Highlights: The Edge Festival

Tess Askew | Tuesday, 02 September 2008

Highlights: The Edge Festival

The Edge festival is the music festival which runs alongside the world-famous Edinburgh International festival.  Considering this is the first year for the festival, the line-up was impressive, encompassing more than fifty gigs in Edinburgh throughout August at a diverse range of beautiful venues in the city, most of which are very intimate.

The first band caught up with were Glaswegians The Twilight Sad, who played at the city's Liquid Rooms.  The venue was packed out; full of atmosphere.

The gig started with what sounds like a phone voicemail, full of profanities played over and over, followed by the band taking to the stage to a massive cheer from the crowd.

They started the gig with a massive amount of feedback, a common theme in this gig, and lead singer James Graham arrived on stage as the first track kicked in.  A microphone fault added to problems, which carried on throughout the first few tracks.
It was evident that the band were slightly nervous to begin with, but once settled, it was clear to see why they are going to do so well.  Graham’s accent is even stronger than on the record and the band definitely create a ‘wall of sound’ effect with their music: they don’t really stop between songs, just lead from one to another.  

Another act caught up with was Santi White, aka Santogold, who performed at Edinburgh’s Liquid Room venue. With a great looking band, and sounding equally great, it was a gig which can definitely be rated as one of the top five of the festival.

Another highlight from the festival was hip-hop super group N*E*R*D, who played at the biggest of the venues, Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange.  It’s not every day a band as big as this hits Edinburgh and there was an air of anticipation in the venue for this gig.
First on were Chester French, Peaches Geldof’s new husband’s band.  There seemed to be too much going on here and too many sounds were trying to be created, which didn’t seem to work.  

From the second that N*E*R*D hit the stage, they had the audience captivated, particularly Pharell, who had the attention of every female and most males in the audience.  You can tell how professional and comfortable these guys are on stage, they hold the crowd so well, and Pharell really spent his time looking into the audience, making eye contact with people. 

They stormed their way through from track to track, taking an interlude to allow the band to show off their skills on a solo level.  The band are impressive, both solo and when playing together, very tight musicians, and the two drummers, each with full drum set, provide an amazing sound and backing for this gig. 

There was a lot of crowd interaction and towards the end, Pharell starts bringing people on stage, first off a couple of young boys.  After a few more songs, Pharell announced that he wanted girls on stage, which the crowd really reacted to. Girl after girl was pulled on stage to the point where there isn’t much more room, and the band broke into their biggest hits ‘Rockstar,’  ‘Lapdance,’ and ‘Everybody Nose.’  All in all an impressive gig, which feels special.

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip also performed at the festival, at the Liquid Rooms venue. Their upbeat sound and pumping bass was a winner for the crowd, who lapped up the unique sound, and certainly meant an electric atmosphere, for an eclectic mix of sounds.

These are just some highlights from a festival witch broke boundaries for live music in Edinburgh. Who knows what next year will hold, but it will have to be impressive to beat this year’s offering!