Scoville Units Unite

04 Dec

Book Yer Ane Fest 2017

I’m sitting recovering from another weekend of Book Yer Ane Fest, which yet again is the best December event to celebrate.

For a variety of reasons I won’t go into I couldn’t get to MotionFest or the first few BYAFs. The last one I missed I was so annoyed about it I deliberately avoided looking at any info about it at all, and then later found out that Beauty School Dropout had reformed to play it! To say I was gutted is an understatement. Luckily I got to see them play again supporting China Drum a couple of years later so that’s all good. To make up for lost time I think I’ve been the first punter through the door the past few years too at BYAF.

Every year the fine fowk at MTAT organise the event and raise money for good causes at the same time. Previously this was for a local water safety charity, and this year it was split between Young Minds, Addaction, Insight Counselling and Royal Life Saving Society. No idea how much was raised this year but it’s normally a four figure sum anyway.

As well as seeing a host of bands I know of and new ones I haven’t heard of there’s then the chance to dig through random distros and see interesting stalls.

Friday was a wee bit more chilled than the rest of the day with a single line up. Deeker opened as THT and then Tim Loud followed. I hadn’t seen him in a while so it was great remembering some of his songs. Question the Mark closed the basement show with one of their three sets of the weekend. Abertay then opened with Thee Rag N Bone Man – a one man band with a fuller sound than some bands. AVAS next, who I always confuse with Avast! and then get sad they are no more. Get It Together hosted a rammy as per usual. Bird Law followed them and were fantastic. I always love BYAF in that there’s gonna be some gem I haven’t heard before who I love. Last year it was Slowlight, this year Bird Law were one of the great new ones. Stonethrower were the last band I saw and it was so long since I had seen them it ended on a high note.

Saturday was a bit disjointed, and although I understand why there was a split over multiple venues, on Friday it worked well with no overlaps. When the biggest downer from a fest is that there was too much on so you missed some then that’s a great negative to have though. Unfortunately when having to choose between Please, Believe and Elk Gang, I saw Elk Gang last year and can’t even remember last time I saw Please, Believe. Lost Love were great, and it was weird seeing a band who had travelled so far be on so early, but Tongue Trap who followed them were the other new-find of the weekend. That I’ve spent most of the year listening to mostly Rainer Maria and Save Ends probably tells you why I loved these 2 new-to-me bands. Cherym who followed were great as were Coral Springs. Throwing Stuff were a good hardcore band and I think the poor staff in Hideout were regretting their shift. PMX were tremendous as usual, but now the two shows in Abertay were getting out of sync so I was having to cut off one band to see the other. If anyone was trying to also fit in going to the other venue it must have been frustrating to see 1 set every hour. Carson Wells were as good as ever, and a reminder that there’s a bunch of bands I basically see at Fest and never any other time. I was getting pretty tired by this point so held out for as much of Murderburgers as I could before I caught all the Kaddish set. Kaddish, as they do every year blew away every other band no matter how big or small.

By Sunday I was pretty knackered. The day started with the Curator podcast interviewing the MTAT crew, followed by the blues of Holy Snakes powered by DoubleDenim and then Gone Wishing to make everyone full of festive cheer. I got to Abertay in time for VFLambda. Andy Thomas Dust Heart was as good as ever, then Veto were so so good. I recognised one of the songs but can’t track down where I heard it from, I thought it was the Dammit Presents compilation but must be some other random place. Billy Liar was as polished as he ever is. Slowlight were next and having been the highlight of last year they didn’t disappoint. They have recorded an album which they are trying to find money to press and having bought a zine and got a copy of their album can confirm it’s gid.

Goodbye Blue Monday are a band who’s previous 2 shows I missed, but loved the record they put out. They started with a talk by Jo from the Samaritans about the work they do before playing the EP and some other songs. Highly recommend checking them out. Totally not a metal band Fat Goth followed with Fritz looking like a king-sized Kenny. Unfortunately catching the end of them then meant I missed some of the THT full band. I had gotten confused seeing Kev from Broken Stories with gear earlier thinking I’d missed them on the schedule but he was playing in THT. So I was relieved I hadn’t missed them but sad when I realised I wasn’t seeing them at all. Pretty knackered at this point I knew I wouldn’t last til Terrafraid and Kimberley Steaks so called it a night/weekend.

Now I’m working through a pile of the records and trying to recover from a physically draining weekend. I always find myself both emotionally recharged in some ways but drained in others after BYAF too. So much going on, I don’t know how the small group of fowk organising it cope for the 3 days in Dundee and 2 days either side in Edinburgh and Glasgow. But given how great the weekend of music always is and how full of long-term friends, new friends and friends you haven’t made yet I hope it keeps happening.

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