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festdirectory TOP MUSIC VENUES Looking for somewhere to go once the show’s over? Comedian Rob Deering gives you a guide to his favourite live music haunts.

Whistle Binkies

Late ‘n’ Live at the Gilded Balloon

13 BRISTO SQUARE, EH8 9AJ 0131 650 4673

See, this is a very subjective take on the form, but I think in the early hours, when it goes off, this is a pretty unbeatable gig. Whether you watch all the comedy from an almost respectable 1am or crawl in to see the band after 3, you’ve got a big rocking stage and an excellent sound system; and whoever the band are they’re bound to be compellingly entertaining. They have to be, or their audience will immediately retire to a) bed, b) someone else’s bed or c) a bush somewhere.

The Liquid Room

9C VICTORIA STREET, EH1 2HE 0131 225 2564

For a more formally respected music venue that’s there all year round, the Liquid Room is great. They have club nights as well as bands, the line-up of acts is quietly hip, and the room is just the right size for a great atmosphere. Plus it’s on Victoria Street, which always feels like a gateway from the shiny touristy-ness of the top end of the Royal Mile to the grubby hedonism of Cowgate and Grassmarket.

Pleasance Courtyard

The One, Pleasance Courtyard ‘Beneath’

Whistle Binkies

4-6 SOUTH BRIDGE, EH1 1LL 0131 557 5114

Bannermans

60 PLEASANCE, EH8 9TJ 0131 556 6550

Talking of grubby hedonism on the Cowgate, Bannermans is fun. Definitely at the rocky end of the spectrum, this is the place for whisky and histrionics, sticky floors and fat riffs – there’s a fairly strong chance you’ll see headbanging here, and even some possibility of pumping devil’s horn hand gestures. One of those brick-ceilinged, atmospheric places that Edinburgh does better than anywhere. Just the spot to experience other people’s sweat. In a good way.

The Pleasance’s reputation is based not on live music so much as comedy and theatre, and their panoply of genius spaces is geared to that. But The One is still a fabulous place for a night out, particularly when it’s not raining. And it’s there that I will be attempting to single-handedly create the greatest live-music-standup-comedy event in the history of entertainment every night of the festival. All my musical dreams, late ‘n’ live adventures, stadium rock ambitions, not to mention all my musical instruments in one noisy little box. Should be fun.

212 COWGATE, EH1 1NQ 0131 556 3254

Last but not least, an Edinburgh institution. Whistle Binkies combines all the best of the above: out-til-dawn hours, the inimitable atmosphere of the vaults under the Royal Mile, healthy crossover with the comedy on the Fringe – all this, and, like all Edinburgh’s best pubs and bars, it has a stupid name. One night—or, early morning—in Whistle Binkies I had to admit defeat and go home because I could no longer see. Great days. Rob Deering @ Pleasance Courtyard 8:15pm – 9:15pm, 1–27 Aug, not 8, 14, £6 – £12

HHHH “Bloody, marvellous stuff!”

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pleasance 12 noon Daily 0131 556 6550 www.festmag.co.uk

edinburgh festival preview guide 2012 fest 95

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