There’s not an awful lot for Eurofans to do in July. Get your flag fix from that year’s sporting competition, check AirBnB prices for various cities in next year’s host country and generally twiddle your thumbs until 1st September rolls round. So when that year’s televote winners rock up to perform an intimate gig in a room above a pub not 10 minutes walk from your flat, you’re there in a heartbeat.
Let it never be said that the trio of Alexandra Rotan, Fred Buljo and Tom Hugo aren’t amongst the hardest working darlings in showbiz. Having performed in Frankfurt earlier that day Keiino made it through a much delayed flight and a no doubt tense taxi ride from Edinburgh Aiport to Leith Depot. They arrived to triumphant cheers from a very appreciative crowd as they very quickly got set up ready for their gig(s) ahead. That’s right, not only had they performed in another country, taken their delayed flight, performed to an adoring crowd once, they went and did it all over again, Allowing as many EuroScots as possible to share in their magic. Total cuties.
At first we were treated to the three singles Keiino have released thus far. They opened with a delightful acoustic version of Spirit in the Sky followed by their magnificent new single Praying. Both of these got the gig off to a bright, upbeat start before their all too emotional cover of Shallow from ‘A Star is Born’, allowing Alexandra to show off that beautiful vocal performance. This opening only proved just how much of a tight group they’d become in less than a year. All three are bloody wonderful individually but then come together to form something sensational.
We were then entertained with solo efforts from each of the group. Fred tried with great gusto to get us joiking along with him with…mixed results. He then performed a single from his rap group, Duolva Duottar. It was a real pleasure to see the indigenous culture of another country being brought to life right in front of you, surely what Eurovision is all about! This was followed by emotional performances from both Tom & Alexandra with the former giving us one of his early singles Open Up Your Eyes and the latter, a cover of Jolene that knocked my socks off. The only thing missing was Alexandra reprising You Got Me from MGP 2018 only with Fred performing Stella Mwangi’s section. Though to be fair that would’ve likely sent me over the edge.
The gig came to a conclusion with a full reprise of Spirit in the Sky accompanies by the excited Edinburgh crowd singing along. Although Keiino have performed mutliple times acorss the the contient since ESC this was their first gig performing alone as the single main attraction. This only made the gig all the more special. Alexandra took charge of the between song banter keeping things ticking along with her infectious humour. The night had a distinctly Scottish flavour as Fred was seen getting a pint of Tennents down his neck to keep his vocal chords well lubricated. This was before all three were treated to a whisky after they’d performed. One idiot in the audience even hollered “AUN YERSEL SON” as Tom was enjoying his pint. That idiot being…the man typing this out. Apologies to the trio for causing such confusion!
It was a marvellous evening spent in the company of the televote winners. After a long day they even took time to meet all the fans, take some pictures and sign any merchandise presented to them, not matter how niche it may be. I’ve no doubt these three highly talented individuals will eventually go their own ways but if they can work together as Keiino for as long as possible they will no doubt sprinkle their magic as far and wide as possible. If Alex, Fred and Tom come to a venue near you then don’t miss out, you’ll only live to regret it!