Edinburgh Music Reviews

Meet Stuart Niven, Edinburgh’s official Reviewer In-Residence

Stuart Niven Music Reviewer

Back in April, we launched a new competition offering one lucky music-loving Edinburgh resident the chance to become our official Music Reviewer.

Their task would be to tell the story of Edinburgh’s exciting and eclectic live music scene by attending and reviewing a number of gigs that showcase the city’s vast range of live music. 

Meet Stuart Niven, Edinburgh’s official Reviewer In-Residence >


The Edinburgh gig experience!

Stuart kicked off this exciting partnership with an inspiring review of highly acclaimed rising local star, Hamish Hawk at Edinburgh’s historic venue, The Caves.  Stuart talks about Hawk’s captivating presence on stage, which is perfectly set against The Caves’ majestic 18th century cavernous vaults. Located in the city’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, this spectacular venue has an array of fantastic bars close by, which are perfect for enjoying a pre or post-gig drink.

Following on from Hamish Hawk, while keeping the rock and pop vibe alive, Stuart’s second gig was a sold-out show by The Smile at the Usher Hall. Comprising Radiohead’s Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet drummer, Tom Skinner, the audience were treated to a 5-star performance in a 5-star venue. This iconic concert hall has been entertaining music lovers for over 100 years with everything from country to classical, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Next up is a review of Edinburgh’s unique annual Hidden Door Festival, the event and organisation that perfectly captures the creativity, eclectic spirit and uniqueness of music (and arts) in Edinburgh. This year’s Festival re-opened the doors to old Royal High School, which has been closed since the 1960s, and welcomed local community orchestras, big hitters, punk and much more.

As summer arrives, Edinburgh Summer Sessions makes a welcome return to the city. Taking place in the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens, music fans are given the chance to witness household names play sets in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. This time, it was the turn of Mercury prize-winner Michael Kiwanuka for a euphoric and powerful performance.

September rolled round and it was the turn of Edinburgh’s acclaimed band, We Were Promised Jetpacks at La Belle Angele. This “coming home” gig played to a spirited and hyped crowd at an Edinburgh institution which has been celebrating and promoting music and clubbing culture in the capital since the 90s.

It was definitely more treat than trick on Halloween night as renowned Scottish artist Paolo Nutini appeared at O2 Academy Edinburgh for a sell-out gig. This Grade A listed venue - which was once a cattle market and slaughterhouse – has hosted gigs by some of the biggest acts in the business and is of Edinburgh’s largest and award-winning entertainment venues.

Stay tuned to hear all about Stuart’s next gig.........