Artist Home, Edinburgh, 2010
«Welcome to the Willson Home» is written on the front door of the flat, where Withered Hand’s Dan Willson lives with his wife, his two kids and the kitty. It is a stone-grey dwelling house in the West of the city, not a classy part of town, but one with the certain charm of what you might call the “other” side of Edinburgh. After a cup of black tea we follow Dan up on a shaky ladder to the windy roof. With a view on the brewery, the rugby stadium and a church (there’s always a church wherever you look in Edinburgh!) in this residential area under the grey and cloudy sky, Dan aka Withered Hand goes for a stirring performance of “Religious Songs”. It is too freezing to stay outside for another song, so we climb down again and settle in the staircase with the neighbours coming back from work. Once the background noises come to an end and the bike has been leant again, Dan plays “No Cigarettes” and a breeze of sadness fills the staircase. With the reverberations of that episode we get back altogether in the cosy kitchen for a chat and another cup of black tea with the pleasant Willson family, while the kids help their dad out drawing in the guestbook.
Artist Home, Edinburgh
Describing Edinburgh’s impressive scenery of outstanding old stone-buildings and the dramatic castle – that is something we leave to other more capable ones. It is true that the beauty of the city – embedded in always green hills and situated next to the rough sea coast – is breathtaking. Edinburgh as one of the cities with the highest living standard in UK is a place to breathe in history (something we are familiar with from our home base Vienna); nonetheless there is still a lot of non-historical things going on. With a population of about 500,000 (a third of the number of people living in Vienna), it is far from a metropolis feeling and still has a really remarkable music scene. To get some feeling for it, you should check out the music video project Off The Beaten Tracks and the music blog (containing videos and podcasts) Song, by Toad from this cool guy Matthew. We have to thank him a million times as he was the one who made our filming in Edinburgh possible. We were staying with him, his great wife and crazy cat and used Matthew’s resources (knowledge and opinions about music, his network as a label owner and blogger, his internet, his bathroom etc.) to connect with Edinburgh’s music world. So we are happy to start the Scotland music special with the four sessions that we have done in Edinburgh (and yeah, we know – shame on us! – we missed Frightened Rabbit). The first filming took place at Dan’s place in West Edinburgh close to Murrayfield Stadium and Caledonian Brewery.