The evening and the line up were arranged around the ‘Celts’ exhibition on show at the museum, and included performances from the likes of Glasgow spoken-word maestro Loki, legendary Scots Makar poet Liz Lochhead, Ette, the solo project of TeenCanteen’s Carla J Easton and the headline act, Charlotte Church, bringing “The Late Night Pop Dungeon” – yup, it’s a weird name, but it was great. We’ll get onto that later.
First thing is first. The venue was a striking visual spectacle; acts performing with stunning exhibitions thousands of years old all around them. It brought an atmosphere unlike any other we’ve stepped foot. The Celts exhibition was fascinating; with everything from jewellery and weaponry to chariots on show and a range of other exhibitions also open on the first floor which design or fashion students might have found particularly intriguing.
While the main hall was stunning, there was a bit of echo on the acoustics when Charlotte brought her Late Night Pop Dungeon to the stage. But man, was that a crazy show. Picture a 10-piece band looking like they’ve raided a fancy dress clothing rack, stick Church at the front, and you’ve got what we’re talking about.
IT WAS WEIRD. But that set the for the rest of the set. Clearly anything goes in Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. And to be fair, what do you expect from an act with the words ‘late’, ‘night’, ‘pop’ and ‘dungeon’ back to back in their title?
Seriously though, it was an incredibly fun performance. The covers ranged from R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’ and ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ to Amelie’s ‘One Thing’, Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Holland, 1945’ and hits from Beyonce, Sugababes and a whole host of different acts from all sorts of genres.
The range of songs was as far and wide as you can dream up, and it was primetime for a sing-along. If you’ve ever been to Fingers Piano Bar in Edinburgh, imagine that but with a 10-piece band and fronted by Charlotte Church. It was great fun!
Our favourite act of the night though was hip hop artist Loki, a Glaswegian wordsmith tying together social truths and hard-hitting punchlines over a wonderful vocal and guitar-based backing from Becci Wallace.
Loki had the crowd gasping, laughing, and hanging on his every word. He’s sure got some stage presence. It was a powerful performance and it’s awesome to see such an act get such attention even after August.
On the downside though, it was awfully difficult to get into the Auditorium, where the likes of Loki were playing. The queue was huge and some had been in it for up to an hour, which for a three hour event is hardly ideal. A re-think of performance spaces may be an idea for future sessions at the venue, as we ended up forced to stay in the main hall for the latter half of the night as a result.
It was a fantastic event nonetheless though. A great line up as diverse as it was talented, and a stern reminder from Neu! Reekie! And NMS that culture doesn’t leave Edinburgh with the Fringe Festival.