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flag Scotland - Full Moon 31 - 04/30/99
Scotland in the Sun
Single Malts and Haggis

Spring has sprung in Scotland... why is it that I seem to start off each Kafe piece by talking about the weather? Perhaps we're more British than we ever imagined? And our Scottish Parliament elections just about to start too... anyway, planning has started for T in the Park, which is usually either typically un-Scottish in climate, or just one big mudfest, Glastonbury style. Confirmed are the usual suspects such as Blur and the Manics; the inclusion of bis and the Delgados doesn't make up for the fact that there's no Scottish stage like there was in previous years. Mind you, that was in darkest Lanarkshire, where things are done a little differently from the leafy environs of Kinross.

Combating the traditional image of a festival, well, you've probably already heard of the Bowlie Weekender (also known as Hi-de-hi-Stock), where Belle and Sebastian and chums ranging from the Delgados and Pastels to Godspeed You Black Emperor! and (apparently) Jon Spencer complete with Blues Explosion will perform on a holiday camp somewhere in the south of England. This means you get to stay in a chalet with 6 people of your choice and have access to showers, not that these will be too essential as everything is indoors, but there are some disadvantages, such as stringent alcohol and drugs tests, roll-call at 6am, and if you want to leave early you have to do it via a tunnel concealed under a wooden horse in the exercise yard. The debauchery associated with festivals shouldn't therefore be as evident as usual, so maybe that's why Arab Strap aren't playing, as their decidedly untwee lyrics might be too much for the attendees at Camber Sands to bear (though it's said the band are still going down to support their chums, their GoBeat limousine stacked to the ceiling with expensive continental lager). Evidence as to their unsuitability can be heard on any Strap record, though, and the big release for May, their Mad For Sadness album, shows that they don't let up when onstage, their lyrics, as expected, enough to shame a Tourettes Convention, never mind people who would pay hundreds of pounds for a copy of (Belle and Seb's debut) Tigermilk. That said, the album, recorded in London last year, is still evidence of how mighty the Strap sound can be live; in fact those Mogwai comparisons aren't all that far-fetched after all.

Finally, in all this frenzy of rock hedonism, we look forward to summer, when things will be happier and fluffier, the sun will shine, Scotland will be a free nation once again, and you'll be able to buy Tigermilk for the price of a crate of Buckfast and a deep-fried Mars Bar supper. Happy trails...

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