A Scotland-based artistic collective, Neu! Reekie! have treated the Edinburgh International Festival to a collective of poets, filmmakers, and musicians bringing their A-game to the stage. The night’s festivities, hosted by poetic duo Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson, leaves a warm feeling in your stomach and a massive smile across your face. After Neu! Reekie! take the stage, you are reminded of just how much Scotland’s arts scene has to offer.

After an opening that sets the mood with great jokes and banter, the first hour sees a number of poets and animators showcasing exactly what they can do. Victoria McNulty presents a blend of localised humour and observant asides, blended into a wonderful series of rhymes. She is followed by hip-hop artist and author of Poverty Safari Darren McGarvey, whose set is relentless in both its edgy comedy and political takes. Far from feeling needlessly crass or triggering, it is nuanced and deeply opinionated to the point where you cannot help but feel enthralled. Either side of McGarvey’s act are some fascinating short films, the latter set of which feature some transgressive and strangely charming entries from some talented Glasgow-based animators.

Still, the headline act is the dominant force in this particular Neu! Reekie! extravaganza. So much so in fact that you have almost forgotten about the other acts by the point his performance is finished. But what a performance it is. Edwyn Collins – Scottish music royalty, as he is so aptly introduced – ends the night with a toe-tapping swan song featuring a collection of his most fondly remembered hits. Capably accompanied by his band, Collins immediately finds a place in the hearts of every member of the audience, regardless of whether they are fans of his work or have never even heard of him. With a smooth voice and a charm that seems to reach every corner of the crowd, you would struggle to think of a better note on which to close the night.

A fantastic showcase of poetry, music, and storytelling, Neu! Reekie! yet again demonstrate why they are such stalwarts of Scotland’s culture. An art that has a global reach, yet performed in a way that feels wonderfully localised to Edinburgh, it is a blend of comedy, drama, and intrigue that will leave everyone clapping and stomping along in complete joy.