Neu! Reekie! - Summerhall, Edinburgh, Fri 26 Oct
The Spoken Word meets music and film night is candlelit for a Hallowe'en special
Conjure in your mind a darkened hall lit by candles: where poets chant about their parents in spirituous rhythms, atmospheric animated shorts include a vintage Loony Tunes cartoon and live music flits from mesmerising folk to a mythic Russian sea shanty. Welcome to the latest, sold-out, installment of experimental night Neu! Reekie!
Tonight's installment is a Hallowe'en themed evening, opened by frolicsome poet/comedian John Hegley, whose mischievous audience direction generates a room full of bobbing heads and expressive - guillemot mimicking - arm waving. Kevin Cadwallender, editor of the Northumberland-based independent publisher, Red Squirrel Press injects more humorous wordplay (and a disconcertingly convincing Dalek impression) as a commendable stand-in for Scottish poet Douglas Dunn. Musically it’s mellifluous Fifer James Yorkston who stands out, with an elongated story about his train being stuck in the mist and wanting to see his pal rendering the bittersweet themes of tracks from 2012 release I Was A Cat From a Book all the more poignant.
As it’s all topped off by a second, applauded round from Hegley, reading one of Dunn’s poems, we’re told to ‘stick around and mingle’ and it’s clear that the event has found a niche in the capital’s live scene. A world with progressive cultural verve, the excitement is catching.