It can’t be an easy feat to book bands for Edinburgh in August, amidst the hundreds of potential distractions on punters time and money, but to put together an eclectic roster in a spread of venues across the capital is a feat DF Concerts accomplish every year.
We’ll try and make it even easier for you to syphon off a few evenings every week by highlighting the cream of the Edge Festival crop…
It doesn’t take long before the hotbed of talent in town throws up a clash – Sunday the 7th exemplifies the breadth of genres on show with indie weirdos Guillemots taking on The Liquid Room whilst Brooklyn’s electro-drone fiend Oneohtrix Point Never lathers up Sneaky Petes.
After a few years parked up whilst frontman Fyfe Dangerfield embarked on his own solo jaunt, the Birmingham based group released their third album,’Walk The River’ and returned to full touring full throttle.
Whilst on paper a four piece to truly bring their trademark freakout indie sound to life requires some supporting cast to cover the brass duties, allowing guitarist MC Lord Magrão to turn his hand to anything from a typewriter to cordless drills in progging out their unique take on the genre.
The former have perennially been supporting quality bands on top of their own surprisingly perplexing live performances, whilst somehow not outstripping the guitar/bass/drums/keys cocktail in delivering a refreshing bounce on things, exemplified in single ‘Sugar Bowl’.
In a similarly consistent support slot role, Peter Kelly’s astoundingly strong singer songwriter tunes in the form of Beerjacket, is the best reason to get in after doors open you’ll get this month. Comparisons to are Elliot Smith not just unavoidable, they’ve been rubber stamped by Matt Beringer after his recent opening slot with the American alt heavyweights.
Kelly’s vocals seem to have the natural ability to cling to the same re-verb of his acoustic strumming as Smith did, with the lyrics and song progression falling into place from there. He has no need to mess with a formula that he is able to deliver upon so tightly, his time to truly shine will certainly come. But for you, it’s half an hour after doors open on Sunday!
Whilst the home nations band are prolific on the touring front, New York’s Oneohtrix Point Never is much more reserved in building his layers of instinctive polyphonic compositions outside the studio walls – and certainly not at this early in the evening.
The one man synthesiser feast is carved up by Daniel Lopatin, who has been using and abusing his Roland Juno 60 since his dad passed the torch at the end of a stint in a Russian psych pop band.
His rise in 2009 came in the form of compiling works originally released on cassette, CD-R (akin to labelmates Emeralds) into 2-CD ‘Rifts’ – a near three hours of alternating ambiance.
Last years ‘Returnal’ proved more accessible, both aurally and physically, whilst still swooping between the boundaries of proto-techno against the oscillating waves of psychedelic electro. Lopatin’s live jams are, unsurprisingly, an intensely engrossing affair that gives just enough breathing space never to leave the audience behind.
In a year that has seen HBO’s Boardwalk Empire dive into critical acclaim, there are few outfits that have so freshly reinvented the ballroom blues as fittingly as C.W Stoneking and his troupe – the Primitive Horn Orchestra that march into the Electric Circus on Friday the 5th.
Despite hailing from Australia and being in his mid thirties, Stoneking has been honing his roots swamped sound since the age of 18 and has every notch in the pre-war blues on the boardwalk to tee – right down to the between tunes patter.
Where his debut, ‘Jungle Blues’, consisted of original material it was on trusted ground. This years ‘King Hokum’ turns the hue right down, with songs like Bad Luck Everywhere You Go dispensing with the horns and tussling with altogether darker territory.
Not to let his resplendent assistants go to waste, songs such as ‘Goin The Country’ and ‘Handyman Blues’ will hopefully getting an airing in a performance likely to be as theatrical as anything other parts of the Fringe can offer.
The roughly whistful Andrew Mill will offer support, fresh from releasing debut album ‘Drain Pipe Dreams’ last month – filled with lyrics of downtrodden melancholies racked against a rainbow of country and blues.
Mill can’t fail but mop this up with as definitive a Scottish Folk delivery you’ll get this side of The Royal Oak. Fingers crossed as many of his 12-piece backing band can squeeze onto the Electric Circus stage as possible, to make one of the most fitting supports of The Edge Festival a reality.