Having very quickly established itself as one of Edinburgh's few current essential and consistent nights out, the founders of Neu! Reekie- Kevin Williamson and Michael Pedersen- have now turned their sights toward launching a record label.
In typical Neu! Reekie style this momentous excursion in their development requires not just one but three different launches over a weekend at the end of the month.
Attracting the attention of Edinburgh's literati and glitterati- and many others in between- the night's founders have over the last eighteen months provided nights which feature animation, spoken word, poetry, homemade visuals and live music. Their last night featuring Liz Lochhead was a sell out which saw many disappointed prospective Reekiers turned away at the door.
Live musical performances have been an essential part in ensuring this evenings continued success and have featured notable sets including haunting electronica from Fiona Soe Paing, Ziggy Campbell of local sensations Found and Robert King-ex of the Scars- and his new, exciting and intriguing project Opium Kitchen.
Capitalising on all their connections from past and present the debut single on the Neu! Reekie label will have one side penned by each of the night's founders- ”ËThe Caterpillar Tango' is Pedersen's contribution whilst Williamson donates a track called ”ËIn a Darkened Room'- and will be performed by Jesus Baby. Featuring former Fire Engine- see also Win, and Sexual Objects amongst others ”â and charismatic overseer Davy Henderson who is more than ably assisted by the rest of Jesus Baby comprising of an equally talented band of cohorts Carla Easton, Roy Moller and Marco Rea in creating a moment of sheer pop nirvana .
It is good to see that whilst Edinburgh's club scene is a floundering mess unable to drag itself out of the quagmire of repetition and safety the city's musical scene on the other hand is having a burgeoning renaissance from both old and new talents alike. The lack of any real decent venues- a trip to Glasgow is generally necessary to see any real ”Ëname' bands- instead of stifling creativity seems to have had the opposite effect and unleashed some sort of creative flux led by bands such as Jesus Baby, Her Royal Highness , Withered Hand, Found and Opium Kitchen.
The Neu! Reekie record label launch is just one more endeavour in highlighting the independent spirit which lies at the crux of this new movement which shows old and new worlds collide in some form of intricate collaboration. The initial launch-featuring the first playing of the single- takes place at the regular Neu! Reekie night at the Scottish Book Trust on July 27th and this is followed up by an appearance at the last of the great independent record stores Avalanche on the following afternoon. That same evening sees the extravaganza make its way to Glasgow for a further event hosted by the Mono CafÃÂ© Bar.
As to the music itself well I am glad to report that those swoonsome, croonsome Henderson vocals are still very much in place and the song itself possesses a melody and harmonies Brian Wilson would not dismiss ”âan echo of The Stranglers' ”ËGolden Brown' haunts the tempo and rhythm- and the whole thing amasses to a summer anthem for the summer we are apparently not having; an essential blissed out ray of dark sunshine and momentum amidst the gloom of all this perpetual rain. Having already been played on Radio 6 and received rapturous reception all bodes well for its success and any future projects for this new label where natural instincts are the creative driving force.
- Neu! Reekie 19 Mega Launch is at 7pm, Friday 27th July at Scottish Book Trust, 55 High Street Edinburgh.
- Neu! Reekie Records Launch, Part Two is at 2pm Saturday 28th July in Avalanche Records, 5 Grassmarket, Edinburgh.
- Neu! Reekie The Glasgow Launch is on Saturday 28th July at 7.30pm in Mono, King Street , Glasgow.
ÃÂ All words by David Marren. You can read more from David on LTW here.