GARDEN OF ELKS
Inverness/Glasgow three-piece (most recent live line-up with Niall Strachan on guitar and vocals, Ryan Drever on bass and Vata's Alex Gordon) with short, sharp songs.Some say power-punk, some say lo-fi grunge. You decide. New EP Yoop! (also includes tracks Super Glue and Asleep On The Stairs) just out ... worth the bucks for the gorgeous artwork alone, not to play down the power of the music ... Below, Niall Strachan answers Margaret Chrystall's questions ...
1 How many times have Do you remember your first performance? What’s your over-riding memory of it?
I’ve probably been to Bella about four times, I think. One of the times I had a bust leg, was loaded on painkillers and decided to drink, ending up on the night bus pretty much naked – but we don’t talk about that year.
The first time was with Bronto Skylift, maybe four years ago. I remember the tent being really busy and it being hot and people bought T-shirts!
2 Name your three fave acts seen there and maybe a two-word wee description/ haiku-ette of their performance and why it was so good?
I’m very critical, so three favourites is a bit of a stretch! I tend to catch stuff at the smaller stages as the bigger bands are usually the opposite to my tastes!
Paws (punk rock) The first time they played at the goNORTH stage they went full out and squeezed as much energy out of the PA as they could.
Stealing Sheep (unexpected delight) Caught me by surprise as I hadn’t heard any of their stuff, captivated the crowd for the whole set.
Sucioperro (venomous melody) Totally beasted their set and all the songs had a catchy edge.
3 Funniest Bella moment?
Far too many but there are two which are tied in first place in my brain at the moment.
One year Bronto played a gig in the campsite. We had a generator and got a good crowd and a few complaints! It was a total blast and something a bit different for the campers ha ha.
A couple of years later we played the Hothouse and I threw a bit of a hissy fit as we only got two beers on our rider (one each) and thought it was a bit cheeky. After my rant which resulted in no extra drinks, I was tapped on the shoulder by Ed Sheeran who was playing the same stage. He had heard the rant and in a moment of empathy took me to his dressing room and donated all the drink I could carry. I actually had a huge bag so I pretty much cleared him out! Well done Ed, good lad.
4 One festival essential? Toilet roll. You will thank me for this later.
Garden Of Elks play Belladrum's Seedlings Stage on Friday.