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Young Fathers on Leith, cabin fever and Hidden Door festival

Edinburgh Music Tours

Young Fathers play Hidden Doors in Leith. We have a Hidden Doors comp and a quick interview with Young Fathers about working in Leith. The stars have aligned…

We’re not ones to play favourites but it has been a joy to watch the rise and rise of the brilliant Edinburgh trio Young Fathers. To date, they are the only band to win both the Scottish Album of the Year Award and the Mercury Music Prize.

Ahead of their homecoming appearance at the Hidden Door festival, and to mark the launch of our brand spanking new Edinburgh music tour, we spoke to Graham G Hastings, the band’s beatmaster, mixer and co-producer about their rehearsal and recording HQ in deepest Leith.

‘We can make as much noise as we want’

With satisfying synergy, they rent their basement grotto from the Out of the Blue arts and education trust which also runs the Bongo Club, the multi-arts venue and hangout where the three members of Young Fathers first met and collaborated at an under-18s hip-hop night back in the early 2000s.

Now they share their space with the upcoming singer/songwriter Callum Easter and a young rap duo called 131 Northside. It was obviously meant to be.

Over to G for more background…

‘It used to be a brothel but apparently it never opened because the owner phoned up the council asking if he needed a licence only to be informed that what he was proposing was illegal! He must have thought there was some kind of loophole…

‘So then it turned into a rehearsal room and we used to rehearse here. We shot the Queen Is Dead video here too. Out of the Blue soundproofed it so now we can make as much noise as we want and it doesn’t travel up the stairs.

The madness and cabin fever are part of the sound

‘We’ve always liked working in places that are not professional studios. There’s a weird thing that happens every time we’ve been in a professional studio, it just feels like it’s not home, you don’t feel comfortable. Some things that happen in here would never happen in a professional studio, just the madness and cabin fever that takes over, that’s part of the sound. We’ve never really liked having a time limit. So we prefer having a place that’s ours. It’s a nice wee hub. And it’s in Leith, which is ideal for us.’

Young Fathers appear at the Hidden Door Festival in Leith Town Hall on 2 June. Over on our Facebook page, we have a ‘share and like’ competition for a superb package of Hidden Door goodies. One of which is a full day of Hidden Door activities.

If you wanted, this could be used to see the sold out Young Fathers’ gig… just saying.