Live in Edinburgh This Week – 10th August 2008


Well, we’ll be back by the end of this week, back into a maelstrom of gigs.  What the fuck am I going to do on Saturday?  Go to see Johnny Flynn at Cabaret Voltaire?  Sparrow & the Workshop at the Liquid Room?  Or Eagleowl at the Scottish Scullery.  I am going to be spread thinner than the veneer of desperately forced joy on a vegetarian’s malnourished visage.  I think I may even be doing a show for Fresh Air Radio that day, but I have no idea what about, as yet.

So, what’s happening on the busiest week of my annual gig calendar?  Take a deep breath and… here we go:

Friday 15th August 2008: Noah & the Whale at Cabaret Voltaire.
Pretty much the pinnacle of the dismal Edge Festival’s woeful efforts this month sees them bringing folk popsters (more pop than folk these days, but not to their detriment) Noah & the Whale to Edinburgh.  I really like the band, and I am going to go.  Splendid.
Noah & the Whale – Beating

Friday 15th August 2008: Withered Hand plays the Retreat Festival at the Scottish Scullery.
Withered Hand are one of the best bands in the city at the moment, mixing acerbic wit with caustic self-loathing and futile optimism.  If anyone embodies Scottish songwriting as I see it then it is Dan, and his band is worth making a considerable trip to see.  Brilliant.
Withered Hand – Religious Songs

Saturday 16th August 2008: Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit at Cabaret Voltaire.
This lad is pure gold.  Never mind the public school education, the excessively literate bent and the thespian background, there is a wonderful charisma to their live performance and the charm exuded by both the band and the music is wonderful.  I may well not make it, but I wish I could.
Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit – Tickle Me Pink

Saturday 16th August 2008: Sparrow & the Workshop at the Liquid Room.
They may be supporting Y’All is Fantasy Island, but the reason I will be at this gig will be to get my first sight of one of the most exciting recent arrivals on the Scottish music scene of late, who are due to record a Toad Session the following day.
Sparrow & the Workshop – Devil Song

Saturday 16th August 2008: Eagleowl play their single launch at the Scottish Scullery.
Eagleowl wish, at least a little, that they were Low.  Or so they have said, apparently.  Between Clarissa’s wonderful arse* doleful double bass, Malcolm’s funereal violin and Bart’s grumbling guitar they aren’t far off, but there is a knack for melody there that picks each song a special place of its own and steers well clear of that sulky indie-folk cliche to which they would otherwise be prone.  It will be a small release, but one of the best of the year, I guarantee it.
Eagleowl – Blanket

Sunday 17th August 2008: Isosceles at Cabaret Voltaire.
Isosceles are very good.  They are pop, their lyrics are shallow at best, but their tunes are superb and the music they make is sheer good-time, hugely danceable indie-pop.
Isosceles – Kitch Bitch

Sunday 17th August 2008: Broken Records at the Liquid Room.
Edinburgh’s most successful recent export come home for a bit to pack out the Liqud Room (again) and presumably publicise their new single, Slow Parade, out on the 11th August on Fandango.  This will be an absolute fucking corker.
Broken Records – If the News Makes You Sad, Don’t Watch It (Toad Session)

*Sorry Jake.  And Mrs. Toad.  S’true though.