Edinburgh ‘Festival’ has something of a reputation, and it’s not always one that Jockrock can generally be enthusiastic about. Things were different of course – Planet Pop did sterling work in the early ‘00s before being rather elbowed out of the picture by T on the Fringe. Tigerfest took on the mantle of underground and local music promoter before running out of steam (and cash). TotF morphed into The Edge before… running out of cash? Surely not? It befell local promoters to take on the mantle and Retreat did a good job of a month-long event before compacting down to firstly, a great, but short, mini-festival, and, then, nothing.
This year things have changed. It’s not clear why, but there’s a plethora of shows to be seen.
For example, the old medical school at Summerhall (near-ish Queen’s Hall) has a variety of music and general artsy stuff on.
First up, Pumajaw – chanteuse Pinkie Maclure and soundscaper designer John Wills – present Song Noir, between 2nd – 25th, pretty much,
Also at Summerhall on Sat 3rd (one night only): Blood Stereo, Pengo and Usurper’s Infinite Gaaah Tour! On the 4th. And on 11th and 12th, A Band Called Quinn’s musical theatre (possibly), Biding Time (Remix) –
Otherwise there’s samplescaper Scanner on Sat 10th, The One Ensemble on the 14th and 15th, The Dead Man’s Waltz from 14th – 18th, and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra on the 17th.
The Electric Circus – a venue just round the back of Waverley Station, for the uninitiated – has a show on pretty much every night. The real stand-outs include Randolph’s Leap (9th), Art Brut (10th), Washington Irving (14th) and Brendan Benson (24th).
And they also are running a series of afternoon shows, under the ‘Electric Lunch’ banner. I can find nothing about this on t’web unfortunately, hopefully their website will soon have all the details.
And finally on that score, Born To Be Wide has one of its ‘music social club’ events on Sunday Aug 4th, with sets from Admiral Fallow, A.J Roach, Donald Macdonald and the Islands, Grand Laddie (Bart from Eagleowl with friends), Gastric Band, Jellyman’s Daughter, Nasty P, Randolph’s Leap, Teklo, and Alba Roma play at the Electric Circus, on Sunday 4th. £3 in, but free entry if you share the gig info via Facebook now and post your favourite 3 Edinburgh-related tunes on the wall (or something like that).
Perhaps keeping the spirit of Planet Pop and Tigerfest alive is the Song, By Toad record label – we already previewed their Pale Imitation fest – a series of eight (or so) shows at Henry’s Cellar Bar including Adam Stafford, Found, Sparrow & the Workshop, Malcolm Middleton, eagleowl and SAY award winner RM Hubbert. More here.
And when Henry’s isn’t infested by Toad(s), their regular resident – anti-folk legend Lach – will be running the Antihoot on Mondays. More at www.lachtoday.com.
Lach also has a one-man show, Anticdotes, Wednesday-Sunday nights at 8:30pm (Aug 1-4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-25) at The Hive… it’s a free /Pay What you Want show, but you can reserve a seat at edfringe.com. (And, as per the comment below, he hosts a songwriters night at Henry’s on Tuesdays).
In a similar vein, Haddow on the Fringe has eight shows in seven different Edinburgh venues from August 1 – 16, with headliners including The Cribs, Alabama 3, Broken Records and Kid Canaveral (who will be joined on-stage by Glasgow’s Cairn String Quartet and have ballboy as special guests). There’s also Haddowfest’s monthly club night with The Pictish Trail alongside Fence Records’ new siginings, Monoganon on August 24 at the Liquid Room.
No festival is complete without a run of shows from two-hit-wonder, John Otway – unfortunately it seems that his only gig this year is a one-off – at the Jam House on Monday 12th (at 5pm)
It does seem that MJ Hibbett could take on the musical comedy mantle form Otway, as he’s now been coming ot Edinburgh for at least 3 years. This time it’s ‘Total Hero Team’ – from 3rd – 17th at The Dram House Upstairs (formerly Wilkie House/GRV) on Guthrie Street. Which is probably where he played a couple of years ago…
And another regular Festival attendee is Irish singer Jack Lukeman. He’s doing his 27 Club, a ‘tribute’ to assorted dead singers, from 13-24 August. It’s a decent show, though with any luck, he’ll throw in a few of his own tunes at the end.
King Creosote and James Yorkston are among the acts who’ll be at The Music Hall on August 8 as part of the Assembly Rooms Fringe. It’s a memorial concert for Doogie Paul, the bassist probably best known for his work with James Yorkston and The Athletes. Also performing will be Mogwai, Alasdair Roberts, Kathyrn Williams and Ian Rankin.
Also running for pretty much most of the month is another surreal musical adventure from former Dawn of the Replicants frongman Paul Vickers – Twonkeys Blue Cadabra is another Free Fringe gig (but don’t forget some cash for a donation). It’s at the Laughing Horse @ Espionage.
And there’s plenty more to be seen and heard at the Free Fringe (including a 36-track download album)
South Queensferry (formerly) afrobeaters Bwani Junction are running Bwanifest, which runs from August 14-16th at Tigerfest’s former home, the Caley Backpackers.
The Queen’s Hall has also got in on the act – King Creosote, Withered Hand, Eugene Kelly, Admiral Fallow, Karine Polwart, Second Hand Marching Band, and Rachel Sermanni are all lined up, along with five performances of Whatever Gets You Through The Night. To many to list, so see www.thequeenshall.net/whats-on/2013/08
Addendum – we keep discovering more shows, so I’ll list them in brief – Indian prog-pop from Bangalore Rock – runs for 3 weeks or so a the Merchants Hall. Former Bhundu Boy Rise Kagona is at the Jazz Bar on the 10th and 14th, locally-grown bluegrass ensemble Blueflint have 2 shows on the 16th and 17th… internet movie mash-upper Cassetteboy is with DJ Rubbish at the Pleasance Dome, Thursdays – SUndays… folk legend Rab Noakes is at St Brides for one night (the 11th)… prog legend Rick Wakeman has music and conversation for 2 weeks at the Assembly Rooms… Roddy Woomble is at the Assembly Rooms on Wed 7th… world music king Samba Sene is with band Diwan is at the New Town Theatre on the 16th… and singer-songwriter Norman Lamont has his intriguing death-ballad show ‘Songs My Killer Taught Me‘ at St Brides on the 18th & 19th.
Did we miss anything? Post us a comment below or send us a mail!