Pale Imitation festival curates series of gigs by local bands during Edinburgh Festivals

This article is from 2014

Pale Imitation festival curates series of gigs by local bands during Edinburgh Festivals

2014 line-up features PAWS, Halfrican, LAW and last ever show by Meursault

Pale Imitation has a pretty simple mission statement; to celebrate the best independently-minded Scottish bands and musicians by bringing them together for a month-long festival in Edinburgh throughout August.

But wait. Put ‘festival’, ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘August’ together in you’ll realise it’s more of a maverick move than it first appears as it’s concurrent with the hustle and bustle of the Fringe. Many have tried and failed to go toe-to-toe with Edinburgh’s festivals in the recent past, but if Pale Imitation lives up to its poster’s billing as being ‘Cheap! Cheerful! Local!’ - three things that are pretty hard to argue with - then it could have a fighting chance.

Now in its second year, the festival consists of ten shows, on every Thursday and Saturday in August, with one Wednesday show thrown in for good measure. The centerpiece is indie-folk existentialists Meursault’s last ever show, at Queen’s Hall on Wed 13 Aug, supported by atmospheric alt-punks Plastic Animals for the very reasonable sum of £12. The rest of the festival is happening quite literally underground at the always-reliable Henry’s Cellar Bar at £5 per show - pricing which would make DIY luminaries such as Ian Mackaye and Steve Albini proud - and there’s also a £25 season ticket available for entry to all of the shows bar the Queen’s Hall shindig.

We’re most excited about the happy and hummable guitar tunes of Glasgow’s PAWS (30 Aug), the fuzz-and-reverb-laced surf of Deathcats (14 Aug) and Edinburgh’s own postmodern industrial-soulstress LAW (23 Aug), while noisy garage jammers Halfrican (30 Aug), spartan singer-songwriter Rick Redbeard (21 Aug) and the intimate kraut-folk of eagleowl (28 Aug) should encourage anyone interested in the current state of Scotland’s independent music scene to dive in.

'During the festival, it’s hard it to effectively publicise anything to the incoming audience, or to persuade your own domestic audience to stick with local stuff when all this new excitement is in town for a change' explains festival organiser Matthew Young, of Song, by Toad records. 'But for us music people to just have to admit defeat and walk away from that felt wrong, so I decided to dig my heels in a bit. I tend to try and release and promote my own favourite music and that’s what we have here - a month long series of gigs I really, really want to go and see. I just hope enough other people agree with me and come along too.”

Meursault - Dull Spark


The Edinburgh indie/folktronica band, back again after Neil Pennycook did a stint as Supermoon.