5 great gigs in Edinburgh you need to know about
Want to get your gig on and go see some amazing live music in Edinburgh, but can’t be arsed to sift through all the random magazines, papers and websites….? I feel your pain. So here’s my carefully curated collection of 5 great gigs to consider in Edinburgh over the coming months.
With artists from Edinburgh, Vancouver, Manchester, Orkney and New York, there’s some great music on offer in Edinburgh, as always. Go support these artists, the promoters who booked them and the venues they’re playing in.
1 Chuchoter, La Belle Angele, Fri 12 April
I’m struggling with the pronunciation (I kept saying ‘church-otter’ for a while, but I’m told it’s actually ‘shoo-shaw-tae’), but I can tell you this Edinburgh girl-boy duo are shit hot and worth seeking out.
Their punchy and instantly catchy electro-pop rides a Chvrches-like wave of synths and striking vocals, with what reminds me of bits of New Order’s ‘Technique’, The XX and 90s-ish house vibes. Many others have tipped them for success, and I’m adding my name to the list too.
This event comes to you via the annual Wide Days music convention, which does an excellent job promoting emerging Scottish talent. Also on their bill are another excellent Edinburgh act, Eyes of Others, whose woozy Weatherall-ish pitched-back grooves are dirtily infectious in a Gabe Guernsey meets David Mancuso kind of way; plus Parliamo from Perth and Franky’s Evil Party from Dumfries.
For fans of: Chvrches, Pale Waves, Wyvern Lingo
2 Crack Cloud, Sneaky Pete’s, Wed 15 May
This is a really interesting one; a collective from Vancouver producing a punchy post punk sound that’s impossible to describe without mentioning Gang of Four and The Fall. It’s arty too so you can throw Talking Heads into the mix. Three ace reference points as far as I’m concerned.
As an aside to show the type of artists I’m trying to bring to Edinburgh, I enquired about these guys in October, but didn’t get a reply. Hey ho. I’m just glad to get the chance to go see them as a fan and I urge you to go too.
Listen: Time Unsubsidized
For fans of: Gang of Four, The Fall, Talking Heads, Wire, Josef K
3 Erland Cooper, Queens Hall, Fri 24 May
This is going to be a unique music experience. If you’re feeling stressed out by modern life and want to forget the world and escape into some beautiful meditative music, this one’s for you.
Erland hails from Orkney, but now lives in London and his recent music is a tribute in sound to the windswept beauty and calm of his homeland. This event is the Scottish launch of ‘Sule Skerry’, the second album of his Orkney triptych, which started with the critically acclaimed ‘Solan Goose’ - a 6 Music Album of The Year.
It’s deeply reflective and emotional music; think Nils Frahm and Olafar Arnalds and that kind of intensely beautiful soul-soothing piano-driven modern-classical vibe. If you went to either of those shows, you’ll love this.
Did I mention this is an Edinburgh Music Lovers show in collaboration with Queen’s Hall? Well it is.
For fans of: Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, Johan Johannsson, Max Richter
4 Children of Zeus, Voodoo Rooms, Fri 5 July
Soulful r&b tinged hip hop from Manchester which nods to the likes of Anderson Pak and Raphael Saadiq, but also harks nicely back to the 90s and acts like Groove Theory, Maxwell and for me personally, fellow Mancs Rae & Christian and their wonderful debut from 98, Nothern Sulphuric Soul.
Really looking forward to this - they’ve got a special sound and this is a really exciting booking by the guys from the Sugarhill Edinburgh club and another great live event at Voodoo Rooms.
Listen: Fear of a Flat Planet
For fans of: Rae & Christian, Shabazz Palaces, Anderson Pak
5 Joan As Policewoman, The Pleasance, Tue 9 July
First a confession crossed with a sort of humble brag. I first saw Joan As Policewoman in 2004 at a festival and I just didn’t really love them as much as I’d hoped.
Maybe I wasn’t ready or concentrating properly. Anyway, Joan Wasser’s uncompromisingly sultry art-house soul-rock has grown on me over the years with deeper listens.
She’s an exceptionally creative artist - the fact that she’s worked with everyone from John Cale and Antony and The Johnsons to Rufus Wainwright and Damon Albarn shows the high regard which she’s held in.
There’s a nice Edinburgh/Scotland connection too - Wasser produced the The Bell that Never Rang, the acclaimed 2015 album by Lau.
Listen: Broke Me In Two
For fans of: Cat Power, Sharon Van Etten, Aldous Harding This is The Kit