Loved dearly by those who know, Stag and Dagger Festival hosts some of the most exciting and groundbreaking upcoming talent the UK has to offer. Like all live music, Covid sent the typically annual affair into a two year hiatus, and those of us who bought tickets in the early months of 2020 were finally able to put them to good use last weekend.
The two day event takes place in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and our city’s event was hosted along the infamous Cowgate, between Edinburgh’s crown jewels of indie and grassroot music venues. From the 2pm start time, music seeped from the doors of The Mash House, Sneaky Petes, Legends (formerly Opium), Bongos, and La Belle Angele. It was as though every nook and cranny of Cowgate, Edinburgh’s cathedral for music and nightlife, was filled to the brim.
There was such a quantity of bands that it was impossible to see everyone, but the quality was such that no matter where you ended up you were bound to have a great time. Some favourites included PVA, FEET, Lime Garden, Working Man’s Club, and English Teacher.
What stood out the most from the night was the genre meshing of PVA and English Teacher. PVA, an amalgamation of EDM, drums, and stark vocals, seemed to transcend to higher levels of creative genius whenever you thought no more was possible.
English Teacher was indie in instrumentals with raw punching vocals, but dissolved into the sort of bone crunching technically brilliant guitar riffs and breakdowns that are a staple in heavy metal.
It is true that all good things come to those who wait. There was a sense of euphoria in the crowd that night as for many people, Sunday marked the return of live music and in the brilliant amalgamation of genres present along Cowgate, it was evident that culture was healing.
Photo via Ella Cockerill