Live in Edinburgh This Week – 7th December 2008

Castle in Snow

Christ on a bike, after nothing at all last week, all of a sudden things are going bananas this week.  You could pretty much be at a good show every night if you wanted. I’m not going to write much in this intro because, frankly, there are so many gigs to bloody write about that the post would run on far too long otherwise.

Suffice to say that Friday’s party was, from my perspective, a massive success.  The open mic bit at the beginning was not an idea many people were overly convinced by, but I think pretty much everyone enjoyed it in the end.  I certainly did.

Tuesday 9th December 2008: Frightened Rabbit at the Liquid Room.
Despitely having rather disappointingly turned into Snow Patrol on their last album, there’s no doubt Frightened Rabbit, when they’re good, can be absolutely brilliant.  In terms of one last big gig to attend before the Hogmanay chaos, this archetypal Scottish indie would be an excellent choice.
Frightened Rabbit – Music Now[audio:]

Tuesday 9th December 2008: Louis Barrabas at the Forest Cafe.
Mr. Barrabas is described as ‘vaudeville folk’ in some quarters and listening to his MySpace page it’s difficult to fault that impression.  Frankly it sounds like two things to me: firstly, the kind of gig you’d be much more likely to see during the Festival; and secondly, like it really will be absolutely brilliantly entertaining.  I don’t think (although I’m not sure) that he will be bringing a band, so the theatrical musical chaos might be slightly lacking when compared to his MySpace recordings, but that doesn’t sound like it will matter much.  Excellent stuff.
Louis Barrabas – Love Struck Me Down[audio:]

Wednesday 10th December 2008: Benni Hemm Hemm at the Bowery.
I don’t know Benni’s music, but I have met him and he is a truly lovely guy.  Listening to his MySpace page, he seems less moody than the stereotypical Icelandic band, perhaps more in the style of a broader Scandinavian indie-pop, although with a lot less bubblegum.  That’s not very informative at all is it, sorry.
Benni Hemm Hemm – Veildiljod[audio:]

Thursday 11th December 2008: Jack Richold & Faith Nicholson at the Bowery.
Jack plays beautifully hushed folk songs, and Faith has a truly gorgeous voice.  Are they any good?  Well Jack wrote half the songs for the Nightjar album, and both sings and plays violin on The Moth Trap, on Song, by Toad Records.  So have a listen to this alternative version he and Faith recorded of Lady of the Calico from that album and decide for yourselves.  Bloody gorgeous.
Jack Richold – Lady of the Calico

Thursday 11th December 2008: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart & The Foundling Wheel at Sneaky Pete’s.
Before supporting the Weddoes the following evening at the Liquid Room, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart bring their old-fashioned indie sound to Sneaky Pete’s, alongside Edinburgh racket-merchant The Foundling Wheel.  The Pains &c. might easily have been around in the mid-eighties when the Wedding Present formed, if you were to only judge by their sound, but I reckon The Foundling Wheel might shake things up a bit.
The Pains of Being Pure of Heart – Everything With You[audio:]

Friday 12th December 2008: The Wedding Present at the Liquid Room.
Okay, so the Gedgerator’s music may be slipping into the ordinary these past few releases, but the Wedding Present play a furiously brilliant live show, and they have more quality in their back catalogue is so far ahead of almost any other band out there that there’s no way you can lose at a gig like this.  Break out the guitars, boys.
The Wedding Present – Step Into Christmas[audio:]

Friday 12th December 2008: This is Music, with Jesus H. Foxx & Mitchell Museum at Sneaky Pete’s.
Jesus H. Foxx are spiky indie-poppers, well known on the Edinburgh circuit, but I’ve not really heard of Mitchell Museum before.  A quick listen on MySpace leaves the impression of mid-era Britpop, well executed and definitely interesting.  A few more songs, however, bring you into a much more eccentric realm.
Mitchell Museum – Exciting But Drunk[audio:]

Saturday 13th December 2008: Will Cookson, Rob St. John & Withered Hand at the Wee Red Bar.
Mr. Cookson has the best set of influences of any band in history – ever!  Just have a look.  The man must be a genius.  Apart from that, two of Edinburgh’s finest alt-folkers (sorry Rob) tread the Trampoline boards (trampolines don’t really have boards, do they) so although I can’t be there myself, this might be my most confidently recommended show of the week.
Withered Hand – I Am Nothing[audio:]