It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the capital, with the official Edinburgh's Christmas programme kicking off in the city centre. Thankfully, we've got plenty of non-festive events for those of a bah humbug persuasion as well, including Norwegian no wave noise rock, austere Turkish arthouse fare and a bodybuilding art exhibition.
Music & Nightlife
King Tuff, Sneaky Pete’s, Tue Nov 18
Sub Pop trio who stick to the label’s garage rock roots while adding their own pop-friendly choruses. Supported by indie-ska-mod outfit Saint Max and the Fanatics and top notch Glaswegian noisemakers Garden of Elks.
The Rifles, Liquid Room, Wed Nov 19
Fun fact: Paul Weller is a fan of this London indie-rock quartet with a shouty, punky edge, now touring with their reunited original line-up off the back of fourth album ‘None the Wiser’.
Erasure, Corn Exchange, Thu Nov 20
Synthpop icons Andy Bell and Vince Clarke command more than a little respect as they play tracks from their 16th studio album, ‘The Violet Flame’.
The Gaslight Anthem, Corn Exchange, Fri Nov 21
UK tour in support of album number five from Bruce Springsteen’s favourite New Jersey punk rock band (probably).
Stanley Odd, Liquid Room, Fri Nov 21
If you haven’t yet seen Scotland’s foremost political hip hop ensemble, take advantage of this full band live show immediately.
Dive presents Untamed, Summerhall, Fri Nov 21
Edinburgh’s premier ‘eclectic, anything-goes queer party’ moves to a new night and a new venue, with a punk/vaudeville/experimental/electronica-spanning line-up to get things started as they mean to go on.
Pulse, Studio 24, Fri Nov 21
Forward-thinking techno night Pulse welcomes Sterac (aka Steve Rachmad of Klockworks / Delsin) and Truncate (aka Audio Injection of 50 Weapons) to celebrate its fifth birthday.
Scots Fiddle Festival, The Queen’s Hall and Summerhall, Fri Nov 21-Sun Nov 23
Some leading lights of Scotland’s traditional folk scene (including Douglas Montgomery, John McCusker and Paul Anderson) take the lead in a programme that also features the odd overseas visitor, with concerts, recitals and play-along sessions aplenty.
Roman Nose at Requiem, The Mash House, Sat Nov 22
Glasgow’s finest proponents of fright-masked, hard-edged electronica perform a live set at one of Edinburgh’s newest electro nights.
The UK-wide clubbing brand makes its first foray into Scotland, converting the Liquid Room into a circus big top for the night and UK garage icon DJ EZ proving this isn't just a faded burlesque rehash.
One of the UK’s premiere ambassadors of cutting edge new dance music headlines a top roster of new talent: Hannah Wants, DJ and co-producer (with Chris Lorenzo) of 2013’s bass hit 'Dappy' and this year’s 'Rhymes'; Mac’s fellow Radio 1 jock Monki; and Disclosure accomplices Tourist and LXURY.
Perfume Genius, Caves, Sun Nov 23
Catch Seattle chamber pop singer-songwriter Mike Hardeas (pictured) performing songs from his critically acclaimed third album ‘Too Bright’ (awarded four stars from Time Out back in September).
Deathcrush, Electric Circus, Sun Nov 23
It’s always a pleasure to watch members of misdirected hen parties wander round Electric Circus trying to find the karaoke booths – even more so when there’s a Norse no wave noise rock band performing in the main room, ably supported by noisy Glasgow duo Bronto Skylift.
Moxie at Coalition, Sneaky Pete’s, Sun Nov 23
A rising star of BBC Radio 1’s ‘In New DJs We Trust’ project, Moxie is adept at spinning disco, house, hip hop and grime – it’s the latter that’ll fit in best at Sneaky Pete’s bass-heavy Coalition night.
Stick Man, St Andrew Square, Sat Nov 22-Sun Jan 4
Julia Donaldson’s story of a twiggy hero attempting to return home to the family tree is adapted for the stage by children’s theatre company Scamp (who previously proved their book adaptation chops with Michael Morpurgo's ‘Private Peaceful’).
Things to do
John Cooper Clarke, Queen’s Hall, Thu Nov 20
Currently enjoying one of his sporadic surges in popularity, the Bard of Salford has managed to book one of Edinburgh’s grander venues for an evening of punk poetry and witty anecdotage.
Night in the Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens, until Sun Nov 23
This week presents your last chance to experience the Botanics as you’ve never seen them before, with spectacular and eerily beautiful illuminations transforming the park into a psychedelic wonderland.
Edinburgh’s Christmas, City Centre, Fri Nov 21-Sun Jan 4
The capital’s annual winter festival starts this weekend, and it’s bigger than ever: two ice skating rinks, three Christmas markets and a fully operational Santa Land now complement the iconic Big Wheel, with numerous shows and performances into the evening. Check out the Light Night on George Street (Sun Nov 23) for an extra-bright burst of festive spirit.
Dylan Moran, The Stand, Mon 17 Nov & Thu Nov 20-Sat Nov 22
The Irish stand-up star and Edinburgh resident is taking advantage of the cosy wee comedy club on his doorstep by taking on a few guest spots at The Stand’s Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows this week.
Norbert Delman: S / S / S, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, until Tue Nov 25
New works from the Polish mixed media artist looking at the world of body builder culture (those initials stand for ‘Sweat / Suffer / Success’).
Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Scottish Art, Scottish National Galleries, until Sun Jan 25
The nationwide Generation project, which celebrates the last quarter-century of Scottish visual art, rumbles on with exhibitions and installations at all three of Edinburgh’s National Galleries. We’re particularly impressed with the fantastic show at Modern Art One, which features works by Ross Sinclair, Graham Fagen, Douglas Gordon, Alison Watt and Charles Avery.
Chloe Dewe Mathews: Shot at Dawn, Stills Gallery, until Sun Jan 25
Evocative photography exhibition capturing landscapes of WWI execution sites in the modern day.
Stan Douglas, Fruitmarket Gallery, until Sun Feb 15
Exhibition of the Canadian artist's film, video and photography works that explore the junction between history and memory.
Graeme Stephen Quartet - Nosferatu, The Queen’s Hall, Wed Nov 19
Award-winning jazz guitarist Graeme Stephen brings his band together to perform a new score for FW Murnau’s classic 1922 silent take on the Dracula myth. The former church hall of The Queen’s Hall should make for a suitably atmospheric venue.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, from Thu Nov 20
The first part of the final chapter of Suzanne Collins’ much-loved book series sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence in the role that’ll be on her tombstone) take on the oppressive government of Panem, led by Donald Sutherland’s cadaverous President Snow.
Winter Sleep, from Fri Nov 21
Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan returns to the barren steppes of his motherland for a challenging, intelligent depiction of the power struggles within relationships and communities.
Biomedical Ethics Film Festival, Filmhouse, Fri Nov 21-Sun Nov 23
The name's a bit of a mouthful, but this mini-fest is a great way to discuss the ethical issues of science with movies as a starting point. This year, it's the moral status of embryos, as examined via '4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days', Panorama doc 'The Great Abortion Divide' and Oscar-winning dramedy 'Juno'.