Neu Reekie 17

Neu Reekie 17


 Hot summer nights in Edinburgh are few and far between and their occurrence usually occasions non stop outdoor drinking sessions and a plethora of ‘Leith  tans’- which usually consist of an unsightly lobster pink replacing the usual pallor- accompanied by the obligatory and unsightly beer bellies on display. Trying to get the denizens of the city indoors for a bit of cultural exploration is generally a thankless task and when first entering Neu Reekie on this particularly balmy evening it was clear that many had chosen the outdoor alternative of drinking in the sunshine. It was with this in mind that the proceedings started off in a more understated fashion than usual although by the end of the first animation shorts a crowd had started to filter in and within half an hour the venue had almost filled up and by the end of the evening it was at capacity, so good taste eventually prevailed and we were glad to have arrived early as this assured us our choice in where we sat.

As already said the opening section of animation was understated but this in no way means it was not worthwhile. It was among some of the best animation I have yet seen at this always interesting evening and the shuffling in of latecomers did little to distract or even negate. There were also interesting tributes to Donna Summer and Robin Gibb as well as some pornographic intrigue shown in between the acts which certainly encouraged conversation or ,in some cases, embarrassed silences and shuffling.

Claire Pollard was the guest poet for the evening and she delivered a set which was intense, thought provoking and challenging. Her provocative delivery certainly held the crowds attention and her subject matter was intelligent, concise and extremely well thought out capturing the voice of a disenfranchised generation as well as personal emotions.

Next up was Fiona Soe Paing with a spellbinding set of electronic soundscapes and eerie, haunting vocals. The closest comparison I could make would be of Fever Ray although Paing stamped her own identity all over her set and accompanied by animation from Zennor Alexander she held the audience rapt throughout and our appreciation was apparent in the level of applause she received. Definitely one to watch this was some of the most beautiful live music I have heard for ages and definitely worth checking out in depth.

With such a high standard set by Paing’s beautiful set Ziggy Cambell-of latest Edinburgh sensations Found- had a tough act to follow but somehow he did and the standard of the evening never slipped despite-or perhaps because of- the high calibre of performances which had preceded him. Turning in a collection of songs interspersed with random humorous moments which added to, rather than distracted from, a great set he was a worthy headliner.

All that was left then was for house band Emelle to round the evening off in their usual fashion and it was all over for another month. Actually the Neu Reekie team have a lot more projects on the way so I will be keeping you informed of any events as and when they occur but the next date for this night is the last Friday in June so clear a space in your diaries now.

Here is a clip of Fiona Soe Paing and a hauntingly beautiful track.


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