Alas, Edinburgh’s not a city known for its thriving music scene, with the bigger (and smaller) bands usually opting for Scotland’s second city when they make the trip north of the border. In fact, it’s a bloody nightmare trying to find a good gig to go to in the capital. But, now in its second year, Haddow fest is looking to change that.
Spread out across Edinburgh’s finest venues, Haddow fest is shaping up to be a worthy rival to Glasgow’s Stag & Dagger festival, with some of the biggest names on the British lined-up. Razorlight, The Undertones and Edinburgh favourites Broken Records are all set to play, along with some of Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s lesser known bands.
As part of Samizdat’s coverage, we’ll be interviewing hotly-tipped pop-rock troubadours Everyday at 10, along with the festival’s organiser Hamish Jolly (watch this space). Some 60 bands will be playing, so, in the meantime, here are a few of our recommendations:
Matt Norris & the Moon
Apart from having an ace name, Matt Norris & the Moon have got some frankly lovely songs in their repertoire, with Nick Drake-style guitar picking mixed with swelling strings and traditional folk melodies (and a trumpet). Norris himself sounds a bit like Marcus Mumford, but without the air of an heir to a large fortune, and without all those fucking hoe-downs.
Treading the Edinburgh music scape since 2006 (yeah, a cliché music metaphor there), Little Doses’ no frills garage rock sound is refreshingly lifted by the soulful crooning of singer Kirstin Ross. Their sound is simple, and satisfying to listen to, like David Attenborough but with more distortion.
Any Colour Black
“You are not part of the answer / you are not part of the cure / you are everything that fucks me up”. Electro-pop, semi-aggressive, Ting Tings style, catchy-as-hell hooks, man/woman line-up Any Colour Black (Andy and Louise) have got the Skins party sound nailed, and that’s definitely a good thing.
Cancel the Astronauts
Ahhh, another party band. Great synthy-riffs that sound like they’re from the future, pounding drums and a lot of energy, Cancel the Astronauts just sound like a lot of fun. A lot of fun on a stage in Blade Runner.
Recently signed to Electric Honey, former label of Belle & Sebastien (and Biffy, but I don’t care about them), White Heath offerings are a little slowed down, with Fargo-esque strings, dark, brooding vocals and strangely hypnotic trombone.
Threadbare, stripped-down trip-hop, with haunting vocals, sort of like early Massive Attack if Nigel Godrich had produced them. Great sounds.
Haddow fest takes place in Edinburgh on the 2nd and 3rd of April.