> Hidden Door Festival – Sunday 4th June 2023 (review) - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Hidden Door Festival – Sunday 4th June 2023 (review)

Hidden Door has done it yet again; hijacking an unused space and converting it for the sake of art. The Complex next to Edinburgh’s ‘Commie’ pool, once a sterile work office, was altered into an incredibly different space – one in which we gave thought and consideration to the environment. After making our way through long queues, we reach ‘The Holocene’ and ‘The Anthropocenic Garden’ in the basement of the building to witness experimental, environmental dance, designed with an exploration of environmental issues.

Credit: Dan Mosley

As with all of their festivals, there is as much of an emphasis placed on the lineups as there is on the installations themselves, and this is a particularly strong day for music at this festival, with bands Sweaty Palms, Eyes of Others, Rozi Plain and Free Love. Plus, it turns out that old converted office spaces have great acoustics. Who would’ve thought?!

Kicking off the final day of the festival was emo indie duo Cowboy Hunters, before indulging in the serenely lustful poetry of Janette Ayachi. Glasgow band, Sweaty Palms then followed through on the emo that the Hunters had instigated, performing with conviction and high-octave thrust tracks such as ‘Nice to be Nice.’ 

Credit: Dan Mosley

Bands such as Lost Map’s Former Champ and Josephine Sillars in the interim would pull the energy levels back down to a sedate Sunday afternoon before rising again, like a fader back up to the electronic levels of Eyes of Others. It was great to catch John Bryden’s drum loops and single synth sounds, before concluding the evening with a wonderous Rozi Plain set. Performing mostly from her previous two albums, including a marvellously memorable ‘Swing Shut’ (she got the crowd to yelp at the mention of the word ‘door’, though not one of the hidden variety). Plain and band lulled us into a false sense of calm before we realised, once again, that we had to consider another Monday morning.

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