From bottom left, clockwise: The Sundowns, Aereogramme and Spiritualized work for the ’Man

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Balado may be recovering from the madness of T but further south, Doug Johnstone finds the modest joys of the Wickerman Festival are only just heating up.

f. by any chance. you are Iidward Woodward. you

should probably look away now. Because down in

the remote. heathen Southern tip of Scotland a bunch of ne‘er-do-wells are in charge of a music festival based on burning him alive. Well. not actually him. you understand. but the copper he played in the seminal 7()s Hammer horror film The ll’it'kt'r Man.

The Wickerman Festival takes place this Friday and Saturday on the southern coast of Dumfries and Galloway at liast Kirkcarswell. a l2()-acre site between Kirkcudbright and (‘astle Douglas. The festival has taken its inspiration from the movie that

was filmed a stone‘s throw away on the Isle of

Whithorn. and while they can‘t promise a human

sacrifice (awww. shame) there is a host of other

weird and wonderful entertainment to keep music lovers and general party-heads happy the whole weekend.

Spread across eight different stages. tents. domes and marquees there is a sometimes dizzying array of music on offer and there are even entire areas devoted solely to reggae. punk. Northern Soul. ska. acoustic strummery and chill out noises.

()n the more mainstream stages such renowned names as Spiritualized. the Buzzcocks and the Levellers will be plying their trade. liven on these apparently mainstream line-ups there is a diversity almost impossible to find at other festivals around the country. with the likes of post- rocking local gods Aereogramme rubbing shoulders with ska legends the Selecter. or new Island Records signings (‘herryfalls battling it out with gonzo punk- mctal loons Antiproduct and rambling country rocking chaps the Sundowns (fronted by The Lisr’s own Keith Benzie). All part of the plan according to Audrey Fenton. one of the weekend‘s organisers.


‘The idea was to make the line-up as eclectic as possible.‘ she says. ‘So that there really is something for everybody. And it seems to be working. because

we‘ve had a huge amount of interest this year


The organisers are billing the Wickerman weekender as ‘Scotland‘s alternative music. dance and arts festival‘. Now in its third year. the festival has already grown exponentially year on year to the point where organisers are expecting around (i.()()() people to attend each day this time round.

‘The format was set in year one and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. basically.‘ says Fenton. ‘It worked the first year and since then it’s just been a question of streamlining it and tailoring it more and more to what we‘re after.‘

The Wickerman Festival is something of an antidote to the rampant commercialism of events such as T in the Park. yet both types of festival clearly have their place in the overall scheme of things. Compared with the likes of T in the Park. Wickerman is a smaller. cosier and cheaper alternative. with tickets for the whole weekend including camping at a pretty measly 40 quid. plus kids under 14 get in free.

And. of course. to add to the fun. there is an actual wicker man burning ceremony. At midnight on the Saturday a giant figure made by local sculptors will go tip in flames. presumably with no one in it. So. Mr Woodward. if you‘re in the area. feel free to wander down. your safety is assured.

East Kirkcarswell, near Dundrennan, Dumfries and Galloway, Fri 23 and Sat 24 Jul. For more information check out


All the showdowns, hoedowns and putdowns in the wonderful world of music

THE LIST IS STILL LlCKING ITS wounds after T in the Park overindulgence . . . how good were the Pixies though? No really, they were amazing. Almost as good as the plastic head on a stick that someone carried about for the entire weekend. Now that’s dedication. We missed PJ Harvey as we were queuing for a pee so are pleased to say she’s back at the Carling Academy in Glasgow on 4 September.

THERE ARE LOADS MORE GOOD grgs that have iust been announced and highlight of the fortnight has to be the announcement that Shellac are to play their first ever Scottish show at the liquid Room In Edinburgh on 28 November. MORE DETAILS ARE

emerging about TigerFest during the Fringe with Monica Queen and Quinn (14), Sluts of Trust (9), Lucky Luke (7), King Creosote (27) and Scouse indie ironists Half Man Half Biscuit (11) all appearing throughout August. Check out for more.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE washing your hair when the tickets sold out for her Usher Hall show. Dido has conflrmed a date at the SECC on 28 August while the Beta Band and the mighty Jurassic 5 have been confirmed for T on the Fringe at the Corn Exchange on 24 August and 1 September respectively.

ALSO, POP CHUMPS MCFLY do the poor man's Busted (ooh, so cynical, so quickly?) and dampen all knickers in a 500 yard radius of the Clyde Auditorium on 27 September. Not in any way similar are those Moddish scamps the Ordinary Boys who play Liquid Room, Edinburgh on 6 October and the Garage, Glasgow the following night. Then there’s Hope of the States at the Garage on 19 October, Hoobastank at the OMU on 31 October, Keane at Barrowland, 3 November and how could we forget that Wet Wet Wet now have two shows at the SECC, Glasgow on 8 and 9 December. Don’t say we didn’t warn you . . .

The Ordinary Boys


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