Folk singer Calum’s 30 gigs will fire up this year’s Fringe

Folk singer Calum Baird
Folk singer Calum Baird

The Fringe is always a busy time for Falkirk folk singer Calum Baird and this year he’s pulling out all the stops to get his message out there.

A politically charged performer if ever there was one, Calum will play an amazing 30 gigs in 12 different Edinburgh venues throughout the four weeks of the festival – his first one takes place on Sunday at Stramash in the Cowgate and his last one rocks Hophouse 13 in Holyrood on Wednesday, August 31.

The Glasgow University politics and philosophy graduate said: “This is me really jumping into the music thing with both feet.”

Usually a solo act, Calum has recruited fellow musicians Calum Busby, Jack Hinks and Jack Paccitti to play some of the gigs with him to add some vocal and instrumental welly to his already powerful songs.

He said: “We’re calling the band Gramsci, after the communist philosopher. It’s going to be a skiffle thing – just without the washboard.”

Motivated by music and a social conscience, Calum has also formed the group Artists For Rent Control.

“It’s not campaigning with leaflets, but we will make a noise about it busking and make a nuisance of ourselves outside the city chambers. There’s a lot of music that is just about making money.

“There’s no real connection with people. Music and art comes from engaging with people – a lot of artists forget that these days and just want to make money.”

Just as his Fringe run ends, Calum will be heading to Portugal at the start of September for the Avante! Festival – an event organised by the Portuguese Communist Party.

He said: “It’s Portugal’s T-in-the-Park, but it’s a lot more politically charged. I’m playing all three days, including the main stage on the final day. I’m on my own so I’ll be a bit nervous.

“Hopefully the language barrier won’t be a problem.”

Visit www.calumbaird.com and www.facebook.com/CBairdMusic for full listings of his gigs.