Live in Edinburgh This Week – 23rd November 2008

The Caves

You can’t fucking move in Edinburgh this week but for accidentally walking in on a quality gig.  Honestly, you could end up with a liver like a cricket ball if you went to all of the bastards, so there may be a few orange juice gigs (yes, I know, boom-tish and all that) for me this week, or I’ll have to spend all of December sobering up.

Given what Christmas is generally like anyway, I suspect that’s what January is likely to be for but, as with Christmas itself, it seems that the party season is starting earlier than ever this year.  Anyhow, there are a couple of really major ones this week, so unless you are at gigs from Wednesday until Sunday with barely a pause for breath, then bollocks to you.

Wednesday 26th November 2008: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the Corn Exchange.
I don’t think I need to tell you what a legend I think Nick Cave is.  Along with Tom Waits and Bob Dylan he forms some sort of Unholy Trinity here at Song, by Toad and as his age increases so, seemingly, does his swagger.  Dig, Lazarus, Dig may not have been the most brilliant of his albums, but the stage show is still pretty amazing, helped considerably by the presence of demonic dervish Warren Ellis, torturing his violin to within an inch of its life.  Not to be missed.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Opium Tea

Wednesday 26th November 2008: Mary Hampton & Pete Greenwood bring the Green Man Tour to the Bowery.
If you can’t face the plastic glassed, beer stained, sweaty aircraft hangar which is the Corn Exchange then this is place for you.  The Bowery’s cosy setting is as perfect as I can imagine for the kind of delicate folk that the Green Man tour will be bringing to town.  Peter Greenwood is a little more popsome than Mary Hampton, so the two should provide a nice counterpoint to one another and a splendid evening altogether.
Pete Greenwood – Negotiations & Last Words

Thursday 27th November 2008: The Limbo 1st Birthday Party at the Voodoo Rooms, with Micachu, A-Lix, Dead Boy Robotics & Ex Lion Tamer.
Quite how Limbo have managed to put on a gig every week for a year is bloody well beyond me.  This will be at the dancier, electro-spazzier end of the spectrum of music you’ll hear about on this site, but then again this is supposed to a party after.  So well done to Dave and Andy at Limbo, and you can be assured that I will be there with bells on.  And, while we’re at it, well done to Ex Lion Tamer on signing with Seventeen Seconds Records.
Ex Lion Tamer – Go Ghost

Thursday 27th November 2008: Oxjam at the Hive, with Thieves in Suits, My Tiny Robots, Found, Sorren MacLean, Black Diamond Express Saint Jude’s Infirmary & the Wee Baby Jesuses.
Forgive me if I don’t link to every single MySpace page for this one, but you can all use Google.  This is the second of two nights in the capital this week with an all-star lineup of bands and all sorts of shadowy-sounding extra entertainment, like Ox-Factor stage, a Guitar Hero Arena and a cocktail bar.

Friday 28th November 2008: Withered Hand, Ish Marquez, Stanley Brinks and an Uber-Secret Special Guest at Henry’s Cellar Bar.
Even without the Very Special Guest this is a pretty special lineup for fans of scratchy anti-folk twisted with unrest and disquiet.  Withered Hand is pretty much head of the Edinburgh arm of the anti-folk society, and certainly the one who fits most cleanly with their sound.
Jeffrey Lewis – If You Shoot the Head You Kill the Ghoul

Saturday 29th November 2008: White Heath & Fanattica at The Tron.
I am not entirely convinced about White Heath’s recordings on their MySpace page, but Euan put them on at Trampoline the other week and said that they were excellent live, so this should be worth checking out.  Recorded, there is quite a straightforward indie rock foundation to songs subsequently spiced up with real instruments.  Live apparently there is much more of an unhinged carnival atmosphere than I have thus far detected, so maybe it’s just not quite been captured on the recordings.  Fanattica are excellent live, with plenty of influence from the considerable Edinburgh Polish population, which they churn up with plenty of spirit and deliver with plenty of mayhem.

Saturday 29th November 2008: Gimme Shelter at the Caves, with pretty much the cream of the Edinburgh music scene.  I can’t be arsed linking all the MySpace pages, but here’s the list: Broken Records, Ballboy, Wake the President, Steve Mason (DJ Set), The European Union, De Rosa, Found (DJ Set), Withered Hand, Meursault, eagleowl, Jesus H Foxx, Little Pebble, The Kays Lavelle, Team Turnip, Kat Healy.  Basically, as you can probably tell, one great big fuck off extravaganza of music.  Surprisingly enough, my tip for the day is Team Turnip.  It may be a silly name, but Russell was one of the first people to ever submit music to Song, by Toad and his songwriting is really good.  He’s been under the radar somewhat since then, so I’ll be really interested to see how he’s getting on after almost two years.