Edinburgh Freshers week clubbing for the discerning listener

Cabaret Voltaire lines up Joey Negro, Paul Woolford and Gramophonedzie

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Edinburgh Freshers week clubbing for the discerning listener

David Pollock checks out the ever impressive line-up at Cabaret Voltaire’s annual Alternative Freshers week

Freshers week: no other seven days on the country’s clubbing calendar will see so many excited youngsters stay up all night drinking, try to bag off with each other and just generally enjoy the freedom that not having mum waiting to chastise you for coming back late brings. But you know what the worst thing about it is? That so few of these little bouncing proto-club kids give a damn about what they’re actually dancing to.

In which case, the students of Edinburgh can say thank you to Cabaret Voltaire, who have very kindly laid on eight straight nights of big name guests in order to break their next batch of regulars into new listening and clubbing habits. There are probably few other clubs in the city able to lay on such an event, because the Cab has the capacity and a reputation for quality, but it’s also commercial enough that it isn’t catering to just a niche, underground audience. A broad appreciation of dance music and a desire to get up and dance is all that’s needed here.

So the Cab’s own in-house night Sugarbeat kicks things off on Friday 24th as it welcomes Chew the Fat! residents Foamo and The Living Graham Bond. Foamo – 22-year-old Kyle Gibbon – has had a particularly massive year, appearing on Radio 1 and earning a residency at We Love Sundays at Space in Ibiza. Then Paul Woolford headlines Karnival on Saturday, and the rest of the week sees Boom Monk Ben of the eclectic Mixed Bizness at Glasgow’s Art School Union appear at Killer Kitsch on Sunday, Brightonian dubstepper High Rankin at Trade Union on Monday and Elektrical guest at Tuesday’s Split.

Glasgow band Three Blind Wolves play live at weekly indie disco Sick Note on Thursday, before more really big names show up for the closing weekend. First it’s Gramophonedzie, Serbian producer of love-it-or-hate-it chart hit ‘Why Don’t You’ at Friday house night Tokyoblu, then long-time icon of the UK house scene Joey Negro headlines Ultragroove on the closing Saturday.

‘It’ll be really cool to play Cab,’ says Liam Robertson, a 19-year-old music production student at the city’s Jewel & Esk College. ‘I’ve been in a few times and it’s got a really good energy. The guys there have been so supportive of us since we got in touch with them.’ Robertson and his musical partner Calum Macleod, 18, both originally from Perth, are the guests at Wednesday’s We Are . . Electric under their joint alias, Clouds, a project which is being hailed as the next great hope of Scottish dance music. Forming last December, the pair’s tentative sending off of tracks has already seen Fake Blood agree to sign them as his new label’s debut release and Tiga offer them a future single on his label Turbo. Annie Mac also gave them a debut Radio 1 play just the other week.

‘We’re big fans of Animal Collective,’ says Robertson, ‘the way their music’s hard to get a hold of, the way they’re not trying to appeal to anyone, they’re just doing what they want to do. We want to put that into dance music, just like Mr Oizo does, we’re big fans of his too, his music’s really well-produced and different.’ Find out here if they succeed – and don’t worry, we doubt he’ll be making class the next day, either.

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 24 Sep–Sat 2 Oct

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