The Edinburgh Fringe returns in full bloom this August. After a year off in 2020 and a heavily truncated version in 2021, it seems like the Castle fireworks, ubiquitous flyers and crap stand-up in the back of pubs are triumphantly returning.
The excellent 432 Presents are continuing their usual good work of putting on great shows as they do year round, including some fabulous artists in Glasgow and Aberdeen, such as Arab Strap, Advance Base, Torres and a range of selections for The Hug & Pint’s “Endless Summer” showcase. But their contributions in August in Edinburgh deserve a little extra attention due to all that competition. That, and they’re uniformly excellent, of course.
One of the most difficult you might be faced with all summer comes on August 16: Mdou Moctar or Los Bitchos? Both are bringing mostly instrumental guitar-based music with origins far from Scotland. The former drawing on the lineage of brilliant Tuareg musicians like Tinariwen and Etran Finatawa and the latter concocting their own punky brand of Colombian cumbia. Both are likely to take you to psychedelic places, one via Liquid Room and the other Summerhall.
Welsh post-hardcore legends, Mclusky (above), will bring their irreverent and brutal sound to Summerhall on August 20th, continuing their celebration of the 20th anniversary of the brilliant ‘Mclusky do Dallas’. And the following day (a Sunday, fittingly), you can rest up to the relaxing tones of Cassandra Jenkins and her indie-folk/philosophical musings. Her album, ‘An Overview on Phenomenal Nature’, was one of the best last year.
Back at Liquid Room, Alex G will play on August 23, bringing plenty of earworms and beautifully wrought lyrics hidden beneath the veneer of loose, no-fucks-given arrangements. His new album, ‘God Save the Animals’, is out in September, so there might be a few sneak peeks. And there’ll be more weirdness on August 28 when Deerhoof come to town – with their experimental pop/rock/punk/???? style, they more than warrant the cliché: expect the unexpected.
Another well-timed show (to make up for the Los Bitchos/Mdou Moctar debacle) is The Weather Station on August 31st, the ostensible end of the festival. Tamara Lindemann is no newcomer, but she’s had a breakout year thanks to the success of last year’s brilliant ‘Ignorance’. Following a great show in Glasgow in March, she returns with ‘Circuit des Yeux’ to end your summer in the loveliest way possible.
For more information and ticket details: www.432presents.com.