Live in Edinburgh This Week – 27th July 2008

Retreat

Well we are approaching the Carnival of Shit that is the Edinburgh Festival’s indie music offering.  The Edge is utterly abysmal, offering virtually no bands worth seeing and absolutely nothing to generate any sort of excitment.  Noah & the Whale, Johnny Flynn and the Shout Out Louds are the only real treats from out of town, but two of the best bands – Broken Records and Isosceles – are local so we get to see them during the rest of year anyway.  So brilliant as it is to see local lads headlining the Liquid Rooms, the lack of imagination shown in the booking of the festival as a whole is really quite dismal.  The Raconteurs have recently been added to the bill and they’re brilliant live, but their last album was pretty disappointing, so I am torn on that one.

Pretty much anything worthwhile happening in music this August, barring the notable exceptions mentioned above, is happening because Bart & Emily got off their arses and put together The Retreat, a month of gigs at the Scottish Scullery, in St. John’s Church Hall at the end of Princes Street.  They are putting on a lot of local talent, the setting is phenomenal and the lineups superb.  And, of course, I am fucking well missing most of it because I am off on holiday.  Oh well, can’t have it all.

Tuesday 29th July 2008: The Second Hand Marching Band, Les Cox (Sportifs), The Wind Whistles, Oso at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
The Second Hand Marching Band are a sort of weird amalgamation of the sounds of Beirut played by a group roughly the size of the Polyphonic Spree.  I don’t know the other bands all that well, but even a quick browse through MySpaceland indicates that this is going to be an excellent gig.  The Gentle Invasion haven’t done a shit one yet.
The Second Hand Marching Band – Transformers (Tragically, this song has nothing to do with giant robots from outer space (who are also cars) and is consequently far less awesome than it could be.)

Friday 1st August 2008: Je Suis Animal, Meursault & Come In Tokyo at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
C&B tipped me off about this bunch of Norweigan indie-popsters only a couple of weeks ago.  I’ll be away, so I won’t be able to go myself, but they sound really good and are supported by the splendid Meursault so if I were here, I’d be there, if you know what I mean.
Je Suis Animal – Sparkle Spit