The Swirly Train at Stoked In The Park: A Review

The Swirly Train is best described as an interplanetary musical journey that fuses theatrics with the absurd, and takes us from planet to planet via a galactic public transport system made up of thumping house beats interspersed with the occasional camp banger. It’s leader, our leader, is a young man called Swirly Dan, a Willy Wonka cum Hugh Jackman type who commands the front of the stage with his shirt unbuttoned and pants-fly unbeknownst in the same position; a Cheshire cat grin spread across his face betraying the lack of sleep he was suffering/drawing inspiration from.

The first track is a Swirly Train original, an operatic introduction to the train, that pulled the heathens from the hilltop bar and onto the dancefloor to see what all the fuss was about (relive the track here, on the Swirly Train’s Soundcloud).  Once there, with us hooked on his every word and song selection, Swirly Dan then implores us all to be naughty boys and girls, and to bump and grind from planet to planet while our fearless leader fist pumps, gyrates and even takes time out from the tech house to get “fruity” with Kym Mazelle’s Young Hearts Run Free, a gamble that was paid handsomely by the crowd who were equal parts eating out of his finger and wrapped around his little hand.

As the headline act on day two of Stoked In The Park, Swirly Dan and his earth-to-Pluto ‘round trip faced the unenviable task of coaxing the slovenly party animals off their day-long prostrate positions on the hill. With his knack of reading, and dictating to, the crowd, however,  he did so with ease, agitating the crowd to the point where the acts who followed him, DJ Semichub and Maxy, had no drama keeping the reluctantly faithful engaged and dancing until it was time to board the mornings buses and make their way into the Running of the Bulls..

Unfortunately Swirly Dan’s time with us here on this terrestrial planets had to come to an end. After two weeks of treating us to his cosmic curation of music and general merrymaking from San Vino, to the San Sebastian Surf Camp, as well as Stoked in the Park, he had to depart, boarding a Swirly Train of the avionic variety and making his way to his home new home planet of Berlin.

We wish this Ziggy Stardust style musical voyager the best of luck in Berlin’s club scene, and welcome him back with eager arms whenever he deigns it time to return to Stoke Travel to lead his acolytes on whatever adventure he deems essential at that time. We’re hoping for more swirly antics at La Tomatina and the end-of-season smasher, Oktoberfest. Travel well, space voyager, we’ll keep Earth swirly while we wait for your return.

The Swirly Train is a side project of Art Vs Science frontman, Dan Mac aka Swirly Dan. You can find the project on Soundcloud, or at various weird Berlin clubs this summer. Stoked in the Park is a first-of-its-kind music festival within Europe’s biggest traditional parties, with the first installment taking place in Pamplona during that city’s San Fermin celebrations.