> Burns and Beyond 2024, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Callum Easter / (review) - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Burns and Beyond 2024, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Callum Easter / (review)

Nadine Shah

Callum Easter kicked off the live component of the festival in Edinburgh’s splendour, the George Street Assembly Rooms, with his singular brand of anarchic chaos. This included last minute set changes to his TV Special. For those that want to know what the TV Special is, head over to Easter’s YouTube channel, and you will get the idea.  

Burns and Beyond, an intriguing festival which, timed to coincide with Burns Night, runs annually the last weekend in January, using the Scottish Bard as the inspiration, his life and legacy, to celebrate modern day Scottish culture. Burns and Beyond traditionally installs their core art installation in Edinburgh’s St Giles Cathedral. With a focus on celebrating ‘love, hope and kindness’ in 2024, This time round it’s the work of artist Michael Pendry, who has created a heart style illumination: burning, beating and bleeding in the belly of the kirk.  

Callum Easter kicked off the live component of the festival in Edinburgh’s splendour, the George Street Assembly Rooms, with his singular brand of anarchic chaos. This included last minute set changes to his TV Special. For those that want to know what the TV Special is, head over to Easter’s YouTube channel, and you will get the idea.  

Leith’s bluesy troubadour kept us on our toes for much of the evening as we witnessed his mad Burns cabaret. Performing tracks intermittently from all three LPs, Easter opened us up to many unexpected scenes, including Chris Greive’s live trombone scoring of a motorbike ride scene and the well-blethered drumming of Edwin McLachlan to a car chase scene, which palpably transformed the energy in the room, adding further to Easter’s chaos.

The last-minute addition to the set, poet Michael Pedersen, fuelled the flames of the Burns celebration further with a taster of his poetry and offerings from his collection The Cat Prince and Other Poems. Disorder and discord prevailed throughout the night. Celebration was rife. 

The programme did not stop on Burns Nicht, as there was much to feast on over the weekend, including a blinding set by South Shields’ very own Mercury Prize nominee Nadine Shah, ahead of her new EP Filthy Underneath’s April tour. On stage promptly by 8pm, we were indulged with a hair-raising hour and a half set by Shah, as she served up a lovely mix of songs, everything from ‘Stealing Cars’, ‘Fool’ and ‘Club Cougar’ to the more expected ‘Topless Mother’ and ‘Greatest Dancer’.

Offering us a flavour of the personal rawness, and rhythmic percussion, of the new LP, I was thankful for a live performance of ‘Even Light’. Drummer Evan Jenkins delivered his flawless, pounding rhythms over Dan Crook’s organ genius, all pulled together wonderfully by Shah’s flailing and relentless stage presence. Physically emotional, Shah gives it her all, concluding the live Burns performance programme and giving more than is expected.

burnsandbeyond.com

You May Also Like

Film Review: How to Blow Up a Pipeline

From good ol’ Greta Thunberg and Fridays For Future, to the soup-throwing, SVU-fighting stunts ...

Book review: Alan Warner –Kitchenly 434

There are some writers whose work isn’t easily categorised, who try something new each ...

READ – SNACK Guide To The Best Bookshops In Scotland

It’s September, officially the beginning of autumn, and perhaps unofficially the time of year ...