As one half of the much loved(and missed!)Arab Strap, Malcolm Middleton really didn’t need to do anything else. However, he has released several solo albums which has built him a fanbase outwith that of his former band’s oeuvre. He had taken a self imposed exile from playing his songs live but in order to showcase his new project Human Don’t Be Angry, he lifted his own ban much to the delight of his fans. The show here in December 2011 was a real treat and received some rave reviews from the likes of The Skinny and the Sunday Mail.
Hall of Fame
Malcolm Middleton, Dec 2011.
Bell X1, Dec 2011.
One of Ireland’s finest exports, Bell X1 regularly play to massive crowds in their homeland, selling out Marlay Park in Dublin with support from Editors no less, a clear indication of their popularity. Their profile in the USA was raised with the inclusion of a track on The O.C and subsequent appearances on talk shows like Letterman and Conan O’Brien also brought them more attention. The show here, in December 2011, was packed out and gave fans a rare chance to see them up close and personal.
Jeru the Damaja, Dec 2011.
US underground hip hop legend had not played in Scotland for 10 years and his return in December 2011 was welcomed with some excitement from the Scottish hip hop community. Known widely for his work with DJ Premier and Gang Starr as well as a much publicised spat with The Fugees. Jeru has often sparked controversy for his thoughts on commercial hip hop, one of the main reasons he has a dedicated and fervent fan base.
Mariachi El Bronx, Nov 2011.
Most people will be more familiar with the band under their original guise as hardcore punk outfit The Bronx. However, a wild idea quickly grew legs and they decided to create a Mariachi alter ego. They have now released two albums under this moniker and prior to playing at The Electric Circus they had been on the road as support to Foo Fighters on a world tour. Since playing here in November 2011 they have appeared on various US chat shows including Jimmy Fallon and Letterman.
Cloud Control, Oct 2011.
2011 was a pretty big year for this Australian outfit,not only did they play The Electric Circus but they also received the Australian Music prize(Oz equivalent of the Mercury) The Australian contingent of the capital came out in force to support their fellow Aussies but there were plenty of locals who piled in to see why this band hand been handpicked by the likes of Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend for support slots.
The Twilight Sad, August 2011.
Another of Scotland’s finest bands,The Twilight Sad,played a special acoustic set the same night as Frightened Rabbit(Jonny B Grey) So special was it,that we/they decided it was worth doing their own show as part of the Edinburgh Festival in 2011. And nearly 300 of you squeezed in to witness a truly sublime show which will live long in the memory. The band will release their third album ‘No one will ever know’ in 2012 and are heading off on a US tour(including a third SXSW) to promote it.
Ulrich Schnauss, August 2011.
The German electronica wizard played here during the 2011 festival and among the packed crowd that night was one Frank Skinner! It had been a few years since his last appearance in the capital and he didn’t disappoint despite being stuck on a stationery train for most of the afternoon. His music is best described as shoegaze reimagined through electronics and keyboards and he enjoys a reputation worldwide as an expert in his field. Regularly travelling to the likes of Japan and America where he has large audiences for his stunning music.
Easy Star All Stars, Aug 2011.
In what was one of THE shows of the Edinburgh Festival in 2011,the All Stars sent the Circus into topspin with their unique takes on the music of Radiohead,The Beatles and Pink Floyd in dub reggae stylee. Prior to their appearance here,they were nominated for a UK festival award for their sets at Glastonbury 2009,they played a different set across three different stages over three days. One of the most successful reggae outfits of the modern age, their music has been praised by the original artists responsible for the songs with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood calling them ‘truly astounding’
Frightened Rabbit, May 2011.
One of the most successful (and adored!) Scottish bands of modern times, the band played here under the guise of Jonny B Grey in May 2011 for a special show to mark the 5th anniversary of their debut ‘Sing the greys’. Making it even more special was the fact that the original lineup of Scott,Grant and Billy took to the stage to play the album from start to finish. The band are now signed to Atlantic Records and recently supported Death Cab for Cutie on a huge US tour. They have also sold out a show at the Picture House for February 2012.
Bedouin Soundclash, May 2011.
Perhaps best known for their monster hit ‘When the night feels my song’ which was used in the UK for mobile phone ad campaign. The band played the Circus in May 2011 to an ecstatic crowd who turned the venue in to a festival-like atmosphere. Many were surprised to see the band in such close quarters as in other parts of the world they play to far bigger venues so it was something of a coup to have them play here.
KT Tunstall, Jon Fratelli, Feb 2011.
KT Tunstall was already well established having become a household name on Later with Jools Holland in 2004. Her debut album ‘Eye to the telescope’ went platinum in both the UK and the USA,it was also nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Playing here in February 2011 gave fans a rare chance to see her up close and personal. KT continues to tour extensively and is one of the most successful female Scottish singers since Lulu.
The Joy Formidable, Feb 2011.
Despite it being a cold Monday night in February 2011,over 200 people packed in to the Circus to see the hotly tipped Welsh outfit. They had only just released their debut album on Atlantic Records and blew the roof off the place.They have gone on to open for Foo Fighters, appear on The David Letterman show and have a song featured in one of the Twilight films(which means they could probably retire now!)
The Vaccines, Dec 2010.
Word had already started to spread of the talent these guys had when they played here if it was not for the terrible weather on that night in December 2010, the place would have full to the gunnels. As it was a healthy crowd still gathered to see them tear through a set that made up the album ‘What did you expect from the Vaccines?’ An album that led to them receiving nominations for best newcomer at the MTV,Mojo and Q awards. They have toured with The Arctic Monkeys, performed on the David Letterman show as well as selling out both Glasgow’s Barrowlands and Edinburgh’s Picture House
Emeli Sande, Nov 2010.
Emeli Sande was little known when she played here in November 2010 but her star was definitely on the rise having already signed a publishing deal with EMI. A record deal with Virgin followed that and her debut single was released in August the following year which made the world sit up and take notice. The single ‘Heaven’ climbed to number 2 in the UK charts and she bettered that with the song ‘Read all about it’ in which she collaborated with Professor Green. Awards have included the Best Newcomer at both the 2011 Mobo’s and Virgin Media Music Awards. In 2012 she was named the Critics choice for this years Brit Awards and supported Coldplay on their Mylo Xyloto tour. Unlikely she will be using her degree in neuroscience anytime soon!
Withered Hand, Aug 2010.
Dan Wilson AKA Withered Hand has become one of the most talked about songwriters from Edinburgh in a long time. Having played here in 2010 he finally made it to SXSW in 2011 after initially being denied access to the USA. However a petition was launched which gathered unprecedented support from the Scottish music community and beyond which led to him being granted entrance. As a result of his appearance there, he has had his album ‘Good News’ released by the US based record label, Absolutely Kosher. He also stepped up his venue size headlining Edinburgh’s Queens Hall during the 2011 Festival.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Aug 2010.
This group of siblings have certainly gone on to big things since their show here as part of the Edinburgh Festival in August 2010. Gaining celebrity fans such as Dustin Hoffman and Ewan McGregor,touring with Coldplay,Richard Hawley and Jools Holland and are about to embark on a 2012 tour of Australia.
FOUND, Aug 2010.
As one of Scotland’s most respected bands,it was no surprise to us that a mere month after they played here in August 2010,they were signed by Chemikal Underground. They have since released the outstanding album ‘Factorycraft’ to widespread acclaim in 2011 and are working on a project with label mate Aidan Moffat.
Mystery Jets, May 2010.
This quirky folky outfit were already well known to a few when they played this Sailor Jerry sponsored night in March 2010. They have since gone on to play the Field Day Festival in Sydney as well as headline shows at the ABC in Glasgow and two sold out shows at the Mercury Lounge in New York.
Killa Kela, March 2010.
UK beatboxer Killa Kela played here in March 2010 and is now regarded as one of the finest in his field. He has now played with DJ Fresh at The Albert Hall and recorded an acclaimed session for Jaguar Skills on Radio 1.
Xiu Xiu, Meursault, Foundling Wheel, Feb 2010.
Experimental avant garde outfit Xiu Xiu from California played their first ever show in Edinburgh here in February 2010.It was a phenomenal show and since then the band have released a split EP with fellow Californians Deerhoof entitled ‘Almost Xiu Xiu,Almost Deerhoof’
Niki King, Feb 2010.
Acclaimed jazz soul singer Niki King brought her Billie Holiday songbook show here in February 2009 and has since gone on to headline Edinburgh’s Queens Hall and The Blue Note in New York.
Cave Singers, Espers & Woods, Nov 2009.
Formed from the ashed of Pretty Girls make graves, The Cave Singers brought their sun drenched Americana here in November 2009 promoting their album ‘Welcome Joy’ They have since released a third LP ‘No Witch’ on new label Jagjaguwar ,wowed crowds at SXSW and Green Man festivals and toured in China.
Frankmusik, Nov 2009.
Since playing here in November 2009, Vincent Turner has lived in LA for 18 months and has been very much a go-to guy for artists looking for a golden touch. He has worked on music for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Hervé, Tinchy Stryder and also working on an album for Erasure.
Portico Quartet feat Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Nov 2009.
Both acts having been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize (Portico Quartet in 2008 for ‘Knee Deep in the North Sea’ and Sweet Billy Pilgrim in 2009 for ‘Twice Born Men’) certainly meant that it was a very special show indeed when the two played here in November 2009.Portico Quartet have since gone on to tour the USA and also headline at the Barbican Theatre in London.