Music, comedy and poetry line up revealed for Festival of Politics Café Bar


The Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics has today revealed its programme of free entertainment in its Festival Café Bar. Running alongside the Festival of Politics sessions, the Café Bar offers a heady mix of music, comedy and poetry.

Usually the preserve of MSPs and their guests, the Scottish Parliament’s Garden Lobby will once again be transformed into a vibrant space where people can relax and enjoy the Festival atmosphere. As well as having the opportunity to enjoy a drink or some food, visitors can also continue or join in with the discussions prompted by the Festival of Politics sessions they have attended. Visitors can also browse a display of political cartoons by the Edinburgh Evening News’ Frank Boyle.

Friday 15 August

Following the three Festival of Politics sessions, visitors can join the opening night, as one of Scotland's most popular dance bands, That Swing Sensation, will play a variety of jazz, swing, jive, big band dance classics and rock ‘n’ roll from the 1930s onwards. (18.00 – 20.00)

Saturday 16 August

12.30 – 13:30 -The Dandylions
The Dandylions are an acoustic roots rock band who formed in 2009 and have proved to be a popular group in the acoustic music circuit of Scotland. Boasting two songwriters in David Hershaw and Kellie Buchanan plus renowned fiddle player Sandie Forbes, The Dandylions' music is filled with originality and distinctiveness.

13:45 – 14:45- GrownUps Djs
Forged on a remote mountaintop in December 2011, GrownUps fuses together C86 indie credentials and DJ know-how into one harmonious musical experience. DJs Kinghorror and The Spotlight Kid bring along their little black books, select music taste and stackloads of vinyl to create an amazing mash up of top tunes from the last six decades. Expect a smörgåsbord of hip hop, indie, soul, R'n'B, disco, garage, ska, new wave, electro, alt classics all with a political theme.

15.00 – 16:00- The Banjo Lounge 4
The Banjo Lounge 4 are an Edinburgh-based all acoustic crate digging mash-ups band delivering classics in an original and imaginative style -ups including tunes from Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Dizzy Rascal, New Order, Duran Duran and The Beastie Boys.

16:30 – 17:00- Newsboy

It’s the information age and we are bombarded with news items, stories and images, but can we sort truth from fiction? Can we really trust the papers? Can we separate the media’s reporting from the reality of everyday life? During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the living newspaper was a theatrical response by ordinary people to the world around them. NEWSBOY is a new living newspaper which aims to create a space to examine our ideas and feelings about the world we live in today.This performance will present highlights from the first three editions of NEWSBOY which took place between March and July 2014.

17.45 – 18:15- Random Aspekts

 Dynamic, acrobatic, humorous and entertaining, Random Aspekts have been performing for crowds all over the world since their conception in 2001. With an unrivalled collective wealth of competitive and performance experience (from grandma’s 90th birthday party to arena tours with the stars) these guys have remained Scotland’s premier break-dance crew for over a decade.

You may have seen Random Aspekts work their magic for Kelly Rowland, the MOBO awards, Red Bull, Strathmore water, Bacardi, Club Noir (the world’s biggest Burlesque night), Whisky Kiss and countless music videos and fashion shows across the Globe!

18.15 – 19:00- Grown Ups Djs

19.30 – 21:30- Susan Morrison
Susan will apply her quick-thinking, fast-talking, no nonsense approach on all manner of subjects as she comperes this cabaret of dangerous ideas. She will be joined by Professor Graham Turner, Doctor Oliver Escobar, Eleanor Morton, comedy duo Valdimir McTavish (Paul Sneddon) and Keir MacAllister, and Erich McElroy.

Sunday 17 August

11.30 – 12:30- Robyn Stapleton
Robyn Stapleton, the current winner of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, will entertain and entrance with her own style of the traditional music from her Scottish and Irish heritage.

13.30 – 14:00- Blueflint
Highly acclaimed five-piece band Blueflint, support band to The Proclaimers 2012 UK tour, intertwine banjos, fiddle, double-bass and drums with sublime harmonies.

15.00 - 16:00- Robot Doctors
Five-piece band Robot Doctors will play an energetic set of catchy songs, which will be swirling round your head for days to come. The Dundee based band can boast that songs from their debut album have been hand-picked by English Premier League champions Manchester City FC to soundtrack the club’s website.

16.30 – 17:30- Gramophone Jass
Reinventing classics of the prohibition speakeasies, The Gramophone Jass Band are set to entertain. During the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, they ran their own late-night 1920s speakeasy and played shows for the BBC, NoFitState Circus and the British Arts Council.

18.30 – 20:00- Rally & Broad
Rally & Broad is a lyrical cabaret, established in Edinburgh in October 2012 and Glasgow in January 2014. Award-winning poets and performers Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum, will be joined in a political debate in verse with Scots Makar and playwright Liz Lochhead & Kieran Hurley focusing on “The Past”, Harry Giles & Alan Bissett on “The Present - the Referendum” and Rachel Amey & Tracey S Rosenberg “The Future”.


The Festival Café Bar will run alongside the Festival of Politics, which takes place at the Scottish Parliament from Friday 15th August to Sunday 17th August. Now in its 10th year, the three-day Festival of Politics is to focus on the implications of the ‘big issues’ in the Scottish independence referendum debate. The full programme is available at / @FoP2014.

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