Ten days of music, film, comedy and spoken word at The Pleasance Sessions 2014
Confirmed performers include The Twilight Trio, Vic Galloway, Roddy Hart, Neu! Reekie! and Paul Foot
For the second time, The Pleasance Sessions brings a feast of music and arts to Edinburgh University’s famous theatre. Nina Glencross previews this year’s lineup
It’s one of Edinburgh’s grandest venues, yet the Pleasance is often overlooked outside the month of August when it’s transformed into a bustling Fringe venue. Thankfully, after a successful first year – including a nomination for Best Small Festival at the Scottish Event Awards – The Pleasance Sessions returns to help put the theatre back on the map, with ten days of music, film, comedy and spoken word events open to the general public.
The festival’s launch night features majestic trio The Twilight Sad with support from Hidden Orchestra (Thu 9 Oct). From there, each evening is curated by a host of musicians, promoters and publications from around the country, starting with BBC Radio DJ Vic Galloway, who brings Glasgow cheeky chaps Casual Sex, Broken Records and the mesmeric LAW to the theatre (Fri 10 Oct). ‘I hope people will enjoy them all and appreciate the sonic diversity going on in Scottish independent music at large,’ he says. ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg!’
With a bill featuring TeenCanteen, FiniTribe, Richard Jobson and Liz Lochhead, Edinburgh-based art collective Neu! Reekie! promise, ‘a veritable artistic buffet’ (Sun 12 Oct). ‘We try and season in hidden themes to each of the shows and capture a shared synergy in the acts – sometimes only for our own comfort and amusement,’ reveals the collective’s Michael Pedersen.
Elsewhere, beloved performer Beerjacket brings his 10th anniversary celebrations to the festival (Mon 13 Oct). The alt-folk singer-songwriter hosts a special night featuring friends and collaborators from over the years, including Fatherson’s Ross Leighton and Fake Major. ‘You can play a gig anywhere,’ he says, ‘but a theatre like the Pleasance demands a show.’
‘Och!Toberfest was such a success last year that we thought we would combine that with the Label market day, add a bit of bunting and celebrate the fact we have such a wide range of Scottish brewers and labels in one place,’ explains festival organiser Rae Baker. ‘What better way to celebrate than £3 pints, a bunting overload and a full label showcase from [record label] Olive Grove?’
Featuring Woodenbox, The Moth and the Mirror, Call to Mind and Skinny Dipper, the label's Lloyd Meredith hopes the showcase will ‘see some collaborations between some of the Olive Grove family’ (Sat 11 Oct). Fellow independent label Middle of Nowhere present an equally exciting showcase, headlined by Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire (Tue 14 Oct).
Here at The List, we’re bringing together Prehistoric Friends, Two Wings and Ubre Blanca with the stunning visuals of Adventures in Light, along with TYCI DJs (Thu 16 Oct). And alongside the return of comedian Paul Foot’s sell-out Fringe show, Edinburgh University’s Folk Club holds an intimate evening with Ben Sands (Wed 15 Oct).
‘There’s an enormous amount of talent in Scotland,’ adds Baker. ‘The Pleasance Sessions gives a unique stage to come and experience something really special in Edinburgh.’
The Pleasance Sessions, Pleasance, Edinburgh, Thu 9–Sat 18 Oct, dustymoose.co.uk.