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Kid Canaveral's Christmas Baubles II, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Some of us only get lucky at Christmas by brandishing mistletoe as one might an axe.

Not alt-pop charmers Kid Canaveral. Their pulling powers are slick and far-reaching, if their second annual pop carousal, Christmas Baubles II, was anything to go by.

Fife romancer The Pictish Trail fired up the room with a drive-pop super-group that included Edinburgh chamber post-rockers Eagleowl, before a turn from Welsh skewed-folk bard Sweet Baboo, Yuletide comedy and "reverse burlesque" from London comic Josie Long, and heady alt-rock from Glasgow's Martin John Henry.

Standard Fare attested their name is ironic – the Sheffield troupe packed several power-pop punches – and Kid Canaveral made for typically rousing hosts in a set that included a King Creosote cameo (for their joint single, Homerun and a Vow) and an alluring hint of what's to come in the riveting alt-rock of new song, The Wrench.

Two stand-out moments made the day. One came courtesy of heavenly indie duo Slow Club, who opened their performance in the middle of the sold-out crowd, and re-cast Pulp's student anthem Disco 2000 as a fragile, show-stopping aria.

The other highlight came from Aidan Moffat, who floored us with an acoustic rendition of Arab Strap's I Would Have Liked Me a Lot Last Night, and outshone PJ Harvey in the role of "icon pacing stage with autoharp". The sucker punch came with a beautiful children's story, The Lavender Blue Dress. It struck the room silent and moved some to tears.

"Polyamory is the place to be," crooned Moffat in a song about group sex. Given Kid Canaveral's pop love-in, one is tempted to agree.


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