Watch Neu! Reekie!'s Anywhere But The Cities film
Available online for the first time, watch the travelogue of multi-art noisemakers Neu! Reekie!'s 2015 tour of rural Scotland
Hot on the heels of their blockbusting Where Are We Now? festival in Hull as part of the 2017 UK City of Culture celebrations, and ahead of their stage takeover at Electric Fields festival this September, Neu! Reekie! have delved deep into their digital archives to share a short film created during their Anywhere But The Cities tour in 2015.
Described by poet Hollie McNish as a "beautiful" blend of "landscapes and whisky and stories and music", Anywhere But The Cities saw Neu! Reekie!, FOUND and Dewar's whisky collaborate with dozens of musicians, poets, writers and artists in venues up and down Scotland. The ensuing film features musical contributions from Bill Ryder Jones, Eugene Kelly of the Vaselines and Arab Strap frontman Aidan Moffat – it also features plenty of breathtaking scenery, poetry, film, behind-the-scenes footage, plus the story of Neu! Reekie! head honchos Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson climbing a tree to the bemusement of the Japanese police.
N!R! introduce the film thusly: "Two years ago we quested off on a tour of Scotland. This was us rolling out the Neu! Reekie! format outside of cities, outside of the central belt and outside of our comfort zone. We teamed up with causal bedfellows / cousins in discomfort the Found Collective to conjure up our meandering route around the map.
"Together we invited 30-plus of our favourite performers/artists/writers/musicians to jump aboard the magical tour bus and help light the fuse for the weird cultural carnival we've been hosting in Edinburgh for nearly seven years now (a little less back then).
"From sea-caves to celidih houses, charity shops to distilleries, chocolate factories to a bloody castle, we unfurled Neu! Reekie!s on curious locals aw over this wild and disparate country and had a whirl doing it. One important detail... Dewar's sent us off with over 200 bottles of rare whisky which were freely and generously disturbed at each event til the bottle ran dry. This film screened publicly at Glasgow Short Film Festival and privately at Summerhall and Creative Scotland. Now available online for the first time – ANYWHERE BUT THE CITIES."
Watch Anywhere But The Cities in the player above; Neu! Reekie! present Jock Scot Unbound at Edinburgh Book Festival, 25 Aug, 9pm, free. Oyster, Michael Pedersen's new book with Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison, launches at Edinburgh Book Festival (18 Aug, sold out) and the Poetry Club, Glasgow (20 Aug, tickets).