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Carla Callaghan

Wickerman has been and gone for another year, so it’s time to reflect on one of Scotland’s great festivals.

Wickerman has been and gone for another year, so it’s time to reflect on one of Scotland’s great festivals.

Despite a question mark hanging over what season the Scottish weather would inflict on us, the festival as always, put on a terrific weekend bulging at the seams with great music.

We decided to spend this year in the main site as opposed to the quiet camping last year (lightweight I hear you say?, yeah you’re probably right).

Despite being a bit loud and rowdy in some parts, the walking distance from the green car park to the site was quick and easy as was the same with the site to arena.

After setting up our tent (you may have passed our abode – it had a flag with ‘Karen’s Tent’ emblazoned on it), we headed in for what was my aunt’s first ever real festival (she’s Karen and she was scared she would get lost so we obliged with a flag).

First was a look around the arena and a survey of the many different tents and stalls. We are stopped midwalk by the Granny Turismo – a hilarious performing trio of raving ‘grannies’ on trolleys.

After a quick bite to eat, we head to the main stage to see singer Julian Cope, formerly of The Tear Drop Explodes. Despite still being a great singer, Cope appears to be somewhat bitter about the music industry and does more talking than singing. We head away from the main stage along with a few more bewildered fans.

Uphill at the XFM Solus tent, Glasgow indie electro outfit White are playing an energetic set to a packed crowd.

And in the brand new Pianoman tent, Lulu is getting warmed up with a pre-gig and special Q&A session in aid of cancer charity Maggie’s. The one-off event raised £1000 and was a great success.

As the temperature starts to drop we head back to the campsite to change into warmer attire before going to see a crowd pleasing performance by Stereo MCs with lead singer Rob Birch heating the up the Wickerman crowd with favourite hit ‘Connected’.

Next up is Lulu. I’ve always wanted to see her and I wasn’t disappointed. She’s celebrating 50 years in music, still looking fantastic and sounding even better. She performs a mix of old classics including Shout! Aswell as material from her new album Making Life Rhyme.

We are back for folk favourites The Waterboys. This band are especially important to me and my husband Scott and I as we asked Cairn String Quartet to play Fisherman’s Blues at our wedding – oh and it’s our anniversary weekend. After hoping and praying that they play ‘our’ song, the band come on stage and launch straight into….yep you guessed it, Fisherman’s Blues. Apologies to anyone standing near us for the cheesey outbursts and PDAs. This was a definite highlight of the entire weekend and The Waterboys played an energetic set with material from Modern Blues and a rapturous close to the first day of the festival with Whole of the Moon.

Saturday morning sees torrential rain drown Wickerman until around lunchtime. We use this time to sort our hangovers and enjoy a curer in the form of a fry-up and hair of the dog.

As the blue skies take over, we head back in to the arena to take in some of the acts in the XFM and Phoenix tents.

Glasgow’s own Admiral Fallow is on the main stage, and attracts a small crowd, which later mushrooms when passing people realise how good they are. Evidence for this is a man standing engrossed at the side of the stage holding a nappy bag who hadn’t quite torn himself away from the band to reach the bin.

Frontman Louis Abott keeps the crowd entertained with his dry humour, and the band treat us to a selection of songs from album Tiny Rewards.

If there are hangovers still lurking, the legendary Reggae star Jimmy Cliff was sure to rid them with a warm and energetic set. He followed on from Neneh Cherry and had the happy vibes flowing with hit ‘You Can Get it if You Really Want’.

I don’t know much of Tom Odell apart from his song ‘Real Love’ in the John Lewis advert, but I am interested to see what he has to offer live. Walking out to a grand piano and a backdrop with his name in lights, Odell surprises me with a packed and passionate set which he gives his all. This is one seriously talented 25-year-old who has the crowd enthralled – I am late to the party with Odell, but he has gained another fan.

Later on it’s starting to get cold, so cold you can see your breath (yes it really is July). We head to the Phoenix tent for the BMX Bandits to heat us up with some lovely cosy chat and songs from frontman Duglas T Stewart who is delighted to be performing at the Wickerman. It was great to hear live the very sweet and infectiously catchy ‘Girl at the Bus Stop’ which spreads joy across the packed tent.

We head out to see the last half of headliner Example whose performance has seen the main stage and every surrounding area swamped with people. Despite not being a fan, he is a good showman and puts on a good set to get the crowd rocking for the imminent lighting of the Wickerman.

The mass exodus then head for the all important burning.

It doesn’t take long for the lighting to begin, with torch bearers making their way up to the wickerman. The event seems more poignant this year following the sad passing of founder Jamie Gilroy in December. Before the wickerman is lit, fireworks shoot from its hands before the whole structure is engulfed with flames. An amazing fireworks display follows and brings a perfect weekend to a close.

A great weekend that Jamie Gilroy would have been proud of. Oh and Karen loved it and didn’t get lost. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015 20:05

Happy Birthday MS!

It's strange to think that you are two years old already - and I'm glad to say that you haven't grown too much.Although I do suspect that you may be a few years older than we think.... It feels like yesterday that we were sitting in the doctor's office and he told us about you. We were taken aback, but not really surprised as all the signs were there. Learning about you and getting to know this weird and annoying little sidekick has been an interesting journey and one that I wouldn't change.

Ok, on June 15 i'll never be throwing you a party or celebrating your existence, but being diagnosed with you (multiple sclerosis) was never the end of the world, but the start of a personal focus to raise awareness and help others with this incurable and sometimes cruel disease. At the start not many people knew about you and I was understandably private about it all - but then I realised that so many people needed to learn about you. I wasn't about to let you affect me any more than you already had, so now it was time to let people know that I had MS and no I wasn't dying, yes it was incurable, no it's not the same as ME and no I wasn't scared. Really, I wasn't scared of you then, and two years on I remain the same. I have to say I am rather proud of myself for dealing with your dramatic entry into my life at the worst possible time (buying house and getting married!) But I dealt with it, knew that positivity would get me through, aswell as the support of friends and family. 

You've had your moments that's for sure: randomly taking away the feeling in my feet, giving me a fuzzy eye and dropping tiredness the weight of the world on to me. None of which have been a barrel of laughs, but thanks to medication, you can't be half as bad behaved as you would like to be.

And despite what people may assume, I don't think about you every day, and you don't determine what I can or can't do. However, I chose to speak out because so many people remain in limbo over an MS diagnosis and some GPs are missing vital signs of MS in patients. More support and literature made available to patients at diagnosis is also a must. 

On the second anniversary of my MS diagnosis i want to use my story to help others and hope that sharing can raise more awareness. 

Happy Birthday MS!




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Carla is a full time journalist and loves to spend her free time indulging in her passion, which is all things beauty, lifestyle and music.

Her idea behind CC Says is to not only provide a beauty and lifestyle news service, but also carry the important message, that all women are amazing and their beauty, brains and personality should be celebrated.

Lets hear it for the girls!