The Listening Room


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We Have a New Home!

imageWe’re very excited to announce that The Listening Room has a new home! As of Sunday 11th May we will be running your favourite open-mic-without-a-mic from The White Horse pub on The Royal Mile. And to celebrate this momentous occasion we’ll be holding a housewarming party at our new gaff. More on that later.

Here are just a few of the things we really like about The White Horse:

  • It has a beautiful small back room that will be reserved for our sole use on a Sunday evening: quiet, candle-lit and intimate. 
  • The toilets and main bar area are all outside, minimising noise and other disturbances.
  • Great for public transport, being just off the North Bridge bus routes and minutes away from Waverley train station.
  • The bar’s management is extremely keen to support The Listening Room, Sunday is usually a quiet night for them and they were actively looking for some kind of high quality music event at the point when we approached them.
  • A free drink each for performers! 
  • Locals’ prices for regular performers.
  • It’s in a part of the town that’s known and loved by Edinburgh’s acoustic performers. It’s just up the road from The Kilderkin, home to our good friends Out of the Bedroom, and also just round the corner from their birthplace, The Waverley Bar. You’ll find plenty of other venues nearby playing great acoustic music.

Why have we decided to move home after more than 12 years at The Blue Blazer? It’s been a tough decision to come to but we’re confident this is the right thing to do and the right time for us. Historically, the Blazer was a quiet place on a Sunday night, which worked well for us. Recently though, we’ve found it getting busy with afternoon drinkers - great news of course for the bar, but it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to keep the place quiet enough for a totally unplugged acoustic night.

We’re pleased to report that we’ve parted company with The Blue Blazer on very good terms; this our decision, a pragmatic one, and there is no ill will on either side. We’d like to thank Eddie and his team (and James before him) for looking after us all this time, it’s still one of our favourite pubs and we don’t plan on becoming strangers!

So, please keep Sunday 11th May clear. We really want you to join us for our housewarming celebrations - it’s going to be HUGE. Keep your eyes on our website and usual social media feeds for more info.

Sunday 2nd February: The Nobody Jones Band (Hosted by Gerry Callaghan)


As we’ve said before, Nobody Jones (aka Jason Pillay) will easily knock your socks off as a solo performer. He’s also known for his ability to hand-pick the creme of Edinburgh’s musicians and surround himself with them. And when this happens, the effect is nothing short of devastating.


Sunday 23rd February: Supermarionation (Hosted by James Igoe)


A hard rocking three-piece from Edinburgh who also moonlight as a stripped back acoustic act and have even release an EP of their quieter songs, Amongst the Northern Lochs.


Sunday 16th February 2014: Sam Barber (Hosted by James Whyte)


Join Sam Barber on a rare solo performance as he explores the wonders of the universe through the universal medium that is the three-minute pop song. His catchy brand of piano and guitar based space-pop has been compared to the likes of Bowie, The Who, Brian Eno and The Divine Comedy.

His band “Sam Barber and the Outcasts” have a reputation as an excellent live act and released their highly anticipated conclusion to the Valley of Silence trilogy earlier this year to universally high acclaim.

Their acclaimed ‘Valley of Silence I: Travellers In Space and Time’ was released on a 5-track limited edition CD in December 2009. It is now available for free as a single download from Newtown Products record label through the Valley of Silence website.

The immensely popular ‘Valley of Silence II: The Pillars of Creation’ was released on a 6-track CD on January 2011. It is available online through the Valley of Silence website as well as at Elvis Shakespeare and at gigs.


Sunday 9th February: Lynne Roberts (Hosted by Scott Renton)

Raw and rootsy stripped back Blues. Lynne Roberts’ resonator slide guitar and robust vocal style are inspired by the likes of Son House, Robert Johnson, Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters.


"The Forgotten Works create modern, British folk music out of soil, building projects, rusty vans, rivers, sunlight, trees, food, the sea, broken dreams, clockwork antiques, tangled things, mountains, rivers and a place called iDEATH. Their first album "you might get lost" was self released last year. They are currently recording their second between a woodland near Tinto hill and a 70’s office block."



Sunday 26th January 2014: Jim Bryce (Hosted by Dave Keir)


Jim Bryce eschews labels.

If you want a “typical singer-songwriter” - whatever that is – don’t book him, because you’re not going to get it.

Bryce veers wildly from dissonant boogie-woogie to rock to MOR, from jazz-tinged musings to elegiac pibroch to music-hall singalong. His influence are legion; the results unmistakably Bryce.

His lyrics can be political (tongue-in-cheek), achingly beautiful, witty and occasionally plain daft.

One thing is certain, you won’t know what you’re going to get next.

As an actor, he has appeared on screen, in theatre and on radio. He has been a scriptwriter for children’s radio and theatre, and article-writer for “The Leisure Review”. As a composer, he has written for radio, theatre, and squeaky stuff for the concert-hall. He was the composer of the musical “Whisky Kisses”, which toured Scotland to great acclaim in 2010, and has an orchestral suite being premiered by the Open Orchestra in March 2013. 

"Perfectly perceptive and funny."

"A bit like Randy Newman after a pint of Pimms". (RBL music)

"Intelligent, thought-provoking.If we’d known him for the last 20 or 30 years as a singer/songwriter in his own wacky vein, he’d probably sell bushels of CDs" (MGCK )

… Sets a fierce agenda for when you want cut to the heart of the matter (Musician)

Of his album “Sprinting round a one-inch circle”: “This collection makes no concessions to fashion, but is the work of someone with a clear vision, great confidence in what he’s set out to do, and the musical skill and range of styles to carry it off. Musically the ideas come thick and fast” (OOTB)

“Decidedly quirky songs …….. somewhere between boogie-woogie and advanced atonality” (The Scotsman)

Genuinely witty! Jim’s songs combine humour and also a deeper and more serious under tone, they are brilliantly constructed and were received in admiration by every musician in the room. A very talented performer indeed. (OOTB)

Jim Bryce is the Noel Coward for our generation (Joe Goldblatt, Queen Margaret University)


Sunday 19th January 2014: Jam Session (Hosted by James Whyte)


Instead of a feature act this week we’re going to have a jam session, so bring your instruments and jammable songs! First half of the night is the normal format, second half of the night those who want to can take the lead on a song or two whilst others who want to play along. There’s no set genre and of course it can be originals or covers. 

Along with the usual house guitar there will be an acoustic bass (with bass amp) and percussion instruments including cajon and awesome shaky egg. So if you have bandmates who don’t normally come, please invite them. And if you have more acoustic instruments of your own, bring em.

(Extra points awarded if you bring along songsheets for your own tunes with chords and/or lyrics.)

Sunday 12th January 2014: Mark Corbett (Hosted by Jim Bryce)

’..a delicate and beautiful sounding vision…Crocodiles EP showcases a talented singer/songwriter who delightfully borrows from the past while playfully dropping an experimental and lo-fi edge…one to watch very closely..’ UK Music Review

’..a Scottish troubadour…if the notion of a Caledonian JJ Cale, or a happier apprentice Elliot Smith floats your boat, check him out. A very promising debut..’ Bearded Magazine

’ this innocent deserves better than me..’ The Stool Pigeon

Mark Corbett is an Edinburgh born singer-songwriter, he lives in Edinburgh and made his debut on the live music scene there in 2010. Since then he has played shows that include appearances for Young & Lost Club, performed at Celtic Connections, appeared at UK festivals including Beach Break Live and Beacons Festival, released his debut EP, and had the lead track from it played on the BBC Introducing show on Radio 1 Scotland.

His debut single ‘Sunshine on Dalkeith’ was released as a SoundCloud download in November 2013, and has so far received airplay on Jim Gellatly’s New Music in Scotland show on Amazing Radio, Aaron Phillips Rock Show on Amazing Radio, and In Session Scotland on Radio Saltire - East Lothian Community Radio.


Sunday 5th January 2014: Nicole Strachan (Hosted by Caro Bridges)


Local press:

"I love all of Nicole’s poems. She should do stand up. She’s very funny and seems to have found her own voice. Her ukulele playing is a bit avant-garde." -Paul Vickers

"Funny/personable songwriter/performer."

Nicole Strachan is a poet turned musician turning into a comedian and back into a poet. And then into a poet-musician-comedian and then into a comedian-poet-musician. Most of her professional training came from ‘show and tell’ in primary school and teaching high school English for 5 years.

Her influences are local bookmakers, a Danish painter and friends in North Carolina/ America. The American bands have broken up or changed their names in the 3.5 years she’s been living in Edinburgh, so she does not have a way of contacting them.

She will have an electric guitar by the time of this gig, but won’t bring it to the Blue Blazer because of the acoustic nature of the evening.


Sunday 22nd December 2013: Christmas Special (Hosted by Fiona Thom)


A full two hours of festive open slots this Sunday. Our host Fiona has simple instructions:

Bring your Christmas tunes, bring your funny, happy tunes and if you have a miserable tune make sure it is a Christmas one.


Sunday 15th December 2013: Mark Neal (Hosted by Lindsay Sugden)

Mark Neal is a guitarist & singer playing music that sits somewhere between traditional folk and jazz. He plays mainly in the duo Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal who have done a number of international tours. They will shortly be releasing there first album following on from their EP released in 2008 described as “lingering, spine tingling and haunting” - The Garden Sessions.

Mark also runs the Edinburgh recording studio “The Sonic Lodge”, promotes regular ceilidhs in Edinburgh through “The Edinburgh Ceilidh club” and is a presenter for Castle FM with the Sunday Folk and Acoustic music show.


Sunday 8th December 2013: Gerrybhoy (Hosted by James Whyte)


Gerrybhoy has been impressing us all with his bittersweet songwriting style for some time now. He’s mostly been a recording artist only up to a year or two back, but tells us he’s keen to develop his live performances. We think he’s actually pretty damn good at it already.


Singerysongwritery type individual, a natural born weegieburger and lover of black country dogs.

Over the recent past my focus has been on writing and recording songs for participation in web based songwriting activities, such as:

50/90, write 50 song in a ninety day period, completed once

FAWM, February Album Writing Month, write 14 songs, completed twice, I think?

NASOALMO, National Solo Album Writing Month, write 40 plus minutes of solo work, completed once.

As a result of this work I recieved a very kind invitation to play Edinburgh Unlimited which turned my attention to thinking about playing live.
This resulted in playing spots at the Blue Blazer my favoured open mic night in order to prepare for the Edinburgh Unlimited Gig, which in turn led to a feature spot at the Blue Blazer.

I have over 100 original songs posted on Soundcloud with the help of some wonderfully talented collaborators.

To date I have considered myself as a bit of a virtual singer songwriter given my entire collection work is done in a studio and the audience web based.

Think it’s time to try out the real world, I don’t know where it’s going but I will know when I get there :)


Sunday 1st December 2013: Julien Pearly (Hosted by James Igoe)


Originally from Avignon City in the South of France, Julien Pearly has been playing in Edinburgh music scene for 9 years. After completing an MSc Sound Design in 2005 at the University of Edinburgh where he released his 1st conceptual album “The Changing Man”, he worked freelance creating musical soundtracks and sound design for multimedia video projects. As a collective project Pundigrion (Album 2009) was the starting point for a creative journey exploring genres, live performances and cultures, playing with meanings and poetry in songs. Pundigrion Films followed shortly after to make unique cinematographic experiences around a poetic vision. This year a new collective performs live music in a filmic perspective.


Sunday 24th November 2013: Scott Renton (Hosted by James Whyte)


We’re delighted to announce that after a length of time that many have described as “a bit too long” our very own Scott Renton will be temporarily swapping Daddy duty for an overdue seat in front of The Blue Blazer’s fireplace. Expect gravelly homegrown folk. Expect pun-punctuated Glaswegian banter. And it’s probably fairly safe to expect the one about pigeons.











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