Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Music Guide


As if your liver won’t come under enough strain, having spent Christmas Week pickled in mulled wine and Bier D’Or, the organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations have decided to extend the festivities. New Year will now be rung in for just the five nights, from 29th December to 2nd January. The entertainment is designed to offer something for everyone, so naturally, some of it will be a bit pish. But those willing to lay down their turkey drumsticks and jingle bells may find themselves rewarded with some decent live music. You just have to know where to find it.

Kicking off on the 29th Off Kilter will be combing live music and dance in the premiere of “an exhilarating new dance anthem for Scotland” mixed by DJ Dolphin Boy at the Festival Theatre. It all sounds pretty dodgy to me. They promise snippets of Franz Ferdinand, The Rezillos, Calvin Harris and Hugh McDiarmid. I promise nothing. Tread carefully children.

Calvin Harris plays a DJ set in the HMV Picturehouse on Wednesday 30th, but Mars and Jupiter align to produce negating circumstances, namely, tickets being extortionately priced, and Calvin Harris being a bit shit. So if I were you, I’d save myself for New Year’s Eve. I suggest getting yourself down to the Vic Galloway-hosted Waverley Stage, which is the clear highlight. The organisers have obviously been paying attention to the aural demands of the natives, pulling in Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks and Stanley Odd (some of the best acts on the Scottish music scene). Unfortunately they proceed to undo their good work by including rabble-rousing Coventry grease-monkeys The Enemy at the top of the bill. Why, oh why?

Madness and The Noisettes play sets at the Concert in the Gardens, on West Princes Street, and for those prepared to don their dancing shoes, The West End DJ Stage will feature performances from Mylo and sets from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Tom Simpson, and Belle and Sebastian’s Richard Colburn.

I’m guessing that most of you will all be pretty hammered anyway and will have a debauch-filled night, regardless of who you see. Which is the name of the game, really.

Happy New Year, folks.

*A heavily edited version of this appeared in The Skinny’s Edinburgh Hogmanay Guide.

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