The all-encompassing art extravaganza runs for 10 days in total and boasts a line up ranging from spoken word and dance to theatre and big name music acts. Days seven and eight provided a healthy dose of each.
Here are some of select picks from the past couple of days at Hidden Door. As ever, we unfortunately weren’t able to get to everything due to the laws of space and time – but what we did see left a great impression.
Hidden Door ends on Sunday June 4, so if you’ve not gotten along yet, there’s still time… and seriously, what are you waiting for?
Hidden Door 2017: Day Seven
Grid Iron’s ‘South Bend'
The theatre production follows a man who flies across the world to Indiana to meet the woman he had fallen in love with, only to find that in the months between their meetings she has changed.
South Bend is all about the journey; whether it’s the protagonist’s, that of the truck driver who picks him up or the journey the audience goes through during the production.
“A road movie for the stage of hope, of love, of Eddie Izzard and an AIDS blanket, of the ghetto and a false kinship and poverty and riches.” Curious yet?
Maud the Moth
Commanding keyboard and imaginative drumming are combined with heavenly violin input to unleash an experimental sound which in spite of all that’s happening on the busy stage, still comes across as beautifully minimalistic.
Perhaps it’s the intricacies that go into the output from every single instrument that makes it seem so pure. Not a single bar is wasted from Maud the Moth, and the end result is spellbinding jazz-meets-soul-meets-classical fusion music.
Claire Marcie’s ‘What Would Kanye Do?’
When we read that there was a spoken word-meets-theatre show from a woman from New Zealand obsessed with Kanye West, we knew we had to get along.
When Claire Marcie – wearing the pink polo and all – started spitting beats of her own with what can only be described as a Kanye-level self-confidence, though while remaining fully aware that she was, as she put it “a small white girl”, we knew we had made the right choice.
Marcie’s work-in-progress production is laugh-out-loud funny at times. Part self-deprecating and part soul-searching, it ultimately questions the forming of one’s own identity and the modern mainstream acceptance and interpretation of, amongst other things, misogyny and stigmas in modern music.
Curator Kathryn Spence performed on stage and delivered an incredibly powerful performance in front of a crowd appreciating every moment. Tess Letham and Katie Armstrong’s work went down equally well.
Each piece placed a difference emphasis; one on the music and timing, one more theatrical piece exploring the anxieties of modern life and fear of the future and another looking at the boundaries that surround us in life.
Through all three, the Old Leith Theatre played a starring role as well. We watched Threefold from the balcony, and the perfect view of the stage framed by the beautiful ancient theatre never failed to add to the aura and atmosphere.
Hidden Door 2017: Day Eight
The award-winning alto-saxophonist and rapper must be one of the most versatile men in the modern scene. He jumped between art forms throughout a performance which impressively did not come across disjointed.
Soweto boasts a Mercury Music Prize nomination on his CV, which was what attracted us to his name in the first place, and on the back of his performance at Hidden Door, it’s not hard to see why.
We recalled that on that occasion a no-holds-barred dancing seemed to grip the crowd when the group got going. There were arms and legs everywhere. It was genuine carnage. But was that a normal Riot Jazz performance or just the student touch?
Nope. Apparently that’s normal. Riot Jazz’s performance at Hidden Door produced near enough identical results. The crowd went absolutely wild. It seems it’s just impossible not to dance along – and dance along emphatically – to the brass band’s signature brand of party music.
With trumpets, tubas, trumbones, drums and a frontman on stage, the aptly-named Manchester outfit ran through numerous originals as well as crowd-pleasing covers ranging from Pendulum’s ‘Tarantula’ to Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’.
When they closed with Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ and cut the music on the chorus to let the crowd do the singing, the rock-classic absolutely boomed around the Old Leith Theatre. It’s safe to say that there’ll be a few heavy legs and lost voices this morning.
Riot Jazz are exactly what they say on the tin. Don’t miss out on catching them live if you get a chance.