Now in its third year, the week-long Outwith Festival was created as a response to Dunfermline’s apparent ineligibility to join in with the 70th anniversary celebrations for the Edinburgh Festival, despite one of the Fringe’s first-year shows taking place in the town. Since its arrival the festival has prospered throughout the town’s venues and cultural spaces.
Outwith Festival, various venues, Dunfermline ****
This year the centrepiece was this one-day, one-ticket festival of largely Scottish and mostly early-career musicians in seven venues, nightclubs and bar rooms around the town. Outwith’s music one-dayer was a success simply because of how well – and enthusiastically – attended it appeared to be, with the area around St Margaret Street in particular generating a buzz.
The large upstairs room of Lourenzo’s nightclub proved an excellent gig venue, whether for the party-friendly nouveau ska of Supa and Da Kryptonites, Meursault’s sparse but gorgeously epic (and very well attended) indie-rock and Man of Moon’s psych-rock torrent.
Amid sets by nearly 50 artists from late afternoon to early morning, rock bar Montys’ tiny upstairs room accommodated bands including Life Model, who play spiky pop; the bar area of Life was press-ganged into a useful gig space, although it was sadly under-filled for Kapil Seshasayee’s unique and transporting combination of virtuosic guitarist and dual drum kits, which he refers to as “desifuturism”; and a last-minute cancellation by Mt Doubt saw a gorgeous, atmospheric set of solo song from Annie Booth.
In PJ Molloys, Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale expressed thanks that a healthy crowd had chosen her band’s set of bold grunge-pop over fellow headliners Idlewild, playing what counts as an intimate set by their standards in Lourenzo’s. Elsewhere William McCarthy, formerly of New York punks Augustines, hammered out a howling, raw acoustic set in the town’s British Legion and the Charlatans’ Tim Burgess ended the day with a crowd-pleasing, hit-filled DJ set at local nightclub 1703. David Pollock