On its cobbled surface, Edinburgh can seem something of a ‘nice’ city. From the short-bread box streets and closes of the Royal Mile, to the eccentricity of Calton Hill’s rubbish attempt at an acropolis, and to the palatial grandeur of New Town, there’s a definite sheen of respectability lacquered on to all its buildings and bagpipers. This is the Edinburgh that all your Parents friends are thinking of every time they swoon over the fact that you live here, and makes your Gran oh so proud of you.
One could argue that this is the Edinburgh we receive by day. By night the Scottish enjoyment of a stiff drink expresses itself in full force, and the cities party scene by no means embarrasses itself in terms of great venues from the tiny (Sneaky Pete’s), to the innovative (Caves). Your average weekend warrior or obnoxious student pub crawl have always, perhaps, been better served though, and if you literally want to just drink yourself into forgetting how miserable and stressed you are then Edinburgh is your Hive-coated oyster. Those that aim to serve an ever growing, and ever serious community of house lovers are successful, but as anyone who has had the misfortune of being at Cabaret Voltaire on a Friday night will understand that avoiding the unwanted attention of fellow clubbers (be it amorous or bottle-wielding) is harder than having a rational conversation with a bouncer. This makes it all the harder to appreciate the big names the lovely folks at Cab Vol forks out to bring you, and perhaps leaves Edinburgh’s club scene a little lean when compared to its full fat, Clyde dwelling cousin.
Nightvision couldn’t come too soon, then. Founded by two of Scotland’s biggest and best promoters, House and Techno giants Musika and bringers of the Bass Xplicit, Nightvision is bringing an unprecedented amount of big names, from across the genre spectrum and effectively curating what seems already as if it should be something of an institution. A series of nights running from September right through to an undisclosed Hogmanay party, names such as Skream, Joy Orbison, Nina Kraviz, 2manyDJs, Hot Since 82, Bondax, Annie Mac, Hannah Wants, Gorgon City, Leon Vynehall, and Bicep are all being pulled into Edinburgh to seriously test the cities credentials and probably be the best night out you’ll have all semester.
Despite the risk of sounding like an air-max-with-beanie ultra-hipster, Nightvision is wonderfully all about the music. And, cliché aside, comes off much more like the unsuspecting kid that might as well set up a tent outside sub club, rather than a fair weather fashionista. This artist-centric ethos is then, even more interestingly, managing to bring together venues such as The Liquid Rooms and City under one banner, and even bringing some back from the dead. One of the most exciting slices of news is that the famous La Belle Angele, which was destroyed by a massive fire in 2002, is making its return on 24th October for Feel My Bicep and remaining a mainstay of the Nightvision calendar, thus opening up a whole new playground to Edinburgh’s club goers.
Ultimately, Nightvision is something Edinburgh should be proud of. As an idea it has the power to bring in migratory House, Techno, Bass, and Electronica fans from across Scotland, and could perhaps, just perhaps, have the power to put Edinburgh on the road to becoming a new European club mecca. Readers may think this to be disgustingly hyperbolic, but perhaps Glasgow should be watching its back.