Edinburgh’s creative and musical community seems to have an ongoing struggle with the residents of the town when it comes to noise pollution, volume levels and in this instance not being able to perform outside. Despite only one neighbourly complaint, a festival that was intended entirely for the courtyard of Summerhall, an embracing of the Summer and the rare Scottish sun, was given its orders that it was to remain indoors only, but that certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd nor the performers, as the full day line-up enthused the punters.
In conjunction with the recent exhibition that has recently opened at the National Museum of Scotland, a day’s festival was curated for the music aficionados of Scotland, gearing them up to appreciate the wonderful music that this country has to offer. With acts such as long-performing Emma Pollock, who used to perform with the Delgados, to the sparkling new pop of Be Charlotte, it was an eclectic line-up, attracting a diverse but interested crowd.
Unfortunately that one neighbour did mean that often those wanting to drink, eat and inhale the sun missed some of the fine music. However, it did also mean that those who were inside were there primarily for the music, the chatter and clatter of plates etc was reserved for elsewhere. Compered by Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway (he too used to perform as Deaf Mutes under the Fence Collective), who has written the book published by the Museum on the history of Scotland’s fine music, the day began with Found’s Ziggy Campbell, who now performs as a solo artist under the name Lomond Campbell, a grand treat for the ticket-holders.
Next up were Edinburgh stalwarts Withered Hand, as Dan Willson and full band cracked out stunners such as California, Heart Heart and of course, Religious Songs. It’s not difficult to see why these guys are stalwarts, reminded yet again of the great talent that remains within the capital. Modern Studies were next on, clearly tight and technically there, but failing to pull on my engage strings. With many influences and genres there, I could see the appeal but the next band on, Be Charlotte, were the ones that surprised me most, having managed to hear very little from this pop act to date. Punching the room with a buzz, their infectious pop got the crowd moving.
Changing the vibe completely, Broken Records performed next, with lead singer and Summerhalls gig programmer, Jamie Sutherland seducing the crowd with his Springsteen-esque sound. A stunning performance from a band I knew little about. This ramped up the night, as Emma Pollock with band hit the stage, performing indie tracks such as Acid Test and Old Ghosts. Reminded instantly why I enjoyed The Delgados, aside from a couple of playful mistakes, this act were tight, impressive and altogether there in that room.
And last but not least were Edinburgh’s Stanley Odd, fresh and visceral in their performance, outlining that Scottish hip hop sometimes and often can have it’s place. Drinking water from a flask, preaching about the state of politics to this hyped, energised audience, the room was bouncing and making more noise than I am sure this one neighbour was anticipating. Antagonistically pushing the boundaries, there was an affiliation between enthusiast and performer, and often the boundaries were blurred by an event focussed entirely on the richness of Scotland’s musical talent. A wonderful day out.
For more on Summerhall’s programme click here.