Preview: Anywhere but the Cities
FOUND, Neu! Reekie! and friends embark on a rural roadshow with words, music and whisky
Summer has finally arrived, and with it the desire to go wild in the country. How thoughtful then of Edinburgh music / arts collective FOUND, monthly words-and-music salon Neu! Reekie! and Dewar’s Whisky to team up for Anywhere but the Cities, a 16-date travelling rural roadshow with a rotating line-up of performers, including musicians King Creosote, Aidan Moffat, Withered Hand, RM Hubbert, Eugene Kelly and ex-Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones, writers/poets Liz Lochhead, Jenni Fagan, Alan Bissett and Hollie McNish, and a whisky tasting at every stop.
‘We liked the idea of this sprawling, creeping music festival that went right the way round Scotland,’ says FOUND’s Ziggy Campbell, ‘and we thought “why not dodge the cities? They get enough attention”. I think you can do really interesting stuff in places that aren’t necessarily music venues.’
Alan Bissett has likened the tour to ‘the beat poets taking the Mystery Machine into a Bill Forsyth film’, roaming everywhere from the East Neuk of Fife north to Orkney and down to the Borders, via a cave near Durness, a chocolate factory in Oban and the derelict primary school near Fort William which Campbell currently calls home. He’s prepared for a ‘caper’. ‘I think we’ll get so much more out of this than if we were just to put on a gig in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen. I think there will be more anecdotal stuff that will happen on this tour.’
Aidan Moffat agrees: ‘it's always fun playing to a new audience who aren't familiar with your work, I think it can bring out the best in performers. I haven't quite decided what I'm doing yet, but I expect I'll be singing some modernised traditional songs and reciting poems about rude bodily functions, unrequited love, and annoying kids. And then finish with a bedtime story.’
Anywhere but the Cities kicks off on Sat 4 Jul at Dreel Halls, Anstruther, and ends on Sat 24 Jul at Linglithgow Palace.