Alternative Peers Ball 2018 line-up revealed

Fatherson, The Xcerts, Bossy Love, The Spook School, Kobi Onyame and Babe have been announced for the second outing of Edinburgh's Alternative Peers Ball

Article by Tallah Brash | 21 Sep 2018

Following on from the success of the inaugural Alternative Peers Ball last year, the indoor multi-arts festival is returning to the Assembly Rooms on 3 November. Taking its cue from the original Peers’ Ball, organised by Sir Walter Scott in 1822 to celebrate King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh, the Alternative Peers Ball is a modern take on the 19th century shindig with a contemporary twist featuring visuals from the Edinburgh Projector Club and live music from some of the country’s most exciting bands.

The Skinny are delighted to be working on the Alternative Peers Ball alongside broadcaster and journalist Vic Galloway for this year’s edition and are excited to be exclusively announcing the 2018 line-up which features a headline slot from Kilmarnock-formed trio Fatherson whose latest album Sum of All Our Parts we recently awarded five stars, describing it as “raw and immersive, leaving soft but long-lasting impressions that intensify with every listen.” 

“We’re super honoured to be headlining this year’s Alternative Peers Ball alongside an absolute belter of a line-up!" Fatherson frontman Ross Leighton tells us. "It’s a really exciting time for Scottish music and we can’t wait to celebrate on 3 November in the capital!”

The Xcerts, who released their fourth long player, Hold On to Your Heart, back in January with a brand new EP due out next month, are also set to perform. “It’s been way too long since we’ve played a show in the capital so we cannot wait to bring Hold On to Your Heart to Edinburgh this November," frontman Murray Macleod says. "It’s a hell of a line-up which we are incredibly psyched to be a part of.”

"Last year's Alternative Peers Ball was a bit of an experiment," Galloway tells us, "and thankfully a huge success! We're all set to repeat that success with another diverse, cutting-edge line-up of new and emerging Scottish talent across genres. The Assembly Rooms is such an elegant, historic venue in the heart of Edinburgh and with the two main ballroom stages alternating throughout the evening, the audience will enjoy quality music, action-painting, art installation and stunning projections. It'll be an audio-visual treat from start to finish, and I'm excited to be involved. See you there!"

Glasgow pop and R’n’B duo Bossy Love, comprised of Amandah Wilkinson and John Baillie Jr – who perform live as a three-piece with more than a little help from Ollie Cox – are also set to play the festival. One of the most exciting and promising bands to come out of Scotland in recent years, Bossy Love will definitely bring the party in a big way to The Assembly Rooms. Baillie Jr’s other band Babe are also gearing up for the Alternative Peers Ball this year with their unique brand of off-kilter pop and electronica. Their latest album, Kiss & Tell, produced by Baillie Jr, was recently shortlisted for the 2018 SAY Award.

Other artists confirmed to play that were featured on the prestigious award's shortlist are rising stars Kobi Onyame, who's sure to bring a bit of sunshine to a cold November night with his infectious vim and highlife grooves, and Katie Buchan's Best Girl Athlete, who was nominated for her introspective eponymous sophomore album which she wrote before the age of 18.

Linda McCartney vegetarian sausage-loving Edinburgh four-piece The Spook School are also bringing their queer indie-pop bangers to the party – get listening to their SAY-longlisted nominated album Could it Be Different? to get yourself in the mood. After seeing these champs, you’ll be bellowing ‘Fuck you I’m still alive’ at the top of your lungs for days, that we guarantee.

Martha Ffion, who was also longlisted for this year’s SAY Award for her debut album Sunday Best, which we described as “a confident debut chock-full of understated pleasures,” will also be filling The Assembly Rooms with her beautiful sun-drenched country-tinged sounds. And completing the live line-up is up-and-comer Zoe Graham who impressed at Wide Days’ showcase event back in April.

The evening will be rounded off by a DJ set from EH-FM, Edinburgh’s new independent community radio station, and once again the whole event will be elevated by illustrator and artist Ursula Cheng with visuals from the Edinburgh Projector Club while The Too Much Fun Club will be creating a live mural throughout the night.

“It’s been an immense year for music in Edinburgh, with Hidden Door going from strength to strength; the return of the EIF to Leith Theatre, Princes Street Gardens Summer Sessions, Castle Concerts, Fly Music continuing to expand and Wide Days bringing some of the top music industry talent in the UK to our city,” says James Bruce, City of Edinburgh Council's Cultural Venues Programme Development Manager.

“We’re delighted to announce our own little part by unveiling this year’s Alt Peers’ Ball line-up,” Bruce adds. “It’s an honour to be able to invite such a talented bunch of Scottish artists to our big party in a building that’s been a big part of Edinburgh’s infrastructure for over 230 years.

“If you didn’t make it along last year, expect an indoor festival with some of Scotland’s best talent playing back-to-back across our two stages accompanied by amazing visuals and large scales projections, live art and top notch installations. We’re continuously encouraged and inspired by the spirit of collaboration that is growing throughout the creative industries in Edinburgh and couldn’t be more chuffed to be partnering with The Skinny, who are a perfect compadre on Alt Peers. See you all in November.”

The Alternative Peers Ball takes place at Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 3 Nov, 5pm-1am
Tickets go on sale Monday 24 September, 10am via, 0131 228 1155, Tickets Scotland and Ticketmaster