Adam Holmes’ AAA Edinburgh

Adam Holmes and The Embers are set to release new album Brighter Still on June 10 – and AAA took the chance to invite the Edinburgh native to take part in our weekly My Edinburgh series. See below.

Holmes will be playing headline shows in Glasgow and London in June and September, as well as an appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival as part of Martin Green’s Flit show, alongside members of Lau, Mogwai, Portishead and The Unthanks.

Check out Adam Holmes and The Embers’ touring schedule at

The 25-year-old’s musical education began in the infamous folk clubs of Edinburgh – Sandy Bell’s and The Royal Oak – taken along by his mother, a huge fan of UK folk music, he witnessed the legendary live sessions that took place.

His father’s influence was equally strong, a love of classic American singer songwriters (notably Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt), which he passed onto to his son, now evident in the transatlantic quality to Holmes’ music.

Adam Holmes and the Embers’ debut album, Heirs And Graces, was released to much acclaim in early 2014 and immediately achieved a Scottish Album of the Year nomination.

Two years on, new album Brighter Still is eagerly-anticipated by folk fans and critics alike – but its combination of haunting melodies, honest lyrics and Holmes’ captivating voice will undoubtedly resonate with a wider audience.

  • Most memorable Capital event?

A few years ago, me and my girlfriend and a few close pals stood atop Calton Hill for the bells and the ripple of noise from the West End along towards us was gorgeous. It’s such a buzz on New Year’s eve in the town. Everyone puts aside their differences for that short space of time. I wish we could always live like that.

  • Who would you choose to headline Edinburgh’s Hogmanay?

I don’t think it really matters. It’s not about the band – it’s about the people coming together.

  • Favourite old-fashioned boozer?

The Royal Oak. Best music pub in the city without a doubt for me. It’s a really special wee place – it means a lot to me.

  • Favourite style bar?

Not really interested in going to bars I prefer pubs.

  • Favourite restaurant?

There’s a few, but at the minute, probably it’s 10 to 10 deli on Nicholson Street.

  • Do you love or loathe the Festival?

What’s not to love? It’s always a beautiful way to end the summer just kicking about watching shows and sitting outside getting drunk with your friends. People that have a problem with the Festival just have a problem with life in general.

  • Favourite art gallery?

The Portrait Gallery at the bottom of the Mound. It’s so peaceful in there. I love to look at the old oil paintings of Edinburgh and its people in the 1800s and think about how little has really changed.

  • Favourite cinema?

The Cameo in Tollcross. I have a membership there. Me and my girlfriend would sometimes go there four times a week if there was enough on.

  • Favourite live music venue?

I don’t really have one unless I am thinking about the Royal Oak or Sandy Bells or Captains bar. I usually prefer to go out and listen to music that isn’t amplified.

  • Favourite walk in or around the city?

There are too many walks for me to pick a favourite. I spend most of the time I am not on tour walking around the city and I never grow tired of it. I have been lucky in my job to get to walk around hundreds of towns and most of them have been drab and flat in comparison.

  • Favourite shopping area?

I don’t enjoy shopping – it’s more of a smash and grab operation for me.

  • Favourite piece of architecture?

Victoria Street never fails to impress. Also, I love the mix of the new architecture with the old hospital next to the Meadows.

  • What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the city?

For me, the biggest changes have been things that have happened in my life that have changed my perspective on the city. It’s hard to say how different the city is because I feel like I’ve changed so much within it. I think that change can make you feel good or bad depending on where you’re at with your life, so I guess the short answer is ‘I don’t know’.

  • Favourite festival?

The Fringe.

  • Favourite Edinburgh-set novel?

I don’t have one. I think living in Edinburgh feels like being a character in a novel though.

  • Favourite Edinburgh band ever?

Scotland Yard Emcee’s and Bombskare.

  • Favourite local hero?

Robert Burns would be the closest thing to a local hero for me.

  • Sell Edinburgh to a tourist in no more than ten words…

I don’t really think the tourists need sold on the idea to be honest!

For more information about Adam Holmes and the Embers visit