*How do you work this device? Battery is flat. Okay, AAA, got some here…there we go…on…folder index, eight files, first one…play…loud, infectious rock music…appealingly grungey, female vocs, ah, sounds like The Twistettes…cuts off after thirty seconds unfortunately…hmmmm…ah, 2nd file seems more promising, four minutes long, it’s my voice, very, very inebriated, but articulate still, albiet with a slight slur, interviewing patrons…how the hell do you pause this thing during playback, where is the pause button, how can I scribe if I can’t pause!? Ah, you have to press stop, that’s silly, okay here goes…*

EXTREMELY INEBRIATED CHRIS HERRON ~ “If I were to describe Kelburn in 2 to 3 words I would describe it as a [very slurred and struggling here] ‘phantasmagoria of emotional sounds and wellbeings’, [?]”
EXTREMELY INEBRIATED JOHN SCOTT HENDERSON ~ “Cut! Come on let’s go get you some [indiscernible word] now”
HERRON ~ “Er! Describe Kelburn in three words Doggy!”
JS ~ “Dude, you need to get some…”
HERRON ~ ” Dude is one word…”
JS ~ “Okay, er, Kelburn in three words…”
HERRON ~ “But you only got two left now you said ‘dude’!”
JS ~ “Spontaneous, amazing and deadly”
HERRON ~ [outraged] “Deadly!?”
JS ~ Oh er, I could come up with a ton of better words than that!”
HERRON ~ “What do you mean ‘deadly’!?”
HERRON ~ [to Spence] “Describe Kelburn in three words bro”
SPENCE ~ “Thanks Doggy, anyone want another rum?”
HERRON ~ [sighs eternally]
UDV ~ “Dangerous and deadly man, very much so”
HERRON ~ [incredulous] “Dangerous!?”
UDV ~ “Very dangerous man, yes”
HERRON ~ “You people haven’t lived if you think this is…pidhfnfk…[indiscernible Herroning]… These people think this is a…pfnhrviuhvsdi… A dangerous festival!? Mal, these people don’t know anything, describe Kelburn in three words!”
[long pause]
SPENCE ~ “Mal, get talkin’ fucksake c’mon…”
UDV ~ “Contraction”
SPENCE ~ “Mal came down here with the New Hellfire Club Gonzo Division and she won’t even fucking speak into a microphone, Mal, come on, gies’ wan’ word, a scream, a squeal, anything…”
HERRON ~ “You’ve got a sexy voice, use it!”
SPENCE ~ “You’ve just drew a tattoo…a tattoo? I mean you’ve just drew a something on him that looks amaaaazing…”
HERRON ~ “Describe Kelburn in three words Spence”
SPENCE ~ “Fuck…yeah…bro”
HERRON ~ “Yay!” [Spence giggles girlishly]
JS ~ “Fuck…yeah…BRAH!”
HERRON ~ “Grienne! Describe Kelburn in three words…”
HERRON ~ “You’ve already used two by saying ‘three words’…”
GRIENNE ~ “No! Okay, er, awesome, lots of fun, oh no I can’t think!”
JS ~ “You can’t put her on the spot”
GRIENNE ~ “I know”
JS ~ “I’d say it would be like, er, electric, unique and soulful” [a cheer and a round of applause goes up at this]
HERRON ~ “Kayleigh! Kayleigh! Describe Kelburn in three words”
HERRON ~ “That’s one…”
KM ~ “Free”
HERRON ~ “Wild, free…and?”
KM ~ “Peace”
SPENCE ~ “Right Mal, everyone’s said something, your turn”
HERRON ~ [very slurred, shouting to surrounding folk] “Has anyone not described Kelburn in three words?”
SPENCE ~ “This interview sounds shit…let’s start again…”



3rd FILE

EXTREMELY INEBRIATED DAVID SPENCE ~ “Just say something to fill the space”
EXTREMELY INEBRIATED CHRIS HERRON ~ [very slurred] “You will always remember this as the day you got one over on Captain Codfish Herron!”
EXTREMELY INEBRIATED JOHN SCOTT HENDERSON ~ “…On Captain motherfuckin’ Chris Herron and this’ll be the day that I remember, innit’, nah only kidding, let’s do this, Chris Herron is solid as fuck and Kelburn is the dopest party I’ve been to in a really long time and I’ve been…fucking…a lot…y’know, around man, so yeah, like we said, Kelburn in three words… Spiritual…Spontaneous…Elusive…”
HERRON ~ “Mm, I like it”
JS ~ ” Peace”


4th FILE
*After a dip in the gorge to sober us up and on our way up the meandering path from the waterfall to the Viewpoint Stage the sweet sounds of ska came drifting across the edge of hearing, as we drew closer to the source it became more and more exciting, what we were hearing was the explosive sound of Skayaman, I was about to discover a new favourite Scottish ska band…we drank in the rest of their set, enjoying every electrifying second and then we ducked round the back to catch up with the band:*

C.T HERRON ~ “Hi, we’re from New Hellfire Club, dunno’ if you’ve heard of us?”
SKAYAMAN ~ “Yeah we really wanna’ sign up with you guys but we’re not back to Glasgow til’ August but we really wanna’ do that man…”
CTH ~ “You can come play an instore gig, check us out if you like?”
SYM ~ “Yeah, we should…”
CTH ~ “I’m a massive fan of ska and you guys were so poignant and right on the button you almost had me in tears during that set, it was just so good! Dancing with tears in my eyes. It might have something to do with mind-altering substances and such but it was still a cracking fucking ska set man!”
SYM ~ [chuckling] “Thanks man”
CTH ~ “Okay, quick-fire interview, let’s do it – Skayaman! Where you from? Where you based?”
SYM ~ “Okay, we’re based in Glasgow”
CTH ~ “You playing any gigs up there soon?”
SYM ~ “Yeah, yeah, next one is Loch Lomond…”
CTH ~ “Oh, I’m going to that!”
SYM ~ “Yeeeeeeah”
CTH ~ “I get to seeyiz’ twice in as many months then! Excellent!”
SYM ~ “Apart from that, we’ll be back in the city in August, we’re doing a wee tour of the UK and all the festivals but we’ll be back in the city by August.”
CTH ~ “Kept busy then?”
SYM ~ “Yeah man”
CTH ~ “So youse’ are based in Glasgow and do you have an album out aye?”
SYM ~ “We’ve got one EP online that you can download it’s called ‘The Blessing’ and it’s on Soundcloud you’ll find it”
CTH ~ “I’ll need to get me a copy of that!”
SYM ~ “And er, we got another one just about to come out which I’m really excited for”
CTH ~ “And when’s that due out?”
SYM ~ “It’s been due out for a loooong time!”
CTH ~ “Typical musician eh”
SYM ~ “And it is man, I think by the end of the festival season we’ll have it in our hands and available online”
CTH ~ “You gotta’ get the festival season out the way, it’s a pretty busy time of year for bands”
SYM ~ “It is man but it’s ace, it’s ace, we’ll try our best to do [the album] as quick as possible”
CTH ~ “Is this your first time at Kelburn?”
SYM ~ “Nah man I played here last year with Samson Sounds, if you don’t know them you should see them they’re brilliant…”
CTH ~ “Are they here now?”
SYM ~ “They’re not here this year man, but they’re amazing”
CTH ~ “I’ll look out for them”
SYM ~ “Definitely”
CTH ~ “So, to summarize, what kind of experiences can you take from Kelburn Garden Party?”
SYM ~ “Hmmmm [pause], don’t have any expectations… Er, someone told me a good thing last night, it was ‘HAPPINESS = EXPECTATION provided by FULFILMENT’, so if you just don’t have any expectations, you can not bother dividing anything and it’s cool”
WILL JOHNSTONE ~ “That’s cool as fuck man!”
CTH ~ “That’s a great philosophy!
SYM ~ “It is a great philosophy”
CTH ~ “That’s one you could live by!”
SYM ~ “It is”
WILL J ~ “I love this guy already!”
CTH ~ “I love this guy too and I only just met him! And the band were phenomenal so get out and check out Skayaman anywhere they’re playing, you heard where they’re playing so no excuse not to”
SYM ~ “Thanks dude, see you at Loch Lomond Boat Party, Audio Soup, Doune The Rabbit Hole…”
CTH ~ “You guys are ubiquitous, I like it, you should be. It’s been lovely to meet you and to see you live!”
SYM ~ “Pleasure Bro”
CTH ~ “End of interview, cut. Thanks man, what’s your plans for the rest of the weekend?”
SYM ~ Er, fuck, I think…”


*The 5th file is a recording from early on the Sunday when Spence dragged Will and I down to a campsite on the fringe of the festival to a group of hippies who were playing improv’ “chang-bangs”, at the start of the recording, there is me talking to an Unidentified Tripping Girl as she tunes her fiddle…*

CTH ~ “We do work for NHC it’s like a non-profit, it’s like a charity for musicians, and we sell local bands’ merchandise and 100% of the profit goes back to the artists”
UTP ~ “Very good”
CTH ~ “Are you guys in a band?”
UTP ~ “No”
CTH ~ “You just random jamming down here?”
UTP “Yeah”
CTH ~ “You been to Kelburn Festival before?”
UTP ~ “No”
CTH ~ “No? First time?”
UTP ~ “Yeah, I mean, I was playing earlier but it was just improv, we just chang bang”
CTH ~ “I don’t know chang bang?”
UTP ~ “Yeah, well you do now”
CTH ~ “You should go up the Make Things Happen Tent at seven, you’ll be able to play there, they let anyone play, they make things happen”
UTP ~ “Maybe I will”

*A banjo begins to play a traditional tune in the background accompanied by Unidentified Tripping Girl’s fiddle and a guitar from somewhere*

CTH ~ “Spence said he jammed with you earlier?” [random guy runs buy shouting ‘changa, changa, changa!’]”
UTP ~ “How rude”
CTH ~ “So what’s your experiences of Kelburn so far?”
UTP ~ “Excellent…[pause]…bit too many midgies, but we’ll sort that out with some midgie [indiscernible word as Will Johnstone’s cracked, hollow and slightly deranged-sounding voice cuts in with ‘Hur-hur-hur, that would be awesome’]”
UTP ~ “But er, no it’s been good! We’ve had lots of really good bands and made lots of good pals, and the weather’s been…not too bad…”
WILL J ~ [cracked and broken voice] “Hur-hur-hur…er…yeah it’s been good man”
CTH ~ “This is the first time in many years I’ve been to Kelburn and it hasn’t been absolutely roasting the whole weekend!”
UTP ~ “It’s a beautiful place with all the trees and the fairy lights”
WILLJ ~ [cracked and broken voice] “They’ve got the oldest tree man, the oldest tree and it came down in a storm a few years ago…”
DAVIDSPENCE ~ “…But it’s still there and you can climb up on it and dance on it”
UTP ~ “I’ll have a go of that, as an ecologist, I love the trees, so yeah, I should do that”
DAVIDSPENCE ~ “You should man, we all love trees”
CTH ~ [perhaps sensing losing the thread to drugged-out hippy chat] “So you gonna come back next year?”
UTP ~ “Absolutely”

*Banjo rythm picks up pace and other instruments follow suit*

CTH ~ “I noticed there’s a sign up there saying this is the Quiet Camp but you’re all playing banjos and fiddles and stuff, haha”
UTP ~ “We just won’t leave, we have more space here. [indicating Spence] Your song you played earlier was awesome, I was jamming along with the fiddle, it was really, really good”
CTH ~ “He’s got some brilliant original songs…”
UTP ~ “Yeah he does, he played a great one in G Minor earlier and we just jammed along with it, it was fun!”
CTH ~ “He told us earlier, he said you made it beautiful”
UTP ~ “I think that was mostly him actually”

*By now, I wish you could hear the recording, the conversation has become drowned out by music, but it is replaced with this cacaophony of glorious sound as the background music has been slowly and subtly building up as more and more instruments converge around us and join in, it actually sounds as though we’re sitting on a stage in the middle of a band’s set while interviewing them, and they sound AMAZING! The music takes over for a whole two minutes here, complete with fiddle solos, banjo solos, fast-paced guitar plucking, it’s folksy, rootsy and galvanising, and we’re all dancing to the sounds now! Lost in music, no turning back! Despite the loud levels the last thing that can be heard, mid-music-medley, is Will shouting “Mon the Midgie Machines!” Judging by the sound of his voice, it was the last words he spoke before losing the use of his vocal chords*


6th FILE
*The last file finds us still at the hippie encampment, shortly before we left for Mark McGhee’s excellent Making Things Happen tent, and Spence seems to be preparing to play with the “Midgie Machines”*

UNIDENTIFIED TRIPPING GIRL ~ “You sing, I’ll play with you, I’ll take a G note and just play it”
DAVIDSPENCE ~ “Ease me in gently”
CTH ~ “These guys are so versatile!”
RANDOM GUY ~ “Who’s got the midgie repellent?”

*A fiddle starts up with an upbeat celtic tune, that keeps gaining in pace until everybody explodes and joins in, someone is playing rapid, skilled percussion, but on what I cannot tell, it sounds great though, and the whole thing lasts five minutes with constant twists and turns and random solos, it’s epic, I’m sorry you can’t hear it dear reader, but you will, someday.*


7th FILE
*The seventh file consists of me vomiting profusely whilst trying desperately to get my shit together enough to interview good friends and members of Sambayabamba and Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, they all had a good laugh at my expense, at least I was dedicated to trying to do my job while passing through a particularly gruesome K-Hole, Dijancer said I was so fucked even the fake rave police tried to take me away…we’ll leave that one out…*

*The eighth file consists of me, in the back of my girlfriend’s car, in Kelburn car park, three in the morning on the Friday, jabbering into the device, in awe, peaking on 1P-LSD during the height of an astounding thunderstorm, but we’ll save that one as well, for The Untold Stories 2 in a few years shall we…

…My neck and shoulders ache from spending the last five hours hunched over a dictaphone, smoking joints and drinking coffee-laced White Russians into the night, to transcribe the madness within it to you as best I can, I hope you have enjoyed it, personally I have enjoyed bringing back all those incredible memories of great times with extraordinary people! So I’m off to muse on them for a while… For now, Gonzo Division’s Chris Herron signing off, until next time.*



 Originally published on NHC 14 Nov 2015