Live in Edinburgh This Week – 1st November 2009

Single Launch Poster Well this is a bit of a big week for Song, by Toad Records.  Apart from the fact that the Loch Lomond/Builders & the Butchers split 12″ is now officially available to buy, we also have the Meursault single launch on Saturday, with three of my favourite bands.  We’re releasing four A-sides on two 7″ singles, on clear vinyl: new recordings of William Henry Miller Parts One and Two are going back to back with A Few Kind Words and the Dirt & the Roots from Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues.  Officially, neither single is being released until the first week of December, but they will be available at live shows from this week onwards, including all tour dates the boys are playing over the next few weeks – details on their MySpace page.

Edinburgh’s best DIY arts venue, The Bowery, officially opened a year ago this week (or so), and the single launch just happens to be their first birthday party. The Edinburgh University Settlement, however, are getting rid of Ruth and Jane and taking the whole place over, so by the end of December the Bowery as we know and love it will cease to exist.  I am trying to get in touch with the Settlement themselves to find out exactly why they are doing this, and what alternatives they are putting in place, but in terms of the artistic community in this city this looks like nothing short of a bloody disaster.

Basically, this means that we have two months left to enjoy the place and show our gratitude to Ruth and Jane for the incredible amount of hard work they have put into giving us all such a special place to go and drink and to see live music, so please come along as often as possible over the next two months in order to give them the best send off we can manage.

Wednesday 4th November 2009: Daniel Johnston, The Wave Pictures & Laura Marling at The Queen’s Hall.

As marquee gigs go, this is the best Edinburgh has had for a long time.  Apart from the general elusiveness of Daniel Johnston himself, this is treat for the entire lineup.  In terms of wonky, off-kilter, sometimes painfully personal lyrics you won’t find better, but the key bit is how deceptively poppy the songwriting can be from both Johnston himself and support band the Wave Pictures.

Daniel Johnston – Foxy Girl
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/DanielJohnston-FoxyGirl.mp3]

Thursday 5th November 2009: Withered Hand, Candythief & James Lowe play the Leith Tape Club at the Iso Lounge.

This is a really cracking lineup for the Leith Tape Club.  Most people here will know Withered Hand’s brilliant anti-folkery, but I highly recommend the flamboyantly orchestrated pop of Candythief as well.  I’ve no idea how it will strip back to the bare-bones approach necessitated by the Tape Club, but I’m keen to hear it.

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

Saturday 7th November 2009: Meursault, Withered Hand & Jesus H. Foxx at the Bowery.

As lineups go, if I were the sort who spent his time masturbating to music, I would spank myself raw to the mere thought of this one.  Probably whilst lying in a bath full of lovely clear vinyl!

Meursault – A Few Kind Words
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/Meursault-AFewKindWords.mp3]

Saturday 7th November 2009: Sara & the Snakes, Mitchell Museum & The Last Battle play Limbo at the Voodoo Rooms.

It’s good to see the Limbo chaps back in the saddle.  Mitchell Museum are mental live, and the Last Battle have formed from the ashes of local band Thieves in Suits, and since then I have heard some really good things about them.

Mitchell Museum – Arthur Loves the Shadows
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/MitchellMuseum-ArthurLovestheShadows.mp3]

Saturday 7th November 2009: Mark Eitzel & Franz Nicolay at Cabaret Voltaire.

Hmm, I’m not sure you really want all these good gigs on on a night when you’re trying to have a successful single launch, but this lineup looks really interesting.  Hailing from American Music Club and The Hold Steady respectively, I don’t know too much about either man’s solo material, but the bands they are/were both in before can be pretty bloody excellent.

Mark Eitzel – Patriot’s Heart (Live)
[audio:http://songbytoad.com/tunes/MarkEitzel-PatriotsHeart-Live.mp3]