Live in Edinburgh This Week – 4th May 2008


Oh the busyness just doesn’t subside, does it. And there’s nothing quite so life-affirming as being in the office on a Bank Holiday Monday. The way things work around here they just lump Bank Holidays into your overall holiday allowance, so you can take the days when you want. This makes a lot of sense for plenty of reasons, but it falls short in one crucial way: every once in a while it is nice to be forced to take some time off and just waste a day with your other half.

Mrs. Toad is at home by herself, no doubt drinking a cuppa in our south-facing, sun-drenched garden. Or proto-garden more like, as it was all planted from scratch last year and is only slowly growing into itself.
As much as I like where I work, I would dearly love to be at home with my silly missus and her preposterous cat, drinking tea in the sunshine and cursing my silliness at failing to dead-head the fennel before the bastard went to seed and caused an explosion of miniature fennel plants in the little bed in front of the shed. Or something like that. Rats.

So, coming down from Nick Cave in Glasgow last night with JC and Mrs. Villain, what can we find to try and fail to live up to that experience this week? And what the fuck is going on on Thursday for crying out loud?

Tuesday 6th May: Frightened Rabbit at The Hive.
I don’t know what the venue is like, but The Hive’s website is so monumentally shit and clunky to navigate that I sightly resent plugging their gigs. And actually, Frightened Rabbit’s new album isn’t exactly blowing my socks off either. Mind you, I’ll be busy doing radio things, so what do I care. Ross Clark is supporting, and he’s pretty handy.
Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper

Thursday 8th May: King Creosote & Slow Club at Fence Club, the Caves.
Another excellent Fence Club lineup, with good ol’ KC and the excellent Slow Club – another Moshi Moshi band, I have serious Label Envy! There’s also an exclusive vinyl treat (that sounds kinky) if you come along, so what more incentive could you want? These parties are brilliant fun.
Slow Club – Me & You

Thursday 8th May: Attic Lights at Cabaret Voltaire.
I keep hearing these lads mentioned as the Next Big Thing, and highly complimented by plenty of very reliable people. Honestly though, I have never heard anything that gets me all that excited. Still, I have yet to give the time necessary to qualify that kind of negativity, so I will make more effort before I shrug my shoulders once and for all.
Attic Lights – Never Get Sick of the Sea

Thursday 8th May: The Kays Lavelle & The Mannequins at Limbo, the Voodoo Rooms.
The Kays Lavelle will presumably be shit, once again*.
Anyway, once the humour subsides, expect some rather dark, generally piano-led indie-rock. The Mannequins are new to me, but a cursory listen to their MySpace sounds pretty promising. Sort of punk-croon, if you can imagine that.
The Mannequins – Little Black Book

Thursday 8th May: Dave Graney, The Low Miffs & the Bum-Clocks in the Speakeasy at the Voodoo Rooms.
This is a superb lineup. I don’t know much about the headliner, but the Low Miffs are fantastic, and as for the Bum-Clocks… well, can you imagine Robert Burns’ poetry performed against a backdrop of Malcolm Ross’ indie guitar riffs? This is really, really worth going to.
The Bum-Clocks – A Tale o’ Twa Dugs

Friday 9th May: MGMT at the Liquid Room.
I’ll admit I’m being a bit of a pop slut by going to this, but Time to Pretend is just brilliant and although the rest of it slides a little closer to the Scissor Sister than I might personally choose, I expect this to be a load of fun. Someone told me they were shit live, but I’ll withhold judgment on that until after Friday. I’m bloody well committed now anyway.
MGMT – The Youth

Friday 9th May: Rachel Unthank & the Winterset at the Voodoo Rooms.
If I’m being honest I would say that this is a little bit too folky for me, really. There’s a lot to like in the music though, and some of my readers may well love this, so it’s definitely worth considering. And her rendition of Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk is just brilliant.
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset – Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk

[Edit: an irate Bart, who couldn’t even be arsed to list this gig himself, insists I mention the following gig. They’re so good they don’t feature on his own listings page, but hey, they’re presumably good enough for me, eh? Fucksake.]

Saturday 10th May: The Second Hand Marching Band, Skeleton Bob & Woodenbox at the Wee Red Bar.
Apparently this lot are all very good. For more complete descriptions, complete with a girly ginger hissy-fit, see the comments below. Good grief.
The Second Hand Marching Band – Dance to Half Death

*Sorry, that’s an in-joke. Lead singer Euan is a regular reader of this site and so my first review of the band was a one-liner: The Kays Lavelle were shit. Side-splitting, eh? Yes, I know, sometimes I wonder how I do it.