Edge Festival @ HMV Picture House
10 August, 19.00

Calvin HarrisRarely a day goes by when Calvin Harris is not heard on the radio or seen on TV. His production skills are widely recognised and backed up by a steady succession of successful collaborations (Kylie, Dizee Rascall) and he’s rumoured to be working with pop sensation, Lady Gaga, at some point in the future.

Further evidence of his pop-pedigree, were it needed, was provided by the audience of largely under 18s at his latest Edinburgh gig.

After an enthusiastic support set from DJ Burns, Calvin came on stage to a roar. The set kicked off with ‘Merrymaking’ and for the next few tracks continued with this electro-pop vibe. At times Calvin Harris looked a bit bored, although his adoring teenage fan-base either didn’t notice or care.  For the older audience members – there were a few of us who had managed to escape to the more subdued (Calvin’s observation) balcony – this pop-vibe didn’t really inspire.  The difficulty with playing chart-pop live is that it tends to require the visual spectacle of a Kylie or Gaga, which unfortunately Calvin could not match.  Midway through the set, however, saw a progression to Harris’s heavier, rave-inspired tracks such as ‘You Used to Hold Me’.  With this the mood seemed to shift and the band appeared more comfortable with what they were doing.

Regardless of such scrutiny, the atmosphere was certainly electric and the great majority of the crowd (subdued balcony aside) bounced along in time to the entire set.  My final thought on the evening’s events – which made me feel all of my thirty years – was how ironic it is that Calvin’s breakthrough hit, ‘Acceptable in the 80s’, describes a decade in which few of his hardcore fans were even born.

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