The Edge Festival (formally known as T on the Fringe) brings well known acts and those just starting out a platform to perform to their fans in some of Edinburgh’s well known venues.
This year, Scottish singer/songwriter Amy Macdonald headlines the festival with a show in the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. For those that have never been to the venue, it’s situated just outside of the capital in Slateford. It’s split into several areas, the Exchange being the largest.
Although doors opened at 7pm, it wasn’t until approximately 8pm until the support act came on. This came in the form of Edinburgh singer/songwriter Alex Cornish (website here). He kicked off his set with his last single, Scotland The Brave before heading into a track called Don’t Hold Me Back. After introducing himself, he introduced a song from his new album called The Shame. This was followed by Untied and the set rounded off with the beautiful Chimney Pots, both taken from the debut album, Until The Traffic Stops. Chimney Pots in itself is a beautiful thing to watch come together as Alex records segments of violin music there and then with the use of a loop pedal.
Having seen Alex live previously (January 2010 at Celtic Connections supporting Sandi Thom), it was nice to hear the songs as they almost appear on the album and was a differing sound to what Amy has to offer.
After a quick rearrangement of the stage for equipment and set up of instruments (during which event staff were handing out free water to anyone that wanted it), it was time for the main attraction for the evening.
As with many of Amy’s sets since the release of A Curious Thing, things kicked off with An Ordinary Life before heading into the rocking version of Poison Prince. After this it was a welcome and thanks for coming before introducing the forthcoming single Love Love (which she reckons we should start hearing quite soon and if we don’t, to phone and complain). Next on the list is the beautiful rocky ballad Give It All Up which was immediately followed up by Next Big Thing.
Next she introduced Youth Of Today, the song that she ever wrote and said that she still finds it strange to perform it live even now. This was followed by the debut single Mr Rock and Roll, but not before she mentioned that if she hears one of her songs on the radio that she has to listen to it as she wants to see what he DJ says about it and how when it goes straight into another song that she gets annoyed. There was also discussion regarding how someone had nominated Amy as an emergency step in model for the Ultimo Bra, which she quickly quelled any idea by saying ‘the clothes are staying firmly on’
Singles Run, This Pretty Face and Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over are up next followed by the ballad Troubled Soul to bring things down a little. Solo time and the audience is treated to Amy’s current cover of the moment, Born To Run. Rejoined by the rest of her band, Spark ‘s up next followed by L.A. at the end of which she if anyone makes shoes as her boot zips always end up open by the end of gig because she moves around the stage as much. Moving on, she introduces the track from which the album name comes from (No Roots) and tells the tale of how her mother originally suggested 2010 as a title and Amy rubbished only to find Prince using it a few weeks later. Oddly enough, the crowd join instead of talking over, which has seemed to be norm at many other venues.
Another tale of false identity, the Wrath of Jo (aka Mum) and how the occassional binge is good for you and it’s into fan favourite This Is The Life. She brings things thing to a calming end with What Happiness Means To Me before leaving the stage for a brief moment. The crowd start chanting and it not long before she returns complete with band. She announces that she’s appearing on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show next week and how as part of it they’ve to perform a cover of a great British song. For this, they’ve chosen Aztec Camera’s Somewhere In My Heart and apologises as this is the first time that they’ve properly played it so there might be mistakes. If there was, it wasn’t noticed. The evening finished on a high with Let’s Start A Band.
Overall it was a fantastic night with Amy appearing to feed off the energy of the crowd and band. Breaking the songs up with her little tales (which also included finding a more alcoholic country than Scotland and the nerves about dueting with Ray Davies), she also showed that she’s aware of what’s happening with the crowd, enquiring live from the stage about someone who had fainted before continuing with the set. The set was a great mixture of all her material, ensuring that there was something for everyone. There is one thing though; although she might have sold over 3 million records worldwide, she can’t play hide and seek as she was spotted before appearing on stage.
And as for the crowd: it seems that now the songs have been out for a while that more people are willing to join in making the night almost like one huge night of karaoke.
Of course, while the evening was about the music, it also comes down to the event staff, responsible for making sure that everyone has a great time safely. They continued to hand out water to anyone that wanted it throughout the set and acted quickly to ensure that the person who took unwell was taken away and looked after. A successful night for all concerned.
Photos © Vhari Lannigan