FESTIVAL REVIEW : Connect Festival 2023 Day One, 25th August 2023, Royal Highland Centre Edinburgh

The festival is back in Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre for the second year, and the lineup is absolutely incredible, covering a wide range of music styles! The festival site is looking absolutely amazing, with some exciting new changes from last year. Even though the weather forecast isn’t the best, the fantastic line-up is guaranteed to bring a big, warm smile to all the festival goers!

Opening the main stage is the excellent House Gospel Choir, delighting the crowd with a great mix of house, garage, and gospel songs infused to give one almighty sound. Hearing is believing with the House Gospel Choir, singing and dancing and creating an amazing vibe.

  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • House Gospel Choir - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Over on the Guitars and Other Machines stage is Ethan P. Flynn, playing his own arrangement of experimental pop that had the crowd intrigued and captured the imagination of the Edinburgh crowd. Ethan is definitely one to keep an eye on, as he has something flowing through his music that captures the heart.

  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Ethan P. Flynn - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

On the main stage, The Grand Parade is Future Islands, who delivered power and energy and blew away the cobwebs from the audience as they played a storming set, opening with the excellent For Sure before delighting the fans of the band with Peach. The band had the audience in the palm of its hand. Fronted by the excellent frontman, Samuel T. Herring, the Baltimore band turned heads on the festival site, gaining new fans. They played a short set but covered a wide range of albums, delighting the hard-core fans with songs like Before the Bridge, King of Sweden, and Seasons (Waiting on You). They closed their set with the excellent Little Dreamer from the Wave Like Home album. A stunning performance that had the crowd singing and dancing along.

  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Future Islands - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Back over on the Guitars and Other Machines stage, the crowd was waiting for Jockstrap, an art pop duet from London featuring Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye. Georgia has the energy to command the stage and delight the Connect audience. The sound the band creates really generates powerful energy with catchy lyrics and hooks. It is well worth checking out if they are playing at a venue close by.

  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Jockstrap - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Over at the Grand Parade, Franz Ferdinand is gearing up to take to the stage as the crowds gather in front of the stage. As Alex Kapranos and the band members took to the stage, the noise level was deafening. As Bob Hardy, Julian Corrie, Dino Bardot, and Audrey Tait played the initial chords of the opening of The Dark of the Matinee, the Edinburgh audience danced and sang along. The band played a great mix of songs, including all the big hits that pleased the crowd. Alex looked like he was enjoying every minute of the set. The set included Walk Away, Evil Eye, Darts of Pleasure, Michael, and Take Me Out, and they closed the set with the excellent This Fire. The band delighted the crowd with a superb set.

  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Franz Ferdinand - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Over at the Guitar and Other Machines stage, headliner Confidence Man from Brisbane, Australia, was about to take to the stage. The band due to play support for New Order on their forth-coming tour hit the heights with their awesome performance filled with energy, dance, and stage costumes. Appearing on stage with oversized jackets and creating such a visual image with the overall movement through the shoulders. They grabbed attention from the start, and they held it with every song. Janet Planet and Sugar Bones worked the audience and gave them something special to remember the show by. If you are going to New Order, get there early to catch the band; you will not be disappointed.

  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Confidence Man - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Primal Scream, the renowned Scottish rock band, delivered an unforgettable performance at the Connect Festival, paying tribute to their iconic 1991 album, Screamadelica. The dynamic duo of Simone Marie Butler and Bobby Gillespie, who lead the band, entered the stage with an electrifying energy that immediately captivated the audience. The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the band’s decision to perform the album in its entirety, a treat that left fans in awe and transported them back to the golden era of alternative rock.

Simone Marie Butler’s commanding presence on bass guitar created a solid foundation for the band’s sound, infusing each song with an infectious groove. Bobby Gillespie’s charismatic stage presence and soulful vocals added another layer of depth and intensity to the performance. Together, their chemistry was palpable, as they effortlessly commanded the stage and connected with the audience.

The concert reached its crescendo during the encore, where Primal Scream performed some of their most beloved tracks from Screamadelica. The crowd erupted as the opening chords of “Loaded” filled the air, setting the stage for an exhilarating finale. “Jailbird,” “Country Girl,” and “Rocks” followed, each song igniting a new surge of energy among the crowd. The band’s unmatched talent and masterful execution of these timeless tracks left fans elated and craving more.

  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023
  • Primal Scream - Connect Festival 2023 - Royal Highland Choir Edinburgh 25th August 2023

Primal Scream’s performance of Screamadelica in full at the Connect Festival was a truly unforgettable experience. The band’s dedication to their craft and their ability to transport the audience back in time to the album’s release are testaments to their enduring legacy. With mesmerising stage presence, impeccable musicianship, and a setlist that showcased the very best of their discography, Primal Scream proved once again why they are considered one of the most influential bands of their generation.

Review & Photographs  by James Edmond

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