Live in Edinburgh This Week – 16th August 2010

Having missed most of the first week of the Festival by being in Spain, I am now going to miss large parts of this week by pootling about in Anstruther at Haarfest (tickets can be found in the right hand column of this page).

Mrs. Toad will presumably hate me for this of course, as she has to stay behind in Edinburgh and do a proper job, whereas I can fuck off to Fife, get lashed, and call it work.  Mwaaah hah haaa…!

Given the fact that during the Festival the centre of Edinburgh becomes roughly as welcoming as the picture above I think I’ll appreciate a swift relocation for a few days, ready to come back to the last week of the Festival, go to a couple of shows and pretend I always knew it was going to be fun all along.

Anyhow, for those of you not Fifing themselves all to pieces this week I have some very fine recommendations indeed:

Lach’s Antihoot – from Wednesday at the Gilded Balloon.

I was at the first night, which was great, and apparently this week has been great fun, according to the man himself and according to Dylan’s drunken Facebook pictures of himself, Bart and Jamie and Rory from Broken Records who played there on Saturday.

Tuesday 17th August 2010: Withered Hand & The Last Battle at the Electric Circus.

Dan from Withered Hand is currently working on his second album, although I am not sure how far he’s actually got just yet.  Either way, I’m probably as excited to hear new stuff from Withered Hand as I am to hear new stuff from any band on Song, by Toad Records. Dan’s way with words is as good as anyone I know, and his knack of wrapping them up in simple but effective melodies makes his music both as pleasurable and as rewarding as anything else happening in Edinburgh at the moment.

Withered Hand – Religious Songs
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/WitheredHand-ReligiousSongs.mp3]

Tuesday 17th August 2010: John Grant & Rachel Sermanni at the Wee Red Bar.

John Grant used to be in a band called The Czars who had some truly brilliant moments.  I saw him at SXSW, and he stepped up to a piano in a checked shirt and sporting a very alt-country sort of beard and then instead of playing the sort of Bella Union alt country I expected (fairly obvious assumptions based on costume and venue) he played a series of sweet, melodic piano ballads, with just the faintest scent of theatricality about them.  I haven’t heard the album yet, but that was an intriguing show and I’d recommend checking his stuff out.

John Grant – Where Dreams Go to Die
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/JohnGrant-WhereDreamsGotoDie.mp3]

Tuesday 17th August 2010: The Besnard Lakes, Heart Beats & Penguins Kill Polar Bears at Sneaky Pete’s.

I haven’t seen the Besnard Lakes live, but their sound is really nicely complex and layered, and when their songs are good they are really really good.  If that translates to the live setting as well as I suspect it might then this could be an almighty wall of sound and completely brilliant.  That’s just a guess though, but I would like to think it’s true.  Let me know if you go and find out.

The Besnard Lakes – Chicago Train
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/TheBesnardLakes-ChicagoTrain.mp3]

Thursday 19th August 2010: The Scottish Enlightenment, Debutant & Dan Lyth at Henry’s Cellar Bar.

This is something of a stripped back gig for the Scottish Enlightenment, due to the absence of a guitarist, but nevertheless their slow, deliberate sound is a treat I would recommend to anyone.  There is an album due out shortly, which I am heartily looking forward to.

The Scottish Enlightenment – Riverbed
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/TheScottishEnlightenment-Riverbed.mp3]

Thursday 19th August 2010: Sleepy Sun at Sneaky Pete’s.

I’ll be honest with you, I know no more about this than the fact that I had a listen to their MySpace page and thought it sounded interesting.  Interesting it did sound however, so I reckon it might well be worth a chance if you’re looking for something to do on Thursday.