My Edinburgh: Magpie Blue (aka Millie Hanlon-Cole)

Millie Hanlon-Cole, the artist known as Magpie Blue, is very much one to watch. The 19-year-old, whose music has drawn comparisons to Anna Calvi and PJ Harvey, released stunning debut single Just In Time on June 14, and she went down a storm a day later when supporting The Proclaimers in Melrose.

Just In Time was produced in Edinburgh by Rod Jones of Idlewild and features drummer Michael Reid of Man of Moon and guitarist Louise McCraw of Goodnight Louisa.

According to Millie, the song was written at 2am in her cupboard-like university bedroom.

Speaking about the track, she says: “The melody holds quite a nostalgic melancholy, which inspired me to sing about escaping the grip of the emotional crutch of a past relationship.

“Getting over someone who‘s had a massive emotional hold of you, held all of the cards so to speak and left you feeling powerless.

“Then, there is that moment when you finally do get over it, force the other person to face up to the way they’ve treated you and you regain your power.”

AAA caught up with the Borders-born, Edinburgh-based Millie to find out what she loves best about Scotland’s capital.

Most memorable Capital event?

I love the Christmas market every year – the place to find some damn good pretzels.

Who would you choose to headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay?

LCD Soundsystem rolling us into the New Year would be epic – to say the least. 

Favourite old-fashioned boozer?

Fiddler’s Arms on The Grassmarket is great for a wee pint – they always have great live acoustic music playing.

Favourite style-bar?

 The Doghouse is a lot of fun, with many wacky items hanging from the ceiling! Best night is a Tuesday when they host a live jam/open mic session.

Favourite restaurant?

Montpeliers on Bruntsfield is lovely. It’s a wee bit on the pricey side – but definitely worth saving up for.

Do you love or loathe the Festival?

I love the atmosphere but loathe the traffic.

What restaurant would you recommend?

Tuk Tuk. They serve ‘tapas style’ Indian dishes. I highly recommend the Sag Paneer, which is spinach-cooked with cottage cheese cubes… so good!

Favourite art gallery?

The Fruitmarket Gallery is always brilliant. I love the layout.
Emma Hart’s ‘BANGER’ exhibition held there was definitely a highlight.

Favourite cinema?

The Filmhouse on Lothian Road. Went to see Nick Cave’s Distant Sky there last year. I may have cried a few times…

Favourite live music venue?

Sneaky Pete’s by far – a serious asset to the local music scene.

Favourite walk in or around the city?

Blackford Hill. If it’s not too windy, the views from the top are stunning and it’s not nearly as busy as Arthur’s Seat.

I’m a bit of a sucker for charity shops. I’ve found some vinyl and clothing gems down on Morningside Road.

Best piece of Edinburgh architecture?

Dean Village – it’s a refreshing and quiet contrast from the rest of the city. 

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the city:

Sadly, the rise in our homelessness issue, it seems to have gotten a lot worse walking around the city since I moved here a few years ago.

Favourite Festival?
Not a local one, but Greenman Festival down in Wales. Always an amazing line-up and very environmentally conscious, which is never bad.

Favourite local hero?

Irvine Welsh – absolute legend. My favourite work of his being Filth.

Sell Edinburgh in 10 words or fewer:

Charmingly lovely.

Check out Just In Time below.

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