By Neil Kerr
I have waited a while to post this review as the good folks at Audio Soup put on more than one party a year, and having been given press access to their first of 2014 the Equinox Party I was left seriously impressed. So I decided to wait a wee while for the soupers to reveal the line up for their main event, a three day festival taking place in the awesome setting of the Lammermuir hills in East Lothian, my home. More on that later.
The Equinox Party was quite an event, it took place in a large warehouse type building at Belhaven near Dunbar which is also in East Lothian and incorporated two main events, a band stage and a dance tent, both of which were well set out with times well displayed and easy to locate. A good start. After a quick tour of the site and a wee chat to some of the ticket holders affectionately referred to by the organisers as “soupers”, I was already quietly impressed with organisation and I had yet to hear a drum beat. A trip to the well stocked bar for a coke (designated driver) and I was further impressed to see locally made Thistly Cross Cider was predominant behind the bar, local venue local organisers and locally made drinks great work by the organisers, keep that up its the way to go with this type of event, they really should support the communities that they are in as much as possible.
Now for the actual event, the music and musicians we had all came to see, and there was a lot of people there an excellent turn out. First up were an act I had never seen before called Ska Ya Man bringing to our ears a unique mix of reggae ska music or was it ska reggae? Either way it was good, light hearted and entertaining, the stage was excellent too with some great visuals going on in the background. Ska Ya Man did a great set which got people to their feet and up to the front of the stage with ease, Their set was a great listen and well rehearsed, a great start to the day and well worth a look if you hear of them playing locally to you.
Next on stage were another act I had never seen before calling themselves The Support Act a band name that doesn’t lend itself to thoughts of great music, for me anyway. Gladly I was wrong these guys were just excellent their set got my attention from the first song and kept it until the last beat, the female vocalist delivering a flawless performance and the rest of the four piece act, one of whom I am sure was back on the stage later that day, were just as precise in their delivery, another great act. Also at this point it was coming to my attention that the sound being produced by the Audio Soup team was excellent quality.
The next act was another unique act a solo performer called Pauly Piper, a flutebox is the best way to describe him….. beatboxing and playing his flute to great effect, he has to be seen to be believed, unusually entertaining and great fun to watch, the organisers here have certainly done their homework. The following act The Girobabies were equally entertaining, although not my taste of music, the act was tight and clearly passionate about their music their lyrics to the point and sometimes risky another all round great act.
I have to point out that by this point in the day I was becoming very aware of the general manners of the people around me, the audience, the “soupers”. What a great bunch of people they are, an example of this came when my can of coke was accidently knocked out my hand by a dancing souper who was consumed by the music and dancing happily as I tried to squeeze by with camera and coke in hand, I was chancing it carrying both at any rate. At most gigs this would have gone unnoticed. However this cheery chap immediately was very apologetic and insisted on procuring me a new can, even though I protested that it was my own fault for chancing it through the tight space and not to worry, this guy disappeared still dancing into the crowd only to find me 10 minutes later on the other side of the stage carrying a shiny new coke for me. And he was not a solitary case I spoke to many soupers that day and all bar none were polite and only too happy to talk, they even let me stand in front of them to take pics, and anyone who knows me will know that this means that the person behind will be seeing nowt as i am not a wee chappy, what a great bunch of people you soupers are I raise my hat to each and every one of you.
Back on the stage I was feeling unsure of the next act appearing on stage, there were ten people there including not one but two saxophonists, I was wondering how this would sound, ten of them up there I thought was possibly a bit risky. I was very very wrong. This act was genius, and the sound people there at Audio Soup absolutely nailed it . The band are a band that have appeared on these pages in the past The Post Orgasmic Sunshine Band our Harsharan interviewed the band a while back. They were awesome so good i had to post on facebook how great the act was straight after they finished, I loved them. I spoke to the frontman Al after they came off stage and he was so modest about their sound a great guy.
The next act were also awesome, again I was unsure when a dj, a Bassist, a Guitarist, a Violinist and a guy with what appeared to be a penny whistle took to the stage. I was wrong again I am pleased to say. The Grousebeater sound system were brilliant too, unique, different and daring music using dance beats and adding some catchy riffs on the afore mentioned ensemble of instruments. It was brill, and well worth a look if you ever get the chance, all the acts were.
That includes the last act of the night before the DJ sets an act called The After Hours Quintet, another unusual act that were enjoyable, not the headline act I would have chose but then the crowd loved them, I did too just not the headline for me, I will leave you to guess which act was.
I should mention at this point the Elektical tent that was there… I visited it briefly and liked what I saw there too, I was there for the bands though. In that tent there was hip hop acts as well as a top line up of DJ’s and the folks I asked who had been were impressed, unfortunately the reporter who was there from voice to cover that area was not too well and had to leave… Next time for that.
Big up to Audio Soup,awesome work from all involved, the set was top notch the sound second to none and the organisation in general was just great, impressed is possibly not a good enough description of how I felt as I left that night. I raise my hat once again to all involved thank you for having me and I look forward to the summer festival over the weekend of the 18th to the 20th of July 2014 where the organisers have arranged over 100 acts across the weekend and much much more. If the Equinox Party was anything to go by then this weekend is set to be outstanding. Find out all you need to know using the links below and check out the photo gallery too, see if you can spot the bassist that was in 2 bands.
Thanks again soupers for a day I wont forget.