Live in Edinburgh This Week – 10th February 2008


What a frustrating week in gigs – both Monday and Wednesday have overlapping shows I would love to go to, and sadly I can’t do both. Although according to Rob himself I could perhaps nip from the Wee Red Bar just in time to catch him onstage at 10.30 at Henry’s. Depends on your priorities of course.

Monday 11th February: Monkey Swallows the Universe at Cabaret Voltaire.
The Casket Letters was a low-key masterpiece, and this will be the last chance to see these guys play as they have called it quits for reasons as yet unknown. Lush, gorgeous, folky indiepop and absolutely not to be missed.
Monkey Swallows the Universe – Chicken Fat Waltz

Monday 11th February: Art Brut at The Hive.
Fucking arse. MStU on the same day and unfortunately something had to give, and it was Art Brut. Their slightly bizzare brand of fit-pop is oddly fascinating, deeply patchy and occasionally brilliant. I’d be there in a heartbeat if not for the bloody clash with the above gig. Arse.
Art Brut – Bang, Bang, Rock & Roll!

Wednesday 13th February: Broken Records at The Wee Red Bar.
Who? I hear you ask? Broken Records? Why’ve you not mentioned them before? Okay okay, I get the picture. But they’re great, they’re playing live and they have a single on the way – what’s not to love? Thanks again to Euan and Bart from Trampoline for another great lineup too – I don’t know anything much about support acts The Sweetheart Revue or Dead Beat Club, but I will be there early and make sure I find out!
Broken Records – Slow Parade

Wednesday 13th February: Rob St.John at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
There are a few others playing as part of the Hollow Heart Parlour monthly acoustic night, which I know nothing about, but really think I should investigate. Rob’s gorgeous EP of hush-folk was one of the highlights of (late, late, late) 2007 and there are only a couple of copies left. Because of the dash from the Broken Records gig I will miss the support, but if you are more acoustically minded get there early for Lindsay West, Ainslie Henderson and Anna K. Jarosz (who is, with all due deference to my glittering princess Mrs. Toad, rather fit. Sheesh sometimes I wish I wasn’t quite so shallow and predictable. Unfortunately I don’t wish it quite enough to actually stop being shallow and predictable, it seems.)
Rob St.John – The Acid Test

Thursday 14th February: The Phantom Band at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
I know nothing about The Phantom Band apart from the fact that they have just been signed by legendary Glasgow label Chemikal Underground, and that acoustic genius Rick Redbeard plays guitar for them. They sound nothing like him unfortunately, so here’s a wee reminder of how bloody great his music is. That’s his sister on backing vocals – what a bloody gorgeous voice.
Rick Redbeard – Blood

Saturday 16th February: The Low Miffs at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
You have to see these lads. Literate (very literate in fact) spiky, ambitious, and a wee bit retro. I have very, very high hopes for The Low Miffs this year.

The Low Miffs – Cressida

If a week like this doesn’t get me a fucking divorce then nothing will – especially when you factor in the fact that I am dragging Mrs. Toad through to Glasgow on Friday to see Frightened Rabbit and Popup, and then trying to talk her into recording an anti-Valentine’s podcast on Tuesday evening. Oh yes, that reminds me: apparently it’s bloody Valentine’s Day on Thursday. Fuck that for a game of soldiers.