Gig review: Kid Canaveral, The Caves, Edinburgh

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Ahead of their their hotly anticipated second album, out in March, Fence Collective stalwarts Kid Canaveral hosted a very different type of Christmas night out to the standard slewed office debauch.

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This was ltogether a mellower, funkier, authentically convivial affair – albeit in a venue that deliciously resembled an outsize Santa’s grotto for grown-ups.

A smattering of Santa hats was duly sported by members of a lavish mini-festival line-up that took in folktronica frontrunners Meursault, King Creosote with the FOUND collective (reprising their recent Bits of Strange Homecomings collaboration), top comic Josie Long, and the famously anti-festive Malcolm Middleton.

The last was later the object of an affectionately hilarious a cappella tribute from Randolph’s Leap frontman Adam Ross, who wondered if Middleton might fancy covering his new composition Christmas is Shite: lyrics that rhymed “Santa Claus” with “ma baws” probably impart a sufficient flavour.

Ross’s lyrics, replete with rather more elegantly turned rhymes and droll, quizzical wordplay, together with his pretty yet sinewy vocals and buoyantly hooky tunes, formed an authoritative anchor for the band’s richly arrayed eight-piece sound, whose ramshackle aura was thrillingly belied by intricately taut ensemble work.

In amongst their own spiky indie-folk songs, seasonal treats included a surf-punk Jingle Bells and a manic, spaghetti Western-style Walking In the Air.

In the headline slot, Kid Canaveral showed themselves more than ready for the big upcoming release, with their twin lead guitar and vocals attack firing cleanly but ferociously on more cylinders than ever, and an exciting clutch of new material brilliantly complemented by favourites like And Another Thing!!