Arriving to a sea of pink faces, that had obviously been laid bare for the sun to hit, I was engulfed by the chilled, artistic vibe of the Hidden Door Festival.
It is a tremendous eve, and obviously truly a hidden door festival, after all.
After doing a quick scan and recce of this year’s hip underground festival, I hit the Long Room immersing myself in the haze and ominously lit venue, just prior to Bella Union’s Lanterns on the Lake hitting the stage. Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, the band play to a packed out room, a diverse crowd, who appeared to have never heard of the long-standing band.
This was evidenced by those asking me the name of the band that are about to play to eavesdropping on poor attempts to recall the band! I heard one group refer to them as Water on the Lake and such like. The smell of hummus and craft beer diffused across this pop-up adding to the atmosphere of the local arts festival.
Indulging us to elements prog rock and ambient instrumentals Lantern on the Lake are a hybrid of genres. Occasionally playing guitar like violin, with at one point rhythmically synched guitar and drums, consistently beautiful vocals, it was wonderful to be treated to this highly experience, professionally tight talent.
Packed to the rafters for Moshi Moshi’s Teleman, the venue had a game-changer in tone. Aesthetically they look like bunch of gamers brought together by music (perhaps I am thinking too much about the eighties game Pacman instead of the more refined nuances of Teleman)
The mood became more jovial, with the reflective audience now moving their feet, some might call it dancing. With the sound pretty decent for a pop-up venue in Edinburgh (I guess this is a city that is prepped for dealing with pop-up venues), the band were in their element, sounding on good form and entertaining the hip swaying fans.
With musical reference nods towards artists such as The Aliens, Found, Belle and Sebastian and The Shins, it is not difficult to understand why their music is for the dancing crowd, which seemed to be here in its glory, with diversity in age, taste and dress.
Elements of reverb and synth kept it exploratory as they played renowned tracks such as Dusseldorf and Glory Hallelujah. There was much to keep the audience stimulated at Hidden Door this evening, and even more so when you combined it with the art, theatre and cinema as well as spoken word which I barely got a chance to have a look at!