Live in Edinburgh This Week – 10th January 2011

I spent this week’s podcast – well the post anyway, not the podcast itself – apologising for taking a bit too long this year to crank my brain into action in 2011, but it looks like the Edinburgh gig machine is having much the same problem.

There’s a battle of the bands type thing at Maggie’s Chambers on Saturday 15th, but that’s really all I could find.  Bands playing at this include Supermarionation, Steel Rose, Fireproof Match, Deco Arcade and Augustalia.  If you’re in Glasgow there seems to be a little bit more going on, so if you’re that way inclined why not pop over to Ayetunes and check out Jim’s listings for the coming week.

So, in the absence of other distractions I thought I might take the opportunity to plug my new monthly gig night, which will be kicking off a week on Saturday.  I’ve said before that with the relocation of Tracer Trails to Glasgow, the disappearance of Trampoline, the closure of the Roxy and the apparent hiatus of the Gentle Invasion, that I think we are facing a bit of a problem in Edinburgh in terms of just keeping the excellent music scene in the city bubbling along.

Live music is pretty much the lifeblood of any music scene.  It maintains the relationships and sense of community which are so vital, however fragmented and incoherent the rag-tag group of people lumped under that rather unpleasant term might be (I am growing to hate talk of ‘scenes’, but can’t think of a better word).  Blogs and online fora can do this to an extent, but I really don’t think it’s any kind of replacement, so the distinct petering out of live music here in the last year or so has been something of a concern to me.

And, given I keep telling everyone else that I don’t give a fuck about their plans until they actually get out and do something, I reckoned I had better take my own advice, stop moaning and try and do something about it.  And thus was born The Ides of Toad.  It’s not, I must confess, a name to which I gave much thought.  I’m looking to hold the night on a Saturday roughly in the middle of the month, hence the name Ides, but that’s about all the rationale I have for it.

We start next weekend, on Saturday the 22nd January (tickets here), with The Scottish Enlightenment (whose album St. Thomas was one of my favourite of the year), along with Johnny Reb, who have spent the last while recording an album with Morrissey’s old guitarist Boz Boorer out in Portugal, and Cloud Sounds recommendation and recently acquired Edinburgh resident Morris Major.

In February we then have an obviously brilliant lineup, with Rob St. John, Ziggy Campbell and The Scottish Enlightenment’s labelmates, the awesome Thirty Pounds of Bone (tickets).  If that’s kind of an obvious sort of Toad night, brilliant as it is, then March is something a bit different for you: Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six.  This lot aren’t that well know up here I don’t think, but they are really something rather awesome live.  The Wee Red is booked for the night so we have booked Henry’s Cellar Bar, and I am really looking forward to this gig.

In general the Ides of Toad tickets will be available from Avalanche Records in the Grassmarket, as well as from my page on Brown Paper Tickets online.