What began as a lazy Saturday afternoon of doodling on wine bottles while being wooed by acoustic beats, drew into the night and an intimate, rocking music festival. FFALL proved to be not only a festival for all, but twelve fun-filled hours of plentiful music, art and happiness.
Sheltering from the windy autumn afternoon, the first part of FFALL began in the cosy hideaway of All Saints Church. Sitting on the ground, a mix of bright-eyed creatives and music lovers alike listened to live music performed by local young bands, including St Andrews’ own string band Galaxy. From country tunes like Wagon Wheel to the electronic zeal of St Andrews Fusion, there was a tune for everyone’s groove. The intimate, chilled out audience was enjoyed by the bands too, especially Sunshine Social who appreciated the relaxed crowd after playing in Dundee the night before. All Saints was such a perfect setting, the lovely oaky wooden interior, decorated with pumpkins, artsy autumn drawings by ArtSoc and the wonderful artist Joanna Robinsking. And, of course the mix of lovely people really brought the whole afternoon together. Photos were snapped, wine bottles decorated and a delicious array of healthy vegetarian goodness was provided by VegSoc.
By dusk, we moved to the Union for something far more special than another Saturday Union night. With a few technical hitches, FFALL was again in full swing in Venue One by 8pm, and it wasn’t long before the chilled out vibes turned into an indie-rock buzz. Takeaway coffee cups were swapped for cans of beer and cider and bright, flashing lights replaced the afternoon glow of the sun.
The first act on was the alternative indie band, Blank Canvas from Edinburgh. They were followed by the very popular and talented, multi-instrumentalist band Sunshine Social; who had already had a warm up session in the afternoon. In contrast to their unplugged session, this performance exploded into the darkness and filled Venue One with dynamic and lyrical beats. While we’re on the topic of Sunshine Social, it should also be noted that they are such a great group of guys who actually came and rocked out with the audience for the rest of the night giving my friends and I the excuse to legitimise the saying “I’m with the band.”
The audience was more varied in the evening, with people turning up to join the party from anywhere. After all the band searching that the FFALL committee went through over summer, their selection process definitely paid off. There was some amazing talent on display by all bands, and it was great to be able to support local Scottish talent.
In between these acts, there was a chance to relax and listen to some of the heartfelt expressions of the spoken word in Sandy’s bar by members of Inklight. Sandy’s also hosted various presentations and promotions from St Andrews groups, including the Tribe Magazine, Stereoscope Magazine, Music Is Love, ST.ART, Lightbox Creative, and Transition St Andrews. The showcase of art from our students was strung from the wall.
In the second half of the night played two more Edinburgh bands, The Winter Tradition and Withered Hand. The event didn’t have a huge turnout, but this was no hindrance on the fun that was had by all there. Whether you were leaning on the railing, or in amongst the crowd, there was room to dance, sing (attempt to sing) or just rock out. Second to last came the six-piece indie folk band Broken Records whose soaring dynamics really excited the crowd again, even those of us whose feet were beginning to ache. Last but not least, the night ended with the smooth, mixed tunes of Morrt, which was a fabulous way to break from a night of live instruments.
After twelve hours, I was thoroughly exhausted and content. My free-spirited, music loving inner being was most definitely rekindled on the weekend. FFALL, please do come again and grace us with your creative vibes next year. If more people get involved, this event could really take off. It is such a great way to get in touch with the music scene here in Scotland as well as letting loose your wild child, just for one autumn night mid-semester.