Live in Edinburgh This Week – 2nd August 2010

For those of you not so keen on the cut and thrust of the bleeding edge of alt-folk, there is the opportunity to do something to satisfy a couple of the other senses this week.   On Thursday 5th August there is a bit of a foodie event taking place at the Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street, called World Kitchen. Also, on Thursday, after having your ears assaulted by my dubious DJing skills, you may wish to pop down to the Wee Red Bar for the inaugural Chops club night.

Myself and Mrs. Toad are taking a bit of holiday too, bravely leaving our house and retarded cat in the hand of Mrs. Toad’s brother.  It works quite well actually.  He crashes with us for a bit, we get the house and cat looked after, and he gets to make a bit of money renting out his house during the Festival.  And then I’ll be back just in time to bugger off to Haarfest in Anstruther for a week and erm… well, there is a Festival in Edinburgh in August isn’t there?  It looks like I might actually miss most of it, although by an odd coincidence  I will be around every Sunday.

And that is a convenient happenstance, because for the month of August Ruth and my good self will be returning to Fresh Air Radio for our Toad and Ruth’s Toad and Ruth Show with Toad and Ruth, with shows from seven to half eight in the evening on Sundays the 15th, 22nd and 29th August, and a kick-off preview show which will be broadcast (Ruthlessly, unfortunately) this Wednesday 4th August from half eight.  As usual we’ll be looking to get guests and live music on the show, starting with legendary New York anti-folker Lach on the 15th, who will hopefully play a few songs and chat about Lach’s Anti-hoot, his Festival show in which he will be trying to recreate the spirit of New York anti-folk in Edinburgh.  Kinda like the Bowery, then.

Wednesday 4th August 2010: Calvin Johnson, Ben Butler & Mousepad and eagleowl at Pilrig St. Paul’s Church.

Pilrig St. Paul’s is on the corner of Leith Walk and Pilrig Street, and is just the latest in a long list of gorgeous venues sniffed out by Jillian and Emily from Tracer Trails.  It will also be the venue for this year’s christonafuckingbikeimohsoveryexcited Retreat Festival (free sampler of some of the bands involved to be found here), so this will be a chance to sneak preview the place before committing to a weekend of unspeakable joy and drunken liver-punches later in the month.  I know little about this particular lineup, I have to confess, apart from the fact that Calvin Johnson shares a label with the utterly unspeakable and profoundly punchable Jeremy Jay.  But I assume Mr. Johnson himself is a hell of a lot nicer or the Tracer Trails team would never be dealing with him in the first place.

Thursday 5th August 2010:Born to Be Wide Festival Special at the Electric Circus, with all sorts of DJs and bands.

This night is a preview night for Retreat, the Forest Fringe and Acoustic Edinburgh and a general statement that, Festival and imported musical exotica aside, there is plenty of awfy good stuff to be found here the rest of the year too.  There will be mini acoustic sets by a selection of bands on the hour, interspersed with equally mini DJ sets of local music toilers such as myself playing five-song sets of our favourite Edinburgh records. Enfant Bastard, Meursault, Emily Scott and the brilliantly named Haftor Medboe stand out for me on the list of artists booked to play.

Meursault – Love or Limb

Friday 6th August 2010: Villagers at Sneaky Pete’s.

Villagers were very nearly reviewed on Song, by Toad when they released their debut album a month or so ago.  I found it all just a tad too nice, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be genuinely interested to hear them live.  A live performance is often a little more raw than a recorded song, which often leads to me quite considerably preferring a live setting for some of the current rash of polished folk-pop.

Villagers – Becoming a Jackal

Friday 6th – Sunday 15th August: Acoustic Cafe at the Roxy Art House.

This acoustic mini-festival starts this weekend and runs through to the end of the following one.  On Friday we have Iona Marshall and the Last Battle, Saturday is The One Ensemble and Yusuf Azak and Sunday Meursault (solo) and Esperi.  As well as Electric Circus, Ed from the Roxy seems to be one of the few committed to supporting local music during the tidal wave of imported bumph which swamps the place in August.

Yusuf Azak – Eastern Sun

Saturday 7th August 2010: FOUND & Milk (I’m not sure that’s the right MySpace link) at the Electric Circus.

FOUND’s rather fantastic (Machine Age Dancing!  MACHINE AGE DANCING!!!) new album is out soon.  How soon I don’t quite know I have to confess, but I can tell you this about it: it’s more of an abrasive indie-rock album that I ever expected from these lads which, frankly, is just showing off.  Get back in your pigeonhole you alt-folk glitch-hopsters!

FOUND – Freaky Freaky Chancer