DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED A BLINDING ‘SECRET SET’ FROM MERCURY NOMINEES JESSIE BUCKLEY & BERNARD BUTLER, RAUCOUS MAIN STAGE SET FROM IDLES, PLUS JON HOPKINS JOESEF, CMAT AND MORE
26th – 28th AUGUST 2022
ROYAL HIGHLAND CENTRE SHOWGROUND, EDINBURGH
REMAINING TICKETS AVAILABLE VIA WWW.CONNECTMUSICFESTIVAL.COM
As the Fringe Festival began to wind down, over at the Edinburgh Royal Highland Centre Showground things were just getting started asConnect Festival revellers prepared for an exhilarating weekend of live music. From award-winning headliners to homegrown talent with the likes of Jon Hopkins, IDLES, Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler, CMAT, Joesef and many, many more.
JOESEF – “My name’s Joesef and I’m fae Glesga”
JESSIE BUCKLEY & BERNARD BUTLER – “I love Scotland, I love all your crazy faces”
LYRA – “I’m so happy to be here, I’ve always wanted to come to Edinburgh, and here I am I’m so delighted”
With a weekend of celebrations ahead which will see over 80 acts perform across 4 stages, fan excitement and enthusiasm was palpable as the Edinburgh site played host to the best in live music. In colossal fashion, IDLES brought their brutal post-hardcore sound to Connect. Shaking with energy, lead singer Joe Talbot commanded The Grand Parade which was followed by Jon Hopkins; a force to be reckoned with on the international electronic scene, he has carefully curated a vast catalogue of low-fi, ambient textures and grandiose beats. On his latest album ‘Music for Psychedelic Therapy’, he is deeply influenced by nature in all its roaring beauty and there was no better place to hear him live than at Connect with its rustic, country aesthetic. What a way to end the first day of Edinburgh’s new festival.
With more than three decades in the industry, John Grant showed off his honed artistic style, dappling with rich, dreamy synths and gentle piano ballads. Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler proceeded, recently nominated for a Mercury Prize for their debut album ‘For All Our Days’, the stars have truly aligned as this celebrated producer and actress cast a spell over the crowd with intricate folk-rock magic. Maeve boldly stomped on stage in knee high boots, headbanging and thrusting the mic into the air, “Yes!” she yelled, “Love that energy Connect!” before a crescendo of electric guitar.
There were plenty of BIG MOMENTS over at the Tiny Changes X Gardeners Cottage, where some Connect favourites performed in a series of one-off acoustic pop-ups. Plenty of buzz surrounded the cottage’s ‘secret sets’ and as mid-day struck a cryptic clue was revealed, ‘This duo comprised of an award-winning actor & record producer are nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize this year’. It was revealed to be Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler and their first performance in Scotland. “I love these ones, the small magical ones, when we’re on each other’s laps” Buckley proclaimed, looking out at the intimate crowd, beaming with the kind of joy only a Scottish audience can induce. TikTok superstar Katie Gregson-McLeod debuted new track ‘complex’, followed by Terra Kin whose delicate folk melodies transcended the cottage’s quant fence line. “My name’s Joesef and I’m fae Glasga”, the soul star said coyly into the mic, sat with an accompanying guitarist, his shy exterior soon subsided as the opening note of ‘I Wonder Why’ played, the crowd eagerly hanging onto his every word.
Friday’s Guitars & Other Machines line-up saw an eclectic mix of jazz pop, country, and electronic beats from LVRA, Jealous of the Birds, Cloth, LYRA, CMAT, and Moses Boyd. Rounding off the stage was soul-pop hero Joesef, sporting Prada loafers and an unmistakable sound which thoughtfully teeters on the fringes of jazz while remaining contemporary, he was captivating as he sang heartbreak anthem ‘East End Coast’.
Over on the Unknown Pleasures stage, Connect fans were treated to a sizzlin’ hot display of house beats from leading DJs in the national and international scenes. Scotland was well represented with slots from the likes of leading LGBT+ provocateur TAAHLIAH, Pocket and KILIMINJARO. Like nails to a Hammer, the crowd pounded their feet to the DJ’s magnetic mix which flirted with trap and all its sub-genres.I.JORDAN equipped a classic rave arsenal before Optimo (Espacio) set the stage alight with their pulsating nostalgia-laced bangers and funky dance grooves.
The Speakeasy tent welcomed MC Connor Burns who was on-hand to host the day’s selection of comedy, spoken word, storytelling, conversations, and live podcasts. Katie Pritchard kicked things off with her whimsical musical comedy, followed by Mark Nelson and Sean McLoughlin who blurred the lines with their razor-sharp observational routines and lightning-fast wit. When she’s not tearing up the stage,LVRA was ‘In Conversation’, discussing everything from her career to personal influences. The Black Scot Pod took to the stage headlining, sending the tent into fits of laughter and tears as host Suzie and Shirley shared hilarious, at times emotional anecdotes of their experiences growing up as black women in Scotland.
The next two days will see Grand Parade headliners The Chemical Brothers and The National entertain crowds at Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre Showground, with sets from The Twilight Sad, Bombay Bicycle Club, Little Simz and many more. As the sun sets on the first day of Connect festival, Edinburgh’s new festival is here with a bang.
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Still to come this weekend:
SATURDAY 27th August
The Chemical Brothers, Bonobo, The Twilight Sad, Caribou, Holly Humberstone, Chloe Moriondo, Lucia & The Best Boys
GUITARS & OTHER MACHINES STAGE
RIDE playing Nowhere, Kathryn Joseph, Matt Maltese, Willie J Healey, NewDad, Swim School, The Joy Hotel, Opus Kink
UNKNOWN PLEASURES STAGE
Erol Alkan, Krystal Klear, Dance System, Nightwave, Push It, Nadia Summer B2B DIJA
Leyla Josephine, Marjolein Robertson, Stuart Braithwaite & James Graham in Conversation, Tom Cashman, Finlay Christie, Jenny Bede
SUNDAY 28th August
The National, Mogwai, Bombay Bicycle Club, Little Simz, Self Esteem, Black Country, New Road, Rae Morris
GUITARS & OTHER MACHINES STAGE
Idlewild playing The Remote Part, Admiral Fallow, Sudan Archives, DEHD, Hamish Hawk, Lizzie Reid, Porij, Kathleen Frances
UNKNOWN PLEASURES STAGE
Horse Meat Disco, Jamz Supernova, Sam Gellaitry, Barry Can’t Swim, Rebecca Vasmant, Karma Kid
Darren McGarvery in Conversation, Rebecca Vasmant in Conversation, Andres Ordorica, Justin Moorhouse, Becky Lucas, Joe Wells, Troy Hawke, Sustainability Hour
CONNECT MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS
REMAINING TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM https://connectmusicfestival.com/
General Admission day tickets £65 + booking fees
VIP day tickets £95 + booking fees