Eddy Says Gigs & Festivals

Eddy Says: Live And Let Die – or The birth of the Psychedelia Smithsonian tent at Secret Garden Party and monthly club night in London’s Clapham Grand

By | Published on Wednesday 3 June 2015

Psycheldelia Smithsonian

Eddy Temple-Morris has hosted a stage at the Secret Garden Party for many years, most recently under the name ‘Temple Of Boom’, but this year it will be absent. Fear not though, because this is far from the end. Instead, Eddy is launching a brand new stage at the festival in partnership with Primal Scream bassist Simone Marie Butler. It’s called The Psychedelia Smithsonian, and here he explains the inspiration behind it, what will be in store, and how it will extend beyond SGP too.

“…But it was the best tent at Secret Garden Party! Why would you kill it?” I’ve heard that a lot lately, and don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every word, but kill it we have, and here’s why the coup de grace was necessary…

We’ve been scratching our heads for years with this tent. Yes, when the sun goes down it has, undeniably, been one of the most entertaining and joyful places to be on the big and beautiful Garden site. But in the daylight hours, the prospect of rattling around in what looked like a mucky aircraft hangar, was not anyone’s idea of a good time.

Meanwhile were paying for a huge structure, and all the people that one needs to keep a massive dance arena going, then watching some brilliant bands and DJs play to a handful of people in the daytime. There were a few glorious exceptions to the rule – Too Many T’s pulled the biggest daytime crowd I’ve ever seen last year – but still, this was one of a few positive anomalies.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was DJ EZ shaped. An amazing DJ, but so sad that his set proved to be a focal point for some incredibly stupid crowd behaviour. We had, it seemed, created a monster. It was time for a rethink.

Freddie, the Head Gardener, has a wonderful way of looking at things, and he is the inspiration, the driving force and the reason why Secret Garden Party is, hands down, the best party of the year, every year.

“We’ve always done things differently”, he reminded me, over lunch late last year. “The other festivals all have huge dance arenas with bigger tents, bigger sound systems, bigger names, more lights and lasers… Do we really want to be doing the same thing as everyone else?”

He had a point. They all do that. They are festivals. Huge money-motivated machines. We are just, well, a party, albeit a very serious one. Freddie’s wisdom cut to the core. There was no argument here. We had to approach this not as a death of something, but as a birth of something even better.

“If I handed you a blank piece of paper and said do whatever you want, what would you do?” That’s another of the many things I love about Freddie, never a problem, always a solution, and he’ll dare you to dream, then ask how we can make it a reality, where men with less imagination and ‘can-do’ attitudes would piss on the fire rather than give it oxygen. So, I dared to dream…

The dream I had was to collaborate with my other half, Simone Marie Butler, another bass player and broadcaster, for Primal Scream and Soho Radio respectively. To tap into her expertise and utilise mine, to create something unique, and something no other festival could have. Listening to Simone’s brilliant show got me into bands like The Vacant Lots and labels like Sonic Cathedral and Bad Vibrations. So I started thinking about psychedelia, and what it means culturally speaking, in music and fashion, then my mind drifted to the old skool big beat artist Psychedelia Smith, and from that to Smithsonian, the famous American museum.

Then it hit me. Of course, I’ve been flying the ‘Dance Rocks’ flag on Xfm for over fifteen years, here is a way I can embody that ethos under one roof:

The Psychedelia Smithsonian
A ‘museum’ of psychedelic music, effectively a sonic tribute to Albert Hoffman’s 25th synthesis of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, more commonly, LSD.

Think about it: A Swiss chemist accidentally changed the world by inventing it. The feelings it imparted inspired a whole new collective consciousness, and some life-changing music. The psychedelic movement went overground in San Fransisco in 1967, and that summer of love spread over the world, musically and culturally speaking. Psychedelic music, or psyche as it became known, was a purely rock thing. Acid rock, stoner rock, psychedelia, however you tag it, was an exclusively guitar-based genre.

That is until a Japanese man whose name we don’t even know, employed by a company called Roland Electronics, invented something else that would change the world, not a drug this time, but a little silver box, the Roland TB 303. This was invented as a bass synth and sequencer, but some maverick genius around the mid to late 1980s, probably in a bedroom in Essex, discovered that if you ignored the handbook and played around with the knobs and dials, you could get the most incredible sound, a sort of electronic squelch. This noise became the basis for what became known as acid house.

Now there were now two parallel lines in pop culture, and psyche had to take a back seat for a while, as the UK danced and hugged and drank and danced some more, then got arrested for public order offences, all to the sound of the 303. From 303 acid came hardcore, then jungle, drum n bass, and every bit of tripped out electronica you’ve known and loved, I don’t have to paint the family tree for you.

So this was the dream, a tent which would host a musical tribute to LSD as a cultural and musical phenomenon. Where a psyche band like Temples, or Vacant Lots, or Telegram, could go toe to toe with Orbital, or Mistabishi, or Attaque. Where you could see Primal Scream DJ a filthy psyche set or Josh Butler play a 303 acid set, and have interesting musicians give us their take on psychedelia with a DJ set which demonstrates, so beautifully, what this means to them. You might see Nadine Shah DJing a psyche set, you might see me and Dub Pistols with a back to back electronic-psychedelia set, or Whitey make a rare as brontosaurus shit appearance behind the decks.

And thanks to Freddie and the incredible team at Secret Garden Party, the dream has become reality. In a more intimate setting than the big, ugly Temple Of Boom, The Psychedelia Smithsonian will be added to the glorious tapestry of SGP, playing host to, at most, 800 or so people, who will, under oil wheel lights and tripped out visuals, be regaled by the following merry pranksters:

22:10-23:00: The Petebox
21:50-22:10: CALM DJ
21:10-21:50: Man Of Moon
20:50-21:10: CALM DJ
20:05-20:50: Autist
19:45-20:05: CALM DJ
19:00-19:45: The Lucid Dream
18:30-19:00: CALM DJ
17:45-18:30: Jacksun Fear
17:15-17:45: CALM DJ
16:30-17:15: Bandicoot

05:00-06:00: Jeff Automatic (DJ)
04:00-05:00: Josh Butler (DJ)
02:30-04:00: Eddy TM Vs Dub Pistols (DJs)
01:00-02:30: 8:58 (Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll live set)
00:30-01:00: The Acid Horse (DJ)
23:30-00:30: Mistabishi FRIDAY
23:00-23:30: The Acid Horse (DJ)
22:00-23:00: Vessels
21:15-22:00: Attaque (DJ set)
20:30-21:15: Kassassin Street
20:00-20:30: Attaque (DJ set)
19:15-20:00: Rain City Riot
18:45-19:15: Bad Life DJs
18:00-18:45: Attaque
17:30-18:00: Bad Life DJs
16:45-17:30: Astro Zu
16:15-16:45: High Rankin (DJ)
15:45-16:15: Hen
15:15-15:45: High Rankin (DJ)
14:30-15:15: The Mushroom Club
14:00-14:30: Mojo Filter (DJ)
13:15-14:00: The Watchmakers
12:45-13:15: Mojo Filter (DJ)
12:00-12:45: Gaika

05:00-06:00: Tythe (DJ)
04:00-05:00: Jagz Kooner (DJ)
03:00-04:00: Whitey
02:00-03:00: Scream Team DJ set
01:00-02:00: Temples
00:30-01:00: Simone Marie (DJ)
23:30-00:30: Little Barrie
23:00-23:30: Simone Marie (DJ)
22:00-23:00: Toy
21:30-22:00: Jon Ford (DJ)
20:30-21:30: Telegram
20:00-20:30: Jon Ford (DJ)
19:15-20:00: The Vacant Lots
18:45-19:15: Sonic Cathedral DJs
18:00-18:45: Lola Colt
17:30-18:00: Sonic Cathedral DJs
16:45-17:30: Purple Heart Parade
16:15-16:45: Sonic Cathedral DJs
15:45-16:15: Spectres
15:15-15:45: Bad Vibrations DJs
14:30-15:15: Whistlejacket
14:00-14:30: Bad Vibrations DJs
13:15-14:00: Truism
12:45-13:15: Bad Vibrations DJs
12:00-12:45: Lucifer’s Sun

22:00-23:00: The Orb
21:30-22:00: Nadine Shah (DJ)
20:30-21:30: Lusts
20:00-20:30: Nadine Shah (DJ)
19:15-20:00: New Candys
18:45-19:15: Barry Fratelli (DJ)
18:00-18:45: Gulf
17:30-18:00: Barry Fratelli (DJ)
16:45-17:30: Secret Fix
16:15-16:45: Phantasmagoria (DJ)
15:45-16:15: Lust
15:15-15:45: Phantasmagoria (DJ)
14:30-15:15: Saint Agnes
14:00-14:30: CALM DJ
13:15-14:00: The Voyeurs
12:45-13:15: CALM DJ
12:00-12:45: JC Flowers

There is a shape to it, the two cultural ‘acid’ lines are explored equally, with an eclectic and uptempo Thursday, a dancey mainly ‘303’ Friday, fully psyche Saturday and chilled and eclectic Sunday. Oh, and NB, the ‘CALM DJ’ slots are for the annual auction I do on Twitter where people bid for DJ sets, with all of the money going to the male suicide awareness charity CALM – keep an eye on my Twitter, I’ll be auctioning these soon.

But that’s not where it ends. Not by a long shot. The Psychedelia Smithsonian is not just a new tent at the best party in the UK…

Xfm The Remix presents The Psychedelia Smithsonian at The Clapham Grand
I’m delighted to announce a monthly party at a great venue, with a big stage, great soundsystem, 3D visuals, circus acts, food stalls, a proper miniature festival each month, with a mixture of live psyche bands earlier in the evening, live electronica later and DJs that can explore and play psychedelic sets, as they see it.

You’ll see live acts and DJs from Sonic Cathedral, Bad Vibrations, Heavenly Records and beyond, and you’ll see acts on the bill at this years SGP, and next year’s SGP and so on. Huge bills, huge smiles.

We launch in September with a bunch of SGP highlight acts to be confirmed in the coming weeks. Keep at eye on my Twitter for announcements.

So. There it is. Sometimes you have to let something die to give life to something much better. See you in the Smithsonian, one way or another!