Line-up revealed for Light on the Shore concert series at Leith Theatre
A unique season of concerts that will bring together the best in Scottish pop music will be staged at a historic venue as part of the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival.
Light on the Shore will see established artists such as Django Django and The Jesus and Mary Chain join rising stars like Bossy Love in performing at the Leith Theatre, the art deco venue which temporarily reopened in 2017 after lying empty for decades.
Post-rock titans Mogwai will also play two nights at the hall in Ferry Road, while Scotland’s celebrated 1980s indie scene will be represented by performances from such groups as the Pastels, Vaselines and Fire Engines.
Anna Meredith, the Edinburgh-born contemporary composer, will stage an orchestral performance of Varmints - the album which picked up the 2016 SAY Award.
The 15-date residency marks a return to the theatre for the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), which made regular use of the 1,200-capacity auditorium throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
Fergus Linehan, EIF’s director, hailed the efforts of the Leith community in reopening the venue and in campaigning for its eventual restoration.
“We are expanding the geographical footprint of the festival - away from the slightly grand four or five square miles,” he told The Scotsman.
“It is an exciting new platform for us. The kind of restoration that takes place there will determine what we do in the future in terms of programming.
“I hope the venue doesn’t lose all of its rawness. There is something quite beautiful about it. It’s slightly dusty - but it’s not like you’re walking into an old warehouse. It has the charms of the yesteryear, in some of the old signage, but I wouldn’t want to see it restored pristinely. It should tell some of the story of what it has been through.”
The building, which dates to 1933, was almost sold off by Edinburgh City Council to help pay for a refurbishment of the King’s Theatre in Tollcross.
It was revealed last month the Heritage Lottery Fund will be asked to help bankroll the rebirth of the venue after the Scottish Government pledged £190,000 to improve the condition of the building in time for its return to the EIF line-up in August.
The city council has also ringfenced £1 million for the refurbishment.
The full line-up
Thursday 9 August: King Creosote with special guests
Friday 10 August: Django Django + C Duncan + Happy Meals
Saturday 11 August: Anna Meredith + Southbank Sinfonia present ‘Varmints’
Sunday 12 August: Neu! Reekie! presents Michael Rother (Neu!) + Fire Engines + Lydia Lunch
Monday 13 August: Celtic Connections presents Le Vent du Nord + Julie Fowlis
Tuesday 14 August: Hidden Door presents The Jesus & Mary Chain + Honeyblood + Spinning Coin
Thursday 16 August: Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook
Friday 17 August: Neu! Reekie! presents The Vaselines + The Pastels + Linton Kwessi Johnson
Saturday 18 August: Lau-Land with Joan As Police Woman + LAU + Nadah El Shazly + Rona Lightfoot and Brighde Chaimbeul + James Holden with Animal Spirits + Alasdair Roberts + Whitburn Brass
Tuesday 21 August: The GRIT Orchestra presents Martyn Bennett’s Bothy Culture
Wednesday 22 August: Mogwai
Thursday 23 August: Mogwai
Friday 24 August: Since Yesterday: The Unsung Women Pioneers of Scottish Pop
Saturday 25 August: stargaze present Boards of Canada’s first EP Hi Scores
Saturday 25 August: Club Cumming with Alan Cumming