Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 26th 2010 2:30PM by Barnaby Smith
Come to see: Between its two main rooms and then its special club area, the Speakeasy, Cabaret Voltaire caters to pretty much every genre going. A scroll through the gigs that happened here in March gives an impression of the venue's wilfully eclectic nature; the line-up included Richmond Fontaine, the Ritalin Kids, James McCartney ... even the Strawbs passed through in February. Cabaret Voltaire is arguably Edinburgh's premier live music venue, open seven nights a week and enjoys an impeccable programme of club nights, including Thursday night's Sick Note and Monday night's Trade Union, a night that has featured guest DJs such as Calvin Harris, Scratch Perverts, and Utah Saints. As far as live events go, stand-out shows from the past year include Los Campesinos!, Mumford and Sons, Jeffrey Lewis and the Aliens, while in 2008 Midnight Juggernauts played a memorable set within these labyrinthine confines.
The atmosphere: Cabaret Voltaire is a cramped, enclosed space, and sits as part of an ancient underground network of caverns that runs through the Cowgate area of Edinburgh. The entrance is found along one of the steep cobbled alleyways that run off the city's Royal Mile, and once located one must go down two steep flights of stairs to reach a room with low, curved ceilings and a small stage. Therefore, claustrophobia is never too far away (in a good way) in this heated, sweaty space where crowds have been known to reach apoplectic levels of excitement in front of the right band. The atmosphere can be riotous then, though the classy décor of the place ensures a certain level of sophistication is maintained at all times. It's also loud, due to all volume from the PA bouncing right of the sandstone walls and straight back into the room again.
You saw them here first: Cab Vol, as it's commonly known, played host to the likes of Scots Frightened Rabbit and the Twilight Sad in the days before they came to the rest of the nation's attention. The place has also seen its fair share of members of Fife's Fence Collective, from James Yorkston to the Pictish Trail, securing its reputation as not only an essential stop-off for established bands on tour, but a real feather in the cap for emerging artists to play. In addition, Editors, the Horrors and Jamie T played some of their first Scottish shows here.
Claim to fame: In 2008 this tiny Scotland venue that had been open for only three years was named among the best 100 clubs in the world by DJ magazine, as voted for by DJs themselves. In the same year, they were named best club in Scotland at the Dram Scottish Licensed Trade Awards, firmly establishing Cabaret Voltaire as Edinburgh's main flag-bearer in the quest to wrestle the title of Scotland's clubbing capital away from Glasgow.
You should also know: Cabaret Voltaire celebrated its fifth anniversary in style in February, with a five-day festival featuring Fenech Soler, Zane Lowe, Utah Saints and Tom Middleton. Cab Vol celebrates its birthday every year, testament to the fact it takes nothing for granted; indeed this venture, one still finding its feet, has been a lesson in how to maintain a modern live music venue.
Booking now: These New Puritans, Efterklang, Roachford, Nerina Pellot,Woodpigeon.