Postcards from Homegame

Homegame is roundly – and rightly – revered as a harmonious parallel realm in which music and booze flow like bread and water, and if stars were required for this ad-hoc write-up I would afford five of them; ten of them; more – whatever number of heavenly bodies would best delineate the praise ‘OH YES’.

That said, I have a massive bug with the Fence Collective‘s Homegame calendar: it has frequently clashed with my labouring rituals, and the subsequent offspring birthdays thereof, and it is this act of unrepentant planning which means that my Homegame 2011 is restricted to one day, the first evening: Friday night.

Since I wasn’t thus able to review the weekend-long festival in any informed or official capacity, I thought I would take some pictures this year. Trouble is, I’m an awful photographer, and the visual fruits of my endeavour did not turn out well. (They did not turn out at all).

So I thought I’d write some postcards instead: snapshots of my brief trek to Homegame 2011. To all the bands I missed, and all the things I missed, and all the stovies that should’ve been mine, I tell you this: I am disconsolate.

Anyway. Here you go.

Note: these are postcards made with words. There are no accompanying photos, for the reasons detailed above.

PONDERING WEATHER SYSTEMS AND BLACK MAGICK
Here’s a picture of us waiting for the bus from Lower Largo to Anstruther, Friday afternoon, beer in hand, scrabbling the rocks as the tide comes in, avoiding the seaweed as best as we can, and blinking into a dazzling sun which has seared through the clouds and is turning the sky blue. As the number 95 approaches, there is some idle chat about the paranormal forces of Homegame: witness the unpredicted sun by day; the biblical thunder and lightning by night. The conclusion is a simple one: Messrs Creosote and Pictish are druids. One can only imagine what dances they weave, and what cowls they wear, on the eve of Homegame every year.

EAGLEOWL ENTER THEIR ‘PYROTECHNIC-ROCK’ PERIOD
This is our minds being collectively blown by eagleowl channelling Pink Floyd at the tail-end of an epic set that should culminate in a laser show. A point of order to our much-loved proponents of measured, intense alt-rock, however: you know that melodious Cliff Richard tribute, on which you sang so beautifully, “it’s so funny how we don’t fuck any more”? That predicament is never funny.

SWEET BABOO TAKES US BACK TO EIGG
Here’s deadpan Welsh troubadour Sweet Baboo engaging half the room in a spot of rock ‘n’ roll teleportation, as he takes us back to the Isle of Eigg, and to his Fence debut at the Away Game. He’s got a band this time around: all the better to embellish his erudite wig-outs and twisted love diatribes.

WE FURNISH SEXY BAR STAFF WITH COIN
This is one of the Anstruther Town Hall bar. That’s HMS Ginafore and Dave Canaveral behind the pumps of local ale, luring us into a boozy delirium with their aprons and smiles and fruit-based ciders. Best bar staff since Tom Cruise in Cocktail by a country mile.

DIGITS ALOFT FOR MONOGANON
Lo! It’s the Pictish Trail, channelling Jack Black and engaging the moshpit in some loved-up gesticulation toward Monoganon frontman John B McKenna during The Devil’s Finger – one of several songs they play from their ace debut album, ‘Songs To Swim To’. (“The one with the giant cock on the cover,” right enough). A rousing show from a fantastic songwriter with a spirited backing band: a definite highlight.

GUMMI BAKO THREATENS THE ROCK ESTABLISHMENT
That is Gummi Bako playing a raucous set that will double as an audition tape for an upcoming Bon Jovi support slot. You wonder, though: would Jon BJ feel threatened by such a full-throttle warm-up rabble, let alone one who are fronted by a rawk lord more loin-stirring than Jon Bon himself? If GB don’t get the gig, then you will know the answer.

VIC GALLOWAY DOES DONNA SUMMER
There’s Vic Galloway in the corner, playing Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, and that is Legends going wild. We shall keep this particular vision brief as the brandy is taking its toll by now, and no-one wishes to revisit the uncalled-for writhing and gyration which was coming from some quarters. (Mine).

MYSTERY JUICE RAISE THE ROOF
This is Edinburgh blues-punks Mystery Juice doing what they do best: ripping it up with their swaggering grooves, spattering diatribes and moon-howling violins. And that’s our jaws, on the floor, as we dance, and as MJ discharge their ideological power-pop on the day that Scotland’s political map changed colour.

FOUND’s HOMAGE TO FOLSOM PRISON
Here’s FOUND’s Ziggy ‘Lomond’ Campbell, charming the upstairs bar in Smugglers with his lovely psalms and wily patter. I watch him through some iron railings that demarcate the pub’s lounge area. This offers the impression of Campbell being banged up and singing like a canary in a cosy gaol.

YOUR FACE.
This is a picture of your face. See that look on your face? That’s a look of relief. Reason being, I cannot witness King Creosote and Jon Hopkins playing ‘Diamond Mine’ together, so you will be spared the sight of me weeping aloud at every chord; flailing and bawling inconsolably on the floor. You have every right to be glad that I wasn’t there.

FROM ME, TO ME.
This is the last one. It’s the first one I wrote though. It’s sent from Anstruther on the Friday afternoon – with the sun and the evening stretching before me – and it’s posted to me back at home. I will re-read this one many times. It says: wish you were here.

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