My Monthly Night at Electric Circus…

In October 2011, with the help of the illustrious John Paul Mason I started a new monthly night at Electric Circus in Edinburgh. Simply entitled ‘Vic Galloway Presents…’ the idea was to inject a little ‘New Music’ action into the capital’s occasionally stagnant and predictable pre-club night-life. It was nothing particularly inventive – just 3 bands and me in a venue. For the first 2 months however, they put a bloody great photo of my face on the promo poster… Jeez! I asked them to take it away and for December, and they duly did. Thanks! There’s nothing more disconcerting than seeing your own ugly mug emblazoned across pub and kebab shop walls in your home town. People were texting me photos of it and ridiculing me in public. Oh, and my hair has like, y’know, like… totally changed since then, yeah?!

(Told you it was bad. Imagine seeing THAT all over town…)

Sadly, Edinburgh has a bad reputation for live music, and unenthusiastic or lazy crowds in particular. I’ve always hated that, having based myself here most of my adult life and loved it, but have seen enough to know it does warrant some truth. I  know there are some great venues nowadays. I always enjoy gigs at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Sneaky Pete’s, Cabaret Voltaire, The Wee Red Bar, The Bongo Club, Nobles and The Liquid Room but since JP works at Electric Circus and it’s a fine, wee place in itself, that was the venue of choice. I’d DJ-ed there plenty of times and always enjoyed the decor, bar and karaoke rooms in the past… not that I sing Karaoke, but I do admire the black and neon aesthetics in the back rooms! Also, the sound-system had improved massively thanks to the help of oustanding resident sound-man, Joe!

Can we get folk through the door to sample something new? Will ‘da kidz’ give a monkey’s bawbag if there isn’t some cool brand or blog attached? I’m just a mad music fan and want to spread the word… Is that enough? Maybe in Glasgow but probably not in Edinburgh. We’ll see… The nights have varied attendence-wise so far, but the vibe and atmosphere have always been amazing, I’m delighted to say. JP and I are trying to theme the monthly gigs so there’s some kind of musical connection between all the acts on the bill. Basically, if you like one band, then you’ll hopefully like them all… or that’s the premise. I then DJ relevant records between the bands and introduce them onstage. Oh, and it’s all done on a Thursday (school night) between 7pm and 10pm so you can get the bus or train home and get to your beddie-byes…

(Not that bloody photo again…)

Anyway, the bands we book are the kind of artists I play on a weekly basis on my BBC Radio Scotland show. I’ve always felt that a couple of spot radio plays or a LIVE session is great, but if I can also offer them a gig in a nice wee venue with some other interesting bands then that might be even better.It all fits together with my monthly pieces for the Sunday Herald newspaper too. Maybe with a little extra boost, some of these relatively unknown bands will cross over to a wider audience! Ach well, you do your best…

First up in October there was Bwani Junction, Miniature Dinosaurs and Blank Canvas playing on a relatively straight-ahead indie-pop, post-punk line-up. In November we went for something more experimental and loop-orientated with Remember Remember (who provided me with my Album of 2011), Adam Stafford & Jonnie Common. But it was December’s acoustic, Christmas extravaganza that has been the biggest success so far… 

(Ahhh, that’s a better poster…)

It was an astounding bill of Owl John (Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit), James Yorkston, Neil Pennycook of Meursault and a collaboration between Jill O’Sullivan of Sparrow & the Workshop and Jenny Reeve of Strike the Colours to open up proceedings. I’m a lucky guy to be able to ask talented folks like this to show up… but when they actually do I’m always blown away! As you can imagine it was a blinder of a night. JP and I kept our Santa hats on throughout too!

(Oh no, it’s back again…)

Well, I trust 2012 is going to be another belter of a year for music and I want to add to that in some way. The weekly radio shows continue as ever, and the gigs will keep rolling on a monthly Thursday night with a collection of bands JP and I love. We’ll ask as reasonable a door price as we can afford so I sincerely hope you can make it down one night, or even make it a date in your diary each month. You may not know every name on the bill, or recognise every genre or style we try out, but they will all have the VG seal of approval. Oh Yes!

The next one is on Thursday 26th of January and has a nasty, noisy, punky, grungey, mathy connection between 3 truly awesome bands – United Fruit, Paws and Vasquez. All are well worth the meagre ticket money of course, and a boss night out will most definitely be had by all. Do you need any further arm-twisting? See you there and onwards into 2012.

And by the way… Happy New Year!

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