A New Hope in Auld Reekie?

Edinburgh has been faced with several blows to its music scene over the past few years, namely the slow deterioration of its venues outwith the infamous Edinburgh festival.

The Save the Forest failed despite the massive effort put in from the people of Edinburgh and the likes of Amanda Palmer getting involved. The forest has now subsided to a small cafe at Tollcross, leaving the beautiful building they inhabited to the money makers. Save the Bongo gained more mainstream support with cool t-shirts and tote bags, they’ve now moved to central old town but  they have to move out for the whole month of August for the Fringe.

What has been happening on Gutherie Street might give us a better insight, as The Left Bank/ GRV/ Octopus Diamond/ The Store, has seen that many change of hands, including EUS (see http://brightgreenscotland.org/index.php/2010/11/edinburgh-university-settlement-when-not-if-the-slow-demise-of-a-much-loved-old-friend/  for more info on the mess that has been) and current partner of The Breakfast Club. The main function over the years for this venue has been disuse, illegal procurement of electricity and bizarre name changes, most likely to shake the reputation of the previous venue.

Sneakys got whacked in the face with “your bass is too loud” by the council when local rock bands tested the sound system, causing a series of gigs being cancelled and they no longer support some of the louder touring bands. And don’t even get me started with Cabaret Volitaire and its G1 take over!

Decent venues for bands are few and far between in Scotland’s capital. Will The Breakfast Club be the answer? What once was Medina and The Third Door in the basement and a separate bar above, has now been taken over with plans to fix up Edinburgh’s music scene. I met up with Warren Deighan and some of the other TBC’ers to find out what the script is with Edinburgh’s newest and most promising venue.

Their aim is to have live music as the priority; club nights to support band nights, rather than the other way round. They want to bring together people with skill and talent to deliver this ethos. As The Breakfast Club gets up and running its word of mouth which is attracting various club nights and bands to use the venue. Ultragroove Edinburgh’s longest running house club night approached TBC as they saw the winning combination of this new venue and Deighan, whose reputation succeeds him after running Honeycomb, Cab Vol’s predecessor.

There is an air of excitement tainted with typical Scottish skepticism. Trust has been lost in Edinburgh’s venues capacity to provide a solid year round base for musicians to work off (without costing an arm and a leg). Sneaky Petes has set the standard and TBC wanted to take that higher.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing we have been informed that future gigs at The Breakfast Club have been cancelled due to non-payment of services rendered, including that of performers and staff. This is yet another blow to Edinburgh’s music scene reinforcing the lack of trust, the TBC confirmed with us they wanted to rebuild. The possibility of pulling something out of the bag still lingers but will artists and punters still be around to see it happen?

The future of The Breakfast Club is unknown and we will just have to wait to see what the outcome will be, but for now the bar is closed.



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