Unbound 2016: What's on

Feature | 28 Jun 2016
  • Unbound Edinburgh Book Festival

All events start at 9pm (7pm on Monday 29 August) in the Spiegeltent, Charlotte Square Gardens. And they're free! Just drop in, no need for a ticket

THE PHOENIX RISES, Sun 14 Aug
The Phoenix Comic has been cool for kids for many years, and now Unbound revellers will be treated to some late night antics from gladiatorial Gary Northfield (Julius Zebra), caped comic crusader Laura Ellen Anderson (Evil Emperor Penguin), adventurer extraordinaire Jamie Littler (Cogg & Sprokit), Cloud Rider Zak Simmonds-Hurn (Simon Swift) and deadly Corpse Talk creator Adam Murphy. Join them for a night of interactive drawing and performances.

FROM SUTHERLAND TO SASKATOON, Mon 15 Aug
Winnipeg was founded by Scots exiled by the Highland Clearances, so the Book Festival got together with Winnipeg International Writers Festival to uncover the make-up and mix of modern, multilingual Canada, from the founding nations to new migrant experiences. Host Charlene Diehl is joined by memoirist Myrna Kostash, cultural geographer Candace Savage, spoken word artist Chimwemwe Undi, Métis poet Gregory Scofield, and Edinburgh’s own Theresa Munoz. As chilled as the frozen North.

LIZ LOCHHEAD & The Hazey Janes, Tue 16 Aug
Liz called. She said, ‘I’m working with The Hazey Janes. Together we are creating a celebration of the lyric impulse and the love of strange and new harmonies – I quite fancy doing an Unbound session; what do you think?’ Fresh from their recent CD release ‘The Light Comes Back’, former Scots Makar Liz Lochhead and the much loved and lauded indie pop band The Hazey Janes, led by experimental jazz saxophonist Steve Kettley, give you a night of sensational sounds and sonnets.

BOOKSHOP BAND, Wed 17 Aug
The Book Festival has commissioned new songs by the Bookshop Band to celebrate their day of events spotlighting international fiction and translation, happening throughout Wednesday 17 August. The core of inspiration for the new tracks is Han Kang’s Man Booker International Prize-winning novel The Vegetarian. To add to the magic, Han Kang will join the Bookshop Band on stage too.

POETRY AS REFUGE, Thu 18 Aug
Fires of fear are being fanned as we watch the refugee crisis unfold across Europe. Writers, artists and poets are restless and responding; countering with words of hope, heart and humanity. Join one of this year’s Book Festival Guest Selectors, Bidisha, for a multilingual, multinational, musical poetry evening and discover the healing combination of language, poetry and music. Bidisha offers a welcoming light in dark times.

THE EVP SESSIONS, Fri 19 Aug
A collaboration between Penned in the Margins and Mercy, Electronic Voice Phenomena becomes unbound in an electrifying live session. Mercurial multimedia artist Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom resonates dub echoes and performance poet Harry Giles considers remote technology, but that’s not all… Antosh Wocjik investigates memory loss with percussion and award-winning raconteur Ross Sutherland plays [g]host with Truther-style video works.

TONGUE FU, Sat 20 Aug
In Scotland for one night only at the Book Festival, Tongue Fu is a riotous experiment in live literature, music and improvisation. Created and hosted by poet Chris Redmond (Scroobius Pip’s Beatdown XFM; Pick Of The Week – BBC R4), it is among the UK’s liveliest and largest spoken word shows; regular performers include Jamie Cullum, Beardyman Dream Team and Nostalgia 77. Unbound Tongue Fu will feature Hollie McNish, Luke Wright, Ross Sutherland, Deanna Rodger and surprise guests.

FROM LEWIS TO LAHORE, Sun 21 Aug
In 2015 the Book Festival began a journey with Highlight Arts travelling from Scotland to Pakistan and back again, refuelling at the Lahore Literary Festival – an adventure involving telling and translating stories, poetry, pictures and music. The collaboration will be encapsulated by creatives from Scotland and Pakistan in this special Unbound. From Scotland, storyteller Ian Stephen, poet Vicki Husband, illustrator Kate Leiper and Admiral Fallow’s Sara Hayes. Representing Pakistan is storyteller Shazea Quraishi, illustrator Mehreen Fatima and musician Sara Kazmi. Thanks to the British Council, the event will travel to the Outer Hebrides later in August.

MACASTORY & FRIENDS, Mon 22 Aug
At the heart of Unbound is literary joy, and sensational storytelling duo Macastory will be shining bright, introducing Scotland’s history in the silliest way possible. It might not ALL be true but some of it is! Come along for characters, costumes, songs and hopefully The Sandpit Men.

BORN TO BE WIDE, Tue 23 Aug
Led by 'Olaf the Enforcer', Born to be Wide has been doing good in the world of music for many years. They fight the cause for quality music, writing, performance and storytelling, helping new artists to climb up the ladder of fame. Join Olaf for interviews, stories and music with some of Scotland’s newest talents.

STANLEY ODD, Wed 24 Aug
Fresh from headlining summer music festivals, Scotland’s finest hip-hop band are back at the Book Festival and ready to make the Spiegeltent boards bounce with stripped back classics from their recent albums Reject and A Thing Brand New. They will also be testing out new tracks. Exciting times!

IMAGINE BETTER Thu 25 Aug
Inspired by The Rising Generation, the latest issue of Poetry Ireland Review, the relationship and conflicts between personal and political identities and the boundaries between art and activism are explored. Alongside Ireland’s new generation of poetry activists, readers include IMPAC winning writer Kevin Barry, Canadian Madeleine Thien, whose novels explore her Chinese heritage, and the creator of satirical fables on the former Soviet Union, Hamid Ismailov.

NEU! REEKIE! Fri 26 Aug
So far 2016 has seen founders and hosts of Neu! Reekie! Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson continue to blaze a trail across Scotland, presenting poetry, performance and music with their trademark panache. Join them as they unshackle another stellar line-up of music and poetry including Admiral Fallow, Salena Godden, Sarah Howe and more.

RODDY WOOMBLE & FRIENDS, Sat 27 Aug
Indie folk band Idlewild returned in 2015 with new album Everything Ever Written. Tonight acclaimed singer-songwriter and front man Roddy Woomble will take a break from US and UK music tours to celebrate his debut book; a playful mix of paintings, photographs and words that drive his work. He will be reading and performing alongside fellow musicians Andrew Mitchell, Luciano Rossi and Siobhan Wilson.

THE FLINT & PITCH REVUE, Sun 28 Aug
All-round literary powerhouse Jenny Lindsay launches her latest venture, Flint & Pitch, which continues the cabaret style of Rally & Broad but punches stronger and bolder. The first line-up is packed with readings from Hannah McGill, performances from Dave Hook, Katie Ailes and Sam Small, plus music from Roseanne Reid and Pronto Mama.

VIC GALLOWAY & FRIENDS, Mon 29 Aug
The last night finale kicks off early at 7pm, bringing together stories, song, festivities and fireworks across the whole of Charlotte Square Gardens. In secret locations around the garden Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature celebrates ten years of Story Shop and the official 20 cities of literature with readings from Story Shoppers past and international names of the future.

To go out on a bang, DJ and journalist Vic Galloway has created something extra special in the Spiegeltent, combining Belgium’s best Tom Lanoye and Anneliese Verbeke with music guests Adam Stafford and Khartoum Heroes, the elusive seldom-seen ramshackle heroes of rock. See you on the dance floor!