Live in Edinburgh This Week – 5th December 2011

THIS WEEK IS THE MOTHERFUCKING SONG. BY TOAD CHRISTMAS PARTY!  OH YES IT IS! And isn’t that jolly exciting.  You’d best all be very excited indeed or I will be most upset – I’m a sensitive soul after all! I’ve also just realised that although I ordered tickets, I forgot to take them down to Avalanche, because I am a fool, so I will do that today.  And you can buy them online too remember.

However, firstly, a spot of boasting, if that’s okay.  I know I just did this last week but a couple of things have come up which are rather good, so umm… well, I’ll keep it brief.

Firstly, Song, by Toad has been voted joint third favourite music blog, along with Gorilla vs Bear, in the music bloggers’ favourite music blogs poll 2011, as conducted by the Recommender.  Strangely enough, I finished level with GvB last year as well, although we were joint fourth, but we were also behind a second-placed Pigeons & Planes too, which gives this year’s list an oddly familiar look.

And Secondly, The Scotsman asked me to write an article for them about ‘A Year in Toad’, or something like that, this weekend, and the results can be read here.  It’s odd how editing the writing as brutally as I had to to fit it into the 900 word limit changes the feel of it.  I am not sure if I didn’t try and cram too much stuff in there, at the expense of that friendly, readable style I generally aim for.  Still, not a bad discipline to engage in every once in a while.

It’s odd though, because they barely changed what I submitted, albeit a couple of changes which seem oddly meaningless. In the first paragraph ‘in our living room’ was changed to ‘in the living room of my Edinburgh home’ which, despite sounding somewhat constipated and wrong when those particular words are put in my mouth, also seems like an oddly inefficient way to get the information across when they could have just added the word ‘Edinburgh’ before ‘indie label’ in the intro bit they put at the top.

So it was nice that they changed so little, but the changes they made were a little baffling. In almost every case it was just a marginally different way of saying what I had already said.  So none of it was at all bad – the changes weren’t really better or worse – but it was a little odd, because it mostly seemed needless. The only reason I even mention it is because I don’t exactly write for grown up publications a lot, so I am still kind of fascinated by the process.

Anyway, the ramping up of the Christmas boozemageddon continues this week, with plenty of gigs and far too many opportunities to get yourself into a drunken mess.

Monday 5th Dec: Franz Nicolay, Chris T-T & Billy Liar at the Banshee Labyrinth.

I don’t know much about this, but it looks like it might be rather interesting. Nicolay used to play piano in The Hold Steady, and you can still hear a lot of that kind of stuff in his solo material.  Nevertheless, it clearly has its own character, maybe a little more frenzied and tangential than the conversational realism of Hold Steady stuff, so this could be a really interesting gig.

Tuesday 6th Dec: Broken Records, The Douglas Firs & R.M. Hubbert at Cabaret Voltaire.

Broken Records will be test driving some new songs, which is exciting enough, and with The Douglas Firs and R.M. Hubbert also booked, this bill is an absolute corker.

Broken Records – Modern Worksong

Friday 9th Dec: John Knox Sex Club at the National Portrait Gallery.

The John Knox Sex Club were described to me as the best live band in Scotland, and after their Ides of Toad gig with Easter and Fuzzystar, I can’t disagree.  It was brilliant, and they are in Edinburgh again on Friday at the National Portrait Gallery, playing at the launch for a book called Rough Cut Nation.

Saturday 10th Dec: Song, by Toad Records Christmas Party at the St. Stephen’s Centre.

With a couple of exceptions we will have every band on the label playing on Saturday. Lil Daggers and Trips and Falls are across the pond, The Savings and Loan don’t really play live, particularly, and Charlie from King Post Kitsch has had to go down to London for work-related reasons.  Other than that, we are all present and accounted for, so please join us for a day (and evening) spent celebrating our year’s work with increasing levels of drunkenness.