The Listening Room


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To commemorate the beginning of hostilities 100 years ago, TLR is having a special World War I theme night. If you have a song, either your own or a cover, which relates to WWI, or another war, or war in general, please bring it along and let the world hear it. Non-war songs are also welcome! This is the last TLR evening before the August break so let’s make it a good one.

Venue: The White Horse

Date: Sunday, 27 July

Time: 8-10pm (7.30 for sign up)

Cost: Free


To commemorate the beginning of hostilities 100 years ago, TLR is having a special World War I theme night. If you have a song, either your own or a cover, which relates to WWI, or another war, or war in general, please bring it along and let the world hear it. Non-war songs are also welcome! This is the last TLR evening before the August break so let’s make it a good one.

Venue: The White Horse

Date: Sunday, 27 July

Time: 8-10pm (7.30 for sign up)

Cost: Free

Sunday 20th July 2014: Julien Pearly (Hosted by David McNeish)


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.

Tonight he will present a short extract of his talk delivered last December about his next film project: Beyond Words.


Sunday 13th July 2014: Open Slots & Jam Session (Hosted by Tom Watton)

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. 

Sunday 6th July: Annie Booth (Hosted by James Igoe)

Annie Booth is an 18 year old singer/songwriter now based in Edinburgh. She strives for strong vocals, emotive melodies and thoughtfully crafted lyrics that linger long after being heard. Annie has previously performed for a number of years at various venues around the Perth and Stirling areas; since moving to Edinburgh last September she is keen to learn, discover and additionally share her folky acoustic music in an exciting new city.


Sunday 29th June 2014: Henry Bird (Hosted by Scott Renton)


Henry Bird is a little country boy with a big voice come to the big city for the first time, guitar and knapsack in hand and walking shoes on his feet. Playing songs flecked with soul, folk and jazz he has been making his way round the scene supporting such people as John Smith, the Groanbox Boys and the Geordie Tentree’s Band as well as playing at the Sedbergh Folk Festival and Rowchester.

Whether you like the rolling fields and the reams of the fiddle or smoky jazz joints with them honky tonks, you’ll find something that speaks to you in the music.


Sunday 15th June 2014: Calum Carlyle (Hosted by Gerry Callaghan)

Calum Carlyle is a singer-songwriter-musician from Orkney, now based in Edinburgh. He began his songwriting career in collaboration with folk musician Kris Drever, and has been in several bands over the years. Calum is currently collaborating with rapper Conscious Route for a project which will be unleashed on the general public sometime later in 2014 or early in 2015.

Calum will be releasing his song “Our Scotland” as an internet single on Sunday the 15th of June for a limited period of only fourteen weeks, to coincide with the run-up to the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence. The song itself will be available to download at Calum’s website, and will be backed with another of his songs, “Headlines” as well as an alternative version of “Our Scotland”. The single will be available for a limited time only, and will be removed from Calum’s website the Sunday following the referendum.

“I’ve always written songs about subjects I feel passionately about” said Calum, “and this is a song which plugs into the popular consciousness in Scotland at the moment. Scotland’s identity has been brought to the fore this year in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time, and this song is my own contribution to Scotland growing up and hopefully becoming more self aware”.

To coincide with the release of the single, Calum will be performing an acoustic set for The Listening Room, at The White Horse, on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, on Sunday 15th of June. Doors open at 8pm. A few limited copies of the single will be available on the night, but you can download your copy by visiting

Calum has been writing and playing music for many years in the capital, and is well known on Edinburgh’s singer-songwriter scene. He has several albums of original material available on his website as well as his time-limited internet single “Our Scotland”.


Sunday 8th June 2014: Jim Bryce (Hosted by James Whyte)


Jim Bryce has written music for theatre, concert hall (chamber, orchestral, squeaky and non- squeaky), student films and for the under nines on Radio Scotland education. “Whisky Kisses”, the musical for which he wrote the score, is this year’s showcase production at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, running from now until mid-October.

The material which he describes as “the stuff that comes unbidden to the brain”, and which is what you’re liable to hear at a solo gig, flits from folkish to jazzish to rockish to just plain daft with well-crafted lyrics which he hopes will have some resonance with his public.


Sunday 1st June 2014: Mike MacFarlane (Hosted by Tina Avery)


Mike MacFarlane is a rising star of the Edinburgh and indeed Scottish music scene, having supported Withered Hand and due to support FOUND at the Fringe Festival. We like his music a lot, and we’re very happy to have him for an intimate feature set at The Listening Room this Sunday.

"Expect impressive finger-picking and depressingly amusing songs about getting dumped." The Evening News.


Sunday 25th May 2014: Norman Lamont and the Heaven Sent (Hosted by Jim Bryce)

More songs about monks and horses.  Tracks from the new album All The Time In Heaven plus oldies and newies and whatever comes to mind.


Sunday 18th May 2014: Sir Tom Watton (Hosted by Ed Ritchie)


Sir Tom Watton is a pleasure to experience live: he’s energetic, heartfelt and always entertaining. Musically speaking he has broad ranging influences (including Danny Thompson, Fairport Convention and, err … Enya) though broadly speaking his sound can be described as “folky”. Or as he says himself, “a mixture of genres, but a good mix”. We think that’s pretty fair. Except for the bit about Enya, obviously.

He’s also one of the people who helps to run The Listening Room, and you may have seen him host on occasion.

Tom started performing his own material at the age of 14, in an improvisational comedy duet ‘The Lesbian and the Thespian’ with Sarah Bentham.

Since then Tom has written in a variety of styles, including comedy, but he mostly composes folk influenced acoustic songs. As a double bass player and bass player Tom has accompanied Ollie Banks, Harriet Frank, Alastair James, Phil Simpson and his dad; John ‘The Jazz Pistol’ Watton.

It was onstage at Beached 2006 in Scarborough that compere Graham Rhodes gave Tom his stage name (Sir Tom Watton) when Tom was playing double bass for acoustic guitar virtuoso Ollie Banks. The title was given as an accolade for his organisational work with both Beached and Acoustic Gathering.


Sunday 11th May: Housewarming Party!



Well, what else would we do? It’s a housewarming party folks because The Listening Room, the most intimate of gigs, has a new home. It’s an exciting time for us and we’re thrilled about the possibilities our new space will allow us.

To mark this momentous event we will be having a MEGA-NO-MIKE! A Megamike is an open mike with loads of performers getting one song each. But of course the Listening Room has never had any mikes, and we’re not about to start now. This will be a 2-3 hour extravaganza of Edinburgh past and present acoustic talent, with special guests. 

It would mean the world if you could join us and help begin this new chapter in the style we want it to continue, with good company, good tunes and a ton of good craic.

The White House Bar
266 Canongate

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 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.










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