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…
Things are getting so wonderfully hectic at this point in the month, we’ve had to chop this week’s preview in half just to keep track of things.
Festival Fridays are always chaos, 5pm office finishes and 5am licences not being the most cultured combo.
From his bedroom bred debut, ‘Infiniheart’, in 2004, VanGaalen was pushed on by Canadian indie label Flemish Eye into the International arms of Sub Pop. He has held onto the threads of the solemn recording process with fourth LP ‘Diaper Island’ – but actually submitted three different albums for their delectation.
The unwavering tightrope of blurring modern folk into sleekly paced rock may be the labels choice to put out, but don’t be afraid to enjoy the likely unreleased unknowns that you’ll be treated to during the set on Friday.
Whilst the bleakness in his sound has melted somewhat, the visceral despair is only amplified by the rocking backing given to the new record – cultivated in his new home studio.
Whilst his releases have come with added innovation (with 2006’s blusier ‘ Skelliconnection’ and 2008’s electro licked ‘Soft Airplane’) he has edged his experimental material under the guise of ‘Black Mold’ and helped produce two blazing efforts from Calgary’s Women, channelling the sharpest elements of Sonic Youth in VanGaalen’s homestead.
The impact from both these ventures can clearly be heard in sandwiching the focus of ‘Diaper Island’ into as rough and accessible a work he has mustered before – and undoubtedly a joy to see unleashed live. A sapphire of a performance at this stage of the Festival awaits.
As is always the case with Sneaky’s, quality continental fare deserves tasty local aural aperitifs.
Jesus H Foxx are something of a local band behemoth, blossoming over recent years to encompassing seven members of a kaleidoscopic of musical abilities that will squeeze onto the Sneakies stage – either side of their two drum kits.
2009’s EP ‘Matter’ delivered on the veritable Edinburgh indie emporium, Song By Toad drew quaint comparisons to American heavyweights Broken Social Scene and Pavement. An outfit that could easily be topping their own bill on Friday, even at this time of the year.
Opening proceedings is a Strathaven born songsmith Tom Gilbert, whose effortlessly acute weaving of VanGaalen-esque bleakness topped with reverential lyrics.
There’s an innocence and fragility to the few works Gilbert has put online, but enough to set him apart the experienced contemporaries in the likes of Meaursault and Beerjacket. Or maybe it’s just the lack of beard and checked shirts. One of the most worthwhile reasons to get into Pete’s after doors for a while.