of my Irving exploits…….oh wait – there were the poor quality shaky vids though……I think they capture the final moments of the day and the nick of most people fairly well though !!
Now here are the other things I missed due to either beer, bad timing or just not giving a fuck about them. In no particular order and my reasons shall remain private I missed Tommy Reilly, Hello Video, Midnight Kiwis in Glory Stuff, Little Fire, Matt Norris and the Moon, Sion Russell Jones and The Little Kicks. Probably a couple more in there too Things I saw but havent mentioned as yet (and wont now but there may be photos) are Open Swimmer, Open Day Rotation, Kobi and plenty more no doubt. It was a long day and I finished it off pretty much a happy bloke, pissed, in the goNORTH hut !! Over the Wall were superb – Gav and Ben know how to work a crowd and dont give a fuck when stuff breaks down !! Two essential qualities in a two peice beat combo !!
And so to some McHipHop !! What can I say – I cannot lie when I say my two favourite bands on the Scottish scene at the moment both come from the same camp and they are Homework and the mighty Stanley Odd. Homework sadly didnt make the bill for Brew but will be appearing down at Dores for the village fete this year Rocksomething-or-other. Looking forward to that ! The Oddsquad fucking nailed it !! Boom – right on the button for this dingaling here !! Ten to One, The Oddyssey, SONARcotics, The Day I Went Deaf, Broken Has Morning, The Numbness and more – sooooo much more !! I wrecked my knee, danced with people in bobble hats and Marc Wilson hugged me. It was a set which can only be described as perfection. Magic magic magic brilliant brilliant highlight of my day – am I giving off the Stanley Odd fan vibe yet ?
What a bloody marvellous day out. Well done Yvonne Murray and her trusty sidekick Blazin Bruce McGregor not to mention all their workaholic staff and helpers !! See you next year !! Here are some leftover images and videos from Brew at the Bog !! Enjoy
Mainstage late evening may have been wrong stage and wrong time for KOBI……..
Id rather have our own James Mackenzie anyday of the week – Mr Powell was very, very mediocre